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Hi Allie, I'm looking for a comfortable matte black pump. Something with a heel that isn't TOO high or TOO low (but just right, like Goldilocks, LOL). I might be in my 50s, but I don't want a shoe that makes me look older, nor can I wear 3″ heels. Any suggestions?
Ah shoe shopping – can be so much fun or can be so frustrating! Since I am a busy working mom, I do the majority of my shopping online, and that includes shoes. While answering your question, I will also give you a peek into how I find shoes online:
I love shopping Nordstrom online for shoes – not only do they have free shipping and free returns and no time limit for those returns, they also have a search-friendly site and a boatload of customer reviews. On Nordstrom.com, I went to Women, Women’s Shoes, then chose Pumps, and then chose less than a 3” heel. From there, I could narrow to just black and found:
I have this shoe in a higher heel and find them wearable all day. They are comfortable, classic, and not at all frumpy. Not only that, you get all this for less than $100!
Reviews say they run a hair large, but are cushioned and comfortable. The wide heel will keep you feeling stable, but the touch of gold keeps these pumps from looking frumpy or boring.
In a similar sleek silhouette as the “Flex,” this is a pump that will stay stylish for many seasons to come. Reviews say it runs a hair narrow, but one said she was able to wear them straight out of the box without a single blister!
Next stop was ShopStyle, where I clicked on Shoes, then Pumps, then narrowed by color, and then narrowed it to shoes under $250. You can also narrow by size, price, and if the shoes are on sale. While ShopStyle can be utterly overwhelming (without size I had 426 pages of black pumps), it covers more than one retailer online. In just the first 20 pages I found:
Naturalizer shoes are known for comfort, and these pumps have a N5 Comfort system footbed, which provides cushioning, support, and shock absorption with each step. Since these are available via Zappos, you have their free shipping and return policy, and over 20 detailed reviews from customers that can help you decide if these are a worthy purchase.
I have a couple pairs of shoes from Fitzwell and find them to be well made and very comfortable. Their heel is strategically placed to be the most supportive and to balance the foot. These shoes are on Amazon and sold by size, so if this isn’t your size, search the site for another listing. $89, eligible for Prime shipping and free returns!
Unfortunately since it’s via Loehman’s there’s not a lot of information on this shoe, just a great price of $69.99. However I did a bit of Googling and found that people find Tahari shoes to be very comfortable, yet occasionally run a hair long or narrow.
Finally I went to Zappos. While Zappos is known for their extensive selection, I often have a hard time weeding out decent shoes from all the crap or designer pieces. Usually they are my second or third destination, once I got a lay of the footwear land at other sites. Zappos is however, a place I regularly search for reviews of shoes – if I find the shoes I like at one retailer but don’t have enough information on them, I will check Zappos, and if Zappos has a competitive price, I will likely purchase from there. Here, I clicked on shoes, then heels, then pumps, black, and all styles under 3” heel that are under $200. You could further narrow the selection by size, width, fabric, and even occasion. Even with all my details, I still had 244 shoes to choose from. A couple nice ones:
This shoe gets mixed reviews, some saying the toebox is too short or stiff, but others finding the shoe to be perfection. The slight platform makes them look modern and also offsets the heel height, the shoe has an Adidas adiPRENE® heel and Adidas adiPRENE®+ forefoot cushioning which absorbs shock and enhances natural motion. All this for $110.
I have a pair of the Cole Haan Air series shoes, and find them to be stylish, well made, quality materials, and far more comfortable than standard shoes of a similar style. Cole Haan’s Air series has concealed NIKE AIR® technology which makes the shoe more comfortable for long days. One reviewer states they were transformed into Audrey Hepburn upon wearing these shoes – sounds pretty stylish to me!
Always nice to find a shoe that is available in a variety of widths! Vignotti shoes are trendy silhouettes rooted in classic, timeless designs. Cushioned footbed for additional comfort, and positive reviews from readers make these a good shoe to consider.
Finally, if I know a brand or style fits, I will search for the lowest price while still having a great return/exchange policy. I will go directly to sites like 6pm.com who have great customer service and prices that can't be beat. I'll also check eBay, and even have a few alerts set up for certain styles that I know I want. Finally, I will Google a shoe brand and name or style number and see what pops up – sometimes they will be cheap at a site like Endless, Amazon, or Overstock, and sometimes I will even find bloggers who are selling the exact shoe I want in a “Shop My Closet” site. Point is, don't stick to one style of search, it is possible to find fabulous shoes that fit and flatter not only your body but also your wallet!
Note: Though shoes may be seen in patent, all styles shown are available in classic and versatile matte black leather. I just had a hard time finding decent-sized pics for all!
Nancy Lauzon says
Thanks everyone & Allie especially for this info, it’s amazingly helpful 🙂
Great job, Allie. I really like the Naturalizers, but the Rockports look a little more current to me. I love a lower heel for work shoes.
Sounds like Goldilocks is looking for style and comfort. Have you considered a wedge heel instead of the pump. Here a few good suggestions Arturo Chiang Chanps$59 – Piperlime
Lora peep-toe wedges$228 $159.99
KORS Michael Kors Vail Patent d’Orsay Wedge (CUSP Most Loved!)$195 – CUSP
Celine black suede ankle strap colorblock wedge pumps$635 – Bluefly
KORS Michael Kors Vivian Patent Wedge$195 – Michael Kors
John Fluevog Women’s Dawn Pump$399 – Endless.com
Via Spiga Missy Pointed Wedge, Black$198 $125
Seville wedge espadrilles$128 – J.Crew