“I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say, ‘Oh my God! They look so comfortable!’” —Christian Louboutin
Agreed, Christian. But let’s be real: eight to ten hours on your feet in heels is sort of a nightmare, and the last thing you need on your wedding day is for foot pain to ruin the festivities. Finding that elusive pair of shoes that feels good and looks good isn’t easy, and if you’re insistent on wearing heels, the quest is far more difficult.
Remember that your options do include flats, wedges, and sneakers, of course. But for those who want a little more glam and a little more height, heels are in order. Below are ten options for heels that fit the criteria of not needing to take them off before your nine-hour day is over, while avoiding looking like shoes your doctor may have prescribed.
Angela Nuran “Starletta”. 4.5” heel with platform. $340
Angela Nuran started as a dance teacher, and designs her shoes inspired by the comfort of ballroom styles—but with the fashion and stability needed for brides. Each pair is dyeable, customizable with different glitz or straps (see the Starletta above, on the top how they come stock and on the bottom with optional t-straps and cobalt dye) or even a personalized message inside. The Starletta comes with the detachable ankle straps as well as a wide ribbon if you’d prefer. Most styles have shorter heels than the 4.5” seen above. The reviews on Angela Nuran are overwhelmingly positive; brides consistently say these are the most comfortable heels they have ever worn.
Seychelle’s “Curiosity”. 2.5” heel. Velvet. $95
Seychelle’s is well-known as a brand that values comfort. Their shoes have interior padding and thicker heels that help . The brand gives a nod to vintage styling, and these blue velvet heels with the gold detailing would look right at home with any art deco or Gatsby theme.
Comfort Plus “Karmen”. 3” heel. $15.99-$29.99
I own a pair of Karmens myself, and they are damn comfortable. Like, not even sighing in relief when you take them off at the end of the day comfortable. They’re not exactly flashy, but they’re basic pumps that look good on your feet and don’t try to steal the show. Too plain? Add a shoe clip to jazz it up. The round toe helps give your toes room, and the 3’ heel is just enough to give a substantial height difference between them and sneakers without needing a platform on the toe to help make up for the height. These come in fifteen different colors and textures, including a blush suede, gold, ivory, white (pictured), an ivory/black tuxedo look, navy blue, black, and red.
Capezio “Heather”. 2.5” heel. Leather and satin. $60
Another idea is to use what the pros do: ballroom dance shoes. Easy to move in, stable, and designed for exactly what you’ll hopefully be doing all night. Be wary of anything with split soles, as those are great for experienced dancers but may be hard to balance in if that doesn’t exactly describe you. Ballroom shoes feature a suede bottom to glide around a dance floor more easily, so these are best suited for indoor weddings as suede absorbs moisture—unless you’re willing to deal with the potential damage of wearing them outdoors, take them to a cobbler to get a rubber sole put on them, or even buy inexpensive “sole patches” from Capezio ($11.50). Capezio has plenty of ballroom options on their website, and most are of the “strappy sandal” variety (as are most ballroom shoes).
Hey Lady “Coco Puffs”. 4” heel with platform. $320
Hey Lady shoes were developed by twins Emily and Jessica Leung (snaps for a female-run company!). The company prioritizes comfort in a way most heel brands do not. Their vintage-inspired heels feature NASA-developed memory foam (“PORON”) Performance Insoles in every pair, a feature typically seen only in performance and running shoes. They have a “dancer’s fit” (wide) toe box, a “wing” arch support to help distribute weight from the ball of foot, and buffed leather soles for dance floors. According to the Leung twins, their micro-fiber suede shoes (like the Coco Puffs, pictured) are the most comfortable. They have a 3” option and a 4” with platform option. Hey Lady shoes are more of an investment—their flats start at $168, and their heels start at $220.
Gabriella Rocha “Ginger”. 1.75” heel. Leather upper. $32.99
These were recommended to me by a hair stylist friend of mine who’s on her feet all day as her most comfortable heels. These 1 3/4” kitten heels have a leather upper (in most finishes) and a Mary Jane strap across the top for added support. They have a variety of finishes and colors, including bone patent leather, silver, and gold (pictured).
Sofft “Rendon”. 3.5” heel with .5” platform. Leather lining. $120
Sofft latex-wrapped leather footbeds featured in all of their shoes provide a targeted comfort for redirecting weight, focusing on the impact points and promoting better airflow. Sofft is one of those comfort brands that has few sexy options, but the Rendon, above, with its caged and knotted straps and 3.5” heel, make it a fine candidate for your wedding.
Kate Spada “Sala”. 2.75” heel. $328
The Sala is already popular with brides, and Kate Spade heels are popular for their renowned comfort without being a comfort brand. Now, these aren’t the shoes you buy to feel like you’re wearing slippers—but they’re going to take a great “look at my shoes” picture, and you shouldn’t need to change into flip-flops by the end of the night (though a foot rub from your new spouse may be in order). These come in plenty of other colors, some with the glitter on the heel and some with satin all the way around. These take a cue from dance shoes and have a suede bottom—ideal for dance floors.
MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex” Pump. 3.5” heel. $99
Called the “Flex” for its padded, flexible footbed, the Flex is a working woman’s staple heel (it was actually given the #1 spot by Rank & Style as the most comfortable work heel on the market)—and with gold and nude options, it’s perfect for a bride.
Very Fine Dance Shoes “C1659”. 2.5” or 3” heel. Satin upper with suede. $60
Very Fine Dance Shoes is another dance shoe company with great ballroom options. They have the option on most of their shoes for choosing either 2.5” or 3” heels, and you can even customize shoes on their website (www.veryfineshoes.com). The crossed straps and white satin help this shoe look more bridal.