Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women supportive heel

Published on July 20th, 2016 | by Kirsten Borrink


Four Career Shoes with Support

Hi Kirsten,

I have been following you and the service you do for all of us “hard to fit with comfort and support” people, and I sincerely thank you!  My dilemma is that I have not been able to find a business heel that has really great arch support, including metatarsal support with around a two-inch heel.  Most look clunky and out of date.  I have a wide forefoot and narrow heel, and must have support.  Please help this lady.  I have tried so many shoes and end up selling them at my yard sale and hope they are a godsend to someone else.

Dear reader,

That is a tall order! Finding comfortable dress shoes with arch support while maintaining a good fit is difficult. The slimmer profile of a dress shoe doesn’t leave much room for built-up insoles and thick cushioning. However, the Barking Dog never stops digging around for the best comfortable shoes and insoles for her readers. First, let’s take a look at specially made insoles for heels. Grab those beautiful shoes in the yard sale pile and try one of these suggestions! Then we’ll turn to low-heeled career shoes with removable insoles to accommodate an insert. I’ll try my best to keep the frump factor away.

Yes, you can have a custom dress orthotic made for your heels, but effective over-the-counter options do exist. Superfeet makes a 3/4 dress insole that’s thin yet provides the arch support often lacking in heels. Since it’s only 3/4 length, it doesn’t offer metatarsal support, but consider adding HAPAD metatarsal pads to your shoes for pain relief and shock absorption.

Another insole made for heels with metatarsal cushioning is the Powerstep Slenderfit. And the cadillac of insoles for dress shoes is the Vasyli McConnell Slimfit device with metatarsal support. The tacky gel base prevents the insole from slipping forward in heels.

Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women

Naturalizer@Work Venecia

Now for shoe recommendations to accommodate a dress insole. Did you know that Naturalizer has a new line of comfortable dress shoes called Naturalizer@Work? The Venecia pump features a sturdy 2.5″ heel, removable Ortholite foam insole and a slip-resistant outsole. Available in extended sizes and widths at,  Zappos, and Shoebuy. Reviews are positive for all-day comfort.

Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women

Tape Anil Wedges

Second on the list are two styles by Portuguese brand, Tape (pronounced “Tah-pay”). Although the heel is lower than two inches, I like the classic lines and slight wedge on both the Povoa Anil and Povoa Mara styles.

Both feature removable cork footbeds, soft leather uppers, wider forefoot and narrow heel. They’re on sale for $69.99 at with free shipping (free returns for reward members). This is a unique brand to the U.S. and as far as I can find, only carried by Footwear Etc. They’ve marked down their entire collection to $69.99–the sandals are super cute.


Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women

Ara Oriana

The third shoe is by German brand, Ara. The Oriana mary jane has a removable cushioned footbed, modest 1.5″ heel and velcro instep closure. I’ve had a great experience with Ara footwear as their ballet flats are made of the softest leather and don’t irritate the bunions at all. Plus, there’s something about European-made footwear that just feels better–room for toes without slipping off the heel. The Ara Oriana is available at The Walking Company, and Shoebuy. Find a deal at Amazon for as low as $77!

Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women

Waldlaufer Hosana

And our fourth contestant is made by German Waldlaufer. The Hosana pump features both arch and metatarsal support. The contoured footbed is removable to accommodate an orthotic if needed and the heel measures 1.5″.

As is typical for European footwear, the toe box is roomy while the heel fits snugly. The Waldlaufer Hosana shoe collection runs medium to slightly wide.  $170 at Sole Provisions, free shipping and returns.

Do you have a favorite dress shoe for work that provides all-day comfort and support? Please leave a comment below this blog post and let us know. Thank you.

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

7 Responses to Four Career Shoes with Support

  1. Bette says:

    If your reader feels she MUST wear heels, I recommend she wear what you suggested and follow the strategies in this short article —

    I work in a very conservative office where most women do wear heels. However, after decades of foot issues, I no longer feel compelled to do the same. Luckily, there are some very beautiful, dressy flats in quality leathers that are perfectly acceptable and even fashionable.

  2. Pingback: Lovely Links: 7/22/16 - Already Pretty | Where style meets body image

  3. JohnC says:

    In Our youtube Channel are an interesting video How to mesure your feet . For orthopedics shoes.

    hip pain shoes

  4. Marta says:

    I quest for the same exact shoe type (arch, metatarsal, wide toe box), whether for biz casual or just everyday wear. I’ve found ABEO shoes w/ metatarsal support. Even their support sneakers are great!
    Good luck!

  5. Marta says:

    Also forgot to mention, if you’re looking for insoles PEDAG makes great 3/4th size ones which are LEATHER w/ arch & metatarsal support.

  6. Laura says:

    I have a pair of Rockport Total Motion 75mm pumps that look classic and are incredibly comfortable. I’ve stood in the on concrete for hours and only been a little sore the next day. I got them at but I think they are pretty widely available.

    I do still so love my heels, although I comprise by just wearing them in the office.

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