Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Investing in Comfortable Heels

Dear Belle,

I start my internship in less than three weeks, and I am so excited to come to D.C. for the summer.  I’m searching for a pair of comfortable black heels that I can wear day after day.  Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you for the blog! Audrey

Finding a pair of comfortable shoes is all about knowing where you need support or padding.  So I always buy shoes online so I can test out their comfort on a multitude of surfaces (carpet, wood, concrete, tile, etc.), and gently wear them around for an hour.  That being said, I’ve been really impressed by a handful of shoes that can be worn hard and last all summer.

J.CREW. The Miri pumps ($198) are really comfortable, which is amazing since they have zero padding in the front.  They’re just under-3″, and have a real sleek and soft round toe.

Ann Taylor. I ordered a pair of AT pumps, and loved them.  I ended up returning them, however, because the “nude” color looked a bit off next to my skin tone.  But I will definitely be buying them in another color because they were THAT comfortable.

From the moment I put the shoes on, they felt soft and comforting.  There were no hard seams or edges rubbing into my skin.  My arches felt well-supported, and the padded footbed was sublime.  They come in a 2.5″ version and a 3.25″ version.  I also bought this ankle strap sandal in the beige-colored snakeskin for all of my evening events.

Corso Como. If you need a heel that is a bit taller (3.75″), the Corso Como Del pump is your best bet.  They have a reinforced gel insole in the arch and footbed, and a classic style.  Best of all, they’re available in a ton of colors.

Ivanka Trump. I own two pairs of IT pumps and I find them to be fairly comfortable.  I add a Dr. Scholl’s insole to ensure that I don’t have to worry about unexpected walks to the coffee shop or an unplanned meeting on the other side of the Hill.  Plus, they have such cute styles, from these basic  black pumps, to these Mary Janes to these perforated leather sandals.

Naturalizer. I don’t mind being a little uncomfortable in my shoes at the end of the day.  If I get a solid six hours, I’m happy.  But some women aren’t willing to sacrifice even a minute of comfort.  For those ladies, I recommend Naturalizer.  The Clava pumps ($79) have an almond toe and don’t look the least bit clunky.  Proving that you can find a super-comfortable work shoe that is also feminine and classic.  I also like these peep-toe pumps with a block heel.

When you’re talking about a pair of every day pumps, you need to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince.  You also need to be willing to spend a little of money (it’s all about cost-per-wear).  So shop around and pick the pair that is right for you, hopefully, I’ve narrowed down the list for you.



  1. Helena says:

    The black Naturalizer peep-toes are available on Zappos at a reduced price.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  2. KM13 says:

    I love the Sofft brand and I can wear them all day with no issues-they have wonderful padding.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  3. MM says:

    Your internship is likely going to involve a LOT of walking. More important than the black pumps are black flats – structured ones with an actual heal so they won’t look frumpy with skirts (so, not the ones with flat plastic soles from old navy or gap!), or a tiny bit of wedge. Here are a two that look like what I’m talking about:

    Especially if you’re on the taller side, these have enough of a bump to look fine with skirts and dresses, and will keep you from teetering and slipping all over the place (the marble floors are brutal!). Unless you’re practiced at walking in heels and don’t mind it, you’ll look and feel better in a really good pair of flats or low wedges!

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  4. Melanie says:

    I second your comments about the Ann Taylor Perfect pumps. I don’t know why those things don’t get more press because they are truly perfect- classic style, new colors (along with the basics) every season, well made, SUPER comfortable and durable, and you can usually get them on a 40% promo which makes the price incredibly reasonable. I own a few pairs and will be so sad if they ever stop making them!

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  5. Lauren L. says:

    I will throw in a 3rd recommendation for the AT Perfect Pumps. They are a GREAT shoe. I have a slightly wider foot, and they are still comfy and don’t pinch.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
    • JS says:

      agreed! i own two pairs and actually commute in these shoes! they are amazing!

      May 6, 2013/Reply
  6. S says:

    I will also be interning in the near future, and I am very excited. I highly recommend Nine West. Normally I’m a high heel person, but the shorter heels are perfect. They’ve proven to be very comfortable so far!

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  7. Maddy says:

    So if anyone is looking for black pumps on a budget, I cannot overstate how surprisingly incredible the Karmen pumps are from Payless. They are $19.99, come in a ton of different colors, and also come in narrow or wide sizes. I own three pairs and they have lasted 5 months and coming. Don’t let the Payless name fool you–they don’t look or feel cheap. Most importantly, though, they are incredibly comfortable. I can walk all day with no issues. Plus, if they do get ruined for whatever reason, it’s only $20.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
    • SK says:

      I own these, too! Amazing value for $20. I’m thinking of buying a few more colors.

      May 6, 2013/Reply
  8. Katherine says:

    I’m curious why you always capitalize “J. Crew.” It’s not an acronym and they don’t capitalize it in their copy. It’s obviously not a hugely important point, but I was just wondering.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
    • V says:

      I bet you’re the same person who left a comment asking why she capitalizes mother and father. It’s a blog, does her grammar really matter that much to you?

      May 6, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      They briefly capitalized it in their press releases around the time I started the blog. I just got into the habit. Like capitalizing Internet even though the rule on that has changed, I find it tough to break.

      May 6, 2013/Reply
      • Katherine says:

        Makes sense. Thanks for responding.

        May 7, 2013/Reply
  9. Maharani says:

    While they are not necessarily budget, Cole Haan make nice pumps that are chic, last well and provide great support. You can get them deeply discounted online if you look. Worth every penny if, like me, you find that most shoes provide poor support.

    May 6, 2013/Reply
  10. e says:

    I swear by Calvin Klein Dolly Pumps. They are amazing. I can wear them all day long. They have been my go-to pumps for the last 4 years. LOVE!

    May 6, 2013/Reply