There’s no turning back. Athleisurewear has taken over our closets, especially when it comes to footwear. But don’t its casual connotations have you thinking you can’t wear these styles to the office? While the category has roots in the performance athletic market, there are lots of styles today that are dressy and sophisticated enough to wear to work. And although they may not make the fashion cut for lawyers arguing a case in court, there are plenty of versions dressy enough to footnote a summertime dress or skirt.
First, think beyond the more expected lace-up styles that take their inspiration from sneakers. There’s a new wave that includes ballet flats, Mary Jane styles and wedges that deliver on a more refined approach to comfort.
Now, don’t think these more refined athleisure looks are too dressy for weekend wear. Since they maintain the same comfort elements as their more casual counterparts, including footbed cushioning, lightweight flexible outsoles, and uppers in neoprene and airy mesh, they can be worn to Sunday brunch or an overnight getaway.
Have a favorite shoe brand? It’s more than likely there’s an offering of athleisure styles as the category continues to pick up momentum. Consider labels such as Cole Haan with its ZeroGrand technology that delivers on lightweight cushioning and flexibility, and Bzees, which has evolved athlesiure dressing into a full-blown wardrobe that includes fashion boots, slides and clogs.
Athleisure footwear also makes good fashion sense when traveling due to the lightweight properties of these designs. As airline regulations continue to escalate when it comes to luggage limitations, it’s easy to pack several pairs of athleisure styles for the same weight as a pair of more traditional shoes or sneakers.
Here, FN has curated a wardrobe of athleisure styles suitable for officewear.
Easy Spirit Twist 8
This slip-on style done in a woven fabric naturally allows air to circulate, while a perforated footbed enhances breathability.
Skechers Relaxed-Fit Bikers Provocative
Soft lace gives this asymmetric Mary Jane style a sophisticated look that keeps performance in mind with a flexible rubber outsole and memory foam footbed.
Ilse Jacobsen Tulip 139
This perforated lightweight slip-on features a soft microfiber lining and lightly cushioned footbed for a barely-there feeling.
FitFlop Artknit Ballerina
A stretchy upper is super-breathable, made all the more comfortable with an elasticized topline for a customized fit in this modern ballerina flat.
Vionic Mahalo Slip-On
Add some flirty ruffles to your wardrobe with this slip-on style with triple rows of flounce on the upper.
Subtle shades of beige add versatility to this espadrille-inspired style in a stretch fabric that picks up a tailored wedge for sophisticated support and comfort.
Bernie Mev Cindy Flat Sandal
This stretch woven sandal marries athletic styling with a sandal for a sporty way to head to the office.
Josef Seibel Sina 39
Elastic goring enhances the fit of this slip-on style done in leather with a removable insole and lightweight, flexible outsole.
Cole Haan Pinch Weekender
This classic penny moc is giving some polish and shine in a silver metallic version that’s ready for a business meeting.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.
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