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Whether you’ve relished in working from home or can’t wait to get back into the office, one thing’s for sure: Workplace openings are on the horizon. Many businesses, in fact, have started to slowly reopen based on state guidelines.
After a year of living in sweatpants and slippers, however, you may be asking yourself some pertinent questions about dressing for the occasion: “Is it really worth sacrificing my comfort to wear those boxy, structured blouses and slim-fitting jeans once heavy in my rotation? And in terms of footwear, are sky-high heels even still relevant, considering the world seems to be prioritizing sneakers and Birkenstocks both at home and on the streets?”
If you’re looking to stay comfortable but still love extra lift, styles with modest heel heights or chunky, block heels will be your go-tos when heading back into the office. And as it turns out, designers have already made strong cases for them. We saw stacked heels grace many a leather boot and platform loafer on fall ’21 runways, while labels like Chloe Gosselin and Christian Louboutin also lowered the average heel height of their pump and sandal offerings for a more practical approach to everyday heel-wearing.
And for those who prefer to stay grounded, flat styles like modern ballet silhouettes and embellished slides are also having a moment.
To help you prepare your wardrobe, we compiled 15 chic and supportive shoes that are perfect for keeping feet comfortable during your nine-to-five and while commuting to and from the office.
Shop them ahead.
When it comes to styles with thinner heels, stay comfortable in options three inches tall and under. Pairs with an asymmetrical heel can add extra intrigue when extra height is lacking.
Louise Et Cie Minda Flared Heel Pump
A flared heel, square toe finish and elegant T-strap design make Louise Et Cie’s Minda pumps an artful addition to any wardrobe.
Good American Standout Square Toe Mule
Good American’s Standout Square Toe Mules are as chic as their name suggests, dressed in rich tobacco-colored suede with gold accents. To keep you stable while walking to and from meetings, they also feature a manageable 2.36-inch heel.
Unlike pairs with leather uppers, Vivaia’s Stella kitten heels knit with recycled plastic bottles won’t rub or cause blisters. For further comfort, they’re set atop a short, waved kitten heel and include a latex foam insole to cushion your every step.
Schutz Bette Suede Ankle Boots
If you don’t already own a staple black bootie, Schutz Bette Suede Ankle Boots should be at the top of your wishlist. The sleek pointed toe style is a natural complement to tailored frocks and laidback suit sets.
Nine West Ali Pointy Toe Mules
Complete with a sharp pointed toe and low-cut vamp, Nine West’s Ali Pointy Toe Mules are sure to make your legs look miles long. They come in nine colors and finishes, but we particularly love this warm brown leather style that could effortlessly complete a trendy monochromatic look.
Of all heel styles, block or chunky heels tend to offer the most support and stability. Silhouettes like knee-high boots and slingback pumps have long been given the treatment, but you’ll also find new loafer styles elevated with thicker heels for summer and fall.
Charles and Keith Lace Square Toe Pumps
You won’t have to worry about achy arches with Charles and Keith’s Lace Square Toe Pumps, featuring a low heel and straps across the ankle and vamp to keep feet locked in. Wear them with culottes and a blouse to the office, or sport them with a pretty floral frock for any summer wedding on your calendar.
Marc Fisher Zabie Slingback Pointed Toe Pump
Sleek cutouts and a snakeskin finish give Marc Fisher’s Zabie Slingback Pointed Toe Pump an exciting touch. The style is also padded underfoot and includes an adjustable slingback strap for comfort.
& Other Stories Chunky Strap Heeled Leather Sandals
For more casual office settings, & Other Stories Chunky Strap Heeled Leather Sandals promise to be a staple in your summer workwear. Fitted with chunky straps and a sleek square toe silhouette, they’re also great to wear on weekends for brunch dates and window shopping.
Mango Leather Boots
As the weather begins to get crisp, you’ll want to reach for Mango’s Leather Boots. Their lower block heel makes them easier to walk in, while a squared off toe box gives you more room wiggle room up front. And done in a luxe burgundy color, they’re a slightly less conventional pick for the season.
Tory Burch Ruby Loafer
Loafers, long considered the quintessential office shoe, are looking quite elegant these days. A far cry from their often simplistic and stuffy origins, this season’s silhouettes are made for the fashion girl — complete with eye-catching hardware and chunky heels for an elevated touch. Tory Burch’s Ruby Loafer certainly fits the bill.
If heels are just not an option for you, flats are an obvious choice. Decorative flats always keep things interesting, but even if you go for something a bit more classic, try versions with subtle updates — like sleek hardware and scrunchie-style and glove-like fits — for added flair.
Who What Wear Dory Pointed Toe Mule
Who What Wear’s Dory Pointed Toe Mule feature ruched details that bring us back to the 90s (in the best way possible). Nab them in three versatile hues, including this cream-colored version.
Sam Edelman Lavina Buckle Mule
Featuring a curved topline, croc-embossed finish and gold buckle details, Sam Edelman’s Lavina Buckle Mule will easily dress up basic outfits.
Aerosoles Ramen Flat
Comfort brand Aerosoles offers the ultimate mix of flawless style and support with its Ramen Flat. The scrunchie-style flat adorned with a tasteful chain link strap is set atop a well-cushioned footbed and flexible, shock-absorbing sole.
Lulus Leryn Copper Satin Fringe Pointed-Toe Mule Slides
Lulus’ Leryn Pointed-Toe Mule Slides are like a classy party for your feet, dressed in a marigold-colored satin material with dainty fringe and pom pom details.
Everlane the Day Glove
A slightly modern take on the traditional ballet flat, Everlane’s The Italian Leather Day Glove is perfect for minimalists. Featuring a buttery soft leather upper that molds to the shape of your foot and cushioned insole, the style is designed to seamlessly fit into your lineup while keeping feet happy throughout your busy schedule.