The idea that high heels must always be agonizingly uncomfortable is a myth (sorry flats!). In fact, non-torturous heel options abound — and, these days, the most comfortable heels for standing all day are available in styles that are swoon-worthy rather than cringe-worthy.
So, what makes a heel feel a step above the competition when it comes to wearability? Shoes with cushioned insoles (ideally foam) is a key factor. Luckily, a
lot of mainstream brands are incorporating it into their dress shoes, and some even offer sculpted footbeds that create more support. You'll also want to consider opting for shoes with a thick outsole — preferably one made of rubber — to help absorb sock. Another great thing to look for: ankle straps, since they can be adjusted for a more personalized fit.
In terms of heel type, look for block heels, since their wider base makes them more stable and more comfortable than stilettos. Wedges are even more sturdy thanks to their full contact with the ground. A stiletto
can be comfortable for long periods of time, but that depends on your foot training. If you're used to wearing flats, it's probably not a good idea to spring for a 3-inch stiletto — instead, work your way up. Platforms reduce the difference in height between the ball of the foot and the heel, so they can make a higher-looking heel feel much shorter. Kitten heels are another way to get the formality of a heel without the perilous height.
All of the picks below have comfort featured built in and come backed by many satisfied Amazon reviewers.
A Classic Wedge That Comes In 18 Colors
A pair of
comfortable faux leather wedges are a worthy alternative to a more traditional heel, offering height with a wide base of support for stability and comfiness. These have a low, yet significant 2.5-inch lift, a padded cushioned insole, and a flexible outsole. "I like these shoes a lot, they are comfortable and give me just the right amount of lift," one reviewer commented. Another shopper who wore them all day reported that these were quite comfortable: "After eight hours of getting up and down and walking around at work, they don’t hurt my feet at all. They’re a great deal!" Available colors: 18, in matte and shiny finishes Available sizes: 5 - 10
A D'Orsay Pump With A Block Heel
block heel pump, with a curvy d'Orsay cut in glossy patent leather, is a universally wearable option that you can count on for everything from weekend lunch dates to work days and formal events. The shoe's approximate 3-inch heel powers through day (and into night) thanks to its wide sturdy base, and the rubber soles are naturally slip-resistant and waterproof. Several reviewers noted how comfortable the Anisa pump was to wear, even when standing or walking long periods of time. One shopper raved, "I wore these shoes for an event the day after I bought them. 15 hrs+ in these shoes and they were beyond comfortable. I want them in every color!" Available colors: 4 Available sizes: 5 - 12
A Kitten-Heel Sandal Reviewers Love
strappy leather heels are what your closet needs, this pair from Sam Edelman wins high marks for being easy to wear all day according to numerous reviews. Their 3.25-inch heel is manageable for most intermediate to advanced wearers, and the ankle strap, coupled with a closed-in heel cup, lends extra stability to the wispy design. "The heel is just long enough for a sexy look but short enough to last all night with them," reported one shopper who swore she'd be buying them in multiple colors. This shoe is available in medium and wide widths as well. Available colors: 24 Available sizes: 4 - 13, with wide sizes
Stylish Pumps That Are Available In Standard & Wide Sizes
It can be hard finding
comfortable heels for wide feet, but this pair by LifeStride — available in wide sizes — gets high marks across the board. The Giovanna 2 has front straps which create diagonal lines that highlight the shape of the foot, and are connected with a subtle elastic gore at the ankle for a comfortable fit. The shoes are loaded with the brand's signature "Soft System" comfort tech, which includes squishy foam, extra support in the arch and heel, and ultra-flexible soles. "So comfy for wide feet!" one reviewer was pleased to report. "I’m on my feet all day and they are just what I’ve been needing." Available colors: 5 Available sizes: 5 - 11, with wide sizes
A Pair Of Kitten Heel Sling-Backs That Look Designer
comfortable designer-looking heel brings Parisian chic down to Earth, with a budget-friendly price. Although these pumps (available in a variety of man-made uppers) don't have thousands of reviews, they boast a lot of the key features that make shoes more comfortable, like a cushioned footbed with a breathable lining, and a foot-friendly 2.75-inch heel. One shopper called these shoes "Comfy and chic," adding, "These shoes are the best – I own them in two colors now! Perfect for work, and comfortable enough to wear all day [...]." Available colors: 5 Available sizes: 5 - 11
Trend-Forward Platform Sandals
With this vibrant
chunky heeled sandal, designed with a thick platform, you get the height without the hurt. The platform measures approximately four centimeters, offsetting a 9-centimeter heel, so that your arches feel supported. What's more, the sturdy platform and rubber sole both help to absorb shock from walking on hard surfaces, while an adjustable ankle strap and enclosed heel help keep your feet securely placed in the shoes. The best part? They're available in a rainbow of bold, jewel-toned hues. "Comfortable and lightweight!" one shopper raved. Another reviewer noted, "These shoes are so cute and actually quite comfortable! I was shocked by how vibrant the gorgeous purple color is and the quality is fantastic for the price. I'd definitely purchase again (and just might in a few colors!)." Available colors: 9 Available sizes: 6 - 10
Sky-High Heels For Standing All *Night* Long
pair of platforms, this time with a take-no-prisoners five-inch heel that looks much higher than it feels thanks to a super-thick sole on the ball of the foot. They have a cushioned footbed paired with a slip-resistant sole and an adjustable ankle strap. Several reviewers noted that they were supremely easy to walk in. One shopper gave these a "WOW," writing, "I literally wore these for like six hours and never felt uncomfortable. They're so fun and tall without making you want to rip them off after 30 minutes." Available colors: 24 Available sizes: 5 - 11 Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.