- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.
After more than two years of pandemic life, our wardrobes have shifted from all-day loungewear to bold statement pieces. As people return to the office, hop back on planes, head out to indoor dinners and catch up on all those postponed weddings, some uncomfortable clothing items have been kicked out of our closets — and that includes blister-inducing heels.
Maybe you’ve decided to give your high-heeled steppers the boot for good, or maybe you’re still easing back into the stiletto habit. Either way, if you’re looking for the best comfortable flat shoes, the good news is that we’ve found a style for every occasion.
When rounding up some of our favorite flat footwear, we looked for on-trend styles like summer espadrilles and tried-and-true classics like luxe leather loafers. We also looked for casual basics to wear every day as well as dressy slides, mules, and ballet flats that’ll take you from the office to happy hour (sans the blisters).
We also wanted to make sure to choose flats that are truly comfortable. Even if they don’t have a heel, poorly designed flat shoes can result in pinched toes, blistered heels and aching legs from standing all day with inadequate arch support.
Design elements like cushioned insoles can help with the foot support factor, and supple material helps prevent chafing. We will note that especially with styles like a ballet flat or materials like stiff genuine leather, your shoes may still need a little breaking in before they’re totally comfortable (and price tags aren’t necessarily an indicator of higher comfort).
Ahead, check out some of the best women’s flat shoes, from classic Gucci mules and Birks to sandals that’ll pair perfectly with your favorite nap dress.
1. Ma’am Shoes Dolly Sandals
If you envy the sunny California style of Mandy Moore, you can (sorta) step into her stylish and comfortable shoes with this pair of chic crocodile-embossed leather sandals, which she designed with longtime friend and Hollywood hairstylist Ashley Streicher for Ma’am Shoes. The L.A.-based footwear label is restocking the sold-out Dolly style, which features a sheepskin-wrapped foam sole that molds to your feet over time and is finished with elastic X-shaped straps that fit most foot widths. They’re available for pre-order for summer shipping, and proceeds of the limited-edition sandals will be donated to National Network of Abortion Funds to help support reproductive rights for women across the U.S.
2. Rothy’s The Flat
HRH Meghan Markle, Mandy Moore and Gal Gadot are just a few stars who’ve been spotted in sustainable and machine-washable shoes by Rothy’s, which makes some of the most comfortable flats we’ve worn. Like all of the brand’s styles, these round-toe flats are made from eco-conscious knitted materials spun from plastic water bottles. The brand is equally known for its foot-hugging silhouettes that require no break-in periods, so you can step right into this pair and enjoy all-day comfort.
3. A New Day Celeste Mules
Perfect for those spring and summer weddings, A New Day’s Celeste mules are available in sizes for wide feet. These chic pointy-toed flats are finished with an elasticized strap that make them easy to slip on and off.
4. Dr. Scholl’s x Ganni Original Slide Sandals
A favorite among the cool-girl set, Ganni recently teamed with Dr. Scholl’s, the insoles brand synonymous with making shoes walkable. These comfortable slides blend the luxury fashion brand’s Scandi-cool aesthetic with Dr. Scholl’s iconic wooden sandal silhouette featuring a natural beechwood sole and organic cotton straps.
5. Tamara Mellon Luster Sandals
There’s a reason why Tamara Mellon’s luxe footwear is a red carpet favorite. The designer’s Pillow Top collection includes pairs cushioned with eight millimeters of high-density memory foam that absorbs energy with every step and molds to your foot. (Translation: You’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds.) These suede Luster sandals — also available in dark blue and black — feature the same double-layered insole and sparkling crystal embellishments as Mellon’s sky-high stilettos, but wearers won’t need to worry about perfecting their balancing act with this pair.
6. Allbirds Tree Breezers Flats
If you prefer a rounded ballet flat with a slightly square toe, your feet will fit right into Allbirds’ Tree Breezer flats, which are made of responsibly sourced eucalyptus fibers. The eco-conscious shoes are designed to minimize odors and conform to your feet, thanks to the carbon-negative foam outsole made from Brazilian sugarcane and an insole made from castor bean oil and ZQ Merino wool.
7. Everlane The Mary Jane
Available in suede or nappa leather, Everlane’s Mary Jane flats have an adjustable ankle closure and a cushioned insole to keep you comfortable. The soles are made of recycled rubber and the brand suggests going up a half size if you have wider feet or if you wear a size 7 shoe or up to ensure the best fit.
8. Aerosoles Aware x Laura Ashley Olivia Sandals
Aerosoles is no longer just the shoe brand worn by your comfort-minded aunt or grandma (and there’s nothing wrong with that, either). The orthopedic footwear label has gotten a stylish makeover in recent years, and it recently teamed with cult-favorite British brand Laura Ashley on floral-print sandals, clogs and boots to go with its capsule collection of cottagecore dresses. This playful pair from Aerosoles’ Aware line features eco-conscious and cruelty-free materials (such as vegan leather and plush faux fur), a comfortable platform sole, a memory foam footbed and padded insoles, all with Laura Ashley’s signature botanical pattern.
9. Gucci Princetown Mules
Label lovers have no shortage of comfortable designer shoes, such as Gucci’s iconic Princetown mules — seen on everyone from Jennifer Aniston and Gigi Hadid to Kris Jenner and Katie Holmes. The luxury Italian fashion house’s beloved backless flats feature its signature red and green webstrap detailing and horsebit hardware on a comfortable silhouette.
10. Birdies The Dove Flats
Like Allbirds and Rothy’s, Birdies is yet another direct-to-consumer brand that makes some of the best comfortable flats for women. The brand has expanded beyond cozy indoor slippers after shoppers demanded comfy styles for outside of the house, and its seven-layer cushion technology “combines the support of a sneaker, the softness of a slipper and the style of a designer flat.” You’ll find all of that in these woven vegan leather women’s slides (available in other colors) that feature a 15-millimeter heel and a no-slip rubber sole.
11. Reike Nen Farmer’s Slippers
Try the gardener chic look with Seoul-based brand Reike Nen’s farmer slippers, which feature a comfy clog-inspired silhouette without the platform. This pair has a lightweight sole and an open heel for comfort, and the brown leather upper is finished with piping detailing.
12. Naturalizer Vivienne Ballet Flats
Sometimes it doesn’t get any simpler than a chic pair of neutral ballet flats, like this pair by Naturalizer. They feature the brand’s signature Contour+ design, a comfortable round toe, a plush footbed with arch support and stylish stitching.
13. Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Slide Sandals
If you don’t already know, it’s high time to learn. Birkenstock’s well-deserved fame is due to the unique contoured footbed, which provides arch support and adapts to the exact shape of your foot the more you wear them. They never go out of style for long, and the big buckles on this pair give the classic Arizona style a chic update.
14. Soludos x Jason Polan Wink Espadrilles
Espadrilles are another perennially on-trend summer flat, and a stylish yet comfy alternative to sandals — just in case you’re a little behind on your pedicures. Cult brand Soludos is a go-to for espadrilles of all kinds, from the simple and preppy to the slightly whimsical, like this winking pair from its collaboration with artist Jason Polan.
15. Beek Palila Sandals
If you need a slightly dressier shoe but your toes still want to feel free, the good news is that slides are still very much a thing. Beek is known for its handmade leather sandals that have molded arch support, resulting in comfortable steppers that the brand says “get better with age.” These black leather sandals feature a simple criss-cross design that’s very of-the-moment, and socially-conscious shoppers will be happy to know that the company donates the equivalent of five meals to a child in need with every pair of shoes sold.
16. Tod’s Gommini Metallic Leather Driving Loafers
Everyone should own at least one pair of classic penny loafers, so why not start with an icon — and in an unexpected metallic finish, no less? (Other colors and textures are available if silver isn’t your thing.) There has never been a wrong place for Tod’s, which is known for its Gommino driving shoes that are set on 133 hand-applied rubber pebbles for added grip and comfort.
17. Clarks Women’s Trish Plant Clogs
Comfort is the Clarks brand’s whole reason for being, but orthopedic doesn’t have to mean hideous. These elegant mules (available in other patterns and solid colors) are made with an OrthoLite footbed and PU foam to cushion your foot all day long, with a smooth interior that feels nice even on bare feet.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day