Aesthetically, I Hate Flats and Love Heels—These Brands Make Sure My Feet Do Too


(Image credit: @elizagracehuber; Pictured: By Far Nadia Sandals ($396); Reformation Gina High Heel Ruched Sandal ($248); Nomasei Croc Embossed Venus Sandals ($280); Open Edit Sheena Sandal ($60))

I'm a Libra, so naturally, I am full of contradictions. I hate when people are late but I'm constantly running behind. I always want to pick the restaurant but can't for the life of me come up with one once I'm given the chance. The list goes on and on. But perhaps my most contradictory quality is that I live in New York City, where walking is paramount to getting practically anywhere, and yet, I wear heels 24/7.

Because 99% of the time, I refuse to wear flats, I've had to withstand a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding heels that look good and won't warrant a cab ride home. Ahead, discover all the shoe brands, from Manolo Blahnik to Reformation, that check off both of my footwear requirements (and more).

1. By Far

There's a reason why every fashion girl owns at least one pair of By Far shoes. Apart from being ridiculously stylish and well-priced considering the quality, the cult-favorite brand's selection of heels also manages to be extremely comfortable, which is a feat in the world of footwear. 

Shop By Far heels:

2. Wandler

Elza Wandler's namesake brand is known for its unique styles and mid-range prices, but until you actually slip one of her shoes on, you can't know just how comfortable they are as well. I, myself, own four pairs of Wandler shoes, two of which are heels, and all of which have accompanied me on countless miles-long journeys around NYC. 

Shop Wandler heels:

3. Open Edit

Open Edit, Nordstrom's in-house fashion label, has a knack for creating trendy, affordable designs that look and feel great on. And its footwear is no different than its apparel offering. I put the brand's beloved Sheena sandal to the test a few months back by walking over 17,000 steps in them and they more than passed. 

Shop Open Edit heels:

4. Reformation

If you've been sleeping on Reformation's footwear thus far in your shopping career in favor of its pretty linen and silk dresses, this is your sign to wake up. Comfortable, stylish, and well-priced, the brand's heels (and more) are perfect for anyone who likes simple yet elegant shoes that will go with just about anything. 

Shop Reformation heels:

5. Jimmy Choo

Though Jimmy Choo is most often celebrated for its aesthetic appeal (and for good reason—every pair is stunning), it's important to also remember the craftsmanship involved in making every last pair the brand makes. And when a shoe is really well-made, comfort is always taken into account. 

Shop Jimmy Choo heels:

7. Zara

Zara's shoe selection is proof that you don't have to spend a ton of money to get a good pair of shoes. Trust me, I have Zara heels that have been in my wardrobe for over a decade that have held up even after miles of walking on pavement. 

8. Malone Souliers

If you don't believe me when I say that Malone Souliers are comfortable, believe Shopbop's review section for the brand which is full of sentiments like this one: "I was worried I'd have to return them because the heel may be too high but they're JUST RIGHT and SUPER COMFORTABLE!! I can't believe how comfortable these beautiful feathered heels are."

Shop Malone Souliers heels:

10. Schutz

Schutz is known for making shoes that look way more expensive than they are, with many of its pairs costing until $150. Even better, that price cap hasn't caused the brand to sacrifice comfort or craftsmanship, with many reviewers on Amazon noting how comfortable and walkable their Schutz heels are. 

Shop Schutz heels:

11. Amina Muaddi

Is there any shoe brand more buzzy right now than Amina Muaddi? I'd argue not by a landslide. Not only is the designer leading the charge when it comes to PVC, glass, and Barbie heels, she's also frequently making it onto fashion's most influential dresses, from Rihanna to Hailey Bieber. It doesn't hurt her case either that between the brand's wedge pumps and shapely heels, every major style is surprisingly comfortable. 

Shop Amina Muaddi heels:

12. Staud

For a brand that's main focus is ready-to-wear, Sarah Staudinger's Los Angeles-based brand Staud makes a fantastic shoe (and handbag). Comfortable and accessible, yet still stylish, Staud's heels more than deserve a spot in your footwear rotation. 

Shop Staud heels:

13. Manolo Blahnik

When it comes to craftsmanship and quality, no shoe brand does it better than Manolo Blahnik. From its best-selling Maysale mules to trendier Pertinanu and Pallera styles, you can bet that when you purchase a pair of Manolos, it'll last—and always look incredible. 

Shop Manolo Blahnik heels:

14. Nomasei

Nomasei founders Paule Tenaillon and Marine Braquet met each other at Chloé, where they both ended up after long stints working in fashion, Tenaillon as a footwear designer at Givenchy, Jil Sander, and Chanel, and Braquet as a product manager at Dior and Louis Vuitton. In other words, the duo knows how to create a beautifully-crafted shoe, and even better, one that's sustainable and moderately priced. 

Shop Nomasei heels:

15. Aquazzura

Aquazzura founder Edgardo Osorio designs footwear for the modern woman, which inherently means that comfort is a huge factor in the design process. That said, the brand's attention to comfort doesn't one bit take away from its selection's style factor. Offering up both trendy and classic footwear options, there's a little something for every shopper at the Italian brand. 

Shop Aquazzura heels:

Next up: I Put 5 Heeled Sandals to the 10,000-Steps Test—I'd Do It Again in These

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.