Kirstin sinclair

If women’s work shoes conjure up impractical images of stiletto heels or old-fashioned pumps, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Nowadays, with the relaxation of dress codes in the office (even banks like JP Morgan now have casual Fridays), the options have diversified – freeing us in the process.

Although it is not possible to hire trainers for more corporate jobs, there is a happy medium. This season we’re seeing a rebirth of the apartment: ’90s-inspired loafers, Oxford shoes and even the long-abandoned ballerina. Still, if you’re looking for height, you don’t have to let go of your heels due to a long commute or a standing desk. Block styles and boots can be just as stylish, elevating your outfit without compromising on comfort.

Plus, with pantsuits and tailors entering the realm of casual wear, you won’t have to save those shoes for Monday morning. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best women’s work shoes that will look just as good on the weekends as 9 am-5pm.

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Best moccasin


The penny slot moccasin is getting a menswear-inspired makeover this season, so replace the dainty silhouettes with something bulkier with a chunky platform sole. The M&S Collection pair ticks all the boxes and will look elegant worn with cropped pants or a pleated midi skirt at the office.

Leather loafers, £ 49, Marks & Spencer


Best block heel


If you want the elegance of heels without the discomfort, block designs are the way to go. Arket’s mid-rise style features a pointed toe and slingback straps, meaning it will go with everything from pencil skirts to cigarette pants.

Leather slingback pumps, £ 135, Arket


Best pumps


Despite more casual dress codes, heels will never be out of place in the office. Prada’s patented version is a modern take on the classic, with its D’orsay silhouette and architectural heel (which, at 4 inches, is more comfortable than stiletto styles).

95 patent leather pumps, £ 515.00, Prada at Net-a-Porter


Best office at dinner


The ideal office-to-dinner shoe can take you anywhere from casual drinks to corporate events. Crafted in shiny patent leather, Salvatore Ferragamo’s square-toe flats feature a sculptural low heel and gold detailing for a touch of glamor. Lower the back to create a more relaxed mule when you step out of the office.

Lana embellished textured patent-leather fold-heel loafers, £ 535.00, Salvatore Ferragamo at Net-a-Porter


Best desk to dance


Sometimes, however, you need a striking shoe to take you from work to receptions and parties. Set on a thin stiletto heel, the Salome by Aquazzura features a delicate slingback and a pointed V-shaped toe. Keep things office-ready by pairing yours with longer hems or slouchy pants. measure, as opposed to pencil skirts and sexier bodycon dresses.

Salome 75 leather slingback pumps, £ 515, Aquazzura at Matches Fashion


Best coaches


The reality is, thanks to relaxing work dress codes, most of you have probably worn sneakers to the office in recent years. It’s all too easy, however, to let chic, casual looks slip into sloppy territory. The rules? Wear only white – but always keep it clean – and go for simple, minimalist silhouettes that will complement the tailoring. Boden’s classic design is made of leather and comes with a striped heel tab (other options include snake or leopard print accents) for a playful yet subtle pop of color.

Classic leather sneakers, £ 75, Boden


Best ballerina


If you’ve stuck with sneakers for the past few years, you’ll be happy to hear that ballet flats are making a comeback. This time around, unlike the delicate ballet styles worn by Sienna Miller and Kate Moss in the 2000s, they have a simpler silhouette and sit on a slight heel. If you like Jigsaw’s Arlo design, try the duck egg and orange shades on the weekends.

Arla Soft Square Dish, £ 79, Jigsaw


The best ankle boots


Gone are the days when only women’s shorts would do the trick: now, ankle boots are a staple of workwear. Keep things smart by avoiding on-trend options like cowboy and sock styles. Cut from black leather to a close-to-the-foot shape, The Row’s Gloria pair has a subtly pointed toe and curved heel – they’ll give conservative outfits just the right amount of edge.

Gloria leather ankle boots, £ 1,025.00, The Row at Net-a-Porter


The best knee boots


Knee-high boots can be tailored to the office with the right outfit: think of understated midi dresses, rather than something too short. With its classic almond toe and comfy block heel, LK Bennett’s Kristen design will transcend trends. And, thanks to the leather sole, you’ll get years of wear and tear with annual trips to the shoemakers.

Kristen Leather Knee High Boots, £ 395.00, LK Bennett at Selfridges


Best oxford


Perfect for the office, Oxford shoes can soften formal outfits and even the most feminine dresses – and they’re super comfy too. The & Other Stories pair nod to cult Prada styles with their chunky studded sole and platform heel.

Chunky-soled technical oxfords, £ 95 and other stories

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