A guide to comfortable women's shoes
As temperatures dip, it's time to put away sandals and open-toed shoes and make way for fall looks. You've likely pulled the sweaters, scarves, and coats out of storage, but don't forget that your feet deserve to be cozy just the same.
Forget blister-inducing flats and heels that make your feet ache; this fall, it's time to treat your feet with the respect they deserve and keep them as comfortable as the rest of you.
We've put together a compilation of our favorite women's shoes this season, from easy-fit flats to soft-lined boots to sneakers, so there are options for any occasion or style preference. We lead with the season's trendiest releases:
Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles: Allbirds claims to sell "the world's most comfortable shoe," and these new sneakers definitely deserve the moniker. The upper, composed of New Zealand-sourced Merino wool, keeps feet cozy and warm while the Puddle Guard weather repeller keeps them dry in all conditions -- a major improvement over their earlier releases.
Rothy's The Point: These uber-comfortable flats have soared in popularity through clever podcast ads and word-of-mouth. Pick from an array of shoe styles and patterns (we're partial to the pointed toe). Each pair is made using plastic water bottles and is 100% vegan. If the shoes become too grimy from wear, simply toss them in the washing machine. During our testing, they didn't lose their form like other shoes that you can wash.
Birdies The Starling Flat: We love the velvet finish of these Birdies flats. From the silky outer material to the seven layers of cushioning, these offer a plush, comfortable surface with a feminine design.
Blondo Glenda Waterproof Sneaker Bootie: These waterproof sneakers are made of cozy suede and feature a thick rubber sole that offers plenty of cushioning. Getting them on and off requires minimal effort thanks to an easy-glide front-placed zipper.
Blondo Gia Faux Fur Trim Waterproof Slip-On: Faux-fur isn't just for jacket trims and hats; add it to the interior of a shoe and you'll always feel enveloped in comfort. Wear these slip-ons and stay warm on a cold rainy day.
Dansko 'Professional' Clog: Clogs are incredibly comfortable, but they have a bad reputation for being unappealing -- but this version from Dansko is a classy iteration of the traditional, comfort-focused shoe. A highly cushioned midsole makes this the preferred shoe of medical professionals and those who spend a lot of time on their feet.
Blundstone Original Series Water Resistant Chelsea Boot: Your outfit doesn't have to be ruined because of a little rain. These water-resistant boots are easy to pull on and are functional yet fashionable enough to wear with just about anything. A grippy rubber sole provides plenty of traction and a cushioned insert keeps your feet comfortably cradled.
Birkenstocks Leather Clog: Wear Birkenstocks with socks if you're heading outside on a chilly fall day or opt to don them barefoot around the house or yard. The cork footbed naturally contours the foot and the wide toe box prevents toes from squishing together.
Clarks Un Cosmo: This shoe features a slight heel, so it's the odd one out on our list. But if you require a fashionable pump this fall, the thicker heel provides plenty of support. They also feature an OrthoLite footbed, so they're comfortable enough to wear all day at work.
Clarks Clarkdale Arlo Boot: Even with a slight heel, these fall-ready boots are a classic and comfortable option for wearing on-the-go, and Clarks are known for their supportive shoe designs.
Kork-Ease Velma Bootie: These lightweight, easy-on and easy-off booties come from a brand that markets itself as a "comfort-shoe company." They're available in two gorgeous colors perfect for the fall season. A well-placed upper elastic allows for an easy-fit that never feels constricting.
Sam Edelman Lior Loafer: You can wear these loafers with your favorite pair of jeans to complete your look without relying on uncomfortable heeled options. You might have trouble choosing between the variety of color options -- so buy a few pairs to fill out your shoe rack.
Sam Edelman Rodney Pointy Toe d'Orsay Flat: If you're in search of an elegant shoe to pair with a dress, opt for this Sam Edelman flat. Going to a wedding and plan to dance the night away? There's no shame in skipping the heels when you have a flat as stylish as this.
Superga 'Acot Linea' Sneaker: These platform sneakers from Superga deliver high fashion and comfort in a simple package. They're the ideal choice to round out a minimalist capsule wardrobe for the fall, and they're sure to make a statement.
Dr. Martens 'Pascal' Boot: Doc Martens are a rugged cult classic distinguished by their thick air-cushioned rubber soles that will put a bounce in your step. They're also surprisingly lightweight -- looks can be deceiving.
UGG Classic II Genuine Shearling Lined Short Boot: UGGs are the quintessential comfort boots. You can pair them with jeans or leggings, and they're perfect for running errands, walking the dog, or lounging at home. The plush lining is warm enough that you might prefer to slip into them barefoot. A textured sole provides traction and the outer fabric is treated to help repel moisture and staining.
What makes a shoe comfortable?
A breakdown of what to look for when shopping for a pair of fall shoes; Comfort, after all, is subjective.
The right size and fit: Pay attention to the company's size guide and measure your feet if you're at all unsure of sizing. Even the most fantastic shoe can be a nightmare in the wrong size. Too tight and your toes will cramp up. Too loose and blisters are likely to form. Our feet come in all different shapes and sizes.
Is there any pinching or pressure when you slip it on? Do your toes have enough room to wiggle around, or is the toe box too narrow?
Arch support: Flip-flops are ultra-comfortable but lack one crucial feature: arch support. If you have high arches or foot pain problems, a supportive shoe is especially important.
Steph Coehlo is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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