WOMEN’S workwear has evolved over the past several months and is broader than ever, encompassing loungewear and fancier frocks as people are keen to make the most of their wardrobes.
The best work shoes for women are comfortable and stylish, whether you’re after a flat, a heel, a boot or something a bit more unexpected.
Whether you’re working from home or heading out to work, work shoes with cushioning and comfortable soles – ideally with some tread – are great for brisk walking and will keep your feet happy even if you’re standing up for hours on end.
For winter, investing in a pair of Chelsea boots or ankle boots is a smart move – not only are they great for work, but they do after-hours, too.
Loafers and ballet flats are another timeless choice when it comes to work shoes for women, which pair well with trousers, skirts and everything in between.
Of course, a pair of heels is always good to have on standby – nothing else quite has the same effect when it comes to giving the wearer a confidence boost.
However, you can also get away with a smart trainer these days, too, whether you’re working a desk job or something more active.
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- (AD) STQ Womens Walking Shoes, from £19.99 at Amazon – buy here
Comfort is king in these walking shoes with air-cushioned soles.
These can handle walks, workouts and workdays, too.
Reviewers recommend them for anyone suffering from heel pain, noting how impressed they are with the comfort level and appearance.
‘Nice and lite to wear, use it for work. Very comfortable as I’m on my feet all day. Makes my feet look small (which is a good thing!)’, notes one reviewer.
- (AD) Clarks Sharon Dolly, Women’s Loafers, from £36.87 at Amazon – buy here
Clarks is the leader in footwear combining comfort and style, and these loafers from the brand have fantastic reviews from happy customers.
People are impressed with the quality, comfort, value for money and ability to withstand hours of standing and walking around.
The shoes are fitted with a flexible rubber sole, elastic inserts and interior padding.
‘I wore them at work (NHS) for a 10 hour shift on Monday. I took a pair of clogs to work to change into in case I needed to change. However, I didn’t need to, they supported my feet and were soft.
‘I’m over the moon that for the first time in years I have worn a full pair of shoes for more than 4 hours’, writes one convert.
3. Dr Martens
- Dr Martens Patent Lamper shoes, now £84 at Tower London – buy here
Dr Martens are the preferred work shoes of multiple generations, with their durable construction and hardwearing soles.
Switch it up from classic leather with these patent shoes, which pair equally well with trousers or dresses.
4. LK Bennett
- Audrey suede kitten heel courts, £195 at LK Bennett – buy here
LK Bennett’s court shoes are a reliable footwear staple for any woman in need of smart shoes for a business meeting, client pitch or interview – no wonder LK Bennett’s courts are beloved by the Duchess of Cambridge, who wears them in a range of colours.
These kitten heels flatter the leg line with a slim heel and pointed toe.
5. Jones Bootmaker
- Leather Snaffle Loafer, £69 at Jones Bootmaker – buy here
These leather loafers with horse-bit detailing and ribbon stripe can be dressed up or down.
We particularly like the idea of them for office, or working from home – you’ll be channeling Jane Birkin and Jackie O in the 1960s.
- Chunky-Sole Leather Boots, £190 at Arket – buy here
The boot silhouette of the season is very 90s, very functional and perfect for work or play.
This version from Arket is made in Italy from vegetable tanned leather with a chunky sole, rounded toe, elastic panels and pull tabs.
- Wide Fit Leather Block Heel Chelsea Shoe Boots, £49.50 at M&S – buy here
Block-heeled Chelsea boots go with everything you own, and remain a timeless silhouette from one season to the next.
We recommend this style from M&S which is wide-fitting for comfort, with one fan referring to them as my ‘go-to shoe’ while another insists these are ‘better than Clarks’.
- Asos Design Mortice Leather Fringe Loafers in Black Croc, £45 from Asos – buy here
Croc-effect can amp up your regular leather, so these Asos Design Mortice Leather Fringe Loafers are stylish and smart.
They’re easy-breezy slip-ons, with a comfy flat heel and go up to size UK9.
- Vagabond Shoemakers Eyra Shoes, £130 from Office – buy here
These are some serious work shoes.
Made from black leather, the Vagabond Shoemakers Eyra Shoes are such a unique take on your classic office attire. And we’re obsessed.
- Carvela Comfort Click 2 Leather Loafers, £119 from Selfridges – buy here
Brown tones can look just as smart as black with your office attire, especially when we’re talking about Carvela Comfort shoes.
From the horsebit gold hardware, to the padded inner-sole and premium leather upper, these are the ultimate work-drobe addition.
11. John Lewis
- Geox Women’s Annya Leather Block Heel Court Shoes, Black, £95 from John Lewis – buy here
After a standard black heel but want to feel comfy all day at work? These Geox Annya heels are for you.
Designed specifically for comfort, the thick block heel of these shoes means you don’t feel like you’ve been wearing heels all day afterwards. Result.
- Croc Embossed Leather Ballerina Flats, £69 from &OtherStories – buy here
Bored of loafers? &OtherStories have such a chic alternative with their Croc Embossed Leather Ballerina Flats.
Complete with a smart square toe, they come in a slingback style. The dreamiest accessory for immaculate tailoring.
Where to buy good work shoes for women
In 2021, the term ‘work shoes’ is pretty loose which means that you can probably find shoes suitable for the office in every footwear shop.
Most multi-brand retailers stock smart styles, whether you want to opt for high-heels or loafers. The high-street is your oyster.
How do women’s shoe sizes work?
Most women’s shoe sizing follows the sizing below:
What are work appropriate shoes for women?
Whether shoes are work appropriate really depends on the job you’re doing.
If you’re working on a building site then you need steel toe caps and sturdy shoes to last you through a day on your feet.
In terms of office dress codes, it varies depending on your company. Thanks to the rise of street style, people can get away with wearing trainers!
We’ve designed Sun Selects to help you to find the best products that won’t break the bank.
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