Living in New York City, I walk for miles every day and have gradually stopped wearing heels altogether.
There's nothing worse than new heels stuck in subway grates or your shoe sliding off your foot while you sprint to cross the street before the light turns.
So instead, I wear flats.
Classic ballet flats for work, cute embellished flats for drinks and dinner, or casual loafer flats for weekend errands – I even pack soft leather flats for travel!
After trying so many brands over the years (both designer and orthopedic), I've finally found a couple tried and true brands that make chic, comfortable flats the best option there is!
So, if you're also looking for comfy flats that will support your feet while still coordinating with your wardrobe – keep reading!
The Most Comfortable Flats
There are a couple brands in particular that focus on comfortable flats. Below, we've chosen our favorite styles that are both comfortable and stylish!
- Best Parisian Ballet Flat: Margaux
- Best Flats: Everlane
- Best Affordable Flats: Hush Puppies
- Most Stylish Flats: Birdies
- Most Comfortable Flats for Travel: Tory Burch
- Most Comfortable Black Flats: Nine West
- Best Flats for Walking: Frye
- Most Comfortable Classic Flats: Skechers
- Most Comfortable Dressy Flats: Clarks
- Most Comfortable Loafers: Trotters
- Best Ballet Flats: French Sole
- Best Flats for Wide Feet: Naturalizer
- Most Comfortable Designer Flats: Coach
- Most Comfortable Flats for Work: Sam Edelman
- Best Cozy Flats: UGG
- Most Comfortable Driving Moc: VenusCelia
- Best Flats for Plantar Fasciitis: Vionic
Keep reading for reviews of each, or pin this article to save it for later ⇟
Most Comfortable Flats
Best Parisian Ballet Flat: Margaux
As they would say along the Champs-Élysées, ooh-la-la!
Or something like that, right?
These comfortable flats from Margaux perfectly evoke the sophisticated yet somehow still laidback aesthetic of Parisian haute couture.
Featuring soft Italian nappa leather, an adjustable cord for a custom fit, and plush, supportive insoles, these flats will keep you comfortable on your toes all day long!
Best Flats: Everlane
Everlane is my go to for high quality basics that last – and their shoes are no different. With several different styles made from buttery soft 100% Italian leather, it's easy to see why Everlane shoes are a cult favorite.
If you hate toe cleavage, opt for these flats. They truly fit like a glove and mold to your feet over time for that perfect fit.
If you prefer a slimmer look, this flat is sleek and comfortable all day long. It's a great flat to wear to work and can withstand long commutes – and even longer meetings!
Best Affordable Flats: Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies makes an adorable ballet flat that's super comfortable. They're crafted from a breathable suede so your feet don't sweat like crazy and, best of all, they're incredibly affordable. To break them in, I bend the shoe a bit back and forth, and from side to side, to give them some additional stretch and flexibility.
Other things I like about Hush Puppies' flats: the leather is soft and squishy, so they pack down tightly for travel. I also like how the rounded toe doesn't show any toe cleavage and provides enough room for your toes to sit comfortably as you walk.
Best of all, Hush Puppies keeps this flat in their staple shoe line up and offers a huge range of colors, so you can definitely find a shade you like.
Most Stylish Flats: Birdies
Birdies flats are truly as comfortable as they say.
The cheetah calf hair Starling flats are my go to whenever I need to run errands or walk miles. Thanks to a cushy memory foam interior and non slip rubber sole, these flats can withstand miles of concrete pavement and, a year later, still look brand new.
While they are a little pricier, Birdies is one of the few brands that nails both comfort and style. In fact, I have multiple pairs from the brand because they really do offer all day comfort.
Don't just take it from us – even Meghan Markle loves them!
Most Comfortable Flats for Travel: Tory Burch
With over 1,000+ reviews, it's safe to say it's not just me that loves the Tory Burch travel flats! The leather is incredibly soft, the fit is quite comfortable, and these flats work great as a driving shoe or walking shoe.
I've worn them as part of my casual airport outfit with stretchy jeans and a jacket as well as part of my everyday work uniform with a blouse and skirt. I order my usual size, give them about a day to break in, and over time they mold to perfectly cushion my feet.
The best part is Tory Burch makes them in a rainbow of colors and finishes. I particularly like this blush pink ballet flat with the subtle matching pink Tory logo, although there are gold and silver hardware finishes if you prefer more of a statement!
Each pair is very well made, so they'll last you a good couple years.
Most Comfortable Black Flats: Nine West
These Nine West flats are really cute.
They're perfect if you're looking for a classic ballet flat, and I've picked them up in a variety of colors – the black flats especially are very work appropriate with a suit.
If you struggle to find comfortable, stylish flats for work, definitely take a closer look at these Nine West ballet flats. I would also recommend sizing down a half-size as they run slightly big.
Or, you can go with your normal size and add gel inserts for added cushion!
Best Flats for Walking: Frye
The Frye flats are a cult favorite. Comfortable right out of the box, they're versatile enough to match any outfit and durable enough to last miles of walking.
Frye uses super-soft antiqued leather for all its shoes, and these ballet flats are no exception! You can get them in pastel suedes, neutrals or metallic finishes.
The only downside to the Frye flats is the bottoms are really smooth, so you can slip occasionally if you're a fast walker (or klutz) like I am. Just add shoe pads for some grip, and it's not a problem!
Most Comfortable Classic Flats: Skechers
These Skechers are soft, flexible and comfy. Made from a fabric upper, these affordable shoes offer limited stretch, so make sure to buy your regular size!
If you have bunions, you should definitely give these a go! My mom owns several pairs of Skechers as they hide her bunions quite well while still being comfortable enough for everyday wear.
Skechers makes these flats in a range of muted colors and I like the minimalist, logo-free look.
Most Comfortable Dressy Flats: Clarks
Clarks are a go-to for extremely comfortable shoes.
Their cushioned flats are no different, and with tons of styles to choose from, you can find both classic black flats for work and more stylish colorful flats for travel!
Most Comfortable Loafers: Trotters
Comfortable pointed toe flats can be hard to find. Inevitably, the cute ones squish your toes in the front!
Once I discovered Trotters, I was hooked.
These give a really nice menswear vibe to my girlier outfits while still being polished enough to wear to work. I usually pair them with a blouse and ankle pants, and the pointy toe helps make your legs look longer.
I find these loafers super comfortable to wear, even for long periods, as they've got some padding in the insole. They come in black, off white, pink, suede and printed versions.
I also really love these woven flats and think they'd look perfect in the summer!
Best Ballet Flats: French Sole
I'm a huge fan of French Sole.
They make really high-quality ballerina flats as part of their core shoe line, with some embellished versions each season if you want something unique.
The ‘Jigsaw' is a beautiful scalloped shoe that looks very similar to the designer flats Chloe makes (but obviously much more affordable!) and the leather is unbelievably soft – no painful digging into your feet!
It features a rounded toe, so no foot cleavage – thank goodness – and a slight heel just high enough to make you feel like you're not barefoot on the ground. I'd say the foot bed support is light to medium.
In general, French Sole works best for narrow feet. These are available in a huge range of colors – both suede and leather!
Best Flats for Wide Feet: Naturalizer
If you want a comfortable flat for work, consider these Naturalizers, which come in a wide range of neutral shades and have a fun buckle on the front.
They look much more expensive than they are! The footpad is slightly padded and they're a chic, sophisticated flat to match any suit or wide legged trousers.
Naturalizer also makes this loafer that has lots of padding and contoured foot support if you want a menswear-inspired flat!
Most Comfortable Designer Flats: Coach
I typically try to buy shoes made of real leather, since they're better for your feet.
The footbed is lightly padded, the heel doesn't slip off your foot and the micro heel raises them slightly off the ground. I knew when I got these that the classic shape wouldn't go out of style, and they've held up well for years!
Size down a half-size for the best fit!
Most Comfortable Flats for Work: Sam Edelman
Sam Edelman is one of my go-to shoe brands since they make cute, comfortable shoes that look like more expensive designers at a very affordable price point.
Case in point: these classic flats are a great alternative to the Chloe Lauren flats…at less than a fifth of the price.
They have a classic look, with a scalloped edge that works equally well in the office as a work flat as they do on the weekend when worn to brunch with a tee and jeans.
I never get blisters on my heels when I wear these (even if I wear them all day!), and the foot bed is lightly padded. Sam Edelman makes these comfy flats in a couple different neutral colors as well as in both suede and leather.
Best of all? There's no toe cleavage!
Best Cozy Flats: UGG
These UGG loafers feel like wearing clouds on your feet. They're super comfortable, have fantastic arch support, and are great quality!
I wear UGG slippers around the house and most days, transition into these out the door… so it feels like I'm still wearing my slippers to work! UGG says they're made with triple layer foam cushioning to provide that extra support and comfort.
I love the classic metallic flats to add a pop of color to outfits, but you could opt for the black or nude for a more conservative, neutral look. Usually, I have to size up for UGGs.
Most Comfortable Driving Moc: VenusCelia
The real reason the VenusCelia loafer is among the most comfortable flats ever is because – like so many of life's great wonders – this shoe is just so much more than meets the eye!
The rubber sole provides the grip of a topsider, the memory foam insole offers the comfort of a slipper, and the metal ornament adds that touch of Tory Burch class!
Another great thing about these comfy flats? They come in more colors (30) than dollars they cost! How about that??
Best Flats for Plantar Fasciitis: Vionic
Vionic flats are perfect if you have plantar fasciitis.
They're an Australian orthopedic brand dedicated specifically to help those with foot pain, and they even partner with a podiatrist to develop bio-mechanical foot beds in all its shoes. These foot beds provide significant pain relief and arch support.
The effect of all that built-in padding is a cushioned hug for your arches that makes walking on concrete feel natural.
Especially if you have flat feet, you'll be surprised at how Vionic shoes enable you to walk comfortably! I also think they look sharp enough to wear to work, which I can't always say for orthopedic shoes!
The Best Flats 2021 – Summary
To summarize, here are our favorite brands for comfortable flats!
What to Look for in Comfortable Shoes
While it can be relatively easy to find comfy sneakers these days, chic flats are a little tougher.
- Adequate Sole Support
- Breathable Fabric
- A Roomy Toe Box
Not all flats are created equal.
Finding comfortable shoes that don't pinch, squeeze, rub or create blisters can feel impossible. I walk a lot on concrete pavement in New York, so I prefer insoles with a bit more support to cushion and absorb the shock.
Bonus points if they're molded for arch support!
How to Make Flats More Comfortable
If you fall in love with a pair of pretty flats that don't have built-in support, you can try sizing up a half-size and adding shoe inserts and cushions to beef up that comfort!
I also try to stick to high-quality leather or suede shoes without fabric uppers so that my feet can breathe.
There's nothing worse than stinky feet, and usually the culprit is poor-quality shoes. To make my suede shoes last longer, I spray them with this protector when they're straight out of the box!
And finally, for all-day comfortable flats I usually opt for a rounded toe.
I find these offer more room for my toes to spread out while I'm walking. Hope these tips help! What are your tips for finding great flats?
Shop the Best Women's Flats
Read More in my favorite Comfy Shoe series:
Most Comfortable Shoes
The Most Comfortable Sandals for Summer
The Most Comfortable Boots for Winter
The Most Comfortable Heels (you can actually walk in)
The Best White Sneakers that Go with EVERYTHING
Cute Casual Sneakers to Wear Anywhere
The Best Chelsea Boots to Wear All Year Round
The Best Lace Up Boots for Military Inspired Chic
The Best Over the Knee Boots that Make a Statement!
The Best Shearling Boots to Stay Cozy this Winter
The Best Black Combat Boots That Go with Everything
Cozy At Home Shoes
The Best Mules for Easy Slip on Style
The Best Loafers to Look Polished but Stay Comfy
The Best Travel Shoes in Every Style - Sneakers, Slip Ons, Flats & Sandals
Everlane Flats - These 5 Pairs are Extra Comfortable
OluKai Shoes: Sneaker & Sandal Review
Where to Get Stuart Weitzman Boots on Sale
The Best Cap Toe Ballet Flats to Get the Chanel Look, for Less
Classic Chanel Inspired Slingbacks (Two Toned)
The Best Chanel Inspired Espadrilles to Rock All Summer
The Best Manolo Blahnik Lookalikes
The Best Over the Knee Boots that Rival Stuart Weitzman Lowlands!
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