You know you have the perfect “going out” outfit when you find your finger gravitating towards selfie mode on your smartphone. Shoes are quite literally the make-or-break foundation of any look. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that, above any other garment, shoes most accurately illustrate your socioeconomic standing. So yes, it’s absolutely in your best interest to put your best feet forward.
But at the end of the night, we often find ourselves cursing our former selves for choosing fashion over function. That’ll no longer be the case when you find out you can have your shoes and wear them out, too.
Ash Aviator Twill Men’s Brogues, $99.95 at TOMS
The key is to think of walking shoe brands you already know and love, and scope out their classier inventory. These brogues will do as good for the community as they’ll do for your feet, with their perforated insoles providing a breath of fresh air. Plus, the color is light enough to lighten the mood and dark enough to get you on the VIP guestlist.
Royal Reverse, $199 at Greats
Like the name suggests, these no-BS sneakers go with everything from a pair of trousers and a sports jacket to a mid-length dress. Whether you opt for gold or silver soles, pops of metallic hues in unexpected places make a tasteful statement. Leather interiors mean socks are optional and odor-free.
Jovin Oxford, $180 at UGG
Camel-colored slipper-boots first popularized the Australian brand, but full-grain leather Oxfords complete with arch support and moisture-wicking fabric are keeping them on our radar a decade later. Pair them with your favorite jeans or dress pant for all-day comfort.
Women’s Stevie Sling, $29.99 at Payless
Killer price, killer comfort. Thanks to the plush cushioning along the base of your foot, you don’t even notice the one-inch heel. This style also comes in wide width, which is great if you know your feet tend to swell after a long day.
Eileen Fisher Women’s Eddy Patent Leather Platform Loafers, $225 at Bloomingdale's
A glossy finish is both work- and play-appropriate, while a platform adds a little bit of height and laces allowing you to control your support. Memory foam contours your foot so you feel like you’re floating on a cloud—not running up a flight of stairs or slaying on the dance floor.
Marge Slingback Shoes, $250 at Timberland
If there’s anyone to trust with the comfort of your foot, it’s the makers of steel-toe boots designated for construction workers. Here, you get that same indestructible support with a sturdy heel and utilitarian slingback to prevent chafing.
Hurston Cherry Red Arcadia, $150 at Dr. Marten's
Your standard combat boots get an upgrade with a thick heel that can survive everything from long sprints to the subway to endless trips to bar. Since the platform is an inch high, you only feel 2.5 inches of the 3.5-inch heel—if that, since the air-cushioned sole is a pillow for your feet.
Men’s Gold Cup Exeter Penny Loafer, $124.99 at Sperry's
Sperry's have become the de facto yacht-lounging, whiskey-sipping uniform, and now, they’re about to become your go-to night out shoes, too. Rock them with a fitted suit or your favorite pair of trousers without the need for thick, stuffy socks. You want to take advantage of that foam footbed and smooth lambskin lining, after all.
Maison Margiela Calf Leather Pointed-Toe Block-Heel Mules, $895 at Neiman Marcus
The thing about mules is that they cut your battered ankles some slack, which are prone to blisters once you start walking and sweating at the same time. Soft leather coats the instep of the foot to keep it locked in place, while its block heel extends outwards for additional support (Maison Margiela had to have consulted a civil engineer on this style, I mean…)
Naot Magnate, $239.95 at Zappos
From the Executive line comes a lace-up wing-top Oxford complete with perforated detailing and shock-absorbent rubber soles. Hand-painted in ombre ink brown, cognac brandy or charcoal, they’re as breathable as they are versatile for any occasion and climate.
Cole Haan Men’s GrandPro Runner Sneakers, $150 at Macy's
These sneakers have the class and timelessness of a luxurious leather chair—and they’re just as comfortable. With a suede upper and rubber roles, these sneakers have the feel of a running shoe with the look of something a lot dressier.
Vans Old Skool Suede Trainers in Burgundy, $72 at ASOS
The same way the Nike swoosh conjures images of a basketball court, so too does the Vans Old School thick white line evoke a skatepark. Not exactly VIP lounge friendly, but this decked out rendition uses wine-stained suede for an element of class with that same Vans comfort you know and love.
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