Thursday, May 30, 2024

16 Women’s Dress Shoes to Wear When Sneakers or Slippers Just Won’t Cut It

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Most Comfortable Boots

Miista Black Lois Boots

Black Lois Boots

Most Comfortable Boots

Miista Black Lois Boots

Fashion insiders know the power of a Miista boot. This pair is not only chic with pants or a dress, but they are incredibly comfortable. The block heel and stretchy leather mean you can practically run a marathon in these.

Sizes: IT 35—41

Half sizes: No

Colors: Black and Brown

Heel height: 2.75 inches

Most Comfortable Derbies

Prada Monolith Lug Sole Derby

Monolith Lug Sole Derby

Most Comfortable Derbies

Prada Monolith Lug Sole Derby

While these chunky derbies may seem like a trend item, they are actually a timeless design that looks great casual or dressed up. The solid rubber sole means you can wear these rain or shine, all without so much as a sore heel.

Sizes: US 6-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black

Heel height: 2.25 inches

Best Convertible Loafers

Gucci Brixton Leather Horsebit Loafers

Brixton Leather Horsebit Loafers

Best Convertible Loafers

Gucci Brixton Leather Horsebit Loafers

The classic Gucci Horsebit loafer is a staple investment piece, especially when it comes to the convertible version. The back of this shoe is made of buttery leather that’s so soft, you can press it down to wear this style as a mule.

Sizes: US 4-12

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black and White

Heel height: None

Customer review:The Brixton Horsebit Loafer by Gucci is not only a wardrobe must but a great fashion investment too! This loafer looks great with jeans and with your favorite trousers.”

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Best Trendy Heel

Maison Margiela Décolleté Tabi Mary Jane Pump

Décolleté Tabi Mary Jane Pump

Best Trendy Heel

Maison Margiela Décolleté Tabi Mary Jane Pump

In the past year, fashion girlies found out what Maison Margiela knew years ago (and what cobblers in Japan knew in the 1600s): a split toe is essential. This funky style might seem like a fleeting fashion moment, but they actually have a long history that’s worth reading up on.

Sizes: US 6-9

Half sizes: No

Colors: White

Heel height: 2.25 inches

Best Sneaker

Adidas Samba OG Sneaker

Samba OG Sneaker

Best Sneaker

Adidas Samba OG Sneaker

You know it, you love it–the Adidas Samba sneaker is a must-have in your wardrobe. While a casual shoe is not often described as “dressy,” with the right styling, this pair can be worn everywhere from a casual backyard barbeque to a meeting with your boss.

Sizes: US 9-13

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black

Heel height: None

Customer review:Very easy and light to wear, especially in summer! They look perfect with each and every style.”

Best Designer Heel

Saint Laurent Bianca Knot Platform Sandal

Bianca Knot Platform Sandal

Best Designer Heel

Saint Laurent Bianca Knot Platform Sandal

These giant platform sandals might look intimidating, but they’re actually one of the most comfortable high heels on the market. If you’re craving a few extra inches, or you just want to make a great impression, you can comfortably wear this pair all day long.

Sizes: US 6-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black

Heel height: 4.75 inches

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Best Overall

Margaux The Heel

The Heel

Best Overall

Margaux The Heel

One heel that can do it all—that’s the dream, isn’t it? Margaux’s simple classic can be dressed up, dressed down, dressed for work, or a night on the town. (Three cheers for an unintentional rhyme.)

Sizes: EU 33-45

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 8 shades and prints

Heel height: 2.5 inches

Customer review: These shoes are very comfortable and they look classy and professional. I am able to walk around the office with them pain-free!”

Best on Amazon

Coutgo Ruched Strap Slide Sandals

Ruched Strap Slide Sandals

Best on Amazon

Coutgo Ruched Strap Slide Sandals

Price tags on designer dress shoes can run well into the thousands and, quite frankly, that’s too many zeroes. This chic pair of heeled sandals is a total steal and looks far more luxurious than you might expect from Amazon.

Sizes: US 5-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 7 shades

Heel height: 3.15 inches

Customer review:Super cute shoes, good quality and fit perfect!”

Best for a Wedding or Special Occasion

Loeffler Randall Margi Cappucino Bow Heel

Margi Cappucino Bow Heel

Best for a Wedding or Special Occasion

Loeffler Randall Margi Cappucino Bow Heel

No brand does sweet, feminine footwear quite like Loeffler Randall. A bow-adorned option makes you the star of the show without being too flashy. For something a little more versatile, their beloved Cameilla Pleated Bowl Heel comes in 18 colors and prints.

Sizes: US 5-12

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 6 shades and prints

Heel height: 3.5 inches

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Best for Work

Madewell The Bradley Lugsole Loafer

The Bradley Lugsole Loafer

Best for Work

Madewell The Bradley Lugsole Loafer

Now 31% Off

Something about a loafer just says, “I mean business,” in the best way possible. From bare legs, a mini skirt, and ankle socks to tights and a skirt suit, or a pair of straight-forward slacks, the workwear options are limitless with a shoe like this.

Sizes: 5-12

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black, Cherry Wood, or Stable

Heel height: 1.75 inches

Customer review: “These shoes are outstanding. With a thin sock, they were as comfortable as any sneaker. And the large sole provided a really excellent cushion when walking for miles on cobblestones and pavement.”

Best Low Heel

Youngshow Block Chunky Heel

Block Chunky Heel

Best Low Heel

Youngshow Block Chunky Heel

This pair of kitten heels is foldable, packable, and non-slip, so you’re literally ready to take on the world in them.

Sizes: US 5.5-10

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 28 shades and prints

Heel height: 1.57 inches

Customer review:These shoes not only look great, but are very comfortable! I have to be careful when buying any shoe with even a short heel. So happy with these. I bought four pairs!”

Best High Heel

Sarah Flint Perfect Pump 100

Perfect Pump 100

Best High Heel

Sarah Flint Perfect Pump 100

You deserve nothing less than shoes fit for royalty. No, literally. Shoe designer Sarah Flint has been the go-to for both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle for years.

Sizes: US 4-13

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 11 shades and prints

Heel height: 4 inches

Customer review:Love everything about this gorgeous pump! They are comfortable enough to wear all day while looking glamorous. I also love the black piping for a little contrast to leopard.”

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Most Comfortable

Naturalizer 27 Edit Jaselle Dress Sandal

27 Edit Jaselle Dress Sandal

Most Comfortable

Naturalizer 27 Edit Jaselle Dress Sandal

Heels can be comfortable, and for that matter, they should be. Opt for a brand that puts podiatry and orthopedics at the forefront, like Naturalizer, for heels you don’t automatically regret wearing.

Sizes: US 5-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: 7 shades and prints

Heel height: 3.75 inches

Customer review:Chefs kiss!! I’ve had these shoes in black for a few years and I have to admit, they are my favorite for overall comfort and cuteness. I can literally run a mile in these shoes and that is not an exaggeration. If you don’t mind a platform, and you value your comfort, you won’t regret buying this pair of shoes. No one likes being barefoot by the end of the night. With these shoes, I promise you won’t have to take them off from being in pain. Very high quality and are still in good condition after years of wear.”

Best Designer

Bottega Veneta Dot Wave Heeled Mule

Dot Wave Heeled Mule

Best Designer

Bottega Veneta Dot Wave Heeled Mule

If you’re going to treat yourself, you might as well do it right. From strappy thong sandals to fuzzy pumps, Bottega Veneta is the gold standard for chic dress shoes.

Sizes: EU 34-41

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Black or White

Heel height: 3.5 inches

Best Nude

Larroude Gio Sandal

Editor’s Choice

Gio Sandal

Best Nude

Larroude Gio Sandal

These are a personal favorite for ELLE.com’s deputy editor Claire Stern, who cites them as her most comfortable heels. With a memory foam insole, cushioned footbed, and natural leather, it’s a guaranteed winner. Plus, Claire has great taste.

Sizes: US 5-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Tan, Ivory, or Silver

Heel height: 2.4 inches

Customer review:Great quality and packaging. Very comfortable!”

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Best Leather

Tory Burch Georgia Slingback

Georgia Slingback

Best Leather

Tory Burch Georgia Slingback

A slingback is just so elegant and posh, especially this timeless rendition featuring Tory Burch’s logo and chunky leather heel.

Sizes: US 5-11

Half sizes: Yes

Colors: Almond Flour

Heel height: 2.76 inches

Customer review: “There are styles like this that always come back because of its classic style and inner elegance. The heel is perfect! The width helps to feel secure and gives stability to every step I made. I’m so happy to have my Georgia Slingback.”

hearst owned

Hearst Owned

Headshot of Meg Donohue

Meg Donohue

Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Meg is the Associate Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com where she researches trends, tests products, and looks for answers to all your burning questions. She also co-writes a monthly column, Same Same But Different. Meg has previously written for Cosmopolitan and Town & Country. Her passions include travel, buffalo sauce, and sustainability. She will never stop hoping for a One Direction reunion tour.

Headshot of Tatjana Freund

Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor

Tatjana Freund is Hearst’s Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor, covering beauty, fashion and more across multiple brands. Previously, she worked at ELLE.com and Marie Claire. She’s a fan of whiskey neat, podcasts that give her nightmares, and one time Zoë Kravitz laughed at a joke she made. 

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