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7 work-appropriate shoe styles

For women who work nine-to-five office jobs, spending the whole day in one pair of shoes means one thing: they have to be comfortable.

It’s also important to feel great and look appropriate, though. The good news is, no matter how formal or informal your work office is, the shoes you wear to work can be suitable for the dress code, stylish and comfortable all at the same time. Take a look at these seven styles of shoes you can wear to the office:

1. Black Pumps: The Epitome of Professional Heels for Work

Black pumps are the epitome of professionalism in office attire. These timeless classics effortlessly transition from the boardroom to after-work events, making them a staple for any woman seeking to exude confidence and sophistication. Pair them with tailored pantsuits or chic pencil skirts for a polished look that commands attention.

Black pumps
Eleni II Pump by Sofft

Additionally, neutral-colored pumps, including black, but also nude and grey, are a go-to option for both business-formal and business-casual offices. Their versatility makes them a reliable choice for any occasion. Opt for a heel height of less than two inches and a rounded toe for maximum comfort during all-day wear. Whether paired with suits, skirts, or jeans, neutral pumps add a touch of elegance to any outfit, ensuring you look and feel your best throughout the day.

2. Printed and Patterned Heels: Adding Personality to Workwear


Inject a pop of personality into your office attire with printed and patterned heels, which are a little less formal than black pumps but still suitable for most office dress codes. These statement-making shoes effortlessly elevate your outfit while adhering to the business casual dress code. Opt for floral prints, geometric patterns, or animal prints to showcase your individual style and creativity in the workplace.

Leopard, silver metallic, white patent, and black Classique pump.
Nina Pump by Monroe and Main

If you work in a business-casual or smart-casual setting, colorful pumps or heels with patterns and prints can be a fun way to show some personality. Don’t be afraid to go for bold choices like animal prints or color-blocked footwear, as they add an extra touch of flair to your professional look.

3. Slingbacks: Chic and Comfortable Business Casual Women’s Heels

Slingbacks strike the perfect balance between style and comfort, making them an ideal choice for women seeking versatility in their office footwear. The open-back design offers breathability, while the sleek silhouette exudes sophistication. Slingback closed-toed heels are another staple in business-formal offices, but peep-toed and colorful styles can be a fun office shoe as well. These slingback styles include a strap around the back of the ankle, which helps attach the shoe more securely to your feet, making them ideal for all-day wear.

Unlike slip-on heels that you have to grip with your toes to stay secure while walking around, slingbacks provide both style and stability, whether paired with tailored trousers or A-line dresses for a modern twist on classic office attire.

4. Boots: Transitioning from Desk to Dinner in Style

Who says boots are reserved solely for casual outings? Embrace the versatility of block heel boots in the workplace by opting for sleek and polished designs that seamlessly blend style and professionalism. From ankle-length booties to knee-high styles, block heel boots add an edgy yet sophisticated element to your work wardrobe, ensuring all-day comfort and support.

Everything from booties to under-the-knee boots can be appropriate for the office, making them perfect work shoes for the colder months when warmth and style are paramount. In more corporate environments, opt for sleek black, brown, or grey-heeled booties that can effortlessly replace traditional pumps, exuding refinement and confidence. For business-casual to casual settings, feel free to explore distressed or taller boot styles, allowing you to express your personal style while maintaining a polished and professional appearance. Pair them with midi skirts or tailored dresses for a contemporary yet refined ensemble that commands attention in any workplace setting.

5. Ballet Flats: Effortless Elegance for Everyday Wear

Ballet flats are a must-have staple for women seeking comfort without compromising style, offering a chic alternative to heels for days when you’re on the go. These timeless classics come in neutral hues like black, nude, or taupe, seamlessly pairing with any office ensemble, from trousers to dresses.

scalloped flat in black, olive, navy and burgundy.
Geezelouise Flat by J.Reneé

They serve as versatile replacements for pumps while maintaining a stylish appearance. For those who prefer to add a pop of color or pattern to their outfits, more vibrant and patterned versions of ballet flats can be worn in most offices, allowing you to express your personality and creativity while adhering to professional standards.

6. Loafers: Striking the Perfect Balance Between Comfort and Sophistication


Loafers with a kitten heel, embodying refined elegance in the workplace with their structured silhouette and low heel, provide the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication, whether crafted from classic leather or modern suede, adding a hint of preppy charm to your office attire as you pair them with tailored pants or midi skirts for a polished look exuding confidence.

Viva Loafer by Life Stride

Furthermore, loafers, known for their comfort due to their roomier toe area compared to other work-appropriate styles, are an excellent choice, especially as the weather warms up this spring, allowing you to embrace the changing season by pairing them with slacks or jeans and a blazer, while topping off the ensemble with a thin scarf for a touch of informality in less formal office environments.

7. Sandals: Embracing Warm Weather with Appropriate Office Wear

As temperatures rise, it’s crucial to invest in a pair of sandals that strike the perfect balance between style and office-appropriateness, opting for sleek and minimalistic designs with closed toes and modest heel heights to uphold professionalism in the workplace while pairing them seamlessly with cropped trousers or knee-length skirts for a fresh and summery ensemble ideal for office wear.

Summer sandals

For casual and smart-casual offices alike, sandals emerge as a summer work shoe staple, where heeled or wedge sandals offer a blend of style and suitability, complemented by various work-appropriate flat sandals, perfect for pairing with knee-length summery dresses or cropped pants, just remember to avoid flip-flops for a polished office look.


Finding the best shoes for office work involves striking a delicate balance between comfort, style, and appropriateness. Whether you prefer classic pumps or trendy loafers, there’s a shoe style out there to suit every woman’s taste and professional needs, allowing you to express your personal style while building a versatile work wardrobe. So, step into the office with confidence knowing that your footwear is not only comfortable but also stylish and suitable for any workplace environment.

Comments (10)

Thank you for checking on the wide leather bracelet with a cross! I really loved wearing it and would reorder without hesitation! I received many compliments and enjoyed the versatility! I hope you are able to find one and I appreciate your help!

There a shoe I like see it in the catalog all the time but it never show what size it’ come and what large size it come in the name Bajou cami slingback in back do that shoe come in wide width or medium

hi…can red slingback heel worn for business meetings?

Great Ideas! I’m a pumps and ballet flats girl myself. They look great and go with any outfit. I got mine from Queen’s landing. And they are so comfortable I can’t tell you.

Love your shoe samples. Where can wide widths be purchased?
Thanks

Hello, the wide widths we offered are available on our website: http://www.MonroeandMain.com. Happy shopping!

You need men’s shoes not women’s!

I just got a new job that requires professional dress, and you’ve really helped me figure out what I can wear in terms of shoes. Personally, I’ve always loved sandals, and it’s been really hot here lately, so it’s good to know that wedge sandals work so well in professional dress. I’ll be sure to go shopping for some heeled and wedged sandals (wedges are my favorite; you get more stability that way) as soon as possible.

Hi, Rhianna. We’re so glad to hear you’ve been able to pick up some tips on pairing shoes with your professional dress items. Happy shopping!

Stylish and comfortable shoes for woman……

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