It’s a perennial dilemma of summer shoes: You want something that’ll carry you around all day, but you don’t want to wear the same pair of plain flat sandals for three months straight (and face it: even those will start to give you blisters on the soles of your feet after a while).
The quest to find something dressier than Birkenstocks or shower slides that doesn’t require an emergency cache of Band-Aids or some spare flip-flops is one I’ve been on for years. So far, I’ve found just one pair—a strappy Dolce Vita wedge—that I can wear to a fancy party and walk home for four miles without complaint. (It was the Hamptons; we were lost; there were no cabs … long story. Not recommended, but suffice it to say, it’s possible.)
Without socks or tights to give your feet a merciful bit of padding, comfort is key—which, as far as I’m concerned, means nothing over three inches and no heels that require conscious effort to balance on. The explosion of low block heels this year, at least, gives me hope that we’re finally moving toward a happy medium between vertiginous stilettos and casual flats, and despite the current reign of the slide, there are plenty of choices out there with more practical ankle support.
Ahead, shop 50 of the best comfortable heels you can buy right now, including wear-all-day flatforms, suede mules, strappy sandals, and wooden clogs—then get to work racking up your step count this summer.