Professional Pumps – An Analysis

As a female professional, shoes are important. Work shoes must look attractive, but not inappropriately so, and feel comfortable, comfortable enough that you can keep pace with your male colleagues when required. As a lawyer, I need to navigate courthouse steps as well as the hills around the courthouses and law firms in Downtown LA, rain or shine (sure, I admit, mostly shine). After my workday ends, I then need to stand for a few hours at whatever event is taking place from 6:00 to 9:00 that night.

Finding the perfect work pump can be a struggle. (I will discuss finding the perfect work flat in a later post.) However, I have found the perfect one for me.

Salvatore Ferragamo

I’ve tested quite a few shoes ranging from $40 to $650. The winner, hands down, is the Salvatore Ferragamo Platform Pump with Vara Bow[i]. At $650 this shoe is not cheap; however, it is definitely worth the price.

This shoe is comfy. So comfy. I have spent whole days in this shoe, have walked around courthouses in this shoe, have stood on end at cocktail parties in this shoe. I love this shoe. It has never let me down.

Additionally, it is adorable. The sweet bow on the toe provides a nice accent, differentiating this shoe from a simple plain pump.

Here’s what else I found on my search:

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo’s Anouk Black Patent Leather Pointy Toe Pump[ii] is one hot shoe. At $595.00, it is a bit pricey. I think the shoe is worth it; however, not necessarily as your professional go-to. The heel height of 4.7 inches is perhaps on the sexy side for a regular workday.

It is not a surprise that this shoe is not nearly as comfortable as the Ferragmo pair above. I can manage this shoe at meetings where I am sitting for the duration, but I would not brave the streets around the courthouses in Downtown LA with these on my feet.

Nor would I choose to wear these to a cocktail party. Standing for hours on end in these is too much – the acutely pointy toe and the ultra high heel are simply too much of a strain.

That said, this shoe is an excellent pair to have in your closet for anything outside of your professional life. Dinner date? —Perfect shoe. It is beautiful and—for a high, extremely pointy-toe pump—comfortable enough.

Ted Baker

Ted Baker makes solid pumps around $200. I have two pairs of the $185 Neevo 3 Dress Pump: one in black and one in white. I say black and white, but these are merely the base colors. The shoes are patterned, covered in a colorful floral print.

It may sound crazy and unprofessional, but it is not. The pattern is tasteful. These shoes are certainly unique, but still passable in the professional setting given the base color of black or white. Every time I wear these shoes, I receive similar compliments.

These shoes are also strangely comfortable. I am able to wear them to court and events without hesitation. If I will need to walk, I know I can trust these will my feet comfortable and not slow me down. These are some of the most comfortable pointy toe pumps I have ever worn – far exceeding the comfort of the Jimmy Choos discussed above. Although, to be fair, the heel on these are only 3.75 inches.

I no longer see the Neevo 3 Dress Pump available online; however, if you see them in a store, definitely snatch them up.

Alternatively, I more recently purchased the Azeline Bow Detail Satin Courts[iii] in baby pink ($210), which is available online.  This seems to be the same shoe as the Neevo 3, but with a giant bow on the toe. The bow is massive. Some might find the bow unprofessional, but I love it.

Michael Kors

The MICHAEL Michael Kors York Platform (peep toe) in both nude and black carried me through my first year or two of practice as an attorney. At $125.00, the shoe is fantastically priced.

These surprisingly comfortable pumps were my favorite shoes before I found my Ferragamos. I put extensive mileage on both of my pairs.

They were also adorable and appropriate. Simple—not containing any bows or pattern—this shoe is unable to offend.

After my pairs wore out, I tried to buy new ones. I was unable to find them for sale anywhere. If you can find this shoe, I highly recommend it.

Nine West

Given the $40 price tag, (on sale from $79.00), I had to give these Tatiana Pointy Toe Pumps a go. While I haven’t taken to wearing them, they certainly have their merits. One, they cost only $40. Two, they did not make my feet bleed when I wore them. Three, they are reasonably attractive.

These shoes take the standard shape of a work pointy-toe pump. Aesthetically, they do not excite me, but they look just fine.

In regard to comfort, these were comfortable enough for me to wear to work for a day. However, they were not so comfortable that I could overlook the fact that they are plain and unexciting, In short, I have no desire to wear them again.

In short, if you will buy one shoe, depending on what you are willing to spend, making it a Salvatore Ferragamo, Ted Baker, or Michael Kors (if you can find it). Special thank you to my husband for – with the exception of the Michael Kors pump – finding and purchasing each of these shoes for me.