The search for the ultimate office heels is never-ending. Get the insights on how to find heels for work that are both stylish, appropriate, and comfortable.
Which pair is the perfect heel height?
When you’re looking for that perfect heel height, you’re bound to stumble a few times. Especially when you’re wearing something the entire day, and need to run in and out of meetings.
Should you settle for a comfy pair of flats, or go all the way with a tall pair of pumps?
Luckily, you don’t have to settle for just one thing. And you can get comfort and style at the same time. If you go for a medium to low pair of pumps that works perfectly with dresses or skirts, the trick is to have different pairs.
Try to vary the position your feet are in during the day. And cheating with a pair of flats underneath your desk is almost mandatory.
When you’re shopping for a conservative office, and are trying to find shoes for investment banking, law, or consulting, you need to stick to a few simple rules. Keep reading the guide to find the perfect shoes for the office.
What to do if you want to go really tall
1. Nude pumps from Kurt Gieger 2. Blue and black pumps from Saint Laurent 3. Ted Baker pumps in Oxblood 4. Light blue pumps from Jimmy Choo.
Pumps are the fashion bullseye if you find comfortable ones. And the added height can feel good when you suddenly reach up to your male colleagues.
Some heels are too high though. If you’re thinking about wearing the 12cm heels from Christian Louboutin, you’re on the wrong side of it. Stay away from anything above 3 inches. It will look like a party shoe, while you’re there to work.
The alternatives above are all around 10cm or below. And they are pretty comfortable for being this high. The nude pumps from Kurt Gieger are an easy go-to if you prefer some high heels.
The light blue pumps from Jimmy Choo are also a favorite. This pair is 8.5cm, but they come in both 10 and 6 cm as well.
Medium-high pumps can still be tricky
5. Black patent pumps from Salvatore Ferragamo 6. Scalloped black pumps from Prada 7. Black croc pumps from LK Bennett.
A heel height between 6 and 8cm is much more bearable than up to 10. And luckily, more and more models are available in that height.
One of my new favorites is the black Vara Bow Pump Shoe from Ferragamo. The toe is less pointy than other heels, which makes them easier to walk in.
The pair from Prada are closer to 9cm than 8, so they will be a bit more challenging to wear over some time.
Another brand that frequently has models in this height is Karen Millen.
Be aware that they will still be demanding to wear for an entire day if you’re standing up a lot.
The cheat sheet: chunky heels
8. Chunky suede heel from Salvatore Ferragamo 9. Scalloped blue chunky heel from Chloé 10. Black patent chunky heel from Salvatore Ferragamo.
The chunky heel is becoming increasingly more popular. Especially the scalloped ones from Chloé. They can seem a bit old-fashioned at first, but they are really on point this year.
They come in a variety of colors. And they are so, so, so nice to put on. You’ll be surprised the first time you try them.
These models are all between 4 and 6cm tall, and they’re fairly easy to walk in. If you find that flats are uncomfortable because your feet have a natural arch, these are definitely the way to go.
Of course, Ferragamo is represented with two pairs in this category. But they have been dominating it for so long, that anything else would be unnatural.
If you’re looking for a cooler color, the pair to the right also comes in a soothing grey.
Kitten heels for play and fun
11. Black, suede kitten heels from LK Bennett 12. Nude kitten heels from Michael Kors 13. Black kitten heels from Sam Edelman.
Kitten heels seem to be in an out of fashion more often than any other shoe type. Right now, they aren’t around a lot.
This means that they will be harder to find. Kitten heels from Longchamp for example, seem to be completely gone. And they used to be one of my favorites.
Kitten heels are a good friend for the office if you like the feeling of wearing flats, but still want the elegance of a heel.
Flats to the rescue
14. Green flats from Salvatore Ferragamo 15. Nude scalloped falts from Chloé 16. Dark flats from Tory Burch.
Flats are perfect to put in your bag for the walk home from an event. Or to keep under your desk and change into when you sit down.
Don’t get me wrong; you can also wear them the entire day. Although I tend to think they are a bit too girlish for work. But as long as you stay away from models with glitter or too much bling, that should be ok.
Especially if they are so gorgeous as the green pair from Ferragamo. They would go amazing with a simple, black dress.
The classics from Tory Burch are always a safe bet. Otherwise, try the flat version of Chloé’s new trend piece.
All of these ballet flats are quite tough and sturdy, so they will provide some support. And look more classic than a pair made entirely out of soft fabric.
If you’re wearing flats with a suit, you need to check that your pants are the right length. If you had them tailored to a pair of heels, wearing flats will look odd. Read how to tailor your suit to your shoes here.
The secret shoes for traveling and commuting
17. Ankle boots from Dune 18. Pointy black bootie from Adrianna Papell 19. The Stella Luna ankle boot in black.
Low- to medium-high booties are excellent for the commute. And if they look somewhat sleek and elegant, they can be worn in the office as well.
They may be too warm to wear sitting in the office all day. But for running to meetings, they’re perfect.
You need to be able to move at the same speed as your long-legged colleagues in low shoes. And they’re quick.
This is why booties should be your shoe of choice when traveling. Especially if you don’t bring any luggage with you.
They’re elegant enough to be worn with skirts or dresses. And you can walk longer distances in them as well.
A few shoes to always stay away from in the office
There are a few types of shoes that will never be suitable if you’re sticking to business formal, or even business casual.
For example; can you wear a sandal to work when it’s summer? No. Never. Don’t wear a shoe with any form up open toe.
The same is true for shoes with big platforms or wedges. Drop these as well, they will look like a form of sandals, or just feel weird a clunky.
Also, avoid very high boots. Anything with leather creeping up towards your knees is a no. Please wear them for your commute instead. This type of shoes is extremely comfortable, but not suitable for the office.
Trainers or sneakers are the same. Keep them to the commute. Unless you have a serious back problem. Then you can always find some stylish black ones.