When my heels gave me blister scars that lasted longer than my internship, I vowed to my then-20-year-old self to never waste money on an uncomfortable pair of work shoes again. Some of us are still learning our painful lessons, which is why Marie Claire editors are here to prove to you that comfortable (and stylish!) work shoes exist—and, yes, this includes #fancy shoes for those Very Important Meetings. Shop our editors' personal office-approved picks, below.
"These block heels are by far the most versatile and comfortable shoes I own. I can wear them to work, at the bar, running errands, on a picnic—the list goes on. I have them in black to go with everything, but the beige color would also match my whole wardrobe…so maybe I should get myself another pair?" —Morgan McMullen, Visuals Designer
"The cost-per-wear on my Acne Pistol Ankle Boots is down to pennies at this point. The stacked heel is solid and super-walkable, the foot bed is slightly padded so every step on NYC’s hard concrete doesn’t sting, and the pitch of the heel is just right, so I don’t feel like I’m about to topple forward, like I do in some other work shoes. All that and these boots look good with everything: dresses with tights, bare legs with a skirt, and black denim, my workwear staple." —Jennifer Goldstein, Beauty & Health Director
"You’ve probably already heard about these grown-up flats—maybe because they went viral on Pinterest, maybe because Meghan Markle is obsessed with them, maybe because they’re luxe and machine washable. I wish I could tell you it’s all hype, but I can’t. These flats feel like you’re wearing Toms, but look like you’re at a smart-casual work event. (An event you can definitely walk to from the office, by the way—these shoes are made for walking, to incorrectly paraphrase Nancy Sinatra.) Word to the wise: They run about a half-size up, so order a half-size bigger than the size you normally wear." —Jenny Hollander, Deputy Editor
"Working and living in NYC requires a lot of walking—and stairs. So many stairs! Unfortunately I can’t wear sneakers all of the time, so these super breathable Sam Edelman ‘Stanley’ mules have become my go-to babies. The short heel gives you the right amount of height and encourages you to stand up straight, which makes your butt look way better. But what's really great about them is the little stretchy part on the side that expands when your feet get swollen (you know, when you walk a lot or have a few cocktails). I got them on sale, but would 100 percent pay full price." —Krystyna Chávez, Social Media Editor
"Living in New York City I have all but given up on wearing sandals. The hot garbage, mysterious puddles, and subway rats have made me a closed toe flats kinda gal, but I often long for the ease and simplicity that comes from sliding on a pair of shoes and running out the door. That's why I’m obsessed with my Sabah’s. They fit my foot like a glove, making slipping them on a breeze, go with everything—from jean shorts to dresses (I’ve even seen men wear them with suits at weddings), and they are polished and stylish enough to wear to work. They are also crazy comfortable‚ rivaling my sneakers, and somehow never smell, despite the fact that I’ve never worn socks with them. My very favorite quality is that they are built to last, handmade in southeast Turkey. I used to wear through at least one pair of flats every year, but I’m on year three with my Sabah’s, and the more worn they get, the better they look." —Kayla Webley Adler, Senior Features Editor
"I am in sneakers three out of the five days at the office. If it’s not my white pair, it’s this burgundy one from Golden Goose. The brand is known for making shoes that look a little beat up (my boyfriend always makes fun of me for buying already 'dirty' shoes), though I personally think this adds character to the sneakers. They give a dose of coolness to my outfits and I don’t have to worry about stains or scratches because they’re already a lil' roughed up anyways! They’re stiff (in a supportive and sturdy way), roomy, and perfect for an office that allows you to wear beat-up kicks." —Marina Liao, Fashion News Editor
"I will be living in these Manolo sandals this summer. They are the perfect sandal for the office—the heel is just the right height to look polished and be able to run around the city for meetings. Totally worth the splurge." —Adrienne Faurote, Fashion Editor
"I know what you’re thinking: not another shoe from Zara. But listen: these $30 gems are far from basic, boo. They dress up any ensemble, and the clear heel adds so much character to the snakeskin design. The length of the heel is tall enough to feel like you’re killing it, but low enough to stomp around the city in when you’re on-the-go. I’ve admittedly adopted New York’s all-black state of mind when it comes to my wardrobe, but whenever I throw these on they liven up my entire look." —Maya Allen, Beauty Editor
"I'm too lazy to change out of commuter shoes when I get to the office everyday, so a pair of shoes that are comfy and won't give me blisters are essential. I've never had a pair of boots become my office go-to's—until these Botkier chelsea boots. They look great with jeans, a short skirt, or a cute dress and jean jacket if you have a more casual office dress code, like I do.
Considering it's still 50 degrees in the middle of spring, I've been getting great use out of them. It's safe to say you can slip them on in the summer too—the faux lining does its job, but it won't make your feet sweat. Would also recommend wearing them out to the bar—the soft leather makes them spill-proof and the black will hide scuffs and dirt. They're a dream, really." —Rachel Epstein, Assistant Editor
"My go-to comfy work shoes are my worn-in black Chuck Taylor All Star hightop sneakers. Since moving to New York City three years ago, I've quickly learned that function is as important as fashion here in the concrete jungle. My Converse are a cool addition to any outfit, whether it's a bold utility jumpsuit or a matchy co-ord set. In other words, function but make it fly. Ten out of 10 would recommend." —Ineye Komonibo, Editorial Fellow
"These Italian-made loafers are great because of their soft leather and they stretch a bit to mold to your foot's shape. They're a bit Plain Jane, but that also means while they are never quite in style, they are never quite out of style either. The heel is tall enough to give you a dressy appearance, but short enough to walk in comfortably to the office or home, go to dinner, or do errands." —Bridget Burns, Visuals Editor
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