Style

What Shoes Do You Wear to Work?

The 10 Best Comfortable Shoes for Work

“Please, please, please do a post about comfy worky shoes,” reader Jessica recently commented. “I rarely walk less than five miles a day.” These heels are my go-tos, but I’m always curious to discover more. So, we asked 10 women to share their office-friendly favorites…

The deceptive don’t-feel-like-heels heels:

“In the winter, my go-to heels are from J. Crew. In the summer, I LIVE in these Banana Republic ones. I wore them 10 hours a day, five days straight on a work trip in Miami. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up to start wearing them again.” — Cailin, marketing director

“I’m really picky about shoes because I’m always running around the city, schlepping a billion things. My favorite are Everlane heels in bright red. My wardrobe is 99% black, and when I wear these, it’s like BAM, I’m here. There’s no rubbing, pinching or breaking in. They won’t leave you stranded with screaming feet.” — Stella, editor

“My clothes are pretty simple (so I don’t have to think too much in the morning), but I love statement heels, and I get them all for like, $20. I look for little details that make them feel more legit, like if a shoe is suede instead of that shiny material.” — Merry, account executive

The under $50 all-stars:

“I go for heeled booties, since a little elevation gives me more confidence. With this Old Navy pair, I never have to worry about blisters.” — Lilly, electrical engineer

Susina loafers are super comfortable, even though I walk three miles per day and use a standing desk. Bonus: The soles are soft, so I don’t sound like I’m stomping around the office.” — Hannah, architectural designer

The worth-the-splurge finds:

“I wear a size 11, which has resulted in many shoe-searching heartbreaks. But Loeffler Randall block heels have served me well — while running for the subway or spending a full day at the office. I tend to spend more on fewer, better pairs because they last.” — Kate, event planner

“I’m obsessed with my Rag & Bone Walker booties. I wear them everywhere — recently to the top of a satellite dish in West Virginia and a video shoot hiking in the Tennessee Valley. They aren’t cheap, but they last forever; I’ve already had them resoled twice.” — Victoria, TV producer

The how-are-we-not-walking-on-little-pillows shoes:

“I wear these Aerosoles mules all the time. They look great with pants and dresses. I actually bought three pairs because I fear for when they wear out!” — Lina, psychology fellow

My leopard flats are slightly mom-ish, but feel like slippers.” — Anna, marketing director

“I’m OBSESSED with M. Gemi. The Felize feels like you’re literally walking on clouds.” — Brooke, social media manager

The Best Comfortable Shoes for Work

So, there you go. :) What shoes do you wear for work?

P.S. Six readers share their office outfits, and do you have a work uniform?

(Photo of Dolly Patron in 9 to 5.)

  1. Louise M Shoes – amazing

  2. I recently got a standing desk at work, so I now wear mostly flats. My go to work shoes have become the black point by Rothys ( I went a whole size up because I have wide feet) and a taupe pair of Tieks flats.

  3. Erica says...

    So I tried the Susina loafers and they ARE soft as butter, which was nice, but I know I am hard on shoes, so I returned and opted for the Everlane Modern Loafer (and got my official Everlane Club Member card…jk) Significant price difference, but I feel worth it. LOVING them! Ordered 1/2 size up and will likely use a stretcher to break in the toebed a bit more.

  4. Maggie says...

    Do it! This post convinced me to get my first pair ~2 months ago and now I have three pairs and they’re officially the only shoes I wear to work. So comfortable and cute!

  5. Tiara says...

    I’m a little picky about choosing shoes, since I work a retail job, which means I need to stand or walking all day, and uncomfortable shoes can totally ruin my day. So I bought a pair of SAS shoes on ebay.
    https://dealspure.com/eBay-Promo-Codes/Coupons/P15SIIA66Q?t=%28262062%29 They feel really great! So light and comfy, my feet don’t feel achy anymore.

  6. Brittany says...

    I have the same problem with some of my shoes, you just have to pick the right store. I like nine west and MK but I have bought a few online I love and are comfortable. I have found a site I like called http://www.heelstoday.com, I bought a 6in stiletto from them that turned out to be great and I have bought two other pairs. So I would look at them if you are in to online shoes.

  7. For you Australian Cup of Jo readers out there – check out Bared Footwear. Their footwear is stylish, comfortable and the company was started by a podiatrist. I wear the “Parrot” style at work, where I’m on my feet for up to 9 hours sometimes. I LOVE THEM, they are supportive and my legs don’t feel nearly as tired at the end of the day, compared to when I don’t wear them.

    https://bared.com.au/

    If you aren’t based in Melbourne like the company is, then they want to make your online ordering experience as seamless as possible, and will even send you two pairs of shoes in different sizes – so you get the exact fit you need! You just send back the extra pair, with no cost to you. WINNING

  8. witloof says...

    When I was in my early 20’s, I realized that I would not be able to sit at a desk for the next 40 plus years and went back to school to get a degree in occupational therapy. I specialize in pediatrics and work in a sensory integration gym with mats on most of the surfaces, so we take off our shoes when we treat. I wear Crocs at work! I play with children all day long and I don’t have to wear women’s shoes, ever, which I find impossible to walk in, anyway. When I go out I wear Frye boots in the winter or Mephisto sandals in the summer. I refuse to hobble myself.

  9. Margaret says...

    ROTHYS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST! I have the point in leopard print, and they are fashionable, comfortable and best of all, WASHABLE. They’re the best work shoes I’ve ever owned.

  10. Kate says...

    Work bag round up next? Help please!

    • Lyna says...

      YES PLEASE! Something affordable with longevity that I can use for a laptop, notebook, and the regular purse things!

    • Maggie says...

      For a work bag, I cannot recommend the Madewell Transport Tote enough. I’ve had mine for almost 6 years now and it looks amazing, has held up beautifully, and fit everything I need. I commute to work, and it isnt hard on my back or shoulders to carry.

  11. Sarah weinberg says...

    My mother bought these shoes http://amzn.to/2HoNHYf and she like them she goes every Saturday to the beach with my Dog and seems not having any issues with them (she have a very tiny feet unlike me). If I would wear something I would properly choose a really nice looking Boot…Thank you great article…

  12. Alex says...

    I work for a public transit system, so I have a job that has my time split in offices with public officials wearing suits and walking around in train yards and tunnels with oil-covered rail mechanics. Sometimes I’ll have time to swap out my shoes at my desk, but I’ve relied on these suede Vans https://goo.gl/yVJZxT for 3 years now. They’ll never pass for heels, but they are incredibly versatile and comfortable plus the price point is perfect.
    For days where I’m more confident I won’t wind up walking in trackway, I wear Cole Haan suede wingtips.

  13. Sara Scott-Curran says...

    Guys, for those of you who need actual heels you need to check out LK Bennett! They are so comfortable I can wear them eight hours a day without an ache! Side note, Duchess Kate is also a fan! :)

  14. Jesse Fulcher says...

    Rollies! I have 6 (!) pairs of their derby style. They’re like walking on clouds and do the coolest colabs with artists. https://www.rollienation.com/

  15. Gretchen says...

    I also have the Everlane Day Heels in red and they are amazing. I’ll often try to wear a higher, fancier, flashier heel at work and end up switching to these by lunchtime. And I get SO many compliments on them, particularly from men, which always surprises me :)

  16. SB says...

    I have bunions and flat feet, so I can only do comfy shoes. I’m tall so o wear flat shoes most of the time. Frye flats (and boots but esp their flats!), Cole Hann’s air shoes, Born shoes, and cute Keds are the cornerstones of my shoe wardrobe.

  17. Michelle says...

    I’m a long-time reader but first-time commenter – this post has made me want to share my shoe shopping secret. On New Year’s Day, Saks has an incredible sale (up to 75 percent off!) before noon. It’s amazing for shoes! In the past few years, I’ve gotten black Rag and Bone 1.5” heel booties and grey suede Stuart Weitzman loafers for 70 percent off. Still a splurge, but so worth it. I wear them constantly. I work in a formal environment and have to be *dressed* for work each day (though I avoid suits). I also generally avoid heels, save for a pair of ridiculously comfortable oxford heels I got from L.L.Bean, of all places, and always get compliments on. Flats, loafers, and boots are my mainstays, even though I’m short and pretty small. You don’t have to wear heels to look professional!

    P.S. For those with extremely narrow feet (like mine), the Everlane moden loafer is great. I knew it would be good for me when I read all the reviews complaining how narrow the shoes are. My heels pop out of everything, but actually stay in these. And they’re comfortable!

  18. Julia says...

    oh my god can you please do a post for health care professionals because i just spent like 3 hours searching for shoes for nurses that don’t look like they are for a 90 year old but are still comfortable to be running around in all day. if anyone says danskos i am going to scream. (sorry).

    • Julia says...

      after a long search I settled on these. Not super exciting but we will see how it goes. At least they will go with pretty much everything. Sorry for the dansko rant, I am just bitter about them because they are so heavy and I wore them for so long working full time and they changed the structure of my feet! My little toe started rotating. And all the ankle rolls… hard working nurse ain’t got time for that.
      VenusCelia Women’s Go 2 Walk On Air Sneakers Shoes (8 B(M) US,Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077W1BGVR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_QzcPAb6H12TKJ

    • Alexia says...

      ~most~ Danskos are 100% not my cup of tea so I get what you’re saying, but I love their Maria bootie. It’s so so comfy and very cute

    • Jess says...

      I hear you! I wrote a similar request a while back about work-wear for those of us who don’t have as much flexibility in our attire for work. I’m a PT in a hospital and in pediatrics, so I’m always moving … and sometimes on the floor! Like you, I also walk a few miles a day. In my middle-age, I’ve discovered I’m a total sneakerhead and have taken to wearing fashion-forward sneakers that are also comfortable and longish-lasting. These are my current faves: Reeboks in aubergine! http://www.reebok.com/us/classic-leather-wb/BS6199.html?cm_mmc=RbkSEM_Google_PLA_ecom-_-NB-Men%27s-Shoes-Classics-_-Men%27s-Classic+Leather-_-Reebok&cm_mmca1=US&gclid=CMCmtIbj5dkCFc3Aswodmr8DUw&gclsrc=ds&dclid=CJSSuIbj5dkCFcy7swodHtwFyQ.

      And as an aside, for the many of us who have experienced low-back pain over the years and have attributed it to shoes… It might not be the shoes!

    • Nicole says...

      Look at the blog franish. She is a medical resident slash fashion blogger and has done a lot on her search for the perfect work shoe/clog!

  19. Emily says...

    I have such a hard time with content like this because I work a (literal) blue collar job. my go to work shoes are 5.11 ATAC 8″ boots. theyre kind of expensive, but theyre by far the most comfortable tactical boots I’ve ever tried on. I am in the market for a new pair though, and I think I want ones with a puncture resistant shank, so if any other work boot wearing cup of jo readers have recommendations Id love to hear them.

    • mado says...

      Sorry I have no advice for you but I love this comment! Good luck on your boot search.

    • Johanna says...

      Sorry, I too do not have any recommendations for you, but I find this post applies to off-work hours too.
      Thank you for introducing me to 5.11 boots! I go to school in a northern mining town and need to replace my winter boots soon.

    • Jcmasterpiece says...

      I am white collar but I do go in the field regularly and I have found Red Wings to be the most comfortable for “construction” boots. Cushioned but supportive. I believe they sell puncture resistant options too. Still not many options in stores but on line tents to have more.

    • Nina says...

      Garmont boots are amazing. They were my go-to in the Army & last forever. I do have wide feet though — not sure how comfy they’d be if you have narrow feet.

    • Courtney says...

      Emily, thanks for this comment! I work in disaster relief, so I wear work boots when I’m on sites. I LOVE that my “work uniform” is a)whatever I want when I’m remote, and b)work boots and a hard hat when I’m on site. I wear Vasque hiking boots. These are sturdy and comfortable, with traction and support. They are not, however, steel-toed or puncture-proof, which would technically be best practice. I love them and am willing to forego the latter precautions, but I know that as another commentor mentioned, Red Wing has those things. I would recommend checking out Sierra Trading Post for certain boots, because nice quality brands tend to get very expensive, but they are worth seeking out at a discount.

  20. I swear by Rachel Comey shoes. I have her Mars booties in black–so comfy and well made–they’re going on 3 years old and haven’t visited the cobbler yet. Also love her slides and block heel sandals. They look great with everything. Worth the splurge.

  21. I’m a high school English teacher, which means I have the benefit (one of the only) of wearing my eleven-year old pair of Birkenstocks to work pretty much every day during the winter with a thick pair of wool socks.

    • SB says...

      Yes to Birks! Gizehs for life.

  22. Saz says...

    I’m now well into my second pair of clunky black slip-ons from a cheapo UK brand of shoe shops called Deichmanns.
    I’m a primary school teacher, so I’m on my feat most of the day, so comfort comes above style for me, when it comes to shoes at least. They cost me about £15, and I wore the first pair until literally my big toe fell out the end, and now I’m on my second pair.
    They are the sort of shoe that take a couple of days to wear in, and after that, it’s like wearing a second skin – they’re so comfy!
    I put them on at 7am, and can often be home a few hours before I even realise I’m still wearing them a good 12 hours later.
    Basically, these are them. https://www.deichmann.com/GB/en/shop/home-ladies/home-ladies-shoes/home-ladies-shoes-loafers/00009001307653/Slip*On*Casual*Shoes.prod?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8J6yqf_f2QIV7bXtCh1wiAn0EAAYASABEgIeU_D_BwE&adword=google%2FBrand_Brand_Deichmann%2Fsearch%2Fdeichmann&imgFmt=&_=1520624405081&mlid=1178.26.244312.44044fabbd4970dcb4af7508ed681eb3…0.1520624402.1.1523216402&fromCategoryDetail=true&positionInList=46

  23. Jamie says...

    I love, love, love my Clarks booties, the Addiy Carisa. I bought them to wear for a week-long conference and my feet never hurt. Never. And the low heel also makes them great for chasing after my kids on the weekends and looking like I put a little effort in.

  24. Natalie says...

    Hi COJ team!
    Not sure if you’ll get this far in the comments but I’ve been really interested to read how many people are getting shoes re-heeeled and re-soled…. I think an Interesting post would be: how do you make your wardrobe last longer? Or something to that effect. Thanks!

    • Alex says...

      I have a pair of tall black boots that I got in early 2011 and I still like them! Just got them reheeled this winter and it was only $25! They were in otherwise great shape so it was definitely worth it to me to not have to go find another new pair of boots that I love and shell out the extra dough!

  25. Amanda says...

    If you’re a commuter, I really recommend the brand All Black! I have a few of their slip-on Vans-style shoes and have received so many compliments on them. They’re super comfy for the commute into work, and they’re nice enough to wear in the office if you work somewhere a bit more casual/ slip off super easily if you’re running to a meeting and need to quickly change shoes. They’re the best (and currently on sale)!

    https://www.capezioshoes.ca/tassel-tux3-black-suede-slip-on-sneaker-all-black.html

  26. Kristina says...

    My loves are the Calvin Klein “Gayle” pumps. They’re a manageable 3 inch heel but come across very professional and (when you want them to be) sexy. I love mine so much (found them at TJ Maxx for half price) that I’ve had them re-heeled 2 times so far!

  27. Katherine says...

    I adore Sam Edelman’s Hazel flats! They are affordable and I have never once received a blister, even when I wear them straight from the box. They are under $100 and last me about 6 months if I wear them every day.

    • Katherine says...

      Oops, I meant Hazel pumps :)

    • Lane says...

      I have Sam Edelman booties that I’ve worn for almost 6 years. They’re a really good brand of shoes, and they even care wide sizes!

  28. MissEm says...

    I LOVE these work wear posts. As a lifetime, card carrying member of the white tee and jeans club, I feel totally lost when it comes to what to wear to work and still feel fashionable and comfortable.

  29. Oooh…very helpful post! I’m pretty loyal to Cole Haan these days! Great for flats, heals, fancy, and casual footwear. I’ve had much luck over the last couple of years with comfortable and stylish CH shoes.

  30. Yazi says...

    I have foot problems with a high arch, bony heel, etc so they necessitate medical/comfort shoes. I used to wear Clarks but since they moved their factories to China and other countries, the quality has gone down in an alarming way.

    Geox and ecco are my favourites right now. Pricey but worth it and they last years. Also Marks&Spencer has a range of heels/formal shoes with extra width and padding. But I recommend taking your shoes to a cobbler and having put an outer rubber sole underneath the entire shoe. The difference is astonishing when you are walking! So comfortable.

    • Madileni says...

      I have the same problems with my feet and Clarks aren’t doing it foe me anymore either. I have had good luck with Reiker shoes lately.

      May the Shoe Goddess look down on you with great fortune. ?

  31. Deb says...

    West Coast nurses love Dansko clogs. Does anyone in the east wear them?

    • Julia says...

      Danskos= rolling your ankle like 20 times a day.

  32. Jean says...

    Danskos make more than clogs now and they definitely are comfortable and good for your feet!

  33. Amanda says...

    Wedges, Wedges, Wedges! Even a 3” heel in a wedge is comfortable all day! Pointy toe pump wedges, almond toe wedges, bootie wedges, I can’t get enough! DSW always has a decent selection!

  34. I love my Cole Haan lace up oxfords (found like new at a consignment store for $50), and Kork-Ease leather boots. They’re not pretty, but Dansko clogs are great, too. I’ve found they don’t hold up very well, but Sam Edelman and Nine West shoes are super comfortable.

  35. Kate says...

    Last month I caved and ordered the Siena flats by Crocs (!!) and I love them! I’m a reporter, and I’ve just started a new job at a business publication that has an in-house fashion/lifestyle magazine. Most of my work clothes previously have been traveler/hiker rugged, so I needed a pair of black flats ASAP to fit into the downtown offices I’m suddenly in. They do not look like the Crocs mules AT ALL, and I am so happy with them already! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0105TPPNM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    For my former job, I ordered a pair of waterproof leather boots from SmartPak and lived life through those things. I think the exact style is discontinued, but for future reference, ask a horsewoman. Equestrians always know where to find the best, most supportive leather boots.

  36. Claire says...

    I’m a subway commuter in Boston and have ruined too many cute work shoes on my daily trek! So these days I find a cheap cute pair of mostly-black sneaks from DSW for my commute. My go-to shoes most days in fall/winter have been TOMS Deia booties – I have them in multiple colors and they’re easy to dress up or down.

  37. ARC says...

    I think I need the Everlane heels now … I work in a corporate legal department in Northern California, but I am often meeting with executives, so I am trying to look halfways professional. I am also a 6 footer, so don’t really need heels. I love Paul Green oxfords (available on Zappos), they look great with slacks or jeans; they look essentially like mens’ oxfords (wingtip and such), but a bit cuter, and they are incredibly comfy and long-lasting.

    • Devon says...

      I’d love to try the Everlane heels, but I just can’t get over those tabs on the back. Is no one else weirded out by them? (Also a lawyer, btw.)

  38. Jo says...

    I’m OBSESSED with Rothy’s and wear them every day. Everyone I know both at work and in my friend group has bought a pair (using my referral code for $20 off :) and we all laugh when we show up wearing the same shoes. If you’re interest in the code let me know, I’m happy to share the love!

    • Erica says...

      Code please! Wanting to bite the bullet and order…

    • Shelly Bailey says...

      Can i have the rothy’s code please and thanks!!

    • Sasha F says...

      Another vote for the Rothy’s code!

    • Maggie says...

      I’d love the Rothy’s code as well!

    • Shelly says...

      Thanks for the code

  39. ugly scuffed up black leather court shoes coz i stand so much and nobody really cares what they look like lol!

  40. Umbreen says...

    I am a physician and spend my free time looking for comfy shoes but they must be stylish. My go to are my Paul Mayers sold at Bloomingdales. I buy the ones with the 2” heels, quilted. They look like comfy Chanel’s. I can wear them to work or even 12 hour flights. I even have a few of my patients wearing them too!

  41. Lauren says...

    For the Australian women out there (although i do believe they post internationally), Frankie4 shoes are amazing! So, so comfy and stylish! I have several pairs, and while they aren’t super cheap, they’re worth every dollar.

  42. Mairéad says...

    For those of us not in an office setting that requires heels and the like…Hoka One One Bondi 5 and Hoka One One Clifton 4 running shoes are amazing. Working in a research lab on my feet all day I’ve found there’s no point in wearing anything other than sneakers (and absolutely no open toed shoes – you’ll lose a foot!). I have gigantic and WIDE hoofs with a supination issue and high arches. Hoka One One makes the best shoes for my feet (the Bondi is the cushiest). Insoles that support your unique foot shape are a must (I’ve found that Superfeet Green insoles do it for me, plus a custom pair of orthotics for long runs). But seriously, go see a podiatrist and get your feet and your gait analyzed (multiple times throughout your life – it changes!). Well worth the co-pay.

    • Loribeth says...

      I run in Hokas, I love them!

  43. Victoria says...

    I’m a nanny and I’m always on the lookout for comfy walking sneakers…. any suggestions? Was thinking allbirds but they only come in whole sizes…!!!

    • J says...

      Obsessed with my allbirds. I’m a 6.5 and the 7s fit perfectly. They sort of mold to your feet.

  44. Nicole A. says...

    Being a petite lady, I’m a size five in women’s, which proves difficult sometimes. Some shoes don’t even go down to a five! Always a six, never a five. So I’ve started resorting to buying kid’s shoes! A women’s five is around a kid’s 3-3.5, depending on the shoe. I’ve found lots of cute slip on shoes this way, for example! I always get a small internal swell of resourceful pride when I get complimented on them, knowing, little do they know, I got them for cheap from the children’s section!

    • Vicky says...

      Hi Nicole! Do you know extrapetite.com? She’s (as the URL states) petite and wears size 5 shoes like you and me! :) I’ve discovered a lot of brands through her. You might be interested :)

  45. Patricia says...

    Oh, Anna’s “they’re slightly mom-ish” comment about her shoes broke my heart. Here we in 2018, and on the day before International Women’s Day, being “mom-ish” is used as a pejorative.

    • Amy says...

      Preach! Seriously.

    • Sasha F says...

      You’re right, small things do make a difference.
      Reminds me of this post that went up yesterday: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/bj5ex8/how-to-help-gender-equality-international-womens-day

      12. Examine your language when talking about women. Get rid of “irrational,” “dramatic,” “bossy,” and “badgering” immediately.
      13. Don’t think to yourself, I describe men like that too. A) You probably don’t. B) If you do, it’s to criticize them for acting like a woman.

    • Alison says...

      For real!

      Now that I’m a mom, I’m proud to think that everything I do is “mom-ish.” Damn, mom-ish looks good!

  46. AJ says...

    Teacher tested – comfy for 8+ hours, super stylish, AND great for traveling in warm weather. (some for cooler weather too).

    Camper shoes (made in Spain, sold in U.S.)
    Kork Ease Sandals
    Matt Bernson (made so no back of heel pinch)
    Vionic Flip Flops

    BEST warm boots: ABEO Hilda boots (HEAVEN in warm, moto inspired boot)
    Plus they make an UGG type boot with built in insoles/arch support. Most of their shoes have two choices of insoles depending what your foot issue is. LOVE.

    • Mara says...

      GIRL, these suggestions are AMAZING. I feel like I’ve been waiting to hear about all of these for years. How have I never seen these brands?! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • AJ says...

      Also forgot to add these to my list above – check out Sofft and Earth brands.
      You have to search for the stylish, but I have found great flats, booties, and sandals in these two brands as well.

    • Mara says...

      GIRL, these suggestions are AMAZING. I feel like I’ve been waiting to hear about all of these for years. How have I never seen these brands?! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I just ordered a pair of Korkease and if they fit, I’ll be ordering a second pair.

  47. Lauren B says...

    I’m a teacher and I LOVE my plain leather Tieks. I wear them 4 days a week and will never go back to cheaper flats. They go with everything and have wonderful support.

    • AJ says...

      Do they really have arch support? When I look at them online, they look flat. I’ve been debating about getting a pair for years, but haven’t known anyone who has a pair.

    • Anu says...

      I have one pair and love them but, I don’t like the turquoise soles on every color.

  48. Julia says...

    Definitely Stuart Weitzman. They are a splurge but I love how incredibly comfortable the heels are! I wear them multiple times a week so they are definitely worth the price for me!

  49. Jenna says...

    My feet are a half size different and super narrow! It makes finding comfortable shoes that slip on (flats, heels) very difficult. Does anyone else have this problem? Did you find a solution?

    • Christina says...

      Dr. Scholl’s air pillow inserts. Buy two sets, one regular version, and one “double pillow.” Put the double thickness one in the shoe of your smaller foot, and the regular in the other shoe. It feels nearly the same to your foot, but the extra cushion makes up for the half size difference.

  50. Grace says...

    Sorry if this is gross, but I would love to hear if anybody has any good tips for controlling foot odor when you can’t wear socks with certain flats/heels. I have ruined so many great pairs of shoes and nothing seems to work! I’ve tried inserts, powders, dryer sheets, etc. and no great success!

    • Ali G says...

      Unfortunately I have found that once the stink sets in, it’s hard to get it out. BUT to avoid future stink, I love the no-show socks. I have a ton of these: https://www.amazon.com/Pairs-Socks-Women-Womens-Casual/dp/B0728D278S/ref=sr_1_4?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1520543765&sr=1-4&nodeID=1040660&psd=1&keywords=no+show+socks+women

      The trick is to get a size so they just cover your toes and heel. I wear these with all my dress shoes and can pretty much hide them entirely. And no stink! I also have other that cover a bit more that are great for sneakers.

    • Kristina says...

      Put them in a ziploc bag and stick them in the freezer! It kills the bacteria (and associated smell) at least for a few days. Then repeat when smelly again. This gets me through every summer.

    • Evelyn says...

      I second Ali’s comment! Have you tried Gekk’s? I’m newly obsessed with them! They’re no show socks except you basically glue them in place in your shoe so they don’t slide around like normal no-show socks seem to do constantly. Then if they get stinky you can pull them out and wash them. They’re not cheap but neither is replacing smelly shoes every three months :-)

    • Yazi says...

      Scholl has carbon/charcoal inserts for shoes that work. If your feet sweat too much, try peppermint cream or footscrub as a weekly treatment. If it’s really severe, I recommend seeing a dermatologist.

    • 1) In the shower, make sure to wash your feet well/long enough to kill bacteria (i.e. sing Happy Birthday while you lather each foot)
      2) Spray a deodorant on your feet before putting on shoes. (or use a tea-tree oil lotion)
      3) Don’t wear the same shoes every day- they need time to dry out.
      4) Spring for shoes that have leather linings, instead of synthetic (more breathable for feet, which sweat a lot). Shoe materials are much better labeled in Europe, but if you pay attention, you can look for the little content stickers. (Also, generally this makes the shoes more expensive.)

    • Karolyn says...

      I use this Cup of Jo reader trick for clothes – but on my shoes. It really works!

      Says Kelly on work clothes: “I use a spray bottle filled with vodka and lavender essential oil to freshen my suiting between wears! You really saturate the pits and collar, then let air dry. It even gets out body odor that the dry cleaner can’t. Now I can get as many as 10 wears from a jacket.”
      https://cupofjo.com/2017/07/best-work-clothes-for-women/

    • Heather says...

      If I’m wearing flats, I apply clear deodorant to the bottoms of my feet! It helps when you get hot, so they don’t slide around. Plus it keeps your shoes smelling better.

  51. Jennifer says...

    I don’t have a shoe recommendation, but I do have a sock one. Compression socks. I got mine on Amazon (toeless) for about $12. You wear them during the day under your regular socks….. and at night you don’t have aching feet! One of my favorite life-hacks of all time.

    • Yazi says...

      Do you have a link? They sound promising.

  52. Alison says...

    I am so skeptical of claims that any shoe with more than a 1-inch heel is actually comfortable. High heels do terrible things to your ankles and feet, and your posture.

    I finally decided for myself that high heels are just another tool of the patriarchy to keep woman off balance and dependent on men. Instead, my new go-to work shoes are leather sneakers from Ecco. Don’t know what I’d do if I worked in a more formal environment…

    • You took the words right out of my mouth.

      Except my go-to warm weather shoes are Birkenstock sandals/clogs, and Clarks desert boots in cold weather.

    • Caroline says...

      I work at a business school and rarely wear heels anymore. I have embraced a feminine menswear style. I have the everlane loafers, cole haan oxfords (they come in wide which translates to less narrow), an old pair of jcrew monkstrap type shoes. I have one pair of 1” -ish heels, again “wide” cole haans. Non work I do clogs/clog boots (everyone has their fancy faves but Dansko is still my go to for their sole) and multiple Ecco leather sneakers. Very comfy, those!

    • Emma says...

      My thoughts exactly. I purposely don’t wear them to work now, at the very least to show my team, and those around me, that they are completely unnecessary in our environment. Each to their own, but I figure work is hard enough without sore feet.

  53. Mandi says...

    I’ve been wearing Sam Edelman Felicia flats to work almost everyday for over a decade (not the same pair…I have a couple pairs at a time that get replaced every two years or so). They are cute and have a padded sole so they’re comfortable to walk distances in. A few years ago the manufacturer changed the design a bit, so now they have an embroidered logo on the heel (yuck) and are slightly less comfortable for my foot. I haven’t found anything as good yet to replace them though, so I am soldiering on with them.

    • Sara L. says...

      These are my go-to shoes as well. So comfortable!

  54. Gina says...

    When I was working full time, on my feet all day, I had an amazing pair of Naturalizer boots, so I’d recommend that brand for sure, Also a favorite, Geox shoes are incredibly comfortable. I still wear a pair of wedge sandals I bought about 5 years ago, and they feel like you’re walking on pillows! Bought them in brown too, love them so much! Geox has seasonal warehouse sales, where you can score some great deals, and they have mens, ladies, and childrens footwear.

  55. Emma says...

    My husband splurged and got me a pair of Tory Birch flats for Christmas this year (these: https://www.toryburch.com/minnie-travel-ballet-flat–leather/32880.html?dwvar_32880_color=232&cgid=shoes-ballet). After years of wearing el cheapo Target flats, it was AMAZING. Zero break-in period. One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever worn. It has definitely made me realize that, if you can float it, better quality shoes are worth it!

    Right now I’m wearing Audrey Brooke ballet flats that I found at DSW and liked so much I got them in both black and beige: https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/audrey-brooke-winny-ballet-flat/346590?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GPS-_-G_Shopping_Flats-_-New_Flats&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAiA24PVBRBvEiwAyBxf-YsFHhzrUN7TieTobdfNN7iEDu3NDesJZ8uQvBpgDPTQFkIHUFyfrBoCevoQAvD_BwE

    Very comfy and cute!

    • Emma says...

      Tory Burch — oops!

  56. Elizabeth says...

    omg *siren emoji* BIRKENSTOCKS MAKES CUTE BOOTS *siren emoji* !!

    I just learned this recently and I already own a pair of the Collins leather booties. They are stylish, casual-office-appropriate, and I can walk for miles in them (they are literally Birkenstocks insoles inside boots). The greatest footwear find in my 32 years of life!!

  57. HH says...

    Taos ballet flats. They had some in pewter a few years ago, with a laser cut design along the opening, that I wore daily until the leather on the right toe of one of them cracked. It was the only time I’ve ever felt heartbroken about shoes. I now have a pair of shiny patent leather (black) Taos ballet flats, but they lack the laser cut detail. I would pay double for another pair of those original flats. So cute, comfortable, and perfect with pants or dresses, even for someone with narrow feet.

  58. Kara says...

    I love this post! I splurged on Rothy’s (cherry red point) last year and love them, especially when wearing a basic white shirt + jeans (I work from home). Have you ever done a post on summer travel shoes? We’re taking our kiddos to Europe this summer and I’d love to find a super comfortable (because of all the walking) but also super stylish (because Italy) shoe that would work well with dresses, shorts and pants in hot weather.

    • I bought a pair of Ecco sandals (the hauraches) for my summer Italy trip, and they were the best! They look kind of dowdy online, but are way cuter on than in the photos, and they have a really supportive insole, and really stable almost sneaker like outsole/bottom, so they really hold up for tons of city walking, while keeping your feet cooler than a regular sneaker, and work with dresses and pants.

    • Anneka says...

      I traveled for 2.5 months in these naot sandals and LOVED them. So so so comfortable but elegant as well with shorts, skirts, dresses. Highly recommend. I would still be wearing them 3 years later if my dog hadn’t taken a bite out. sigh.

  59. Elise says...

    I look for comfort right out of the box and once I found Cole Haan and Born, I never looked back.

    Years ago, I hiked around SF in my 4″ Cole Haans and they were more comfortable than my flats after that I was hooked.

    Blondo boots deserve a mention as well for a winter waterproof leather bootie that’s comfortable right out of the box.

    Honorable mention to Aerosloes as well for super comfy sandals.

  60. Victoria says...

    Love this post. I used to always buy cheap shoes and they would leave me tired and blistered every time. One Christmas I got the Everlane Babo shoes and I am NEVER going back. I literally where these shoes everywhere—work, out, walks around the city. They are by far the most comfortable shoes that I’ve ever owned. I feel so passionately about these shoes that I will find myself on unsoliciated ramblings on elevators telling everyone they should buy these shoes. I realize they aren’t the *cutest* shoe (I call them my elf/witch shoes) but I love their interesting shape and they go with everything! Do yourself a favor and buy these shoes: https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-modern-babo-black?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=pla-google&utm_campaign=838132553&utm_content=197323891655&utm_term=pla-341116225674&adgroup=43249559952&pid=2414-8509&device=m&gclid=CjwKCAiA24PVBRBvEiwAyBxf-TmH1XO5IYJ8Bi3MK5k-SUMQmo8tvfiC1Gc0v86JuwjptnbHnglemhoCwPAQAvD_BwE

    • Patricia says...

      I absolutely LOVE Pikolinos! They are definitely the most comfortable and longest lasting/wearing shoes I’ve owned. I have 2 pairs of sandals that are going on 4 and 5 years of daily use from May – September for work, city walks, and travel. Last fall I purchased a pair of Pikolino brogues and loafers that were comfortable right out of the box, and are perfect for work or a dressing up a casual outfit. Unfortunately, I find the shoes to be extremely expensive in Toronto, but I’ve been fortunate to come across the brand during visits to Portugal, France, and Spain where they are much more reasonably priced.

  61. Leah says...

    I commute in Cole Haan ballet flats (unless boots are needed) and then change into heels at my desk. My most comfortable are the Sam Edelman Hazel pumps, which are honestly the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn. Pro tip – Zappos sells the black and nude (in various materials) in a narrow width, which has been a life saver for my feet! I’ve also found Ann Taylor and Tory Burch heels to be pretty comfortable and narrow feet friendly.

  62. Rebecca says...

    I can’t say enough about Rothy’s flats! I have two pairs – a leopard print and a bright blue with orange soles and they are both the pointed toe flats. I get a ton of compliments from random people on the street, and all of my coworkers have bought a pair. They feel like sneakers but are fashionable and can be washed in the washing machine so if I get caught in a rainstorm, they aren’t ruined.

    • Stephanie says...

      YES! I work in a laboratory setting so heels are not an option. Rothy’s are fantastically comfortable flats and look good enough for me to walk into a meeting with a client. They’re machine washable and pretty durable. Plus they look equally good with jeans or slacks.

    • Neen says...

      After seeing the Rothy’s ads online for years, I’ve ALWAYS wondered how they actually feel and wear. Thanks for the info – – might be ready to order my first pair!