15 on-trend heels that are as comfortable as they are stylish
If you’re a woman who hates wearing heels, we feel your (sometimes literal) pain. However, who says style and comfort can’t coexist? For women who simply can’t see themselves wearing spiked four-inch stilettos, we think we’ve found the right pairs for you: check out our guide to alternative heels below, created with you in mind.
Note: We won’t claim to have found the holy grail of heels we can walk a thousand miles in, but we can promise there’s a great pair of heels waiting for any woman willing to do the legwork. After all, finding the right pair for someone who usually avoids heels at all costs requires some investigation, and a lot of trial and error.
Block heels are on-trend and very wearable, especially for the girl who likes comfort and style. The block heels features a chunky heel that rarely exceeds three inches. You can easily find a pair that doesn’t look orthopedic and, in fact, has a charming vintage feel to them.
- Coach Isla Heel, $228 USD in stores and online.
- L.K. Bennett Tia Saffiano Patent Leather Block Heel, $340 USD online.
- Nine West Midijo Cap-Toe Mid Heel Pump, $89 in stores.
The kitten heel is the go-to heel for the girl who hates heels. For added comfort, seek out a shoe that has all three elements of a comfortable heel. The first is a sturdy heel that ensures balance; the second is the fit of the toe box; and the third is to make sure the part of the shoe that cradles your heel is absolutely comfortable.
- Zara Leather Court Shoe with Studded Ankle Strap, $99.90 in stores and online.
- Ivanka Trump Indico Pump, $119.95 at shop.nordstrom.com.
- L.K. Bennett Fleur Printed Heels, $305 USD online.
Booties with heels
Heeled booties tend to be a tad more stable and comfortable, especially a pair with a wider heel. Booties provide more coverage, which makes them far more comfortable than a pair of sexy heels that hold your foot in with a single strap of leather.
- Aldo TICE Bootie, $100 in stores and online.
- Dolce Vita Quid Heels, $209 USD online.
- Anne Klein Youen Bootie, $99 USD online.
Heels with built-in shock absorbers
The basic reason heels are uncomfortable is because all your weight is being shifted to the ball of your foot. Ouch! A lot of on-trend shoes (not made for grandma) are now being made with special technology that absorbs some of that shock. Cole Haan, for example, is one big name brand that has teamed up with Nike to create stylish but comfortable heels using Nike Air technology.
- Cole Haan Air Juliana Pump 75, $148 USD online.
- Clarks Loyal Peony, $140. Click here to find a store nearest you.
- Kenneth Cole Stay Here Pump, $148 USD online.
Round or square toe heels
You may not think a simple rounded toe will make a difference when wearing heels, but you can thank us when you get home after trotting around all day in them. A large part of the pain of wearing heels is not just the pain in the ball of your foot; it’s your poor toes being squeezed into pointy shoes. Any woman hesitant to wear heels will want to ease into it by selecting a rounded or square toe first.
- Chie Mahara Mapa Heel, €333.00 / $504.27 at chiestore.com
- Reed Krakoff Patent Bi-Colour Demi-Wedge With Ankle Strap, $495 at theseptember.com.
- Rockport Seven to 7 High Plain Pump, $150 online.
If you take nothing else from this article, take this: the words “comfortable three-inch heels” are simply an oxymoron, so always go with a pair less than three inches to ensure maximum comfort.