The Best Work Shoes For Your Back-To-Office Situation

The Best Work Shoes For Your Back-To-Office Situation

This fall promises to be a season of transition — not only in terms of the weather forecast but also in terms of a (possible) hybrid WFH/in-office plan. With that in mind, you’ll likely need a refresher in the work shoe department. After all, your feet have had an 18-month break from business casual. (No one knows you’re wearing bunny slippers on Zoom.)
If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of work shoes that may catch an IRL compliment or two, look no further. For this edition of Hype Machine, we sourced several of the highest-rated office-friendly shoes on the internet. Read on to hear more about them from actual customers who were in search of chic and comfortable footwear for their respective workplaces — and lived to tell all about their “sole”-mates.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea Booties

Best Chelsea Boot

With a sensible 1.5″ heel, pull-on style, and a chic pointed toe, this versatile bootie will pull together any kind of work outfit you’re assembling. The Yale also comes in a few suede browns and white or tan leather.

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 48 reviews on bloomingdales.com

What They’re Saying: “I love these boots so much, I just bought a second pair!!! The first pair is still in great shape but I wanted to make sure I’d have a backup pair. They have become my go-to for casual, chic, dress-up or down. Perfect for travel—very comfortable, slip-on and off. Great quality!” – rtevents, aerosoles.com reviewer

Shop Bloomingdales

Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea Booties, $, available at Bloomingdale’s

Sarah Flint Perfect Pump 85

Best High Heel Pumps

Stilettos typically aren’t classified as “comfortable,” but 339 reviewers of this heel beg to differ. With built-in arch support and 6mm of cushy footbed padding, this professional pump is a fan fave of the working set.

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 339 reviews on sarahflint.com

What They’re Saying: “The best pump I have ever tried. I am completely hooked and I can’t wait to get more pairs in every color!
Truly a genius design and the comfort level is unparalleled when compared to my other pumps.” – Isabel, sarahflint.com reviewer

Shop Sarah Flint

Sarah Flint Perfect Pump 85, $, available at Sarah Flint

Aerosoles East Side

Best Loafer

Wanna talk comfort? This work loafer is made with Aerosoles’ impact-absorbing soles, memory foam footbeds, and padded insoles. Take note, however: Though over 400 reviewers give this style a thumbs up, they do recommend sizing up.

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 413 reviews on aerosoles.com

What They’re Saying: “The bone color loafer surprisingly ended up being my favorite! I get compliments every time I wear this color. These shoes are so comfortable. I bought all three colors for work and I do not regret it! These will be a staple in my closet, especially with fall quickly approaching.” – Brianna, aerosoles.com reviewer

Shop Aerosoles

Aerosoles East Side, $, available at Aerosoles

Naturalizer Callie Mid Shaft Calf Boot

Best Mid Calf Boot

Situated comfortably between the ankle bootie and the knee-high, this lace-up mid-calf option has a grippy lugsole, sturdy 3.25″ block heel, and a side zip for easy on-off wear.

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 318 reviews on amazon.com

What They’re Saying: “Finally bought these because I trust the brand Naturalizer to be comfortable. They fit perfectly and, true to the reputation of the brand, they are so comfortable. Indeed this is a beautifully made boot. I am very pleased and happy to find them.” – amazon.com reviewer

Shop Naturalizer on Amazon

Naturalizer Callie Mid Shaft Calf Boot, $, available at Amazon

Soft Style Angel II

Best Low Heel Pumps

Grandma chic in the best way possible, this lightweight vegan leather pump has a modest 1.25″ heel and a padded insole for all-day comfort. And it comes in many colors and finishes!

The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars and 1,222 reviews on zappos.com

What They’re Saying: “This is a classic shoe, should be in every professional woman’s closet, a well fitted and feminine comfortable shoe. I have wide feet and they fit like a glove, not too tight, and unlike some flats/low heels, they do not rub and are not stiff, nor do they gap at midfoot when walking. I bought two other pairs, but I made the mistake of buying them a half size shorter than usual. These really do fit true to size for wide widths. Wish you had more wide sizes in the croc colors, I’d buy them all!” – Cathron, zappos.com reviewer

Shop Zappos

Soft Style Soft Style Angel II, $, available at Zappos

Dr. Martens 1461 Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes

Best Oxford Shoes

Hefty and made to last a long time, these Docs are more work-appropriate than the OG lace-up combat boots. Reviewers of this style range from young to old, with the latter raving about how these oxfords are as comfy and supportive as their very first pair of Docs from decades earlier.

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 918 reviews on drmartens.com

What They’re Saying: “I have been wearing Dr. Martens since I was in high school. This is my first pair of oxfords. I am a chef and on my feet long hours. These are great shoes for my job.” – Devin, drmartens.com reviewer

Shop Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens 1461 Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes, $, available at Dr. Martens

LEATHERWORLDDesigns Heeled Clogs

Best Heeled Clog

A heeled clog is sure to be a secret weapon when it comes to work shoes because they’re not only super stylish and forever trendy, they’re also unbelievably comfortable. This Etsy clog shop is currently tracking at 21,594 sales, and this particular style, with a rubberized sole and chunky platform, is a high-ranked bestseller.

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 3,483 reviews on etsy.com

What They’re Saying: “I now own six pairs of these AMAZING clogs, between low and high heeled. Yes, six pairs because they are that amazing. Not only do I get nonstop compliments on each and every one of them, they are just so comfortable. I have knee issues, and plantar fasciitis and it is the very first heel I’ve been able to wear comfortably with no swelling and no pain.” – BrownMelo, etsy.com reviewer

Shop LEATHERWORLDDesigns on Etsy

LEATHERWORLDDesigns Heeled Wooden Clogs, $, available at Etsy

Everlane The Italian Leather Day Glove

Best Ballet Flat

This sturdy flat comes in seven neutral colors and (at the moment) two limited-edition colors.

The Hype: 4.56 out of 5 stars and 6,308 reviews on everlane.com

What They’re Saying: “Amazingly simple and chic. These flats are incredible. Perfectly made for a comfortable fit with a few air holes to help keep the air flowing while you go about your day. The colors are great. Perfect for a casual, work or vacation vibe. Will definitely be buying in more colors.” – sfmama, everlane.com reviewer

Shop Everlane

Everlane The Italian Leather Day Glove, $, available at Everlane

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot

Best Knee-High Boot

Don’t let the height (of either the boot or heel) deter you — this skyscraper style has received a firm stamp of approval from comfort-seeking shoe wearers. Bonus: This Gardenia — available in black and burgundy leather — is currently on sale!

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 193 reviews on dsw.com

What They’re Saying: “Surprisingly comfy for this tall heel. Fits snug in the calf – goes to just under the knee. And they look great!” – MomOf1, dsw.com reviewer

Shop DSW

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot, $, available at DSW

Sam Edelman Linnie Bit Mule

Best Flat Mule

Customers love this shoe as a dupe for the (much) more expensive Gucci horsebit mule — and, right now, this style is on major sale across all colors and patterns.

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 101 reviews on samedelman.com

What They’re Saying: “I’ve been looking for a white mule that fits, looks high quality, and is affordable for a while. I ordered the Sam Edelman Linnie Bit Mule as soon as I discovered it and it’s exceeded my expectation. This shoe is extremely comfortable and versatile. I love that I can wear them to work, out to brunch, or to church and during every season in Texas! They also put a grippy texture at the ball of the foot so your feet don’t slip out when you walk or get sweaty – genius! I can’t say enough good things about this Mule.” – Tayfro, samedelman.com reviewer

Shop Sam Edelman

Sam Edelman LINNIE BIT MULE, $, available at Sam Edelman

Cole Haan GrandPrø Rally Court Sneaker

Best White Sneaker

If you’re looking for a commuter sneaker or if your workplace is casual enough for kicks, these sleek tennis shoes are polished and neutral enough to go with any office outfit.

The Hype: 4.68 out of 5 stars and 340 reviews on colehaan.com

What They’re Saying: “Fun to wear, fashionable shoe, that is lightweight with a little bit of structure. If you’re looking for a shoe to wear during the day while running errands, this shoe is perfect for that.” – Jge2469, colehaan.com reviewer

Shop Cole Haan

Cole Haan GrandPrø Rally Court Sneaker, $, available at Cole Haan

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