The 8 Best Work Flats of 2021
Look stylish and stay comfortable at the office
We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.
Flats have certainly earned their place as a wardrobe essential for work. They look professional and polished when paired with a power suit, but are also stylish when worn with pants or jeans, if your office is more casual. Most importantly, flats are the ultimate comfy work shoe, whether you’re commuting on foot or standing a lot when you’re on the job.
To help you wade through all the options of various shapes and styles, check out this collection of the best flats for work. Regardless of your office dress code or your own personal style, you’re sure to find a pair of comfortable yet sophisticated flats that are perfect for you.
Here are the best flats for work.
Best Overall: French Sole Jigsaw
The French Sole Jigsaw shoe is the best overall pick for several reasons. They have a classic design that makes them professional enough for any office, yet the scalloped design also adds a touch of style and distinction from other more plain flats. Choose from multiple colors, such as neutrals like black, navy, royal blue, and taupe, among a few brighter options. Dress them up with slacks or a skirt, or go for a more casual look with jeans.
Best of all, these shoes aren’t too flat and have a very small heel that measures 3/8 inch. So, they will be just as comfortable for midday walks as they are for standing up and making long presentations.
Best Budget: Me Too Olympia Skinner Flat
If you’re looking to upgrade your work shoe wardrobe and don’t want to spend too much cash, the Me Too Olympia Skinner Flat is an excellent choice. These shoes have a far more sophisticated aesthetic than the price would lead you to believe and are a great substitute for a far more expensive pair.
Choose from black, brown, navy, red, and pewter-colored leathers. Note that the brown leather is a light color that’s closer to taupe than a typical chocolate brown, making it an ideal shade for the warmer months. The silver-toned polished hardware adds a nice touch so they don’t look too plain.
Best of all, this shoe was made for walking with a cushioned footbed. The rubber sole absorbs shock and can help prevent slipping on wet office floors.
Related: The Best Women's Suits
Best Splurge: Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flat
If you’re going to splurge on a quality pair of flats, the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats will not disappoint. Several styles are available including black leather, mustard, cream, and even cheerful prints, so it will be easy to find something that can coordinate with your work wardrobe and likely your regular wardrobe as well. Every style features the brand’s iconic medallion on top of the rounded toe.
While they are considered travel shoes, these are great everyday shoes as well. They are a particularly practical choice for commuters who may want to swap them out for heals at work. Because these are so light and come with a dust bag, this pair can easily be tucked into a work bag or desk during the day. They’re also perfect for air travel because they slip on and off easily. The versatility of these Tory Burch shoes truly justifies the price.
Best for Comfort: Naturalizer Samantha Half d’Orsay Flat
If comfort is your top priority, the Neutralizer Samantha Half d’Orsay Flat is a smart choice to consider. Very lightweight, these shoes were designed with the brand’s signature N5 Contour technology. This includes a contoured footbed that has both arch and heel support as well as dual-density cushioning. It’s a flexible shoe that allows you to move naturally and comfortably. There is even a breathable, quick-drying lining, which is great for warmer weather.
This shoe is currently available in a good range of sizes from 4.5 to 10 regular as well as some wide sizes. The pointy toe looks great with pants or even a long skirt.
Best for Wide Feet: Rothy’s The Mary Jane
These knit shoes are sustainably made with the brand’s signature thread, which is spun from plastic water bottles. This material produces less waste than most other shoes and also makes for a comfortable fit. Best of all, Rothy's shoes are machine washable.
Rothy’s The Mary Jane flats are available in sizes 5 to 13; if you are wider than size B, it is suggested you order up a half size. They’re also comfortable to walk in because your foot stays secure with an adjustable strap that ties into a bow. These make a statement, while still providing a professional look, and complement professional looks such as solid-colored suits.
Related: The Best Women's Dress Pants
Best for Style: French Sole Nicky Hilton - Charlott
If you want a stylish and high-quality pair of shoes that looks like designer quality without the high price tag, the French Sole Nicky Hilton Charlott shoes are the perfect choice. Available in sizes 6.5 to 11, these modern flats feature an embossed leather finish, along with lace detailing, cutouts, and a chic vamp bow. The black color is an easy choice and frankly more versatile than the Blush. Still, the Blush is a great compliment to a black outfit or perhaps even a flower pattern dress or skirt. The latter is also better for the spring and summer months.
In addition to style, these shoes also score points for comfort. They have a rounded toe and a lightly cushioned footbed. The rubber outer sole makes it easy to walk and prevents slipping.
Best Ballet Flat: Sam Edelman Meg Square Toe Ballet Flats
Available in sizes 5 to 11, it is impossible to go wrong with an updated classic such as Sam Edelman’s Meg Square Toe Ballet Flats. With a classic bow detailing at the toe, this shoe has a polished yet on-trend look for the season. There’s also rope detailing just above the heel making this is an ideal accessory for any professional environment.
These shoes are also supportive and comfortable to walk in. The leather upper sole is elasticized at the side for a flexible and easy fit, and there's a tiny heel, which adds a little flair.
Best Loafer: Everlane The Modern Loafer
Loafers are the perfect shoes to wear to work. They instantly make any outfit look more professional. Everlane’s Modern Loafer is made from very soft leather. Featuring a tapered toe, it has stitching details that resemble a driving shoe as well as a one-inch stacked heel for a little support and a touch of height.
Best of all, these shoes are comfortable. They’re thoroughly padded and have a foam cushion insole. This means there’s no painful breaking in the period—you can wear them right out of the box. It is also one of the most versatile pairs on this list. These loafers can be paired with trousers and a blazer or jeans.
The French Sole Jigsaw shoes (view at Amazon) and Sam Edelman Ballet Flats (view at Nordstrom) are the best choices here for several reasons. They’re both versatile enough for the office as well as for more casual looks, and they offer a sleek appearance that won’t go out of style next year.
What to Look For When Buying Work Flats
If comfort is a priority for you, it’s important to look for a work flat with cushioning. Cushioning can be found in several places in the shoe including the insole and footbed. If the shoe isn’t cushioned, buying a separate cushioned insole is an easy fix.
Just because a shoe is flat doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a heel. For example, loafers are considered flats but can have up to a one-inch heel, such as the pair here from Everlane. A very short heel may end up being more comfortable than a shoe that’s entirely flat for some people.
If you’re working from home and just want a pair of work flats to be comfortable, then the material of the sole isn’t super important. However, if you work in an office building, you may want to prioritize buying work flats with rubber soles to prevent slipping on commercial flooring. In addition to that, rubber soles may be more comfortable if you plan to walk around outside.
Meet the Expert
Amanda Lauren is a freelance writer for several publications including The Balance, Simply Recipes, Investopedia, and Forbes. A pair of French Sole flats are her go-to daily shoes, and has no plans to swap them out anytime soon.