Comfortable Womens Work Shoes: The 5 Shoes You Need To Have in Your Closet

June 22nd, 2009

We know all too well—comfort and style don’t always go hand in hand.  When it comes to footwear, it seems that the most fabulous shoes require us to sacrifice comfort for style.  This fashion axiom holds true for our going-out shoes and our everyday work shoes.  But you don’t have to wear schlumpy shoes when you’re going to work.  Omiru has what you should be looking for in comfortable womens work shoes so that you don’t have to sacrifice your feet’s happiness for style:

Flats
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Arturo Chiang Amalie Loafers | $85 at Piperlime

When you’re on your feet, running from meeting to meeting, flats are going to get you where you’re going with the least pain possible.  With flats, you have a variety of work-appropriate options, from loafers and driving mocs to ballet flats.  Flats are hands-down our favorite type of womens work shoes from a comfort perspective, but we understand that they’re not for every woman—or every work environment.

Kitten Heels

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Layland Slingback Pump | $39.99 at Nine West

If you’re tall, you can get away with flats.  But if you’re not blessed with height, kitten heels are going to be a great alternative.  These low heels give you an inch or two of height, and they’re nearly as comfortable as flats if you get the right pair

Wedge Heels
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BP Uptown Wedge Pump | $69.95 at Nordstrom

If you’re looking for a little more height than a kitten heel will afford you, we’d recommend looking for wedge heels.  Wedge heels are exactly what they sound like – instead of a pointy heel, you get to distribute your weight over a wedge shaped heel.  As such, they’re much more comfortable to wear than their traditional pointy-heel counterparts.

Cushioning
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Cole Haan Carma OT Air Pump | $301.95 at Zappos

What else should you be looking for in comfortable work shoes?  Cushioning for your feet.  Regardless of heel height, a little bit of cushioning goes a long way in making your work shoes comfortable.  When you’re shopping for shoes, look for rubberized heels on the outside of the shoe and padding and support on the inside too.  Cole Haan makes shoes with Nike Air technology.  While they’re not quite as comfortable as a pair of Nike sneakers, their pumps are as comfy as heels can be.

Spacious Toe Boxes
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Gentle Souls It’s So Fun | $195 at Kenneth Cole

Narrow or pointed toe boxes make your toes sad.  They crunch your toes, and your feet will be calling out to you by the end (if not middle) of the day.  Instead of crunching your toes into narrow toe boxes, give them room to breathe with rounded or square toe boxes.  We’re a big fan of round toe shoes – they’re reminiscent of Mary Janes and they add a bit of femininity to any outfit. 

Last thoughts?  Comfortable womens work shoes can be found almost everywhere, now that there are a number of brands that specialize in comfort shoes.  You may want to take a look at the following brands: Cole Haan Nike Air Technology, Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole, Naturalizer, Taryn Rose, Walking Cradles, Sofft, Soft Spots, Hush Puppies, Dansko, Merrel, Clarks, and Easy Spirit.

What are your favorite comfortable work shoes?  Share your style with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Shopping Guide, Women

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carrie  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Great list! Love the last pair - wider toe boxes can really make all the difference (even for people like me with narrow feet). Would love to see a list of matching spring/summer work looks.

  • 2. Aarika  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 5:42 am

    My favorite shoe comfortable work shoe is the Bandolino “Julieanna2″ Peep Toe Wedge. The material is stretchy so it feels very comfortable.

    http://www.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=295814&BannerID=PD222&PartnerID=LINKSHARE&LinkshareID=kTcgI_PA3qw-OdSamBSRRwfRF_kxCrp8sA

  • 3. Diana  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Most of my favorite work shoes are Clarks, because they are both super comfortable and stylish. The Apple Sky and Marillas are my current favorites.

  • 4. Sal  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Great tips, as always! I also find that a thick heel paired with a platform (to offset height) can be a very comfy combo.

  • 5. jennifer in sf  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I walk to and from work, so even though I’m short I’m wearing flats most days (with occasional low-heel or wedge thrown in). It’s not like heels are really going to fool anyone!

  • 6. Charlotte  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Those shoes are cute but I would disagree for the person who stands for 10 or 12 hours a day. I wear my Dansko closed back clogs and while they aren’t terribly fashionable, are the only shoes that don’t cause back or foot pain after a long day.

  • 7. JenX  |  June 24th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    from my experiences, sky-high wedges aren’t terribly more comfortable than stelletos. I agree wtih carrie, I would love to see more creative and interesting looks for work.

  • 8. GeorgieNYC  |  June 24th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    really liking the nine wests and the price is so fantastic. have a look at these other workplace lookstoo!

  • 9. Trisha  |  June 24th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Great tips, all! Thanks for sharing your shoe favorites.

    Point taken about the creative and interesting looks for work…finding great outfits for work is something that we all struggle with. I’ll put something together on this.

  • 10. FashioninDenver  |  June 27th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Cole Haan shoes are so comfortable! I also lilke Apepazza shoes, which are comfy and stylish. Check them out at Goldyn- http://www.shopgoldyn.com/shop.by.designer-did-280-productname-Apepazza

  • 11. BudgetFashion  |  July 10th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Is it okay to wear metallic colored shoes to work? For example, bronze metallic loafers or is this a big NO?

  • 12. BarkingDogShoes  |  July 15th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I love the Gentle Souls featured above–wish they weren’t so pricey. I have to say that Born, Sofft and Clarks are probably my favorite comfortable dress shoe brands. I LOVE the new Clark’s Diamond Color heeled oxford for fall http://clarks.zappos.com/n/p/dp/57129797/c/106.html

  • 13. http://www.shoeswalk.com  |  March 10th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I agree with Charlotte, Dansko for long shifts are the only way to go. Where I work they are considered stylish as well.

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