The Best Work Shoes For Whatever Back-To-Office Plans You’re Stepping Into

The Best Work Shoes For Whatever Back-To-Office Plans You’re Stepping Into

Did you spend your holiday break lounging in sweatpants? The hiatus from your work wardrobe may have made you realize that absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. If last year's work attire feels a little lacking now that the calendar officially says 2023, we totally get it. And one of the fastest ways to re-up your 9-to-5 'fit check is via our list of best work shoes. After all, your dogs have had a nearly month-long hiatus from the often constricting world of business casual footwear, and they deserve only the best.

If you're on the hunt for some new professional kicks that will catch a compliment or two, look no further. For this edition of Hype Machine, we sourced several of the highest-rated, office-friendly footwear on the internet. Read on to learn more about them from actual customers who went in search of chic and comfortable shoes for their respective workplaces — and lived to tell all about their "sole"-mates.

Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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Best Low Block Heel

Everlane The Italian Leather Day Heel

The Hype: 4.41 out of 5 stars and 4966 reviews at

This heel is such a cult favorite that the brand restocked it after it sold out multiple times. And, with comfy features like an elasticized back and a modest two-inch block heel, it's easy to see why reviewers continued to rave about this shoe even when it became a rare commodity. "For me, this style just speaks of running through the streets in Paris and I love it!" wrote reviewer VansGrant. "Please bring these back, they are amazing. A small block heel which gives just a small lift and such a classic design."

Shop Everlane

Everlane The Italian Leather Day Heel, $, available at Everlane

Best Low Mule

Sam Edelman Linnie Mule

The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 184 reviews at

Slip-on mules have become a bona fide closet staple, and we are here for it. They're comfortable for the walk to work and then to your favorite soup place for lunch, and they are stylish enough to be office appropriate. What more could we ask for in shoes? One reviewer puts it best: "I purchased these shoes for work, but figured I could wear them casually too. I absolutely love them! I work them for a work conference and they were comfortable all day. Plus, I’ve worn them on the weekend to make my jeans and sweater look more put together."

Shop Nordstrom

Sam Edelman Linnie Mule, $, available at Nordstrom

Best Chunky Loafer

Madewell The Corinne Lugsole Loafer

The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 151 reviews at

"Words cannot describe. I've always loved loafers, but now that chunky loafers are in, I finally found ones that look good on me. These loafers are ... *chef's kiss* perfection," writes reviewer Jessica, "Walking-on-cloud comfortable, stylish, and fun. I'm a size 6 and these fit everywhere except the top where there's space that creates a farting noise when you walk, BUT wearing socks (no show or otherwise) helps remove that issue entirely. I cannot rave about these enough. I adore them." Fake flatulence? Clearly, it's no bother when it's a shoe that's this stylish and easy to wear.

Shop Madewell

Madewell The Corinne Lugsole Loafer, $, available at Madewell

Best Lugsole Chelsea Boot

Sam Edelman Laguna Chelsea Boot

The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 404 reviews at

While not the classic Chelsea boot, Sam Edelman's Laguna Chelsea Boot more than makes up for its deviation with a stylish lugsole. These weatherproof babies add flair to any fit with a heavy-duty sole, stretchy gore insets, and pull tabs on each side. One reviewer even calls them the "perfect Chelsea boot." She adds she "wasn’t 100% sure about these when I received them[,] but they are so adorable. The slightly squared toe is super modern and I love how narrow they are which keeps chunky boots from looking like clown shoes. I have narrow feet so these were true to size but people with wider feet may want to size up. Excited to wear these all winter."

Shop Sam Edelman

Sam Edelman Laguna Lug-Sole Chelsea Booties, $, available at Sam Edelman

Best Loafer

Aerosoles East Side

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 506 reviews at

Wanna talk comfort? This work loafer is made with Aerosoles' impact-absorbing soles, memory foam footbeds, and padded insoles. "The bone color loafer surprisingly ended up being my favorite! I get compliments every time I wear this color," writes reviewer Brianna. "These shoes are so comfortable. I bought all three colors for work and I do not regret it!" Take note, however: Though over 500 reviewers give this style rave reviews, they do recommend sizing up.

Shop Aerosoles

Aerosoles East Side, $, available at Aerosoles

Best Bootie

Marc Fisher LTD Yale Chelsea Boot

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 471 reviews at

"I feel it is my civic duty to tell you this. These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned," writes reviewer LMPinDC. "I had no idea how they'd fare after a long day on my feet, but I'm wearing them for the first time today, and honestly my feet have never been so happy. You must buy them. Don't hesitate." With a sensible 1.5-inch heel, pull-on style, and a chic pointed toe, this versatile bootie will pull together any kind of work outfit you're assembling. The Yale also comes in a few suede browns and white or tan leather. "Another plus," continues the reviewer, "These boots look way more expensive than they are. I've already been asked if they're Acne. I just smiled."

Shop Nordstrom

Marc Fisher LTD Yale Chelsea Boot, $, available at Nordstrom

Best Everyday Sneaker

Allbirds Women's Wool Pipers

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 1065 reviews at

What's not to love about these soft-as-slippers tennis shoes? They're timeless, versatile, sustainably made, and machine-washable (!). "So comfortable and they go with everything! They’re my second pair of all birds," writes reviewer Marissa. "I love my wool runners[,] but the look on these is more versatile — cute with jeans, athleisure, dresses, etc." And because these are made with Allbirds' famous ZQ Merino wool moisture-wicking (read: odor-eliminating) insole, you can feel confident about wearing these kicks every day.

Shop Allbirds

Allbirds Women's Wool Pipers, $, available at Allbirds

Best Knee-High Boot

Anne Klein Frida Boot

The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 71 reviews at

Don't let the height deter you — this skyscraper style has received a firm stamp of approval from comfort-seeking shoe wearers. "Needed a great pair of boots with a narrower leg. Wanted looks AND comfort and I got both! Slight heal but nice and stable but still a snazzy look!" writes reviewer edoyle.

Shop DSW

Anne Klein Frida Boot, $, available at DSW

Best Low Block Heel Sandal

Jeffrey Campbell Vacay Vibes Platform Sandals

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 76 reviews at

For those who work in sunny weather all year round, we have something for you too! "Finally a heel I can wear! I have wide feet and I've never found a wedge platform to work for me — I’ve bought the Gucci look alike and they didn’t even fit so was very skeptical buying these from FP," write one reviewer who recommended sizing up. And while these PVC sandals may not be acceptable for all workplaces (see: the name of this shoe) — for those who are in more laid-back environments, these are a warm-weaather-ready style that also offers a decent 2.5-inch boost.

Shop Free People

Jeffrey Campbell Vacay Vibes Platform Sandals, $, available at Free People

Best Baby Pump

Cole Haan Vandam Sling Back Pump

The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 71 reviews at

Look no further for the best work shoe. She's small, she's sleek, she's fierce and she's comfortable — enough said. Cole Haan's Sling Back Pump is what dreams are made of. It's perfect for both the office and drinks after work (with coworkers or a date, you decide). Best of all, it comes in four different colorways. As a reviewer puts it, "great combination of a classic slingback (a wardrobe staple) with nice padding in the forefoot and a manageable heel height. The pointy toe is not restricting at all. Wore the leopard print to work and got lots of interest!"

Shop Cole Haan

Cole Haan Vandam Sling Back Pump, $, available at Cole Haan

Best Platform Boot

ROC Nikki Boot

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 14 reviews at

You know the shoe is great when virtually all the reviews are begging for a restock. "These are my FAVORITE boots I've ever owned. I love the height and they are HOT," writes reviewer jennnnnyc. "I'm still breaking them in but I can tell they will be comfortable." While our enthusiastic reviewer may be wearing these boots out on the town, the comfort call-out has us scheming for the workplace — just imagine these mid-height boots with a culotte or midi dress.

Shop Urban Outfitters

RoC ROC Nikki Boot, $, available at Urban Outfitters

!!!Bring back for spring update!!!

Best Block Heel Sandal

Lula Block Heel Slingback Sandal

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 674 reviews at

If you're looking for a flirty shoe that's also acceptable for the office, look no further than this affordable BP. heel from Nordstrom Rack. "They are identical to the Cole Haan pair — just like them for 1/5 the cost," wrote one reviewer. Another customer especially loved how this heel pairs well with warmer-weather outfits: "These sandals are perfect for summer. They will go well with sundresses and all linen dresses. Fits true to size." And if black is a bit too conservative for your tastes, you'll be glad to know this shoe comes in a variety of glittery, metallic, and iridescent options.

Shop Nordstrom Rack

BP. Lula Block Heel Slingback Sandal, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

Best Oxford Shoes

Dr. Martens 1461 Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 918 reviews at

Hefty and made to last a long time, these Docs are more work-appropriate than the OG lace-up combat boots. Fans of this style range from young to old, with the latter raving about how the Oxfords are as comfy and supportive as their very first pair of Docs from decades earlier. "I have been wearing Dr. Martens since I was in high school. This is my first pair of Oxfords," writes Devin, reviewer. Sturdy and durable, they are a great alternative to the sneaker if you're particularly active and on your feet for most of the day.

Shop Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens 1461 Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes, $, available at Dr. Martens

Best Heeled Boot

Naturalizer Callie Mid Shaft Calf Boot

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 548 reviews at

Situated comfortably between the ankle bootie and the knee-high, this lace-up mid-calf option has a grippy lugsole, sturdy 3.25-inch block heel, and a side zip for easy on-off wear. "Finally bought these because I trust the brand Naturalizer to be comfortable. They fit perfectly and, true to the reputation of the brand, they are so comfortable," wrote one Amazon reviewer. Out of the other work shoes in this roundup, this boot is likely to be an edgier, more creative option to spice up that cubicle life.

Shop Amazon

Naturalizer Callie Mid Shaft Calf Boot, $, available at Amazon

Best Clog

FitFlop Shuv Leather Clog

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 437 reviews at

It's not your mother's FitFlop anymore. Now there are all sorts of comfortable styles, including this cottage core-esque clog that works for any casual office while providing the same support for your footsies that FitFlop is known for.

Shop FitFlop

FitFlop Shuv Leather Clog, $, available at FitFlop

Best Knee-High Boot

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 249 reviews at DSW

Don't let the height (of either the boot or heel) deter you — this skyscraper style has received a firm stamp of approval from comfort-seeking shoe wearers. "Surprisingly comfy for this tall heel. Fits snug in the calf — goes to just under the knee. And they look great!" wrote reviewer Momof1. Bonus: This Gardenia — available in black and burgundy leather — is currently on sale at DSW!

Shop DSW

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot, $, available at DSW

Best Lugsole Chelsea Boots

The Citywalk Lugsole Chelsea Boot

The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 59 reviews at Madewell

These boots are one of Madewell's top-selling shoes with over 2,000 shoppers adding a pair to their carts every week. With features like MWL Cloudlift Lite padding and fabulous traction for those city-stomping streets, these versatile boots are a bonafide essential for those on-the-go or on their feet all day. "I ordered these boots as a work option — I work a lot in chemical labs and big art studios so depending on my schedule it's important that I wear close-toed shoes," wrote reviewer Morgen92. "These boots are much heftier than my other Chelsea boots so they can take a rough work day."

Shop Madewell

Madewell The Citywalk Lugsole Chelsea Boot in Leather, $, available at Madewell

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