This is the year of the power suit, pant or skirt included, along with the ideal office shoes. This is the year for women to show their strength while still maintaining a fashionable appearance. The runways have been full of exquisite choices from all the top brands in the world, while it has become clear that a woman in the boardroom serves as a fine example for the upcoming generations.
With the office clothing also come the office shoes though, and while we have seen quite a selection on the runways in that category as well, it is important for each woman to pick the shoe that fits her style, personality and individual needs. Finding the right office shoes that complement your stature and dignified appearance can be a little on the tricky side, since it must be both appropriate and comfortable on your tortured feet.
There are so many different styles, textures, colors and trends of women’s office shoes to look into, and it can become mind-boggling after a while. This piece should help you understand your feet better, as well as bring you some great tips on how to look and feel your best in just the right type of office shoes.
Best Office Shoes for Women: Contents
- Think Healthy Office Shoes!
- Tips for Choosing the Best Office Shoes for Women
- Types of Women’s Office Shoes to Choose from
Now, in an era where we are focused on the healthy, be it eating or exercising, creams we use and what we wear, healthy office shoes are something to really pay attention to. We are generally inclined to pick up high-heeled pumps with our suits, but that should not be our goal. Aesthetics aside, we have our spine, ankles and knees to think about.
The idea of using heels on office shoes did not transfer over to women until the recent century, before which it had been used by royalty in France especially; that, of course was a long time after the original heels were made in Persia in order to keep soldiers in their stirrups for easy horse navigation in war. Yes, heels have certainly come a long way, and according to doctors, anything over 2 inches turns the simple act of walking into a painful and awkward feat you have to practice to master.
The downward point of the foot does not allow for proper shock absorption, which makes your hips and knees work harder, causing pains where they otherwise should not be. It also makes wearing flats that much more painful as well. Beauty is pain, they say. We suppose that is correct.
Plus, everything has their pros and cons, the pros of heels being the muscles developed in the shapely calves, giving one a longer and leaner appearance, while some studies have also shown a strengthening of the pelvic muscles with three-inch heels, something that comes in handy during childbirth. At the end of the day, though, you need to pay attention to the type of heels you are wearing.
Two-inch heels in moderation are a plus, while you should definitely look for something that gives a good lift, absorbs shock and supports the arch properly. New technologies are being utilized at the moment to ensure exactly that on as many heels as possible.
Some examples of office shoes with the right amount of support include:
• Cole Haan with Nike Air, where the three to four-inch heels have been revamped with airbag packets, which cushion the sole and ball of the foot to alleviate the pain.
• Taryn Rose heels with wider toes and tighter heel surround alongside arch support, foam lining for shock absorption and flexible soles.
• Ron White’s All Day Heels in Canada with a range of one to four-inch heels have cushions inside with arch support and rubber compounds to the soles.
• Tieks are flats, which come in different shades to match the wardrobe and provide style with comfort and soft padding.
• Sofft Shoe has lovely heels as well as a reputation for comfortable designs, no matter the height of the office shoe.
• Earthies Wellness Elevated is here with the heels that are so very much loved, with the Talera style the most comfortable among the highest heels.
• Aerosoles are meant for a career woman, made with a strong female personality in mind who also loves to look impeccable in heels or otherwise; comfort is their game.
In general, there are four types of office shoes for women to choose from: flats, kitten heels, high heels, and extreme heels, ranging from one inch or lower to over four inches. Each has its own pros and cons to consider, though the best seems to be low heels with a soft sole and proper arch support.
You are going to be at work all day long, for a minimum of eight hours, and if you are working overtime or work in management, for longer than that. The 40-hour work week is hard enough on your feet without adding more hours to it.
As such, you really need to pay attention to some of the tips for choosing the best office shoes listed below. They may make a world of difference without sacrificing on your individual style. However, remember that your comfort comes above all else, especially when it comes to office shoes.
• Though pointy-toed office shoes are infinitely on the more attractive side, you might want to avoid them or go for a wider pointy toe in order to decrease the chances of developing painful bunions and neuromas. You do not want to be cutting off the space of your toes, nor place added pressure on them.
• A closed-back office shoe is probably your best bet, since there is too much grip happening otherwise, with foot tension the least of your worries. Straps that keep the shoe attached are best under other circumstances, but it might also cause pain if the straps are not made right. You do not want your toes doing all the work, and you do not want to be cutting off circulation either.
• Strong hips and a proper heel are necessary to keep you from wobbling on your heels like a child in her mother’s closet. Do yourself a favor and don’t go cheap here.
• Use an insole to help add to the comfort of your office shoes, providing a cushion for shock absorption and arch support for an easier time running around all day.
• Look for something of higher quality, even if it might cost a trifle more. Genuine leather is your friend. Prefer it to any of the cheaper office shoes. If you have a problem with wearing leather, textile alternatives also exist, with tweed or drab in natural shades a good option.
• Be aware of the color combinations with your apparel as well. Match the colors if you can, or go for something complementary if you cannot. Ivory office shoes with pastel dresses look pretty awesome, while a black dress with red soled black office shoes will certainly be catching attention everywhere.
• Make sure that the office shoes are just the right fit. Sometimes we go a size up or down because stores do not have half sizes. Do not compromise as such, since you will only suffer the consequences in the long run. No matter how much a shoe costs, if the fit is not correct, no amount of cushioning is going to protect you from pain.
Two-inch kitten heels are a great way to look sassy while also reducing the damage done to your body by the heels you feel must be worn. Wedges are also a great alternative and now come in so many styles to play with.
Furthermore, the new office shoe styles tend to focus quite a bit on the flatform and platform heels, either with a slight arch or without all together. You can grab some height thus, without sacrificing your health along the way. There are many on the runways that can work quite well for a business atmosphere.
For the ideal office shoe, you should pick something that is comfortable, made of natural materials, adorned only with minimalistic touches, with thin soles and simple heels, in a classic shade of either black or blue, beige or grey or brown. Leatherette is probably not something you should opt for either, since it does not allow for the foot to breathe under it.
Glitter on an office shoe is a probable no-no, with no additional height added to the heel and without too much platform or texture. You also do not want to go too sporty, though a touch of the sporty elegance might work well in certain environments.
You have multiple types of office shoes, other than your typical ones stated above, where we were looking at the heights. Platforms are the best for combining comfort with maximum heel, sandals are gorgeous and have a sassy feel but not the most impressive office shoes in the business world, and party heels are extravagant and probably not meant for the boardroom. Probably best to steer clear of all the three, though certain types of work can allow for certain exceptions in these categories.
Brogues and loafers are interesting options of office shoes to choose from though, despite their lack of appeal. Wedges are also a great alternative to platforms that could be tough on the feet. Patent wedges in black or nude will really make the outfits pop with a smart effect.
When the colder weather comes in, long-leg boots and ankle boots are your best options, bringing style to your wardrobe. The truth is that if you pick up a great pair of boots or two, you will be a lot more comfortable at work, considering the fact that it beautifully encases the foot, reducing tension quite effectively.
Now, there are a few different pairs of office shoes one should own, and you can choose how you go about it all.
• Classic Black Pumps: These are timeless office shoes for women, and if with the proper support and padding, can actually be quite comfortable for a day on your feet. Plus, the sophistication is hard to beat.
• Nude Pumps: You get to appear like you have longer legs with these classic office shoes, while you also manage to match just about any office outfit.
• Menswear Inspired Flats: These are comfortable on your feet and good for your knees, hips and spine. They also have a je ne sais quoi attitude to them, with quite a bit of polished sophistication. Brogues, Oxfords, loafers or bluchers all fit this category of women’s office shoes.
• D’Orsay Flats: Again, the flats should have a nice arch support, but otherwise you are looking a major comfort with lovely polish at the office. Staying on your feet all day suddenly doesn’t appear as daunting. Different prints and skins to the office shoes also increase your fashion style at work.
• Dressy Sneakers: Slip them on and head out for a very comfortable work period. You cannot always wear these office shoes, of course, but you certainly will not be dressing down with them either. They are perfect to swap out stilettos with when you are on the move.
• Summer Espadrilles: High platforms, soft strapping, and platform wedges combine for a look that is both able to be dressed up or dressed down, given the occasion. Espadrilles are perfect work shoes for when the days are hot, and your pedicure is just right!
At the end of the day though, pick something easy to slip on and off, like loafers, for when you are on your feet for hours on end, dressed up beautifully in interesting colors and added detailing. Sporty pumps with a mesh body also work for a lightweight but trendy final look.
Be sure that whatever you put on, it ensures you do not get blisters at the end of the day. Your health is most important here, and style should only be made to match after the former is taken care of.
Photos via Style Lovely, Viva Luxury