Ask most women and they’re likely to say pumps are one of the most difficult shoe styles when you need 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 [people] 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, [should] 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.
Soft Style Mabry
Go wild day or night in a cushioned footbed for all-day support. A man-made outsole offers flexibility and underfoot traction.
Get a hint of lift underfoot with this round-toe style that picks up a subtle polyurethane platform featuring tiny air bubbles for shock absorption. It features a removable padded insole so you can add your own for a customized fit.
Clarks Linvale Jerica
It’s easy to keep moving in this mid-heel pump done in taupe snakeskin that’s given an extra dose of comfort with an Ortholite footbed and a rubber outsole.
Soft Style Angel II
A faux leather style set on a low walking heel easily transitions from the workplace to an after-dinner event. The comfort keeps coming with a lightly padded insole for shock absorption, plus size and width options.
Taryn Rose Rochelle
This block-heel design in a supple suede features a roomy almond toe, contoured arch support and flexible rubber and EVA outsole. An antimicrobial foam footbed adds energy return. Available in medium and wide widths, it offers a customized fit.
Walking Cradles Jolly
A slingback pump elevates any occasion, giving a pump a dressier spin, while a modest heel keeps its comfort in check.
A ’50s-inspired kitten heel pump incorporates a foam-padded insole with gently contoured arch support for on-the-go comfort day into evening.
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.
Cole Haan Juliana Pump
Cole Haan emphasizes the comfort factor in this pump by offering narrow to wide widths for a customized fit.
Life Stride Parigi
Built inside this pump is a proprietary SoftSystem with enhanced cushioning in the footbed, forefoot flexibility and a rubber outsole for underfoot stability.
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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