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Top 3 Most Comfortable Shoe Brands for Walking and Working

I’ve always been on the lookout for comfy footwear.  While I’ve found some comfortable shoe brands, one has really stood out–the good news is, it’s also the cheapest out of all the brands I’ve tried.

While I’ll talk about that one first, the runner-ups will follow.  All of these are comfortable shoe brands, but #1 is definitely my preference.

#1 Comfy Shoe: Dexflex Comfort Flat

My ultimate favorite work shoe is the Dexflex.  They have multiple versions of their flats, but my favorite is the Carolina String Tie Flat.  It retails for about $25 (list price is $29.99, but I’ve never actually seen it for that).

I own this style of shoe in multiple colors, and will continue to buy more colors as they release more.

Comfortable Shoe Brands comfy footware

I have to thank my coworker Melinda M. for introducing me to this shoe.  We were at a conference and I was wearing a comfort-style shoe.  But the marble floors were still getting to my feet and my dogs were barking.

Melinda instructed me to go to Payless and get the “shoes that look kinda bendy that have a tie on them“.  I came back with a pair of these and my feet were fine for the next two days of the conference.

They have padding in the right places, and are slightly curved to conform to your foot shape.  I have really high arches and am a toe walker, so flats are usually really difficult for me.  I walk on my toes in these all the time and they stay on my foot the same way my ballet shoes used to,

I walk 5-7 miles a day, and I used to switch into my flipflops to do that.  Not only do I keep these shoes on my feet for walking now, but I am also able to wear them multiple days in a row without having to switch out my shoes.  (Usually, I need to rotate shoes so I don’t get calluses or sore feet).

Here’s it in motion on my treadmill desk at work:

These are really comfortable walking shoes.

As of this posting, there’s a sale on Payless.com, 15% off purchase plus free shipping (with purchase of $25 or more) with promo code ZZPROMO . 

#2 Comfy Shoe: Reef Krystal Star

While heels are my preferred “mode of transportation” (aside from airplanes of course!), I can be found in flip flops from time to time.  I know this is a shocking admission to make, but I actually admitted it a while ago on Mommy Point’s blog when I shared her love of reef flip flops.

I started trying to jump on the wedge flip flop trend, but flip flops aren’t really made to be “heels”, so the thong style shoes began cutting into my feet pretty quickly.  Ow.

But when I gave up and went to order a pair of flat reef flip flops, I came across these:

comfortable shoe brand

They were slightly pricey for flip flops, but I was intrigued. I’ve had good luck with returning things I didn’t like to Amazon, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

And wow.  These are airport-sprinting-long-walk-taking-staircase-climbing flip flops. I’ve been living in these lately, and my feet feel great!

The straps on the flop flops are soft up against my feet and don’t cut in at all.  Somehow they support my feet really well too, and I have yet to trip in them.  The only problem with them is they aren’t work appropriate.  Before I found shoe #1, I was covertly swapping into the flip flops in my office and throwing my heels back on for meetings.

But I do use these when walking around my neighborhood–especially early morning dog-walkings.

It runs anywhere from $20-$35.  I add these shoes to my shopping list, so when I’m shopping on Amazon.com, I can see when the price drops.  Occasionally, and I stress occasionally, I’ve found them for less than $15.

#3 Comfy Shoe: Cole Haan Tali Collection

These heels were formerly branded as Nike Air, but are still the same type of shoe.  The Cole Haan Tali Collection is meant to feel like sneakers, but act like heels.

While they don’t exactly feel like sneakers, they definitely take the pressure off your feet the way sneakers do.  I never got a foot ache from these shoes, and have even bartended in the Nike version of them in the past.

Tali Grand most comfortable shoe brands

This is the style I used for bartending.  The foot bed is quilted and ends up being very comfy.  The bottom of the shoe is no slip, and out of all the comfortable shoe brands I’ve tried, this is the most slip resistant one.

There are shoes that look more “work” like and basically look like regular wedge heels.

tali grand pink most comfortable shoe brands

These definitely look the most work-friendly out of the three but there’s multiple reasons why they aren’t #1.  First of all, the price point is over $100 (compared to $25 on the Dexflex).  Full price is $180, but out of season styles can go for $110.  (Out of season is just not a color they are currently producing more of–the look hasn’t really changed over the years).  I’ve been able to get them on sale for half-price off the clearance price (down to $55) by subscribing to their newsletter and waiting for the right coupon.

Right now you can get an extra 30% off the sale styles by using the coupon EXTRA30.  It does not apply to the full price show.

Another reason why it isn’t #1 is that most of the shoes are patent–which I like–but those styles bruised the heck out of my toes when using them.  I’d never seen bruising like that before from shoes.  I didn’t get blisters or callouses, just these red splotches across the tops of all my toes.  I was able to fix this by covering the inside with moleskin, but I don’t like having to fix $180 shoes.

The last reason snuck up on me over time.  I was walking in these pretty substantially, and I ended up injuring my IT band.  So while they were relieving the pressure from my feet, they were still putting pressure on my knees.  It was more subtle than achy feet, but definitely added up over time.  Now it’s so much easier to injure my IT band because of my overuse of these heels when walking.

I will still wear them in the office sometimes, but will switch to one of the two shoes above for walking on my treadmill long-term.

I want to stress, this product does not injure you in normal usage.  I was literally walking 5-7 miles a day in them.  That is what gave me the knee injury.   So you can walk in these, but I wouldn’t walk too much.

Conclusions about the most comfortable shoe brands

These are all products I’ve come to love after years and years of trying different shoes.  I have a shoe rack as tall as me at my house and still have a pile of shoes in front of it.  With how many shoes I own, the three types of comfortable shoe brands above make up about 90% of my shoe-usage, if not more.

What are your go to shoes for comfort?  Do you have favorite comfortable shoe brands?

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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9 comments

  1. Have you ever tried out any Oka-B shoes? I recently got a few pairs (one was a pair of flats and the other is a cute sandal) and I’ve been really impressed. They are my go to travel shoe because they are comfortable enough to walk in. My sandals can be easily dressed up or down so they are good for the beach or a nicer dinner. The biggest benefit for me is that they can easily be washed because of the material they are made out of. It seems like my kids are always dumping their dinner on my feet so it’s nice to not end up with a pair of ruined shoes after fruit punch lands on them…

  2. My favorite walking shoes are born, abeo and dansko. The born’s I look for on clearance racks at Elder-Beerman. I never pay more than 25 dollars for a pair of Born Shoes that retail for close to a hundred. The ABEO and Dansko shoes are another story. Even marked down they are close to a hundred dollars. But in any of these shoes I can be on my feet all day on concrete floors and not have the feet hurt.

  3. Rockport seven to seven brand is similar to the Tali shoe in that it feels more like a sneaker insole. I wear these heels to work daily, and prefer the more traditional pump styling to the Tali.

  4. I can attest to the ABEO brand. I broke my leg late Jan. 2016 and I’m walking now without assistance. They are the only shoes that I can wear all day without a lot if pain.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I just looked them up and they have different cushioning based on whether you are flat footed, a toe walker, etc. That’s great! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I tried the Dexflex Flat and sadly I couldn’t find a size that fit right (all were either too big or too small).

    I recently got the Me Too Felise Ballet Flat from DSW, so far, so good!

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