The Most Comfortable Pumps to Wear to Work, According to a Podiatrist

Ask most women and they’re likely to say pumps are one of the most difficult shoe styles to find a comfortable fit. But since the silhouette is a wardrobe staple for office wear, FN tapped the expertise of podiatrist Dr. Grace Torres-Hodges for some tips on finding pumps that will deliver on both style and comfort.

“Shoes should feel good from the get-go,” said Dr. Torres-Hodges. “They should fit in length, width, around the heel and in the toe box (try wiggling the toes).” Since there are lots of pumps on the market today available in narrow to wide widths, don’t compromise.

Dr. Torres-Hodges recommends pumps with heels no higher than two inches. The height of the heel, she noted, is proportional to the amount of pressure on the ball of the foot. So consider a lower block heel instead of a towering stiletto.

Women, she also noted, will often buy shoes in the morning, then expect them to fit for an evening affair. “Feet are larger in the afternoon/evening and that should be the time shoes are purchased,” she explained. And, she added, shoes should always be tried on with the hosiery they plan to wear with them.

Since women are often concerned pumps can slip off the foot, Dr. Torres-Hodges suggests considering a style that incorporates a strap across the foot or around the ankle.  And, upper materials, such as soft leathers, more easily contour to the shape of the foot for a more personalized fit.

Here, FN has done the shopping for you with a curated offering of tailored pumps to comfortably take you from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the office.

Rockport Seven to 7 Low Pump

This classic mid-heel style incorporates Rockport’s proprietary comfort system designed to provide shock absorption in the heel and rebound at the forefoot, then adds a rubber sole for enhanced traction.

Rockport Seven to 7 Low Pump
Rockport Seven to 7 low pump.
CREDIT: Zappos

Cole Haan Juliana Pump

Cole Haan emphasizes the comfort factor in this pump by offering narrow to wide widths for a customized fit.

Cole Haan Juliana Pump
Cole Haan Juliana pump.
CREDIT: Zappos

Walking Cradles Sophia Pump

For a Cinderella fit, Walking Cradles does the Sophia pump in five widths to accommodate just about every foot, then takes the sizing from 4 to 13.

Walking Cradles Sophia Pump
Walking Cradles Sophia pump.
CREDIT: Zappos

Naturalizer Michelle

Naturalizer doubles up on the comfort of this pump by adding a platform boot for stability, then incorporating its N5 Contour technology that features a cushioned, contoured footbed with arch support. There are also four widths to choose from.

Naturalizer Michelle
Naturalizer Michelle
CREDIT: Zappos

LifeStride Parigi

Built inside this pump is a proprietary SoftSystem with enhanced cushioning in the footbed, forefoot flexibility and rubber outsole for underfoot stability.

LifeStride Parigi
LifeStride Parigi
CREDIT: Zappos

Vionic Mia Block Heel Pump

This embossed snake-print pump from Vionic incorporates a cushioned, contoured footbed, deep heel cup for stability and support, and flexible rubber outsole.

Vionic Mia Block Heel Pump
Vionic Mia block heel pump.
CREDIT: Vionic

Vionic Josie Kitten Heel

Demure kitten heels are on the rise this season, offering a sophisticated alternative to a towering pump. Add a contoured, cushioned footbed with metatarsal support and flexible outsole for all-day comfort.

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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