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:
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.
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.
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 […]
Special thanks to a kind reader who recommended Sacha London brand shoes to us! Sacha London makes stylish high heels with a vintage flair and with an emphasis on stability, elevation, and comfort. These suede slingbacks (and many of their pumps) have a thick platform under the sole of the shoe, which makes the height of the heel much more manageable. You get the height of a nearly 4 inch heel while really only enduring the pain of a 2 inch heel. As with all high heels, there is no arch support and they might run a bit narrow, but cheers to a comfortable and elegant option for weddings and for work.
Who would’ve guessed that Crocs could move beyond their comfortable (but ugly) signature clogs and create comfortable, attractive sandals? It’s worth suspending your disbelief for a moment to try them on!
These leather wedges feature real leather straps in combination with the soft, lightweight Crocs footbed that we’ve all grown to love. Crocs are especially good for those with wide feet (if you have narrow feet, maybe not a good idea…).
Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner! So it’s time to talk about comfortable summer sandals – starting with Aerosoles.
Aerosoles is one of those brands that is everywhere you go and kind of inconsistent, but some of their winners can be both comfortable and very reasonably priced.
I’d recommend searching online for the most variety, including everything from wedge sandals (high and low) to gladiator and thong sandals with memory foam insoles. You can often find fun summer sandals for $40, so they are great impulse purchases for dressy or casual wear.
Thanks to Nevis from Canton, OH for writing in about Taryn Rose pumps! We love this brand for comfortable dress shoes – it was created by an orthopedic surgeon in Beverly Hills who wanted heels that had better cushioning and grip. Taryn Rose makes low wedges but also 3-inch pumps for those who want the full high heel look while retaining some semblance of comfort. We love the soft construction and stylish look of their designs.
Thanks to Sharon from Yankton, SC for recommending Vionic shoes from Orthaheel! These are great if you are looking for true arch support and heel relief, and no one will even know you are wearing Orthaheels!
Vionic makes comfortable flats, boots, loafers, and wedges that are actually stylish and come with orthotic footbeds.
Thanks to Jill from Apple Valley, MN for recommending Sabrinas!
Sabrinas makes stylish and comfortable leather flats, wedges, and low heels, and they are all crafted in Spain (as they proudly display on every label). You can easily check these out next time you are at the mall and see a comfortable walking shoe store such as Footwear etc.