Thank you to Vanessa T. from Great Falls, VA for recommending Tory Burch Minnie Travel Flats!
These beautiful designer flats are wildly popular, and you’ve undoubtedly noticed the signature Tory Burch emblem on women’s feet at the mall, at the airport, and at work.
The Minnie flats are certainly a pricey investment, but they are clearly a notch above regular flats, with buttery soft leather, beautiful colors, and the signature Tory logo. Like most flats, there is no real arch support, but there is some cushioning in the elastic back of the shoe, and the supple leather stretches and folds with ease. Even those with wider feet shouldn’t experience rubbing with these flats.
The true value of Tory Burch flats are that they are elegant, professional, and stylish – a rare, dressed-up version of everyday flats that pair as well with dresses as they do with jeans. You can wear them to a business meeting or on the weekends when you want to take your casual outfit up a notch.
These flats are a relatively comfortable option given the versatility of the shoe, and they come in a wonderful array of styles and colors. They might remind you of Me Too or Sam Edelman flats, which are less expensive and probably equal in comfort. But for a classy designer brand, these Tory Burch flats are at the top of their game in comfort and looks.
Have a favorite shoe you’d like to recommend to our readers? Share it with us here!
Thank you to Alex V. from Pasadena, CA for recommending the Bay Unique Flat from Gentle Souls!
Unlike 99.9% of women’s flats, these soft leather ballet flats actually have medium-level arch support! You’ll notice the well-cushioned footbed immediately when you slip your foot into the shoe.
Gentle Souls is a comfort line from Kenneth Cole known for its soft, flexible leather material and shock-absorbing insoles.
These flats include elastic cross straps that help keep the shoe on your feet without causing any rubbing against your heel, and the footbed is roomy enough for orthotics if you use an insert.
You’ll also notice the unique high back with a vertical zipper, which is supportive and comfortable (no rubbing), but it does take an extra second to slip on compared to typical flats.
If you have trouble finding comfortable flats with enough support to wear the whole day, try on a pair of these Gentle Souls. They look flattering on your feet, and they’re versatile enough to wear with many outfits. They may be the most comfortable ballet flats you’ve ever worn.
I have probably tried on 100 pairs of flats searching for the perfect mix of style and comfort.
These experiences always yield a certain amount of frustration because there are so many flats out there that are supposed to be comfortable but start rubbing your feet painfully within the first 5 seconds of wearing them.
Then there are those cushiony flats that make you feel like you are walking on a yoga mat. You can’t believe your luck. Finally some flats you could wear all day! Then you look at them again in the mirror and realize you can’t get over how ugly they are.
At some point, after trying on tons of flats with diminishing hope of finding a pair you will love, the clouds part and the light shines down from the heavens. This is the pair you love so much that you end up wearing them every single day until they are completely worn out. This is the pair you recommend to your sister and your best friend.
For me, those are Sam Edelman Felicia leather ballet flats.
Sam Edelman makes a lot of flats in different styles, colors, and materials, but these are my favorite. The leather is super soft and pliable and doesn’t rub my feet anywhere. I wore them for a full day right out of the box with no problem. The sole is sturdy but flexible and lightweight. They look stylish and professional enough to wear to the office but are also a cute addition to your outfit on weekends. And unlike most ballet flats, these actually look a little more upscale and expensive! It’s all about how you feel when you are wearing them.
Admittedly, the Felicia flats have no arch support and are not suitable for walking long distances. They are flats after all, not tennis shoes. So they are not the most comfortable shoe you will ever wear, but they may be the most comfortable flats you own and certainly on many ladies’ Top 10 lists.
If you’ve reached that point where you can’t handle wearing uncomfortable heels every day anymore, don’t worry! Here are 10 great alternatives to high heels that are comfortable, stylish, professional and feminine.
Ankle Strap Mini Wedges
Wow, these ankle strap mini wedges from Madewell are so popular that they are sold out everywhere! I saw these in a few different colors and patterns and was so excited to buy them because I love everything about them. The ankle strap is perfect for keeping shoes from slipping off your feet and having to overgrip with your toes to keep flats on. The mini wedge gives you just enough height to be dangerous without the discomfort of a high heel. The perfect combination and a very comfortable alternative to wearing heels to work.
These low wedge pumps from Aerosoles are a great alternative to high heels – they are much more comfortable and still give you some added height. If you don’t want to give up height completely, wedges put a lot less pressure on your heels and your knees than a single metal heel.
Slingback flats from brands like Naturalizer and Tory Burch are really comfortable and still look sharp enough for the office. If you experience pain with the backs of your shoes rubbing your heels, you will love slingbacks. Your heels will be completely comfortable and pain free. Even if you get a pair of slingbacks that rubs slightly at the strap, you can always tape a little strip of Moleskin padding to it and you won’t feel a thing.
I will admit that I am not a huge fan of loafers but these pointy toe loafers from Taryn Rose are beautiful. Usually women’s loafers are clunky, boxy, and generally unattractive. These are well cushioned, sleek, and make your feet look narrow – a welcome alternative to wearing heels. They also come in beautiful suede and metallic leather colors that really make your outfit pop.
Pointed Toe Leather Flats
You can still enjoy that lovely pointed look without the pain of high heels. Take this pair of pointed toe flats from Lifestride – these are professional, affordable, and most importantly, comfortable for most types of feet, even for those with slightly wider feet or bunions. These are casual enough to wear out on weekends and formal enough to wear to the office. If you’re on your feet all day at work, you’ll want to find some reliable flats as an alternative to heels.
Quilted Ballet Flats
I love the quilted look – it gives these Sam Edelman flats an extra touch of elegance and class. Some flats look way too casual to wear to the office, but I think these quilted flats would pass my test.
These are a little pricey for flats, but they are made with a soft, supple leather that make them the most comfortable flats in my closet. These are a perfect alternative to painful heels.
In cooler climates or even in moderate weather, ankle boots are a comfortable and classy option when you don’t feel like wearing heels. Walking Cradles is a comfortable brand that makes both flat and heeled ankle boots, so you have the option of a little height if you’d like.
This is usually a good brand for those with bunions, and the elegant leather material makes these shoes a good option for work or for the weekend.
Pointed Ballet Flats with Straps
These cute pointed ballet flats from ASOS are a fun and stylish alternative to heels. They come in a variety of colors and textures so you can mix and match with your outfits. The thin straps give you the added benefit of staying on your feet more easily, so you can totally relax your foot muscles.
Mary Jane Flat
There are obvious comfort advantages to wearing Mary Janes but they don’t always look cute. Me Too, the brand known for flats, makes some cute options with laces and straps that could be appropriate for the office, depending on how formal your work environment is.
Thank you, wonderful readers, for sharing your favorite pairs of comfortable dress shoes! Here are 10 of your favorites, including pumps, wedges, flats, and loafers. Keep the ideas coming our way here!
1) AK Anne Klein Women’s Fabulist Leather Dress Pump
These low ankle-strap heels are super comfortable and versatile for work or for dancing. The black and neutral colors are made of soft leather and perfect for all-day wear at the office. Prices range from $50-80.
2) Rose Petals Women’s Lissa Dress Pump
If you don’t usually wear high heels but need a pair for a special occasion that are actually bearable for hours at a time, these Rose Petals pumps by Walking Cradles are worth a try. They are as comfortable as you can get for this style of shoe. Prices range from $50-130.
3) Walking Cradles Women’s Caliente
For those looking for a lower heel, these are cute and comfortable without rubbing the back of your heel. The straps are comfortable and keep the shoe firmly in place so you don’t have to worry about the shoes slipping off. The closed-toe shoe box also makes it a little more formal than a sandal. Prices range from $50-120.
4) Soft Style Women’s Angel II Pump
If you’re looking for a simple and professional shoe with a very low heel, these are very affordable and come in a ton of colors. Prices range from $25-60.
5) Franco Sarto Women’s Bocca Loafer
These are a classic, high quality leather loafer with a low heel height and a traditional style. They’re a reliable professional shoe for the office in either the black matte or black patent colors. Prices range from $35-80.
6) White Mountain Women’s Moondance Ballet Flat
These flats offer a comfortable and classy design that’s perfect for the office or the weekend. They are very affordable so you can buy multiple colors and enjoy the memory foam insoles all day long. Prices range from $20-30.
If you need a low heel for a special occasion like a wedding, these sparkly evening shoes are both comfortable and affordable. If you need a last minute purchase, check out Dream Pairs. Prices range from $25-35.
8) LifeStride Women’s Kalea Dress Pump
These LifeStride pumps are classy, comfortable, and perfect for office or evening wear. These shoes don’t require any breaking in and include signature LifeStride cushioning, but the straps are not adjustable so these aren’t for skinny feet. Prices range from $30-45.
9) Kenneth Cole REACTION Women’s Great Gal Wedge Sandal
This low-heel cork wedge is a great alternative to heels in the warmer months. They’re affordable and can be dressed up or down depending on your outfit. Prices range from $20-85.
Kenneth Cole Great Gal Wedge
10) Aerosoles Women’s Day Strole Boot
These fashionable ankle boots are actually comfortable and well-fitting for this heel height. Like most Aerosoles, they are durable and long-lasting while pairing just as well with professional outfits as with jeans. Prices range from $45-90.
Want more ideas for the most comfortable dress shoes on the planet? Check out our list of Top 50 Most Comfortable & Stylish Dress Shoe Brands here!
Today’s spotlight is on Everlane, a relatively new brand that makes beautiful, high quality, hand-polished Italian leather shoes. These modern pointy flats are sensible but stylish, casual but sophisticated – they are exactly what you would picture on a celebrity running errands on the weekend.
Let’s talk about comfort. These are designer flats, not orthopedic flats, so they are not going to be the most well-cushioned shoes you’ve ever worn. They might take some breaking in. They are modern and pointy flats, so if you want a roomy toe box, these are not for you. If you have wide feet, these are probably not for you.
But if you want a beautiful, super-chic, Italian leather shoe, these are highly versatile and relatively comfortable for the designer category.
Everlane is a “radically transparent” clothing and shoe company based in San Francisco that attempts to source all of its materials and labor ethically. That means you can get a glimpse into its factories around the world where your shoes are actually being made. They even reveal their true costs of manufacturing the shoe (labor, materials, transportation, duties, etc) so you can see their profit margin. If you care about ethical sourcing and manufacturing, check it out.
For those who can’t bear to sacrifice designer style for comfort, there’s always Michael Kors, a well-known designer brand that makes relatively comfortable heels and flats while preserving that high fashion you love.
Feedback from readers tells us that most comfortable dress shoes just aren’t stylish enough for them. Brands like Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman, although a little pricier, may be your answer. They clearly try to make their shoes more flexible and wearable without explicitly advertising it. Of course, no designer brand will ever admit to prioritizing comfort in any way! But now you know the secret.
Michael Kors is targeting busy, fashionable women who want to look good but need practical shoes to get through the day. They make low, mid, and high heel options so you can choose a lower heel if that’s easier on your feet, but you still get that classy, feminine style. They also make fairly comfortable flats, sandals, and wedges that will deliver that luxurious look without leaving you in pain at the end of the day. You can always supplement them with Moleskin tape and padding on any spots that are rubbing or irritating your feet.
Anyone with bunions or looking for a wider toe box on their heels should give Walking Cradles a try before giving up on finding stylish dress shoes. Walking Cradles is a comfort shoe brand that makes heels, flats, and sandals in a variety of widths, which is great for those who find dress shoes to […]
If you experience sticky, sweaty feet when you wear flats with bare feet, try these low cut, “no show” liners made by HUE. The soft fabric is much thicker than panty hose material and will keep your feet dry and comfortable. They have both cotton versions and nylon versions (which are sheer but durable).
Hue liners come in several different styles, including their standard liners (made of cotton or cotton/nylon/spandex) and what they call “low cut” liners which are more likely to not be visible. If you have smaller feet, the standard liners may still peak out around your toes when you’re wearing flats. In that case, you’ll want to go with the low cut liners, which sit even lower around your feet but tend to be tighter in order to stay on.
There’s a small piece of silicone on the heel that keeps them in place, and they stay hidden inside your classy flats or dress shoes. All flats are different, of course, but they tend to be invisible with most of my flats.
I also wear these comfortable liners with sneakers or low profile casual shoes (Tom’s, Sperry’s, Keds, Vans, Converses, Sketchers) when I don’t want my socks to show.