I’m SO excited about today’s post because it comes highly requested by you all — we’re talking all about work-appropriate shoes! From the best flats and booties (yes, you can wear them to the office!) to the best pumps that are actually comfortable, we’re diving into everything!
I think we’ve all made some classic mistakes when it comes to work shoes — we grab something trendy for a really low price point only to have them fall apart after a few months, or we impulse-purchase a tall pair of pumps that we never actually wear to the office, or we don’t properly research a pair of loafers beforehand, resulting in aches, pains and blisters. 😫
Learning from these past mistakes, I now have a long list of must-haves when it comes to office shoes — they must be comfortable (i.e. commute friendly, can handle standing/walking all day without blisters or pain by 5 p.m.), they must be beautiful (i.e. pieces I am excited to put on each morning), and lastly, they must be functional (i.e. you can wear them to a meeting and easily transition to post-work events!).
Because every office is different and dress codes can vary from traditional and dressy casual to creative and no dress code at all, I’ve included both my personal favorite work-appropriate shoes and YOUR GG reader favorites! Finding a pair of shoes for women that fits the bill for office dress and beyond is an important investment (expense aside), so thank you all for your awesome feedback! Without further ado, let’s jump into the good stuff!
The Best Work-Appropriate Shoes + How to Style Them
The Best Work-Appropriate Shoes, via Jess
The Best Work-Appropriate Shoes, via Jess
Everlane Day Boot:
Following my Day Heel obsession, it should be no surprise that I put the Day Boot next on my list for work-appropriate shoes! When it comes to comfort and aesthetic, they just can’t be beaten- they have a 2-inch heel! They are truly the chicest booties, and because they are the same structure as the Day Heel, they are the comfiest pair of booties I own. Something about the heel color paired with the leather makes them very professional-looking, and can easily be dressed up for the office. They come in 5 beautiful colors, too (I have the brick, ecru and black!)
Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps:
I think these might be the oldest pair of shoes that I own! We’re talking like 7 years, which is why I have the older version. I’ve turned so many people onto these over the years and always get dm’s of thanks afterward! They are the truest definition of an elegant, classic pump. They are my go-to date night shoe when it’s cold, and they are perfect for any work setting as well. (Which is the dream combo everyone wants in a pump, right?!) You won’t regret these guys- they are very much tried and true!
I love my black suede pair, but they come in 20+ colors and patterns- including suede, leather and patent leather!
Gucci Convertible Loafers:
I often get questions about my Gucci loafers, and I can confidently say that they are worth every penny. Neal got these for me for Christmas a few years back and they are one of my favorite gifts ever. They are a beautiful, classic staple that I will have till the end of time (thanks to how well they are made!) They also happen to be one of comfiest pairs of flats that I own–they are truly the most buttery, soft leather and they don’t require any breaking in. I have the black leather Brixton loafers–they are technically convertible (i.e. you can fold them down into mules in the back), but honestly I’ve never worn them that way because I like them better the normal way and I don’t want to wear down the backs!
Sizing: TTS (I wear size 37.5, and I’m usually a US 8 for reference).
Sam Edelman Lior/Lorraine Loafers:
I’ll be the first to admit that the Gucci loafers are a major investment! If you’re not sold on the loafer look in general or you’re not ready to splurge, Sam Edelman’s Lorraine or Lior loafers are amazing dupes – (the only difference is that the Lior has a twisty horsebit and Lorraine has the more traditional horsebit). I have them in leopard but they have traditional black, brown, and just about every other color you can imagine too. They are amazingly comfortable and look very similar to the Gucci version. If you’re looking for a flat work shoe that has the sophistication of a pump, loafers are a great choice!
The Best Work-Appropriate Shoes, via GG Readers
The Best Work-Appropriate Shoes, via GG Readers
Rothy’s The Point Flats:
Rothy’s were BY FAR the #1 work shoe submission from GG readers! You all said “they’re the most comfortable shoe that requires zero break-in, super sleek and machine washable so they don’t smell,” and “I can wear them all day, they are flexible which is great for packing, and they last a long time.”
Fun fact: They are made from repurposed water bottles! They come in 16 colors/patterns and have rave reviews! PSA: Rothy’s just launched their Mary Jane flats with BOWS that come in 5 colors and they’re absolutely adorable!
M. Gemi Stellato Anello Loafers:
Another popular submission, GG readers said these are “comfy and chic” and “very professional.” I love how simple they are and the pointed toe to elevate their look and feel! They come in 12 shades (both leather and suede!)
Also, M. Gemi just launched their new go-anywhere ballet flats made of buttery leather and suede. They’re really cute and require no break-in. Sign up for their newsletter to get $50 off your first purchase!
Birdies Starling Loafers:
These loafers from Birdies get a lot love from GG readers too. You guys say they are “the best shoes I’ve tried in years,” “so comfy, yet polished enough for the office,” and “so chic, I get compliments every time I wear these!”
They have rave reviews and come in three beautiful leather shades!
Blondo Elvina Waterproof Booties:
I’m so glad the Blondo love runs deep in the GG community! A bunch of you guys submitted Blondo’s Elvina Booties, saying “they go with everything and are waterproof,” “comfy for commuting, but still polished,” and “I love how versatile they are!”
If you encounter slow/sleet and rain frequently on your commute, waterproof booties really are a must! They come in six colors and patterns! While I don’t have the Elvinas personally, I do have the Emelia, which has the same amazing qualities but is a little sleeker in design, with a pointed toe!
Cole Haan Lesli Pumps:
How fun is this leopard print? I think a neutral print like this gets just as much wear as a traditional black pair of pumps! GG readers say Cole Haan Lesli pumps are “the best pumps if you’re on your feet all day,” and “so cute and comfortable!”
I love the block heel, and they come in three other colors, too!
If you prefer a kitten heel, I love this Cole Haan pair– which is currently 60% off!
Work-Appropriate Shoe Outfit Ideas + How to Style Them
Work-Appropriate Shoe Outfit Ideas + How to Style Them
Work Outfit Inspiration with Booties
Booties with work pants and a blazer:
I love a nice pair of booties with a classic blazer/trouser combo! It’s a little unexpected and adds a burst of personality. Not too mention, they are much warmer than flats and heels during the cold months. I think you could wear this outfit almost anywhere- including an interview! PSA- I love these Everlane side-zip work pants! They are comfortable, so flattering, available in six beautiful colors and come in both ankle- and full-length options. I talk about them more in this post: How to Wear Ankle Boots to the Office!
Booties with work pants and a wrap top:
This is a slightly more casual look, but still polished and professional! I would add a collared shirt or a blazer if I needed to go more traditional. I think what makes this outfit so interesting is the unique colors. It can be all too easy to default to black everything for the office. (Imagine this look in all black- it would be cute, but not the same right?!) Don’t be afraid to deviate from black every once in a while!) These pants are a great way to inject a little color into your work wardrobe. In addition, they come in six colors! See how I styled them in other ways here.
Booties with wide-leg crops and a turtleneck:
Moving further down the casual spectrum with this look! This is a great outfit formula for casual to creative dress codes or on casual Fridays. I would throw on a classic white button-up to dress it up. Stock up on a few colors and patterns of these three pieces and you’ll have endless office wardrobe options! However, if you’re new to the world of wide-leg pants, check out my post: How to Wear Cropped Wide Leg Pants (And Stay Warm!)
Work Outfit Inspiration with Loafers
Black loafers with cropped trousers and a trench:
I love how effortless yet sophisticated a good pair of loafers make any outfit! I paired them with a striped top and my favorite go-weave easy pants from Everlane to really elevate the look. Ballet flats just wouldn’t have the same effect, especially when it comes to looser pants. See more of this business casual look here!
Black loafers with ponte pants and a mock neck sweater:
I really can’t think of an occasion where this outfit wouldn’t be appropriate! Three very simple pieces that go a long way! While I’m simply wearing a comfy sweater, stretchy pants and flats- the outfit is very professional and classic. The key here is to stick to neutral colors- beiges, creams and blacks elevate any look. Throw on a blazer if you need to for meetings, and this look will comfortably take you from desk to drinks!
Black loafers with a black dress and plaid blazer:
Is business dressy a thing? Because I think this is it! With a few wardrobe swaps, this look can take you to a fancy night out, but the tights and loafers give it a very professional, fun vibe. Don’t be afraid to pair loafers with dresses and skirts! I personally think pumps would be too much with this dress cut, so the blazer and flats do a good job of toning it down a la the juxtaposition rule!
Leopard loafers with a black wrap top and tan trousers:
I had to include a few looks with my favorite leopard loafers too! I love how they can act as a pop or neutral, depending on what you pair with them. With this neutral look, they blend in as a neutral and add a lot more interest than simple black loafers. This is another sneaky professional look- it’s beyond comfortable and cozy, but looks polished and put together! Again, I’d pair with a collared button-down or a classic blazer for ultra-professional occasions.
Leopard loafers with a silk blouse and denim:
Silk Shirt: Everlane, Denim: Old Levis (similar styles here!), Leopard Loafers: Sam Edelman (found them on super sale!), Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (this color is sold out, but this and this are very similar!)
And here with a simple white top and denim combination, they act as a fun pop! I also love pairing these leopard loafers with all-black outfits! This is a great go-to combination if you work in a more creative atmosphere, or perfect for casual Friday!
Work Outfit Inspiration with Black Pumps
Pumps with ponte pants and a blazer over a sweater:
Blazer: Old, J.Crew’s Sophie Blazer is very similar and comes in 6 colors! Sweater: Everlane, Ponte Pants: Old (this pair and this pair are very similar & have great reviews), Pumps: Sam Edelman, Scarf: Old J.Crew (love their current selection though!)
Does anyone else feel more powerful in a good pair of pumps? 🙋This outfit is polished enough for an interview or presentation but comfortable and approachable enough to wear any day in the office. Pro tip: the neck scarf really does tie this neutral look together, pun intended! 😉
Pumps with a white button-down and dark-wash denim:
White Button-Down: Everlane (comes in four colors and runs TTS!) Denim: Levi’s Wedgie Jeans (similar washes here!), Pumps: Sam Edelman, Belt: Gucci (souvenir from Italy! A more budget-friendly option here), Tote: Everlane Market Tote
If you can get away with jeans in the office, I absolutely love the timeless combination of dark wash denim, a white button-down and a classic pair of pumps. I would wear this anywhere! You can’t go wrong investing in these essentials. Check out my post: How To Dress Up Jeans For the Office!
Pumps with a leopard print blouse and tan trousers:
Black pumps are the perfect base for prints and colors! I love tan, beige and camel hues for any occasion, but especially for work looks. It’s sophisticated, classic and a welcome departure from typical black work pants.
Pumps with a silk blouse and ponte pants:
While I think a silk blouse and ponte pant combination can be paired with any shoe (bootie, loafer, ballet flat, etc.), a classic pair of black pumps add a nice feminine touch. This is a classic go-to look you can always count on when you don’t know what to wear. Throw on a moto jacket at the end of the day, and you’re ready for happy hour!
Work Outfit Inspiration with Day Heels
Day heels with straight leg crops, a sweater and a silk scarf:
I love how my day heels look with wide-leg crops! They add the perfect amount of polish and personality to this office look, and I would honestly wear this outfit anywhere outside of the office, too! This is a great combination if you’re on-the-go a lot at work, or you’re attending a variety of events.
Day heels with straight leg crops and a silk blouse:
If wide-leg crops are too much for you, these straight-leg crops are a great alternative! They look great with pumps, booties and loafers. I love pairing these Everlane Day Heels with a monochromatic outfit for a chic, professional look. Moreover, it’s classic, comfortable and versatile. These three pieces are great essentials, especially if you travel for work!
Day heels with cropped work pants and a silk blouse:
Nearly identical to the look above- just swapped out the pants for these work pants. The day heels are a touch more feminine than flats, but more casual than a traditional pump. This is such a classic combination that would look just as good paired with a loafer, ballet flat or bootie!
Day heels with a shirt dress:
I had to include one outfit featuring my red day heels! While I love how versatile my cognac suede pair is, I get a ton of wear out of this bright red leather pair too- and I love the fun pop they add to any look! If a pair of shoes fits and feels great, I’m a big fan of grabbing them in additional colors! (Says the girl who has three colors of the Everlane Day Boots 🤣 when something works, I go all in!) These would look amazing paired with a traditional black blazer and just as great with denim and a button-down on casual Fridays.