18 Stylish Flats That Prove Comfortable Shoes Can Mean Business Too

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, 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.

Meet the Expert

Anna LaPlaca is an Assistant Editor at Who What Wear and resident fashion maven extraordinaire.

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
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"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

Available in sizes 36 to 40.5.

The Starling Loafer
Birdies The Starling Loafer in Black Velvet $95

Available in sizes 5 to 12.

Mansur Gavriel Classic Loafers
Mansur Gavriel Classic Loafers $295 $207

Available in sizes 35 to 41.

Lucky Brand Adelha Leather Flat Loafers
Lucky Brand Adelha Leather Flat Loafers $89 $53

Available in sizes 6, 6.5, and 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). 

The Rockstud leather slingback flats
Valentino The Rockstud Leather Slingback Flats $745

Available in sizes IT35 to IT40.5.

The Editor Slingback
Everlane The Editor Slingback in Rosewood Suede $155

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

J.Crew Gwen Slingback Flats With Bow in Velvet $158

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Kira Slingback Pointy Toe Flat
Tory Burch Kira Slingback Pointy Toe Flat $268

Available in sizes 5 to 10.

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."
Vegan Austin Mule Flat
BC Footwear Vegan Austin Mule Flat $79

Available in sizes 6 through 11.

Sam Edelman Laurna Mule
Sam Edelman Laurna Mule $120

Available in sizes 5 through 12.

Natalya Mule
Sam Edelman Natalya Mule $60

Available in sizes 5 through 11.

Princetown Loafer Mule
Gucci Princetown Loafer Mule $695

Available in sizes 4 through 12.

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.

Lauren scalloped leather ballet flats
Chloé Lauren Scalloped Leather Ballet Flats $495

Available in sizes IT34 through IT42.

Felicia Flat
Sam Edelman Felicia Flat $100

Available in sizes 4 through 13.

Rodney Pointy Toe d'Orsay Flat
Sam Edelman Rodney Pointy Toe d'Orsay Flat $70

Available in sizes 6 through 10.

Aquazzura Deneuve Ballet Flats
Aquazzura Deneuve Ballet Flats $695

Available in sizes 35.5 through 38.5.

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."
La Babouche
Osay La Babouche in Iris $145

Available in sizes 6 to 11.

Everlane Mule Shoes
Everlane Mule Shoes $145

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

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