Last updated on December 1st, 2023 at 12:23 pm
First impressions count. Especially at a job interview. To put on your best performance, you need to look and feel your best. Whether it’s a killer outfit with carefully selected new interview shoes or a fresh haircut and manicured nails – confidence is key at an interview.
According to Forbes, you have seven seconds to make a first impression on someone. While there are plenty of non-verbal ways to solidify your impression – like good eye contact and posture – knowing what shoes to wear to an interview is a great place to start.
What are the best shoes to wear to a job interview?
When deciding on the most suitable shoes to wear, consider the colour and style of the shoe. Typically, darker colours are considered more formal. If your outfit is smart-casual, a dark brown, navy or black shoe can help to elevate your outfit and make sure you look professional. If you decide black shoes are the way forward, make sure you know how to maintain them.
Choosing job interview shoes may seem like a minefield. To make it easier, we’ve selected our top picks that’ll have you looking your best:
- Court Shoes. A simple shoe with a low-cut front and no fastening, these are often made from soft structured leather with a closed toe and wide heel. A lower heel is often just right for interview shoes – showing a hint of your personal style while still remaining professional.
- Brogues. These are the holy grail of office work shoes. Pop on a pair of brogues with trousers, skirts, or black jeans to complete your interview look. Show off your personality with decorative brogues. Many of these pairs will have intricate punched seams and detailing to add that extra bit of flare.
There are no limitations when it comes to these old reliables – we’d recommend a smaller heel for a more professional appearance.
- Ballerina flats. Simple and unassuming, this type of shoe is a safe choice for a job interview – a comfortable alternative to boots and shoes in the summer months. These flats are the perfect choice for warmer weather. The last thing you want is stuffy feet when you’re trying to make a good impression. Again, darker colours should be your go-to here.
- Lace ups. Smooth leather in shades of black and brown are known as an Oxford shoe, but lace-ups are versatile and can be made from a variety of materials. Simple and classy, a pair of these are a safe but stylish choice when it comes to interview shoes.
- Loafers. Pivotal to men’s fashion history, loafers are still as stylish today as they were in the early 1900s. Featuring pointed toes and an open top, these shoes add a fashionable twist to any outfit.
Our top interview shoes picks
To help narrow it down, we’ve curated a collection of our favourite shoes to wear to a job interview. These interview shoes are designed to be worn by everyone – so you can feel uber confident to smash that interview in a pair that you feel great in. These numbers will help put a spring in your step and make a great first impression on your potential employer.
Lilley Viola Women’s Black Slip On Court Shoes
These classic slip on court shoes are perfect for elevating a minimalistic interview outfit. Pair with a skirt or midi dress for a look that can take you from the interview to a celebratory new job meal. Or, jazz up a pair of trousers or smart jeans for a more casual – but still sophisticated – professional feel.
Beckett Billy Men’s Black Lace Up Brogues
Opt for a pair of smart black brogues for perfect interview attire. Keep your look minimalistic with punched detailing and smooth lines, or mix it up with decorative embellishments and a pointed toe. Classic brogues mix minimalism with personality and will look great with smart trousers or dark jeans.
Lilley Mabel Tan Chelsea Boots
These tan Chelsea boots are a little more on the casual side – great for a more informal setting. Pair brown shoes for a job interview with dark denim jeans for a smart-casual look. Or match them with a pair of wide leg cream trousers to capitalise on the timeless neutrals trend. You can even pair them with brown trousers for a monochromatic look – the possibilities are endless.
Beckett Briggs Men’s Black Smart Chelsea Boots
Smart black Chelsea boots are a no-brainer when it comes to the best shoes to wear to a job interview. Sleek, stylish and bold, a Chelsea boot is a wardrobe staple that can handle any occasion. You can spice things up with a small heel, but keep it low to stay as comfortable as possible.
Lilley Anais Women’s Black Patent Loafers
You can’t deny the irresistible versatility of a classic loafer – especially when it comes to pairing with interview outfits. These patent black loafers have a hint of charisma with the shiny finish and tassel detail, but are still just the right level of paired-back to let the outfit – and you – do the talking.
Beckett Men’s Tan Slip On Shoe with Tramlines
Like we said, there isn’t much a loafer can’t do. Take a pair of these tan slip ons for a spin and upgrade your outfit into an effortlessly stylish masterpiece. Match with navy trousers, smart jeans or skirts, and you’re onto a winner.
What shoes should I avoid for a job interview?
While there are plenty of options that would work wonders at a job interview – there are a few that you may want to steer clear of. The best shoes for job interviews will largely depend on the role that you’re going for. A traditional corporate role, like a lawyer or executive, may require more formal attire than a creative or artistic role with a less rigid dress code.
A few serious no-go’s include:
- Open toe shoes. While flip flops and sandals may be comfortable in the summer months, they are not a good look for smart interview wear. Keep them for summer holidays or relaxing strolls in the park – not the boardroom. For dress code or even safety reasons, some companies may not allow them, so better to get on the right side of your potential employer from the get-go!
- High, high heels. While they look great and can give you a boost of confidence, an interview may not be the right place to walk the runway – but this all depends on the environment. Keep things simple and, above all, comfortable so you can let yourself shine in the interview without worrying about blisters or sore toes. That being said, you could experiment with a comfortable heel like a block or wedge.
- Trainers. Trainers are a bit of a tricky one as it all depends on the role you’re applying for. In some cases, smart black or white trainers may be suitable – as long as they’re clean and polished. You should definitely steer clear of bright colours and logos.
Job interview shoes: Tips and Tricks
When it comes to deciding which shoes to wear to a job interview, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
There are other things to bear in mind when making your selection, including:
- Your outfit. If you’re wearing a suit to your interview, the focus should be on the smart tailoring – and your shoes should be the same. Always match the colour of your belt with your shoes, too.
- Season. Always take the weather into account when selecting shoes for your interview. Cold, wet or snowy weather may call for a more substantial sole with a smaller heel and a full upper.
- Condition. This is just as important as the colour and style. Check that your shoes don’t look noticeably worn or scuffed. And make sure they’re sparkling clean!
- Socks. The best advice is to pick subtle, plain socks which won’t stand out too much. Avoid patterns and bright colours – and make sure they’re in good condition.
Remember that the best thing you can wear to an interview is confidence – closely followed by your best job interview shoes. Make sure that you tailor your shoe choice to the role you’re applying for. Smart trainers may be a perfectly good choice for a creative role, but are a serious no go when it comes to corporate leadership positions.
Take a look at the shoezone blog for more inspiration on shoes to wear to a job interview.