+ Look for Less

Morning Line: January 21

It’s 2016.  Iowa Caucuses are less than two weeks away.  Do anyone else’s feet hurt just thinking about all the door-belling, lit-dropping, and glad-handing on the horizon?  Here are a few black shoes for looking professional while saving your feet (to whatever extent you can).


Via Spiga Pamina Wedge ($185)

Wedges are more stable than high heels so they put less strain on your ankles, feet and knees.  I have a similar pair from Kate Spade, but these are comparable and a bit cheaper.  For something under-$75, try these Nine West Ipsy wedges.


Corso Como Geneva Boots ($149)

If you need to look professional while walking door-to-door, riding boots are a good option.  I own these, and they hold up well in inclement weather.  I do recommend adding a pair of Smartwool socks, however.  For something under-$100, try these Sam Edelman Patton riding boots.


Sorel Caribou Boots ($150)

If you’re going to be campaigning in truly inclement weather, do your poor toes a favor and buy a pair of warm boots.  Don’t be a martyr.  I like Sorel boots.  They’re not the prettiest things in the world, but they’re a nice basic, warm, and comfortable.  Plus, they’re so heavy, walking in them is a great leg workout.  Need something under-$50?  Try these Itasca Cedar Snow boot.


Cole Haan Stagedoor Flats ($140)

These commuting flats have a really strong tread on them.  The cushion from the rubber sole also saves your feet a lot of pain.  Another great option are M.Gemi’s leather moccasins.  For something more affordable, try these Anne Klein ballet flats.



  1. Valerie says:

    Second the wedge suggestion for when you need shoes that look professional and polished but can’t walk around all day in heels.

    For a lower wedge that still looks good with pants, black tights, etc., I’ve liked the Cole Haan “Elsie” shoe: https://www.colehaan.com/elsie-cap-toe-wedge-%2840mm%29-black/D41737.html?dwvar_D41737_color=Black&dwvar_D41737_width=B#cgid=outlet_womens_shoes_balletsandwedges&start=24

    January 21, 2016/Reply
    • Sof says:

      The Elsie recommendation is a really good one. I have the Nine West wedges, and I love the way they look and feel – but the wedge is actually pretty narrow. It provides better stability than a pump, but not as much as you’d like. The wedge on the Elsie shoe looks substantial but not chunky, which seems like a really good combo for stability and all-day wear.

      January 21, 2016/Reply
      • Valerie says:

        @Sof- it’s very stable without looking clunky. My sisters and I all bought them for work, and they are on their feet all day as doctors. When they can’t wear their usual Dankso clogs and need something dressier, this is their go-to shoe.

        January 21, 2016/Reply
    • M says:

      LOVE Cole Haan wedges, they even make them with pointed toes (for those of us for whom that’s comfier). 6pm has some solid deals

      January 21, 2016/Reply
  2. Emily says:

    While I understand the importance of investing in your footwear, and the cost-per-wear model, when I was on the campaign trail in my youth all of these shoes would have been way out of my budget. I respectfully recommend you add some shoes at a lower price-point if you are truly targeting the campaign demographic.

    January 21, 2016/Reply
    • Kate says:

      Back when I was a lowly campaign workers just wore plain black tennis shoes. Probably a fashion faux-pas but neither my budget not my feet could afford anything else!

      January 21, 2016/Reply
      • MidWestChic says:

        I did the same thing! I always wore nice shoes, but definitely the the athletic variety.

        January 21, 2016/Reply
    • (a different) Kate says:

      Belle’s target reader is the candidate herself : )

      January 21, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I used to splurge on shoes because I got burned too many times in cheap throw aways. But I get what you’re saying, it’s not an option for everyone. I’ll add some cheaper options.

      January 21, 2016/Reply
    • Valerie says:

      @Emily I understand, my clothing budget has been very limited (nonprofit job/finishing PhD program). I’ve found a lot of the designs I like for under-$75 or even under-$50 on Nordstrom Rack’s website and 6pm.com, and the occasional Zappos.com sale.

      January 22, 2016/Reply
  3. Reader says:

    I can vouch for those Via Spiga’s: best buy ever. Well, as long as they’re the same as the Darby shoe, which they replaced with this (in photos they look exactly the same). I’ve literally walked 2.5 miles several times (office to home in my city) in my Via Spiga wedges, in tights & skirt. They look fantastic on your legs, too– not at all clunky– and work equally well with pants (regular *or* skinny/ankle). Favorite shoe, hands down.

    January 22, 2016/Reply
  4. cs says:

    Cole Haan frequently has 30 and 40% off sales, making some of their options much more reasonable price-wise. I’m frequently on my feet running up and down stairs in a 200 year old plank floor building and I swear by their flats- comfortable and still professional.

    January 22, 2016/Reply