The Worst Shoes to Wear to the Office

Figuring out how to master your wardrobe in a professional setting can sometimes be difficult to navigate. It’s often a tricky balance to personal style with professional style in a work setting—and shoes are no exception. The issue gets even more complicated when fashion enters the equation. What are the best styles to wear, and which ones should you skip in the office?

To find out from a veteran of both the fashion industry and a professional office setting, I asked Michelle Scanga from Who What Wear to weigh in with her take on which shoes are best to wear at the office—and the style she wouldn’t recommend. "Wearing shoes that you can’t confidently walk in is a big no in my book,” she says, "along with sky-high stiletto heels.”

While towering stilettos are a no in her book, she has some recommendations for what to wear instead. "I think it’s better to err on the more conservative side and opt for a moderate heel height,” she says, "or you really can't go wrong with a block heel.”

If you’re in the market for some new office-appropriate shoes that are also fashion girl–approved, go on to see my edit of the best new styles to add to your closet right now.

Moderate Heel Height


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

As Scanga recommends, a moderate heel height is always a great bet for the office. You can choose a style ranging from closed-toe slingbacks to open-toe sandals to ankle boots depending on your personal style and office culture.

Block Heels


(Image credit: @styleheroine)

Another great office shoe style that Scanga recommends is block heels. The comfortable shoes are easy to walk in so are a great option to wear all day long.

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated. Next: Shop my best purchases from this month.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.