Ask Belle: Flats for Standing All Day
Oct 15, 2015
I have been working on a campaign all year. With little time to exercise I have recently (with much hesitation) converted to a standing desk. Any recommendations on comfortable/stylish footwear to help those in need? Office attire is sharp casual.
Standing desks are great. I wish I could switch to one. However, finding shoes that are comfortable enough to stand in all-day and still professional is not great.
For your purposes, I think you want flats. Even a comfortable heel is exhausting to stand in for long periods. So a chic flat is probably the best choice.
The way I see it, you have three options: 1) wear comfortable shoes at your desk and switch to more professional/less comfortable shoes when you leave your desk; 2) find shoes that are both comfortable and professional; 3) adjust the surface you’re standing on to improve your comfort. Let’s cover all three.
What do I mean by comfortable? I do not mean sneakers, flip-flops, Crocs, Uggs, or bedroom slippers (no joke, I’ve seen it). I mean the kind of shoe you would wear to walk around Georgetown on a Sunday after brunch — comfort comes first, but chic is a close second.
Cole Haan is a great brand for comfortable shoes. These Juliet flats would make a great commuter shoe. I also like their Avery flexible round-toe flat. The shoes usually have a decent amount of padding, just make sure you try them on at the end of the day. You need to know what size will fit your swollen feet, not your fresh-as-a-daisy early morning feet.
One more tip, make sure your comfortable shoes are slip on. If you need to run into a meeting, you do not have time to untie, unzip, or unbuckle your shoes. Choose something that is easy to get on and off.
More after the jump…
Professional, Comfortable Shoes
These are the Holy Grail of professional footwear. They exist, but finding them requires a quest.
Another option is to buy a professional flat shoe in a slightly large size and add your own padding. Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles are great. If you need more support and you have room, I like Spenco insoles for full support.
A sleek, flat boot is a good option in the fall and winter. Choose something without buckles or extras, in a low height, with a crisp look. These Jack Rogers boots look pretty good to me. I also like these perfectly basic (and comfortable) Ciao Bella boots.
You may also consider a boot with a sliver wedge. They’re tough to find. I own these Loeffler Randall boots from last year. The closest thing I could find from the current year are these Jessica Simpson boots.
Changing the Standing Surface
If you’re using a standing desk, you need to be standing on the right surface. An anti-fatigue standing mat provides enough cushion to give your feet, legs, and back a rest. Standing on a hard surface for long periods of time is just setting yourself up for failure.