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Now that the COVID vaccine is widely available, many companies have begun requesting that employees return to the office. And, if we know one thing to be true, it’s that after over a year of stay-at-home work, it’s safe to say that most people will need a reintroduction to what constitutes as office-appropriate attire.
While office dress codes vary from company to company, work-appropriate footwear includes stylish silhouettes ranging from sassy stilettos to sleek booties to low-key loafers. If you’re re-entering the IRL work world—or just looking to elevate your shoe game—these 10 dress shoes will get the job done. And, more importantly, they’re all known for being comfortable, thanks to square toes, block heels, cloud-like insoles and more.
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1. These head-turning suede pumps
These elegant heels are easy to transition from day to night—or office to happy hour—with a classy pointed-toe design, practical block heel and flirty ankle tie. They’re made of a soft suede that reviewers say holds up well over time and looks effortlessly chic.
Available in fuchsia and black, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 6 to 10.
Get the Marc Fisher Cerana Pump from DSW for $59.99
2. These mixed-material loafers
Not all dress shoes need a heel—they just have to look snazzy enough to elevate an outfit. And these smooth suede loafers do just that. They’re made with Rockport’s TruTech sole, which the brand claims is designed to cushion your foot so as to “provide rebound at the forefoot and shock absorption at the heel.” In other words, they’re not only stylish, they’re comfortable, too.
Available in four colors and prints—including a pair that swaps the suede for synthetic snakeskin—they come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 11.
Get the Women’s Total Motion Laylani Accent Loafer from Rockport for $110
3. These timeless flat pumps
You may think of pumps only as closed-toe, slip-on heels. But in reality, a pump is defined as “a shoe with a low-cut front, or vamp, with either a shoe buckle or a black bow as ostensible fastening.”
While most brands don’t go by that definition when labeling their shoes as “pumps,” Clarks got it right with the low-heeled Laina15s. Made with the brand’s cushioned two-layer foam, they feature an eye-catching buckle on the outer side of each foot.
Available in brown and black, the shoes come in women’s whole and half sizes 5.5 to 10.5.
Get the Laina15 Buckle Dark Tan Leather from Clarks for $120
4. These printed loafers
Loafers are some of the most versatile and most comfortable dress shoes, but can often be a little plain. Why not have fun with them, by getting a pair in a wild print? Sam Edelman knows a thing or two about creating stylishly funky silhouettes, as showcased by the Loraine Bit Loafer. Want zebra-print work shoes? Or perhaps cheetah or snakeskin? Whatever the case may be, you’ll find your preference among the two dozen colored croc, snake and plain leather textiles.
They come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 13 in standard and wide widths.
Get the Loraine Bit Loafer from Sam Edelman for $150
5. These block-heel pumps
If you’re looking for shoes that you can wear all day, every day, grab these retro-inspired block-heel pumps from Franco Sarto. Because they have soft square toes, they won’t cramp your feet the way many pointed-toe pumps do.
Available in classic black and nude, as well as a funky blue snake leather, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 11.
Get the Sarto Regal Pump from Franco Sarto for $99
6. These chunky loafers
In case you missed it, ‘90s style is making a major comeback. As such, lug soles are once again en vogue. Rather than opting for the traditional lug-sole sneakers, dress it up a bit with these platform loafers. They’re made of antiqued leather and feature a 1.75-inch heel.
Available in three neutral color combinations, they’ll likely coordinate with the majority of your office attire. They come in women’s whole and half sizes 6 to 11.
Get the Selma Loafer from Bernardo 1946 for $228
7. These convertible pumps
Even heels that promise to be comfortable can become uncomfortable, simply because they push your feet into an always-on-your-toes position. That’s why Pashion created an entire brand around removable-heel pumps. These genius shoes, which are made of patent leather, can be worn as flats or as 3- or 4-inch heels. You can also choose between a block heel or a stiletto one.
Available in six core colors and three seasonal shades, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 6 to 11.
Get the D’Orsay Patent 4” Pumps from Pashion for $185
8. These washable loafers
If you’re a commuter—especially if you live in a major city—you’ve probably worn sneakers to work only to change into your office-appropriate shoes of choice. To save yourself the hassle of toting around an extra pair, slip into these stylish Birdies loafers which look good enough to parade around the office but are comfy enough to wear for miles. And if they get dirty trekking across town? You can throw them right in the wash.
Available in five prints and colors, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 12. Psst: These cuties sell out frequently, but don’t worry—they’re regularly restocked.
Get the Blackbird Washable Loafers from Birdies for $120
9. These croc booties
Work-ready footwear isn’t always about patent pumps and pointed-toe flats. Chunky-heeled booties have a place, too. Rather than settling for a fast-fashion pair, do yourself a favor and invest in these top-selling Italian leather booties. Made with insoles that claim to absorb shock, they’ll keep you cozy while making you look chic at work, out on the town and everywhere you wear them in between.
Available in black and snakeskin, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 11.
Get the Heartbreaker Black Croc Booties from Thursday Boots for $195
10. These wearable low pumps
If you prefer a lower heel, Naturalizer has just what you’re looking for. The brand’s Karina Square Toe Pump boasts an easy-to-walk-in, 2-inch heel, and is lined with a cushioned footbed. They’re a dream for folks who weigh comfort just as heavily as they do work-ready style.
Available in seven classy colors and prints, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 4 to 12 in narrow, standard and wide widths.
Get the Naturalizer Karina Square Toe Pump from Nordstrom for $109.95
11. These classic stilettos
Of course, if your idea of dressy work shoes is what most people think of as pumps, then you’ll like the look (and feel) of these best-selling Jessica Simpson heels. They feature a 3.5-inch spike heel and leather exterior and come highly recommended by hundreds of DSW shoppers. So long as balance is your strong suit, these might just be your Cinderella fit.
Available in nine colors and prints, they come in women’s whole and half sizes 5 to 11.
Get the Jessica Simpson Haneh Pump from DSW for $59.99
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.