Comfortable dressy shoes are essential for summer, what with summer weddings, barbeques, and having to look professional even in the sweltering heat. Fortunately you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort with these great-looking shoes.
Summer Styles for Comfort
Maybe you're just not in the mood for heels, or perhaps you loathe wearing them altogether. Whatever the case may be, a pair of flats can easily see you through a dressy event in style. Look for materials like patent leather, suede, satin or snakeskin. Many dressy flats are finished with delicate details, such as perforated cutouts, rosettes, gemstones or ankle straps. These styles are perfect for summer; they look great with short or full skirts, sheath dresses and most party dresses.
Some flat shoe options to try:
- Cole Haan Alice Skimmer (pictured) - This is the perfect dressy summer flat. The pointed toe, patent nude finish, and scallop detail will go with anything in your closet, from dresses to jeans and shorts. Plus, it has Cole Haan's Grand.OS technology, a proprietary cushioning foam that makes the shoe more flexible and comfortable for your feet. This pair of pretty flats retails for just under $140.
- Badgley Mishka Gigi Flat - The rhinestone detailing and mesh sides on this shoe instantly dresses up any outfit. It comes in three colors, black, ivory and latte, all of which would be great for an evening look. It has a lightweight and flexible outsole and is fully lined for comfort. You can pick them up for about $190.
A dressy wedge that's comfortable and cute can be difficult to find. The key is to be extremely discerning about the shape of the wedge heel. Look for heels that are sleek and simple rather than large and clunky. Similar to flats, look for dressier materials like suede, patent, and shoes with a metallic shine. Steer away from flatforms, sequins, and bows since they can look immature on a wedge sandal. Wedges are, by their very nature, more casual shoes, and may not work for the most formal of events. However, they are great options for summer weddings (especially those on the beach or on grass) and other daytime looks.
Some wedge shoe options to try:
- ECCO Rivas Wedge Sandals - These are classic wedge sandals that will go with even a more formal evening dress. The simple wedge heel (coming in at very manageable 1.8 inches) has a flexible sole for comfort and has both leather lining and uppers. The shoe comes in three colors, a matte silver that would be a great evening shoe, a chili red suede that would work well to add a pop of color to daytime looks, and black which works with almost anything. These trendy wedges retail for about $150.
- Jalin Wedge Sandal by Vince Comuto - If ever there was a shoe that combined both comfort and style, this wedge sandal would be it. The vibrant crystals that embellisht he cut out pattern is very fashionable while low heel allows for all day comfort. Perfect paired with flowy maxi dresses and even jeans and a dressy top for more casual nighttime events. You can get these shoes for just under $160.
Heels offer the most options for dressy shoes. For warmer weather, stay away from pumps and covered shoes and instead go for sandals and fun details like cut-outs, lace, and string ties. For the most comfortable heel, stay under a 3.5-inch height and look for padded insoles and a hefty platform. Depending on the style of heel you choose, they can be worn with everything from casual summer dresses to the most formal of gowns.
Some heel options to try:
- Naturalizer Danya - This shoe, which comes in pewter, silver, taupe and gold, is a perfect option for a comfortable yet dressy heel. The slight platform and padded footbed alleviate the strain of the 2.75-inch heel. The laser-cut detailing on the shoe is beautiful and would look great with shorter dresses and more edgy styles. You can purchase these heels for about $80.
- Ukies Tutu Sandal - This cute design features a wider heel. The key is in their padded footbed that contains nanoGel®. The design features black and white - making a truly versatile pair of heels. This ankle strap shoe is in a very on-trend design for the summer. Pick up this pair for about $300.
Brands to Consider
There are many comfort shoe brands on the market, but some of these brands tend to offer clunky styles that are not necessarily as stylish as they are comfortable. Shoe brands that don't bill themselves as "comfort shoe brands" but offer supportive technology for more comfortable shoes include Cole Haan and Corso Como. However, even if your shoe is less than comfortable, look to brands like Footpetals and Dr Scholl's, which offer removable insoles under $20 that can alleviate pain and make shoes more comfortable, especially for the ball of the foot and the heel.
Find Your Perfect Dressy Shoes
Stylish, comfortable heels can be hard to find. Steer clear of overly tall heel heights and look for shoes with platforms and padded insoles that provide extra cushioning and support. It's typically best to spend a little more money on better-quality materials. For example, look for 100% leather shoes as they tend to become more comfortable over time as they break in and mold to the shape of your foot. Above all, make sure your shoes fit. This is often the greatest cause of discomfort, and it's easily avoided by simply choosing a style that will not pinch or squeeze your toes, rub against your heel or shift your gait to an unnatural position.