If we say “comfort shoe” what springs to mind? Birkenstocks? Crocs? Something black with a low, sturdy heel and a square toe? Something you mother might have worn?
We’ve all stood in the “comfort shoe” section and felt, well . . . uncomfortable with the selection. But in the last few years several companies have launched super stylish lines for women who also need to stand and walk without crying out in pain at the end of the day. We picked our 20 faves…all designed to keep a little spring in your step.
Yes, you can find a sexy shoe that’s comfortable and won’t set you back $600. We found five.
1. Sofft Scala Pump, $109.95. “Sofft Shoes feel like gym shoes and are so damn stylish,” says FOF Style Scout, Glynese Thompson. “One client wears hers to all her black-tie events,; she says they allow her to stand and dance all-night.” 2. Cole Haan ‘Mariela Air OT’ Slingback Pump, $328; 3. Cole Haan Vivian Air Sandal, $298; 5. Air Gilda Open Toe Wedge, $198. We know these three Cole Haan shoes are a little more pricy, but consider the immortal words of Oprah when she discovered them: “These are life changing. You can actually wear heels and not be in pain.” Designed by Gordon Thompson, a former Nike sport shoe developer, all the “Air” shoes boast “airbags” in the toe and heel that provide support and cushioning. 4. Isola Balta, $175. Isola shoes are all padded with high-impact Latex.
Baby shower, wedding, luncheon . . . spring and summer bring a million reasons to dress up a little bit without busting out your stilettos. Here, five lovely shoes for the ladies who lunch.
1. Born Gemma Floral Flat, $90. Super lightweight, hand-crafted leather shoes with a nicely padded sole.2. Naya ‘Eternal’ Sandal, $145. A spin-off of the Naturalizer brand, Naya shoes are designed with soft, breathable leathers and deep cushioning. 3. Genelle by Kelsi Dagger,’ $98. A classic shoe made comfy with a supportive wedge and padded leather insoles. 4. Gams by Butter, $110. Italian leather cradles your tootsies and a subtle wedge elongates your leg without adding too much height. 5. Naturalizer ‘Lulianna’ Wedge, $79. Dress up a T-shirt and cropped pants with this comfy burst of color.
Ok, we realize it’s not 1952, and “work” can mean a lot of things. But here are five shoes we’d feel comfortable wearing in an office, on an interview or to meet a client.
1. J.Crew Biella Patent Loafer, $228. A slightly sleeker and chicer take on the preppy penny loafer. 2. Isola ‘Dore,’ $149. A super-cushioned sole and a sturdy heel make these heels work for work. 3. London Sole Simple SMO1, $165. Not all flats are created equal! These have a durable, padded sole, sturdy construction and contrast toe-cap that won’t show scuffs. 4. ASOS Slipper Vamp Kitten Heel, $62.67. ASOS isn’t particularly known as a “comfort” brand, but this shoe feels great, and the price is definitely in our comfort zone. 5. Michael KORS Low Flex Pump, $98. A flexible, rubber sole keeps these kitten heels snugly on your feet throughout the day. The pointy toe is super flattering and felt good to us, but probably not the best for those with wide feet or bunyons.
Let’s make this the summer that we forgo cheap rubber flipflops (which wreak havoc on your feet) and opt instead for a wear-everywhere style that helps us look a bit more pulled together. Our five faves.
1. Indigo by Clarks Tres Belle Sandal, $80. Understated and neutral, this little sandal accommodates different widths thanks to its adjustable strap. 2. Splendid Malibu Slip On, $79. An espadrille style that works with jeans or a flowy summer skirt. 3. Naya ‘Zamira’ Sandal, $135. A gladiator sandal with support, adjustable straps and a high-traction sole. 4. Easy Spirit ‘Penning,’ $79. Can’t you just see these paired with straight-leg, dark wash jeans and a tailored white blouse? 5. Paul Green ‘Lola’ Sandal, $280. Drop these in your bag for your next vacay–you can wear them all day sightseeing and then pair them with a dress and dance the night away.