Comfortable women’s shoes for work and walking, aka shoes that will not betray you at conferences

Comfortable women’s dress shoes are so hard to find, especially if you need to be on your feet all day at a work, for travel, or at a conference. Seriously, why are office shoes so terrible?? I’ve run through boxes of bandaids trying to avoid blisters in the past and am now committed on 3-4 pairs of shoes that will never betray me at work. Here they are.

Let me tell you a little bit about my feet first…wait…that didn’t come out right. Creepy foot dudes, please stay away. But anyway, I have a high arch and wear a women’s size 10.5. I need a narrow in many shoes, or an ankle strap. My biggest problem is that shoes give me blisters–a ton of blisters. So when I say comfortable shoes, I know that this is a pretty subjective term and these may not work for everyone. But if you’re susceptible to blisters specifically, I have you covered.

Flats:

Sam Edelman Felicia flats: These flats have a tinnnny bit of elastic in the heel which means they stay on my foot well. I have certainly tried pairs with elastic on the heel that were painful but these shoes are not, probably because they are made of the most buttery soft leather EVER. I have three pairs. I would not buy the calf hair version again–it’s just not as good as the original. These run true to size.

Frye Regina flats: No one is more surprised than me that a pointed toe flat made this list. These. Flats. Are. A. Miracle. I want a pointed toe shoe frequently for work outfits (especially with suit pants) and this is the only pair I have ever found that is as comfortable as promised (no exceptions, not even the shoes made out of water bottles that shall remain nameless, compare). These shoes run BIG. I am a 9.5 in them, and I have not been a 9.5 in any shoe since middle school. But they’re perfect and I love both my black and brown pair! I wear them to every job interview and work event!

Sam Edelman Loraine loafers: I have wanted a sharp looking pair of loafers for several years and am so pleased with this Sam Edelman pair. I got a snakeskin version–which made me nervous, see above comment about fun patterns not being as soft as plain old leather–but these were comfortable right out of the box for me. They come in every color ever and are often on sale. I’ll be back for more. They run about a half size large for me, I picked a 10 and they’re just right (they do have a little room in the heel which probably means they’re fine for anyone with an average width foot).

Boots:

Pikolinos: I tried out these boots on a whim at Nordstrom Rack 5 years ago and they’re still my absolute go-to in the winter. They are extremely buttery soft right out of the box. Mine have about a 2 inch block heel and I still find them walkable. Oh, and they’re WATER RESISTANT? Dreams come true. I wear a size 41 in these so if in between sizes I recommend sizing up. They’re expensive but with a trip to the cobbler every few years they have held up extremely well.

Heels?

Steve Madden Irenee sandals: Oh weddings, remember those?!? This block heel sandal is the only heel I even bother wearing anymore. They’re supremely practical (the heel is only 2 inches) and in a taupe color they go with any wedding guest dress I can come up with. I like the minimalist design. I wear a 10 in these.

Well, that’s the whole list, because women’s shoes continue to fail me time and time again (#overdramatic). Do you have any pairs you would add? I would love to hear about them, especially if there is arch support involved!

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