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How to balance comfort and style in work shoes

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My husband and I are in the health care field and on our feet all day long. I've got shoes that work for me, but those comfort shoes are UGLY. In a pandemic I understand that this is not the most important question, but I feel like looking good top to bottom is a kindness to our patients and respect for ourselves. Any suggestions for supportive professional-looking "dress shoes" for me and my husband?

- Susan and spouse

Dear Susan and spouse: Having written this column for a while and addressing questions about shoe styles, I've learned that readers do not always share my idea of what's hideous. So, instead of specifically recommending styles and brands that I think are good looking yet comfortable for all-day wear for men and women, let me set out a few guidelines for you and your spouse to consider. I take it that you both want something more "professional" than athletic shoes (which, during the COVID-19 situation, are what I wear most of the time).

- Choose rubber soles instead of leather.

- For support, lace-ups are better than slip-on loafer style.

- Look for extra padding at the heel, a primary site for rubbing and blisters.

 

- Shoes roomy in toe width will allow for feet swelling as the day (and night) wears on.

- Stick with conventional colors (black, brown, gray, navy) unless your workplace is super casual.

- Orthotic inserts are your best friend. They don't have to be expensive custom made ones. A podiatrist suggested that I try Pure Stride Full Length Orthotics and they've upped my foot comfort a lot (amazon.com, $18.99 and up).

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I like to wear polo shirts, cotton or cotton blend with collars and a button placket. But my more stylish friend tells me they're out of style. Is she right and, if not, where is a good place to buy them?

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