When it comes to dressing for work, you’re faced with an entirely different challenge from dressing casually. Not only does your work attire need to be functional and comfortable, but it also has to match the professional style of your workplace.
Here at Kizik, we know that the right work outfit starts from the bottom up with a great pair of shoes. Whether you're working at an office, in the field, or from home, footwear can make the difference between a focused, enjoyable day at work and a miserable one.
Today, our latest guide is all about choosing the perfect comfortable footwear for work. We're going to cover what aspects of a shoe make it more or less comfortable during a day on the job. Then, we'll go over some of the best options for a variety of workplace environments.
Let's get started!
Regardless of the occasion, there are a few universal factors in making sure a shoe is comfortable. With work shoes, you’ll need to keep in mind a few unique qualities.
We'll touch on both these areas below to make sure you've got all the details as you search for your ideal work shoe.
One of the main characteristics that differs between work shoes and everyday footwear is the need to maintain a certain aesthetic that matches your position.
While casual dress codes are becoming more common in many workplaces, there are still standards for what you wear at almost any job—which almost always extends to footwear. At the same time, footwear is often the most flexible part of any dress code, so you can choose the exact shoes that work best for you in most cases.
Aside from dress codes, there are also differences in the practical challenges that different jobs present. Here are some questions to keep in mind when choosing your work shoes:
Each of these factors can play a role in what shoe features would best serve you. If lots of standing and walking are a part of your work day, breathable upper material and good traction are essential.
If you have to exert yourself physically, then supportive, high-quality outsoles and insoles are a must-have. Fast-paced jobs are also well-served by features that make putting on and taking off shoes easier.
Whatever the nature of your work, it's essential that your shoes are comfortable. The last thing you want is sore feet a few minutes into your shift. Uncomfortable shoes can make an eight-hour work day feel like 20.
Thankfully, there are lots of shoes that can provide comfort to your feet, and our experts here at Kizik have been hard at work incorporating them into our styles.
Soft soles and quality uppers are important features, but they won't add much to your comfort level if your shoes don't fit your feet properly.
Choosing the right size is a crucial place to start. Every foot is different, which means that standard sizes don't always work for every person.
Sometimes a poor fit is due to the design of the shoe and how much extra space is given in certain areas. For example, your feet may be a size 9, but when you try on a pair, you still need a bit of extra room in the toe box or around the sides. So instead, you look for shoes in size 9.5 or 10.
If you've often found normal-sized shoes to be too tight, you can also try wide shoe sizes. Wide sizes are a great way to buy a bit of extra space while staying true to your shoe size. However, our Lima style is built with an extra roomy toe box for those who want some breathing room for their toes, so they won’t have to worry about it.
Women who find their shoes to be too tight can also try switching to men's shoes, which have a slightly larger width—though they're not as wide as true wide sizes.
A good fit is also about having flexibility and space where it matters. Flexible material lets a shoe mold to the shape of your foot as you move, which is critical if you have an active job. Shoes with rigid material that doesn't move can limit your range of motion, and fighting against such immovable material all day can be exhausting—making your day a lot more challenging to get through. To avoid this, make sure you choose flexible shoes.
Once you've got the right fit, then you can look at the soles. This is the area most people think about when they think of comfortable shoes.
Insoles are the part of your shoes that relieve the most immediate pressure against your feet. It's crucial that the insoles in any pair of shoes are soft and cushy to help prevent sore feet while you work.
Outsoles work to protect your feet against whatever terrain comes your way. If you're working outside or on the go, proper outsoles are crucial—whether it's an awkward step, a rough path, or just tons of stairs, outsoles that can absorb terrain changes.
Taking the pressure off your feet is a huge benefit when it comes to relieving physical stress throughout a work day.
It's also essential that the upper material in your shoes is breathable. This means cool air needs to flow in while hot air flows out. Shoes that aren't breathable trap the heat from your feet inside the shoe and compound discomfort, making it harder for your body to thermoregulate (maintain the right body temperature).
Breathability is important for all work shoes, but especially so if you're active at work since your feet are likely to heat up as the day goes on.
Making your everyday routines more efficient can alleviate stress and allow you to focus on what matters. Why spend a few minutes putting on and tying your shoes each morning when you can slip them on in seconds? While this may seem like a small difference, it could easily be the difference between arriving on time or late. If nothing else, the convenience can truly help you feel more in control of your time.
Now comes the time for the fun part—choosing the shoe style you like best! When looking at different styles, remember the practical needs of your workplace as well as any dress standards that might apply.
Here are some of the best Kizik shoes to wear at work:
Let's kick things off with the most formal shoe in our Kizik collection, the Vegas. Thanks to a premium full-grain leather upper, the classic sneaker style of the Vegas is elevated for a modern look with an elegant touch.
Unlike most leather shoes, our Vegas shoes are equipped with top-of-the-line comfort and convenience features.
Our slip-on HandsFree Labs® technology is only the beginning. You'll also enjoy Rabbit Foam™ outsoles and soft, airy insoles to make every step as comfortable as possible.
Similar to our Vegas style, our Prague shoe is an elevated take on a classic sneaker look.
This style offers a smooth combination of durable canvas and genuine suede leather, making for a breathable, put-together look. These shoes aren't quite as casual as mesh sneakers, but they're still versatile enough for any kind of outfit.
In more casual workplaces, our Lima is the perfect athleisure style to wear! A super breathable mesh upper complements all the comfort and convenience features you've come to expect from our Kizik styles, including our HandsFree Labs® easy entry and exit, Rabbit Foam™ outsoles, soft removable insoles, and more.
The Lima is an especially ideal style for those with active jobs, thanks to a lightweight build and extra space in the toes to help you adjust your feet to any position while you work.
Like our Lima, our Athens style is geared for an athleisure lifestyle and is perfect for casual, active workplaces. If you prefer a more snug fit without sacrificing any of the everyday performance features geared in our Lima style, the Athens is the shoe for you!
Looking for a sleek, sustainable style with top levels of quality and comfort? Look no further than our Madrid Eco-Knit sneakers. This shoe has 4-way stretch with a breathable upper made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles.
Eco-friendly and casual-workplace-friendly, our Madrid Eco-Knit style is a great option for mindful, practical workplace footwear.
Whatever your job, we know that one of our Kizik styles will be an ideal fit for your workplace footwear needs!
Offices Across the US Are Getting More Casual With Workplace Attire | NY Post
Shoe Width: Sizes, Measurement, Foot Issues, and Home Remedies | Healthline
Thermoregulation: Types, How It Works, and Disorders | Medical News Today