When I was in my early 20’s, I realized that I would not be able to sit at a desk for the next 40 plus years and went back to school to get a degree in occupational therapy. I specialize in pediatrics and work in a sensory integration gym with mats on most of the surfaces, so we take off our shoes when we treat. I wear Crocs at work! I play with children all day long and I don’t have to wear women’s shoes, ever, which I find impossible to walk in, anyway. When I go out I wear Frye boots in the winter or Mephisto sandals in the summer. I refuse to hobble myself.
I’ve been wearing Sam Edelman Felicia flats to work almost everyday for over a decade (not the same pair…I have a couple pairs at a time that get replaced every two years or so). They are cute and have a padded sole so they’re comfortable to walk distances in. A few years ago the manufacturer changed the design a bit, so now they have an embroidered logo on the heel (yuck) and are slightly less comfortable for my foot. I haven’t found anything as good yet to replace them though, so I am soldiering on with them. 

I’m a long-time reader but first-time commenter – this post has made me want to share my shoe shopping secret. On New Year’s Day, Saks has an incredible sale (up to 75 percent off!) before noon. It’s amazing for shoes! In the past few years, I’ve gotten black Rag and Bone 1.5” heel booties and grey suede Stuart Weitzman loafers for 70 percent off. Still a splurge, but so worth it. I wear them constantly. I work in a formal environment and have to be *dressed* for work each day (though I avoid suits). I also generally avoid heels, save for a pair of ridiculously comfortable oxford heels I got from L.L.Bean, of all places, and always get compliments on. Flats, loafers, and boots are my mainstays, even though I’m short and pretty small. You don’t have to wear heels to look professional!
I think I need the Everlane heels now … I work in a corporate legal department in Northern California, but I am often meeting with executives, so I am trying to look halfways professional. I am also a 6 footer, so don’t really need heels. I love Paul Green oxfords (available on Zappos), they look great with slacks or jeans; they look essentially like mens’ oxfords (wingtip and such), but a bit cuter, and they are incredibly comfy and long-lasting.
Want something between a men's shoe and a boot? Check out a Chukka. Perfect for going from work to a night out with friends. For a classic comeback, the boat shoe is making waves again, making these men's shoes perfect for casual wear. Whether you lace up, slip-on or buckle down, the men's shoes department has the styles and brands you need at the prices you want.
Right now I’m wearing Audrey Brooke ballet flats that I found at DSW and liked so much I got them in both black and beige: https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/audrey-brooke-winny-ballet-flat/346590?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GPS-_-G_Shopping_Flats-_-New_Flats&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAiA24PVBRBvEiwAyBxf-YsFHhzrUN7TieTobdfNN7iEDu3NDesJZ8uQvBpgDPTQFkIHUFyfrBoCevoQAvD_BwE
I have such a hard time with content like this because I work a (literal) blue collar job. my go to work shoes are 5.11 ATAC 8″ boots. theyre kind of expensive, but theyre by far the most comfortable tactical boots I’ve ever tried on. I am in the market for a new pair though, and I think I want ones with a puncture resistant shank, so if any other work boot wearing cup of jo readers have recommendations Id love to hear them.
For you Australian Cup of Jo readers out there – check out Bared Footwear. Their footwear is stylish, comfortable and the company was started by a podiatrist. I wear the “Parrot” style at work, where I’m on my feet for up to 9 hours sometimes. I LOVE THEM, they are supportive and my legs don’t feel nearly as tired at the end of the day, compared to when I don’t wear them.
Emily, thanks for this comment! I work in disaster relief, so I wear work boots when I’m on sites. I LOVE that my “work uniform” is a)whatever I want when I’m remote, and b)work boots and a hard hat when I’m on site. I wear Vasque hiking boots. These are sturdy and comfortable, with traction and support. They are not, however, steel-toed or puncture-proof, which would technically be best practice. I love them and am willing to forego the latter precautions, but I know that as another commentor mentioned, Red Wing has those things. I would recommend checking out Sierra Trading Post for certain boots, because nice quality brands tend to get very expensive, but they are worth seeking out at a discount.
Fact: Women’s Shoes define a great outfit — whatever the day (and the weather report) might bring. Is it pouring outside? Our Chelsea boots were made for stylish puddle jumping. Running straight from the office to drinks? Our flats know how to work and play. Just got a pedicure? Bring on the Birkenstocks and sandals. Whether you're a ballet flats lover, a heels devotee, a sneaker head (calling all Comme Des Garcons and Seavees collectors) or a combination of them all, shoes are the exclamation point of any outfit. So let's make them fun(!).
Ahh, shoe shopping! The perfect pair is the cherry on top of a well put-together outfit. There’s no better feeling than finding that perfect pair that goes with everything in your closet. And at J.Crew Factory, you can shop the look you need at prices you’ll love. Our shoes come in an array of classic styles and stunning colors, which means you get everything you need and nothing you don't. Colorful flats in tons of styles that easily match all your favorite outfits? Done. Whether you are looking for boots, t-strap sandals, slip-on sneakers, ankle boots, or ballet flats, J. Crew Factory has something for you.

If you’re a commuter, I really recommend the brand All Black! I have a few of their slip-on Vans-style shoes and have received so many compliments on them. They’re super comfy for the commute into work, and they’re nice enough to wear in the office if you work somewhere a bit more casual/ slip off super easily if you’re running to a meeting and need to quickly change shoes. They’re the best (and currently on sale)!
You can even find wallet-friendly women’s work footwear when you search by our price and discount filters. Our shoe width and size filters can help you find the right fit, and if you need a new pair quickly, you can take advantage of our free shipping on eligible items. Better yet, if you find they don’t quite fit your needs, you can take advantage of our free returns on eligible items.
I have such a hard time with content like this because I work a (literal) blue collar job. my go to work shoes are 5.11 ATAC 8″ boots. theyre kind of expensive, but theyre by far the most comfortable tactical boots I’ve ever tried on. I am in the market for a new pair though, and I think I want ones with a puncture resistant shank, so if any other work boot wearing cup of jo readers have recommendations Id love to hear them.
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