Thank you to Wanda J. from Bridgeport, CT for recommending the Kristy Bootie from Earth footwear!
For those who want a little height without the discomfort of heels, these soft leather booties are a much more comfortable alternative and versatile enough for work or casual wear.
The unique style (peep toe, almost slingback, and side zip closure) can enhance a variety of outfits during the summer and fall seasons, and you’ll appreciate the thickly padded soles and arch support if you’re on your feet all day long. The leather is high quality, and the shoe looks well made.
If you usually wear orthotics, you may not even need them in Earth booties. The padding of the sole is generous and comfortable.
Those with wider feet or bunions will also appreciate the roomy foot space and the soft, flexible leather. You probably won’t have to worry about the leather rubbing your skin.
Most importantly, Earth brand prices tend to be reasonable for the value. Check out the different shades of leather available.
Searching for the most comfortable women’s shoe brands that are both stylish and affordable? Check out our reader favorites:
Thanks to Rachel J. from Purchase, NY for recommending these Soft Style pumps for women with bunions!
The Mabry pumps from Soft Style are roomy in the toe box and perfect for those with wider feet or issues with bunions. They come with a medium, block-style heel, so you get the elegant, professional look of a lower heel with a relatively stable base.
If you have trouble finding heels that are comfortable for bunions, try on a pair. They look very professional and pair well with business attire, but you could also wear them to an evening event. The profile is relatively slim-looking for a comfort shoe – they aren’t too chunky or blocky, and you’ll notice the signature Soft Style padded footbed.
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 to Erin C. for recommending these lovely evening pumps from Aerosoles!
The Aerosoles Onward Pumps are a comfortable option for women looking for closed-toe pumps with a dressy strap and moderate heels. (2.25 inch). They come in several formal colors and that signature Aerosoles foam footbed.
If you need to stay comfortable while dancing the evening away at a wedding or a holiday party, these are a cute heel to pair with any dress.
If you need to pivot and wear these to the office, you can do that too. The closed-toe is perfect for more professional settings.
Aerosoles is an affordable comfort brand that can be hit or miss, but these are comfortable and stylish enough to give them a try.
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!
We are often asked for recommendations for heels you can wear despite having bunions, so we’ll be highlighting some of these brands over the next few posts.
Today we’re highlighting the Carousel wedge sandals from Taos Footwear for ladies who would like a little height and a little style without losing support and cushioning in the footbed.
Taos makes a few different varieties of wedges, so if these heels are too tall for you (about 2.5 inches), there are lower heeled wedges available too.
The Carousels are quite comfortable for a 2.5 inch heel. Both of the forefoot and instep straps are fairly wide and attached with velcro closures, so you can adjust the fit to your foot. If you have wider feet and have trouble finding sandals that fit, these could be worth a try.
The footbed is lined with suede and the leather lining is quite soft, so it doesn’t rub your skin anywhere. The sole is made of cork, so the shoe is fairly lightweight, not bulky. The arch support is sufficient, though a heel of this height is not made for heavy walking.
These shoes aren’t particularly formal but they do help to upgrade an otherwise casual outfit with a bit of style.
Taos Footwear is a named after the city of Taos, New Mexico, and the brand reflects the city’s casual lifestyle and focus on nature.