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.
Being a petite lady, I’m a size five in women’s, which proves difficult sometimes. Some shoes don’t even go down to a five! Always a six, never a five. So I’ve started resorting to buying kid’s shoes! A women’s five is around a kid’s 3-3.5, depending on the shoe. I’ve found lots of cute slip on shoes this way, for example! I always get a small internal swell of resourceful pride when I get complimented on them, knowing, little do they know, I got them for cheap from the children’s section! 

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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 hear you! I wrote a similar request a while back about work-wear for those of us who don’t have as much flexibility in our attire for work. I’m a PT in a hospital and in pediatrics, so I’m always moving … and sometimes on the floor! Like you, I also walk a few miles a day. In my middle-age, I’ve discovered I’m a total sneakerhead and have taken to wearing fashion-forward sneakers that are also comfortable and longish-lasting. These are my current faves: Reeboks in aubergine! http://www.reebok.com/us/classic-leather-wb/BS6199.html?cm_mmc=RbkSEM_Google_PLA_ecom-_-NB-Men%27s-Shoes-Classics-_-Men%27s-Classic+Leather-_-Reebok&cm_mmca1=US&gclid=CMCmtIbj5dkCFc3Aswodmr8DUw&gclsrc=ds&dclid=CJSSuIbj5dkCFcy7swodHtwFyQ.
I work at a business school and rarely wear heels anymore. I have embraced a feminine menswear style. I have the everlane loafers, cole haan oxfords (they come in wide which translates to less narrow), an old pair of jcrew monkstrap type shoes. I have one pair of 1” -ish heels, again “wide” cole haans. Non work I do clogs/clog boots (everyone has their fancy faves but Dansko is still my go to for their sole) and multiple Ecco leather sneakers. Very comfy, those! 

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.
Basically, these are them. https://www.deichmann.com/GB/en/shop/home-ladies/home-ladies-shoes/home-ladies-shoes-loafers/00009001307653/Slip*On*Casual*Shoes.prod?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8J6yqf_f2QIV7bXtCh1wiAn0EAAYASABEgIeU_D_BwE&adword=google%2FBrand_Brand_Deichmann%2Fsearch%2Fdeichmann&imgFmt=&_=1520624405081&mlid=1178.26.244312.44044fabbd4970dcb4af7508ed681eb3…0.1520624402.1.1523216402&fromCategoryDetail=true&positionInList=46
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 love this post! I splurged on Rothy’s (cherry red point) last year and love them, especially when wearing a basic white shirt + jeans (I work from home). Have you ever done a post on summer travel shoes? We’re taking our kiddos to Europe this summer and I’d love to find a super comfortable (because of all the walking) but also super stylish (because Italy) shoe that would work well with dresses, shorts and pants in hot weather.
My husband splurged and got me a pair of Tory Birch flats for Christmas this year (these: https://www.toryburch.com/minnie-travel-ballet-flat–leather/32880.html?dwvar_32880_color=232&cgid=shoes-ballet). After years of wearing el cheapo Target flats, it was AMAZING. Zero break-in period. One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever worn. It has definitely made me realize that, if you can float it, better quality shoes are worth it!
So I tried the Susina loafers and they ARE soft as butter, which was nice, but I know I am hard on shoes, so I returned and opted for the Everlane Modern Loafer (and got my official Everlane Club Member card…jk) Significant price difference, but I feel worth it. LOVING them! Ordered 1/2 size up and will likely use a stretcher to break in the toebed a bit more.
Love this post. I used to always buy cheap shoes and they would leave me tired and blistered every time. One Christmas I got the Everlane Babo shoes and I am NEVER going back. I literally where these shoes everywhere—work, out, walks around the city. They are by far the most comfortable shoes that I’ve ever owned. I feel so passionately about these shoes that I will find myself on unsoliciated ramblings on elevators telling everyone they should buy these shoes. I realize they aren’t the *cutest* shoe (I call them my elf/witch shoes) but I love their interesting shape and they go with everything! Do yourself a favor and buy these shoes: https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-modern-babo-black?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=pla-google&utm_campaign=838132553&utm_content=197323891655&utm_term=pla-341116225674&adgroup=43249559952&pid=2414-8509&device=m&gclid=CjwKCAiA24PVBRBvEiwAyBxf-TmH1XO5IYJ8Bi3MK5k-SUMQmo8tvfiC1Gc0v86JuwjptnbHnglemhoCwPAQAvD_BwE
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)!

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.


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)!
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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.
My husband splurged and got me a pair of Tory Birch flats for Christmas this year (these: https://www.toryburch.com/minnie-travel-ballet-flat–leather/32880.html?dwvar_32880_color=232&cgid=shoes-ballet). After years of wearing el cheapo Target flats, it was AMAZING. Zero break-in period. One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever worn. It has definitely made me realize that, if you can float it, better quality shoes are worth it!
Being a petite lady, I’m a size five in women’s, which proves difficult sometimes. Some shoes don’t even go down to a five! Always a six, never a five. So I’ve started resorting to buying kid’s shoes! A women’s five is around a kid’s 3-3.5, depending on the shoe. I’ve found lots of cute slip on shoes this way, for example! I always get a small internal swell of resourceful pride when I get complimented on them, knowing, little do they know, I got them for cheap from the children’s section!
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