20 Stylish Flats That Prove Comfortable Shoes Can Mean Business Too

Updated 09/18/19
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a woman in work-approved flats
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Just like some days at the office call for a powerful pair of heels, others require something a bit more practical. Well, we have good news for anyone who's sick of wearing pumps and ready to store those boots until winter: The right pair of flats will summon the same amount of power in the boardroom without all the discomfort.

In an effort to take the pressure off the balls of feet while still looking polished, we asked our friends over at Who What Wear for some fashion guidance. Assistant editor Anna LaPlaca came to the rescue by sharing the most on-trend and professional-looking styles of flats for work so you can fill up your shopping carts wisely.

Ready to step into something a little more comfortable? Read on to find out her style tips as well as the top four picks for each type of flat to wear to work, from refined classics to edgy statement-makers, to laid-black kicks, and to everything in between.

Oxfords, Brogues, and Loafers

a woman in comfortable work shoes
We the People Style
"Maybe it's just me, but I've been noticing the quiet return of the Oxford shoe," LaPlaca says. "While celebrities are wearing the lace-ups casually with jeans, they also make for an ideal pair of shoes for work, as they will always look smart."

If you're not ready to go full-on Charlie Chaplin, opt for a pair of embellished loafers. A buckle on the toe can add just the right amount of personality while also dressing things up a bit for the office. 

Repetto Zizi Oxford Shoes
Repetto Zizi Oxford Shoes $258
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Available in sizes 36 to 40.5.

Sam Edelman Jordy Flat
Sam Edelman Jordy Flat $130
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Available in sizes 4 to 13.

Mansur Gavriel Classic Loafers
Mansur Gavriel Classic Loafers $295
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Available in sizes 35 to 41.

Lucky Brand Adelha Leather Flat Loafers
Lucky Brand Adelha Leather Flat Loafers $89
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Available in sizes 6 to 11.

Slingback Flats

a woman wearing slingback flats
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"If you love the appeal of a pair of slingback pumps, save your feet the potential pain and try out this pretty flat trend," LaPlaca suggests. We happen to agree that "there's nothing to not love about these flats." The shape of these shoes is also timeless, so you won't have to worry about them going out of style, especially if you opt for a neutral hue (though we're also all for a bold statement). 

Diane Von Furstenberg Koko Leather Slingback Flats
Diane Von Furstenberg Koko Leather Slingback Flats $230 $69
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Available in sizes 5 to 9.

Madewell The Isla Slingback Flats
Madewell The Isla Slingback Flats $98
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Steven by Steve Madden Suede Slingback Flats
Steven by Steve Madden Suede Slingback Flats $99 $65
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Available in sizes 5.5 to 10.

Tory Burch Kira Slingback Flats
Tory Burch Kira Slingback Flats $268
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Mules and Slides

a woman wearing mules
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If you're only going to purchase one pair of flats this season, let these be them.

"Where backless loafers reigned supreme [in 2017], flat mules have replaced them in 2018," LaPlaca says. "Sleeker and more pared-back, [2018's] crop of flat mules is rendered in a color palette of pastels."
Malone Souliers by Roy Luwolt Emanuel Ungaro Amelie Leather Point-Toe Flats
Malone Souliers by Roy Luwolt Emanuel Ungaro Amelie Leather Point-Toe Flats $525 $158
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Available in sizes 35 through 42.

Sam Edelman Laurna Mule
Sam Edelman Laurna Mule $120
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Available in sizes 5 through 11.

Dolce Vita Grant Genuine Calf Hair Flat Mule
Dolce Vita Grant Genuine Calf Hair Flat Mule $130
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Available in sizes 6 through 10.

Madewell The Gemma Mule
Madewell The Gemma Mule $98 $74
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Available in sizes 5 through 11.

Ballet Flats

a professional woman in ballet flats
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Ballet-inspired flats will always have a special place in our hearts and shoe collections. If you want something a bit more structured, opt for something with a strap and keep things au courant with plaid prints, lavender hues, metallic materials, and embellished accents. Say it with us: more is more.

Attico Julia Tiger-Print Calf Hair Point-Toe Flats
Attico Julia Tiger-Print Calf Hair Point-Toe Flats $1,060 $318
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Available in sizes 36 through 40.

Frye Sienna Pointy Toe Ballet Flat
Frye Sienna Pointy Toe Ballet Flat $178 $89
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Available in sizes 6 through 10.

Sam Edleman Rodney d'Orsay Flats
Sam Edelman Rodney d'Orsay Flats $100
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Available in sizes 4 through 10.5.

Aquazzura Deneuve Ballet Flats
Aquazzura Deneuve Ballet Flats $695
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Available in sizes 35 through 41.

Babouches and Make-Your-Own Slides

a woman in flats
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On the other hand, minimalism isn't going anywhere either. So if you're looking for something a little less bold, here's the flat style you should consider.

"Wear these easygoing flats as they are, or step on the heel to create your own pair of slides," LaPlaca says. "The versatile shoes will fit in seamlessly with the rest of your closet."
Martiniano Glove Shoe in Antelope
Martiniano Glove Shoe in Antelope $437
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Available in sizes 36.5 to 40.

Everlane Mule Shoes
Everlane Mule Shoes $145
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Mango Pointed Toe Leather Babouche
Mango Pointed Toe Leather Babouche $60
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Available in sizes 5 to 10.

Mango Fabric Babouches
Mango Fabric Babouches $80 $40
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Available in sizes 6 to 9.5.

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