In this guide:
- Shoes for the office
- Shoes to avoid
- Shoes for an interview
- Shoes for standing up all day
- Shoes for working in hospital
- Shoes for working in a shop
- Shoes for working in a kitchen
- Shoes for working in a restaurant
When it comes to finding the right office work shoes, it can be a tricky business choosing footwear that’s both appropriate and comfortable. With so many different styles, colours and textures out there, it’s easy to get confused. But worry not. With our ultimate guide to footwear for different professions – in the office and other workplaces – you’ll have all the help you need to nail your footwear for any job.
Choosing which shoes to wear in the office
At work, first impressions count – and that usually starts with your appearance. Therefore, dressing appropriately for work is essential. A pair of classic heels in black or nude can add an elegant touch, while platform heel shoes might give the wrong impression (you’re at work, not on a night out, after all). Subtlety is key to your work look, and a pair of heels can make you stand out and come across more confidently.
Office work shoes for ladies
There’s such a huge choice for women when it comes to picking shoes to wear in the office. But essentially:
- If you’re after a smart look, choose a pair of court shoes or style a pair of pretty ballerinas into your outfit. Remember, you don’t need to wear heels all day to look smart.
- If you want an edgy, individual look for your work wardrobe, brogues and loafers with tassel and fringe detailing are perfect for dressing up or down.
- If it’s cold outside, it’s time to dig out those stylish long leg boots or cute and comfy ankle boots.
Dressing for a smart-casual office
Nowadays, many offices have a smart-casual dress policy. That means there’s more choice than ever when it comes to your footwear.
Some great, smart casual footwear choices include:
- Ballerina flats
- Ankle or calf boots
Work shoes to avoid
Some shoe styles could be thought of as being inappropriate for work. For example:
- Peep toe shoes are often worn on special occasions or evenings out. However, come the summer, a pair of peep-toe sandals can help keep your feet cool and comfortable.
- Platform heeled shoes are probably a bit too high for work. They will be extremely tough on your feet if you wear them all day – a pair of court shoes would be a more suitable alternative. Wedges are another option.
- Trainers tend to be too casual for an office and not look right with smart attire.
- While pretty toe postand gladiator sandals add a fashionable twist to your office outfit, flip flops and jelly sandals might be a little too casual. Save these styles for your holidays.
Choosing the right shoes for an interview
If you have an interview for a new job, picking out the right outfit is very important – and that includes your footwear. It’s always a good idea to go for a smart look. However, injecting a bit of personality and style into your outfit can demonstrate confidence. A pair of smart heels or ballerinas are a good choice for women. If you’re going for a creative role, injecting a pop of colour into your look with your shoes can bring out your flair.
For more advice, follow our comprehensive guide to picking the right shoes for an interview.
Choosing which shoes to wear in other workplaces
Some professions require a specific uniform and type of footwear to suit certain practical aspects of a job. Here’s some guidance for which shoes can suit roles that are not office-based.
Ladies’ work shoes for standing up all day
Standing up all day in the wrong footwear will eventually take its toll on your feet. Getting your shoes right from the start will make all the difference to keeping you comfortable on the move.
- Smart slip-on shoes will work well if you’re on your feet all day. These normally come with a padded insole, providing maximum comfort and helping you get on with your working day.
- If you’re after something a bit more stylish, loafers make a good alternative.
- You might want to choose a style in a quirky colour, such as burgundy or tan. You could also play with eye-catching details such as tassels and studs.
- If you find yourself running around all day without five minutes to sit down, a pair of walking shoes could be the answer. Designed to withstand vigorous walking, they are tailor-made for feet that are constantly on the go.
Shoes for working in a hospital
Working in a hospital is rewarding but tiring – especially for your feet, as you’re on the move all day. Thankfully, there’s a huge selection of shoes that can make your working day a little easier.
- Sporty pumps with a mesh covering are super lightweight. This means you can run around all day, if needs be, and not suffer painful feet. Super comfy and light, the mesh material will help keep your feet cool when the temperature rises.
- If you’re after something a little sturdier, black casual loafers could be the answer. Choose a pair in black with a Velcro fastening to help you get them on and off quickly.
- Once summer arrives and the temperature soars, swap them for a pair of moulded clogs. Their plastic material means they’re easy to wipe clean – perfect for a hospital setting. Pick a pair with an ankle strap, so they’re secure on your feet.
Shoes for working in a shop
When working in retail you’ll likely be the first port of call for customers – so looking smart is an absolute must. To make busy work life a little less demanding on your feet, select a pair of simple ballerinas in black to go with your uniform. If you want an individual touch, choose styles with pretty diamante and jewel detailing.
If you find that you’re getting aches and pains in your feet from standing all day, pop in some padded insoles or gel pads to soothe your feet and provide more comfort.
Shoes for working in a kitchen
A busy kitchen can be hot, stressful and demanding. The right uniform and shoes will keep you cool and comfortable while you get the job done. As you’re working with hot food, it’s important that your shoes are secure and not able to fall off your feet – so take the time to find a pair that fits well.
- Loafers will not only keep feet cool and safe – they are super easy to wipe. Their padded and comfortable soles will help keep away the aches and pains of being on your feet all day.
- Sporty pumps will be a welcome addition to your summer wardrobe. Made from lightweight, mesh materials, these will be easy on your feet and help cool them down.
Shoes for working in a restaurant
Working in a restaurant involves moving around a lot – so the right footwear is imperative. While heels and court shoes look fantastic and sophisticated, they are not the type of shoe you want to be wearing for hours on end.
- Court shoes with a small, chunky heel are a great alternative as they provide more support for your feet.
- If you really can’t bear the thought of wearing heels, choose pointed toe ballerina shoes. These look super elegant and smart, adding that final flourish to your look.
- If you’re working in a more relaxed restaurant, you might even be able to get away with black sporty shoes. It all depends on your work requirements.
So, there we have it – our top work shoes to get you through those busy days in comfort. Whether you’re working in a busy office, a demanding caring environment or a hot kitchen, we have the footwear for you. Remember that comfort is absolutely key, so a pair of good fitting shoes is essential. Use our guide to help you find the most comfortable pair for you.