There was a time when work shoes meant boots that you could put on to trudge through the mud to gather freshly laid eggs from your chickens and collect fresh milk from the cow.
However, for the purposes of this article, it is safe to assume that work shoes mean shoes that you can wear to a corporate office and that the office is a traditional workplace rather than a tech company, where you can wear your sneakers and hoodie and bring your skateboard to the office.
So if you are still reading this article, you are someone that goes to a workplace that has a coffee station with mediocre coffee, a kitchen that has a refrigerator with a notice warning about eating coworkers’ food, and a boss that you may or may not like.
You have to be stuck here at least eight hours per day, so why not look fabulous doing it? But you don’t have a lot of money, and you need a bang for your buck. You need some real value.
The first shoe that you are going to need is a pair of black high heels. The height of the heel will depend on your own personal preference. But you want a pair of plain black high heels that will be able to go with anything. You shouldn’t purchase patent leather or a snakeskin print; you want something that will help blend in if you wear them with a pair of black tights. You can get them in regular black leather or black suede. You will be able to get decent quality shoes for under $100 if you are a smart shopper and look for deals. Great stores to look online and offline for shoes are 6pm.com, Amazon.com, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Shoebuy.com, and Yoox.com. These will be a good value because you’ll pay $100 for them and wear them well over 500 times, so the shoes will cost about $0.20 per wear-not a bad value
Next, you’ll want a pair of knee-high boots. Since you’ll have the black high heels, you could buy these boots in a brown, tan, or gray. While a boot with a heel gives you a lot of versatility because you have the option of dressing it up, you could also choose a flat-heeled boot. You will want to spend a little more on the boots, but again, because you will wear them so many times, the cost per wear will be insane. Some stores to score a great value from will be 6pm.com, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Amazon.com, Shoebuy.com, and therealreal.com.
And last but not least, the best value is going to be a simple wedge. Others may say that it would be a ballet flat, but a wedge can be a much more stylish option that also provides versatility and can be more fashion-y than a ballet flat. For the black wedge, you can be a bit more playful and perhaps get it in patent leather, suede, in a cutout pattern, or with an open toe. Your budget for this should be about the same as for the black high heels, or about $100. You will wear these often but not as often as the high heels, so let’s say you wear them 150 times. You’ll have a cost per wear of $0.67. That’s not a bad value for work shoes that you are going to work to death because of their versatility. Great stores to score some great deals on wedges are 6pm.com, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, therealreal.com, and Zappos.
The three work shoes listed above are definitely worth buying, and you will be able to find deals, promotions, and sales for these items year-round. Because you will wear them so much, they will be a great value. But the real value will be how stylish you now look at work. And you’ll look extra fierce when you are kicking someone’s behind for eating your tuna sandwich out of the company fridge.