Dress shoes are a staple of the every-day wardrobe for many people. Those who work in offices or spend a lot of time at formal social gatherings need to have a variety of comfortable and stylish dress shoes available to match a number of outfits.
A good pair of dress shoes is hard to find. It seems that, in terms of durability, style, and comfort, you are always having to sacrifice one or the other. The best dress shoes on the market strive to fit all three requirements without sacrifice.
Unfortunately, many dress shoes do have to sacrifice and, more often than not, the sacrifice comes in comfort.
What Makes a Comfortable Shoe?
There are a number of factors that can make a shoe fit more comfortably than its competitors. While it might seem like having a comfortable dress shoe isn’t the most important concern when it comes to your wardrobe, one long day in the wrong pair will prove otherwise.
Below, we will outline several criteria for a genuinely comfortable dress shoe.
The shape of a shoe can be a fairly good indicator as to how comfortable it will be while worn. You should always first look at the shape of your foot before picking a shoe so that you are buying shoes that are compatible in fit at the toe, middle, and heel.
If you have a wide-set foot, narrow soles aren’t going to be comfortable, just as thicker toes won’t fit well into a pointed stiletto.
You should also take precaution that the heel of your shoe is correctly spaced. It goes without saying that the higher the heel, the more likely it will be to cause aches and pains throughout the legs, hips, and back. At the same time, a shoe that is too flat can do the same.
Always ensure that you have been professionally sized by the salesman at your favorite shoe store before you begin looking at your options. Also keep in mind that some shoe brands are not accurately labeled in size.
A shoe that is sized incorrectly will rub blisters into your feet or feel too loose and lead to tripping and slipping. Make sure you try the shoe on before you leave the store and wear the appropriate socks or nylons when trying them on to ensure they fit as they will at the time they are needed.
The materials that a shoe is made of should be comfortable and flexible. It’s important, when shoe sizing, to see if the fabric or leather that the shoe is made of is easily moveable and soft.
There are different types of leather that a shoe can be made of. Look at the shoe you choose and be sure that it is made of a type that is easily maneuvered and make sure you keep the leather well treated so it won’t become firm or brittle.
How We Pick the Best Dress Shoes
When picking the best dress shoes for this list we looked at a number of different criteria. We looked for shoes that were fashionable, durable, and comfortable. We also looked for shoes that were affordable for most budgets and easy to find.
Hopefully, as you read on and review our list, you’ll find inspiration for building your own wardrobe’s footwear options.
The Most Comfortable Women’s Dress Shoes
The shoes in the following list are some of the best and most comfortable on the market. You can trust that each and every one of the brands below have been evaluated to ensure that they deliver the best of the best.
1 – Ecco
- Classic pump styling with modern last shape and leather covered round heel construction with trend-right appeal
- Internal anatomical shank with PU on both sides delivers continual support
- Soft leather sock and molded footbed provides exceptional cushioning with every step
Ecco shoes are our absolute favorite dress shoe brand out there. They are similar to many other dress shoe brands in terms of their strong focus on construction and cushioning to enhance comfort to each and every one of their designs.
With that said, Ecco shoes do tend to feel a little bulkier than some other dress shoe brands that are more focused on appearance than comfort. The good news is that how they feel on your feet doesn’t have anything to do with how they look and by the end of the day, you’ll be thankful for the added bulk and cushion.
You can find these reasonably priced shoes in almost any department store chain.
2 – Sofft
Sofft shoes are heavily padded. This means they run thicker than some of the average shoes on the market, but they are also some of the most comfortable in terms of dress shoes.
This isn’t always the case, though. There are some thinner, sleeker, and more chic designs on the Sofft line, though those do lack in comfort. Their heels, however, are the best in terms of the style. Offering plenty of support and cushioning, the aches and pains typically associated with wearing heels can be alleviated.
3 – Tory Burch
Tory Burch shoes are stylish, comfortable shoes that are almost exclusively in flat design. The insoles of these shoes are padded and the outward design is such that they are easily pulled off with either jeans or dresses.
You can even find matching purses for some designs.
4 – Soft Style
- Rolled top pump on metal trimmed heel
- Soft Comfort Beauty Sock
- Microfiber pad with added foam in forepart for added comfort and flexibility
Soft Style brand shoes are not as bulky or cushioned as Sofft shoes, which they are often confused with. They are, however, arguably as comfortable. Most of the shoes from this brand are mid-level heels, meaning they are raised to about 1-2” in height. This allows the wearer to enjoy the feminine look and feel of a high heel without as many of the aches and pains.
Slingbacks, flats, wedges, and pumps are also available from Soft Style, though their levels of comfort vary.
The best news about this brand, though, is their pricing. Most Soft Style shoes fall in at under $$.
5 – Lifestride
Lifestride shoes work hard to balance comfort and style, but do tend at times to veer too far one way or the other. In many of their shoe designs, though, they hit the mark head on.
There seems to always be a new line of shoes coming out of this brand in various styles and colors, making them one of the best dress shoe brands to watch and follow on social media. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable they are, and at how quickly they release batches of new looks.
6 – Aerosoles
- STYLE & DESIGN:One of our all-time favorite pumps in new colors for spring. The rounded toe and sturdy heel are balanced...
- COMFORT & QUALITY:Comfort foam footbed and sumptuous padded insole to soothe and pamper your feet. Built with leather...
- STRONG & DURABLE:Manufactured with high quality materials and stitched with precision allowing for strong and robust...
Aerosole shoes are comfortable and widely available in department stores and malls around the country. They are well- known for being fair priced and reasonably attractive as well as comfortable, although they don’t always keep up with the most current fashion trends.
The benefit of Aerosole shoes, though, is that there is a wide enough variety available that you can usually find exactly what you need to complete your ensemble.
7 – Clarks
Clark’s is a favorite American brand of dress shoe, particularly when it comes to women’s dress shoes. They are available at most clothing stores, department stores, and shoe stores you’ll find in your local mall and they offer a huge selection in terms of style and use.
They aren’t the most durable shoes on the market, though. You’ll want to make sure you treat your Clarks with care. With proper maintenance and protection, they will be the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever owned and will last for years. If mistreated or neglected, however, you won’t get nearly as much life out of them.
8 – Cole Haan
- Smooth leather or metallic leather upper with patent leather cap-toe and elasticized detailing
- Skeletal lined
- Fully padded sock lining
These shoes do tend to be a little more expensive, but they have a long and solid reputation in the shoe industry for producing comfortable shoes of maximum quality. Whether you are looking for slip – on sneakers, elegant high heeled pumps, or leather flats, you’re likely going to get your hands on exactly what you need with Cole Haan.
Some of the dress shoes from Cole Haan even feature Nike Air cushioned insoles for added comfort throughout the day. These are classy, chic shoe choices that are smart in terms of comfort, as well.
9 – Anne Klein
Anne Klein makes comfortable dress shoes that look like they should be very, very uncomfortable dress shoes. The iFlex brand of shoes in the Anne Klein line is one of the best in the business, touting a thinner, softer leather than what you’d expect in the standard dress shoe. At the end of the day, you’ll feel like you’ve been roaming barefoot!
These shoes aren’t all about comfort, though. They come in a variety of colors and styles including heels, pointed toe flats, and boots.
10 – Stuart Weitzman
Stuart Weitzman is known for producing bold shoe designs in a variety of styles. Most notably, dress boots by Stuart Weitzman have been heralded as some of current fashion’s best dress shoes for versatility, pairing well with a dress, dress pants, or even jeans.
They are also known for being some of the most comfortable dress shoes on the market. Although Stuart Weitzman prices most of their shoe collections in the $$ - $$$ range, you can often find great deals on Amazon listing these brand new shoes for less than $$. They’re definitely worth looking into.
11 – Naturalizer
Naturalizer has built a very loyal fan base over the years. The design of Naturalizer shoes is unique, making them instantly recognizable to the trained shoe-lover’s eye. Some labels, of course, are more comfortable than others. Their flats sometimes fall short on cushioning.
If you are looking for a feminine dress shoe that appeals to a wide age bracket that is comfortable and affordable, Naturalizer shoes are for you. They are known for being beautiful and comfortable and they might even become your preferred lifelong brand.
12 – Born
Born shoes are designed like no other. There is an instant feeling to a Born shoe that doesn’t happen with any other brand of dress shoe on the market.
For years, Born has been committed to providing the most comfortable shoes possible with the most stylish appeal. Though most of their designs tend to err on more business-casual, they are still dressy enough for most functions.
Professional women who like to look nice, but who also must spend a lot of time on their feet, will appreciate the design and style process of Born shoes. They use the best cushioning and softest materials on the market to ensure maximum comfort.
One downside, however- they tend to be a little on the bulky side.
We Hope You’ve Found the Best Dress Shoe for You!
Hopefully, this article has helped you settle on a shoe brand that you can trust to feel comfortable with and comfortable in. Whether you are prone to night outs on the town or you have to dress to impress at the office, owning a variety of comfortable dress shoes is best.
Because of the way dress shoes are made, they lack durability which means that they can look over-worn and outdated long before their life expectancy. It’s best to have several pairs that you can rotate.
We believe that the dress shoes on this list are some of the best on the market and we know that, if you give them a chance, you’ll agree!