Trying to find the perfect pair of comfortable shoes is tough. Whether you have long, narrow feet like mine or wide, big feet or teensy, tiny feet, you’re guaranteed to encounter uncomfortable shoes that give you terrible blisters. Personally, I’ve tried on so many pairs of shoes that seemed fantastic online, or even in the store when I tried them on, but then were awful once I walked more than a few blocks. The solution? Recommendations!
Rather than trying a bunch on then taking (or sending) them back, I decided to ask all of you lovely folks for your assistance in a handy, dandy crowdsourcing open thread! These are the super helpful answers I received.
First recommended by commenter Dani Eaton, this pick wasn’t just seconded by other readers, it was thirded, fourthed, and fifthed! Dani says:
“Cole Haan Nike Air Avery Ballet Flats. I picked up a brand new pair of hot pink patent leather Cole Haan flats at an consignment shop in Fort Lauderdale for… wait for it… $11! They are hands down the most comfortable shoes I own and will be purchasing these shoes again when they die.”
With a testimony like that, how could I resist? I already put
This inexpensive and versatile shoe was named by reader LadyTavs as her fave:
“They are neither glamorous or expensive, but I own two pairs of Puma ballerina flats (they have a few options on their website/Zappos, but this is the pair I own, and they are a lifesaver. I walk two miles in the city to work each way, and these were comfortable the first day and never gave me a blister or callous. I HIGHLY recommend them for us walk-to-work ladies.”
You hear that, city gals? Now we have zero excuse for not walking to work (at least, occasionally) in the summer!
I had never heard of this retailer before, but fortunately, amyk showed me the light in her comment:
“If you really want to invest I’d check out Shoesofprey.com. You can custom make your shoes!! With my wide feet it’s hard to find heels that are comfy but I have a pair of 4inch heels from them that are surprisingly comfortable and I got to make them with the exact colors and fabrics I wanted.”
Guys, you need to check out this site. You can build your own ballet flats, but in a addition to those classics, you can made custom sandals, oxfords, ankle boots, wedges, and so many others. There’s an unbelievable number of customization options with regard to color and material (even vegan ones!), the heel height, the type of heel, the structural style…everything. Above is the pair of pastel turquoise vegan leather oxford heels I had entirely too much fun designing for myself.
“Toms flats are super comfy, I have 4 pairs I love them so much.”
My favorite thing about these: there are plenty of half-sizes, so if you’re in-between, you don’t have to choose either too big or too small.
If you’re a fan of classic designs with pretty color schemes, this is the right brand for you, as per commenter SFMomofTwo:
“Any pair of shoes by Anniel, the Italian ballet shoemaker! Super soft leather and suede, they mold to your feet, and they’re well under $300. :-)”
Leave it to an Italian ballet shoemaker to create incredibly comfy footwear.
In the same thread as #1, commenter Allison Mick added to the Cole Haan fandom with her personal rec for a high-heeled (yet still comfy) pick from the bran:
“Thirding Cole Haan. I have the Tali wedges and can wear them for like 16 hours before my feet start to hurt. They are amazing!”
Did I mention these come in six colors? Good luck not buying ’em all!
When I first moved to New York City, my former editor Ashley recommended these and oh man, I’m so glad I listened. Reader Eileen described them:
“Sperry Top-siders, the preppy classic. Meant to be worn with no socks so that’s comfortable. I don’t like wearing flats for long distances, but Top-siders feel like actual shoes.”
Commenter sydneyb79 agreed on our open thread, saying these are “pretty damn comfortable.” If you’re down with boat shoes, these are a necessity.
I’m loving this simple and perfect explanation for this pick from reader Nicole Still:
“Be sure to check out VIAJIYU.com. The new luxury brand only sells flats, made in Italy, made to order. Because every trailblazing woman needs one fabulous pair of flats.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself! After all, how can we take over the world if we can’t walk on it? I’m totally obsessed with Como, i.e. this pair of pointed toe flats with a patent gold bow.
Click to the next page for more cute and comfortable shoes, including picks from J. Crew, Dr. Scholls, and one brand you’d never expect to have such grownup options!
Our sister site Crushable‘s editor Jill O’Rourke dropped by to share her favorite pair of comfy shoes:
“I have two pairs of Anya suede ballet flats from J.Crew Factory, and they’re pretty much the only shoes I wear these days. They’re really comfortable and super versatile.”
And at just $53.50, who could pass these up?
So, uh, was I the only one who didn’t realize Dr. Scholls made such adorable shoes? This pick from LittleBird is fantastic:
“I have a really comfy pair of suede booties from Dr Scholl’s that I love! They’re very sturdy and well-made and I’ve worn them a ton for about 3 years now. The insole is so cushy that I literally go “ahh” when I put them on. Zappo’s carries Dr Scholl’s I think, although I found mine at TJ Maxx.”
Hear that, Maxxinistas? Head over to TJ’s and get this worki and weekend-appropriate pair.
“I’ve got three pairs of Doc Martens, including some three-inch stilettos, and they are all so, so comfy. I can walk for hours in all of them, and the brand makes incredibly cute everything, from boots, to ballet flats to heels.”
I’m a big fan of these simple brown boots that will go with anything, but check out the brand’s site for all its endless options.
This comfy, cute, and reasonably-priced pair was recommended by commenter NeuroNerd, who wrote:
“Naturalizer Hanover boat shoes! They come in many colors–I like the camel color myself. They come in narrow, regular, or wide, and once you break them in they just mold to your feet but look awesome. I’m on my second pair.”
Like a memory foam mattress for your feet!
I admittedly hadn’t thought much about doing sandals like these until I read commenter mscatamaran‘s very convincing argument in favor of them:
“i know you said no sandals but i couldnt resist mentioning these because most sandals kill my feet so if this post helps anyone… actually most shoes of any sort kill my feet. from Toms to sneakers. the only actual shoe that doesnt hurt my feet are my Wellco combat boots.
winter is the only thing that stops me from wearing these sandals year round. personally i call them my jesus shoes, because they look like the shoes he probably would have worn. And why wouldn’t he, they’re so comfy!!!!”
Oh man, maybe I need to get over my fear of gladiator sandals and just give these a go.
Searching for a summer option? These cute white sandals come recommended by Emma:
“I LOVE my Swedish Hasbeens Peep-toes. I have a black, heeled pair (lower heel) and they go with everything. I have done interviews, dates, weddings, bar nights, workdays, etc in them. I got them new on-sale for around $100. It’s good to look around because occasionally ebay, amazon, and other retailers will have deals. It took a couple of weeks to break them in, but after that they’re perfect.
I’ve gotten compliments pretty much every time I wear them and I can walk for miles!”
Heels I can walk for miles in? Yes, please.
According to commenter Celia, these cute crochet shoes are your best bet for keeping your feet comfy while traveling:
“I trekked all across Chicago for four days in a pair of simple black flats by Jellypop. I wore a little liner half sock thingy with them, and my feet never ached and I didn’t have a single blister. They are amazing and supportive – and I have super high arches. Perfect every day flat.”
As a lady with super high arches, as well, I absolutely need to try ’em.
How could we ever forget these classics? Commenter Jessie reminded us of how great they are:
“Hush Puppies Penny Loafers. I wear them every single day. Smart enough for the office, but casual enough for everyday.”
Plus, they have the cutest name ever still.
You may think you know Crocs, and you may even think you don’t like Crocs, but you need to check out all their designs! They have boat shoes, canvas shoes, flats, and so many other styles that you’ll love. Anne Marie Hawkins recommended this particular pair on our open thread:
“Croc canvas-top boat shoes. I got them on sale at an outlet and even though I hate crocs as a general rule, they don’t look like crocks and they’re actually comfortable and passably grownupish. I am actually wearing them right now, second day running, at work. Yesterday it was with slacks, today it’s with a dress.”
Don’t judge a Croc by its cover — definitely check these out if you want cute, inexpensive shoes that feel like heaven.
Last but not least, these classics. Reader kristiyamaguchi said this about Clarks:
“I’m shocked that no one has mentioned Clarks yet! I have a pair of ballet flats they make and they are supportive and very comfortable. They are also really well made and are built to last!”
Pick these up and you’ll be set for summer, fall, and beyond!