10 Shoes You Should Never Wear In The Office

Shoes (almost) always fit.  Like shopping for hair products, jewelry, or makeup, they are instantly gratifying and can be far more rewarding than spending hours in a dressing room trying on different pairs of jeans.

But not all of the shoes in your collection are appropriate for work.  Consider your office’s unique culture.  In finance, sometimes even an open-toe is thought of as improper.  But in advertising and other creative industries, you can often be more expressive.  Take note of what the female executives at your company are wearing.  If they’re in stilettos, you have permission to do the same.  But in general, my rule is to be modest and stick with a heel that is two inches or less.

With this summer’s heat shining down on us each morning, sandals are totally appropriate for the office.  But if the sandals you’re wearing at work would also work at the beach, they are too casual.  Emily Ward-Dickerman, founder and editor of the fashion website, mock-off.com, shared a few tips on appropriate workplace footwear:

“I work as a consultant most of the week, but a few days a week I work in an office setting.”  She said. “But, even though they are not written anywhere, there are expectations. For instance, it is never appropriate to wear flip flops. Even if your boss is open to it, it just isn’t a good idea. It gives off the vibe of laziness which is not okay in the workplace.”

Think about the vibe your shoes are giving off at the office and check out this list of 10 shoes you should never wear to work.

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    • Rebecca

      hot shoes!!!!

    • sally

      i really appreciate your tips. i find myself wasting too much thinking, “where is she going?” the answer is always to her office, not a 20 something club. why would you want to be uncomfortable all day anyway?

    • mm

      I know you said it depends on where you work…but it REALLY depends on where you work. At my job, the hotter the shoes the better. And no, it’s not a strip club, it’s the corporate office of a clothing/lifestyle company. Some people wear flip flops (gross) some people wear tennis shoes, and a few of us girls deck ourselves out in high, fun, and fashionable heels. Maybe LA is just less stuffy than the rest of the country…I may or may not be screwed when I move to NYC.

    • Charlie

      I totally disagree with this piece. About the only thing I agree with is “it depends on your job/workplace”. I work for a software company and regularly wear sandals, super high (5.5) inch heels and all sorts of other crazy shoes. My boss frequently compliments them and I see other women do the same. Of course certain fields are going to require a much more toned down look, but I could honestly wear any of those shoes to work without much of a sideways glance.

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    • mt

      this article is pointless…the flip flop start made me intrigued, then it was just a load of photos of ugly shoes. utter waste of time!

      • Mariette

        i loved this article! It was a fun read. it’s nice that grindstone doesn’t only focus on serious topics. balance is key.

        fashion, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. these are definitely trendy shoes for 2012. they’re just not work appropriate.

    • Sidney Rollins

      What a stuck-up, pompous column!

    • Tina

      This is literally the stupidest article I have ever read. It’s one thing to have an argument of why these shoes are less than ideal for the office, but “This just doesn’t scream office.” is not. Mindsets like these are the reason why people are still pressured to wear uncomfortable office clothing when it doesn’t even matter what you look like to do your job.

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