The Hunt: Sleek but Walkable Boots for Work –

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Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Boot trends are all over the map right now, so we went on a hunt for a sleek but walkable boot that has a classic style — something that will hopefully last you for more than a year or two!

Readers, which are your favorite styles of boots to wear right now? If you’ve recently bought any sleek but walkable boots, do tell…

{related: check out our Guide to Comfortable Heels!}

What Type of Boots Should You Wear to the Office in 2024?

Are Lug-Sole Boots Appropriate for the Office?

This is an open question, as trends are changing so quickly — lug boots are very popular right now, but not necessarily appropriate for all offices because they tend to have a chunky, casual style.

(I would put other lug-soled shoes, such as loafers, in a different category because they have a more academic look, whereas lug-soled boots can sometimes look a bit moto/combat-boot inspired.)

If you ARE on the hunt for lug-sole boots for the office, we’re fans of these ones from Blondo, Sam Edelman, Marc Fisher LTD, and Vionic; on the pricier side we’d go for the Prada ones Gwyneth Paltrow wore to her trial. Know your office, though!

Are Knee-High Boots Trendy For Office Looks?

I think knee-high boots are coming back in style because there are a ton out there right now — you often see them styled with midi skirts (and not with skinny pants). The most current styles have a slightly Western heel and a wider, looser shaft, but the classic styles (tighter shaft, stacked or skinny heel) are all still around as well.

If your budget is tight, note that you can definitely wear knee-high boots underneath dress pants — with all the wide leg pants to wear to work that are out there right now it shouldn’t be a problem to get them to fit. It’s just a question of whether it’s as comfortable as a boot with a shorter shaft.

(Psst: we just shared our thoughts on what shoes to wear with wide leg pants.)

As of 2024, knee-high boots with a heel may be making a comeback — some of the best looking options include these from J.Crew, Everlane, Veronica Beard and Stuart Weitzman.

(If you want knee-high boots for your commute, some of our old favorites from Sam Edelman, La Canadienne, and Sofft are still around.)

Are Chelsea Boots Trendy for Work Outfits?

While I was hunting I mostly wanted boots with a higher shaft, instead of a Chelsea boot, because I feel like they look a little dated — particularly the ones with a V cutout on the sides of the boot. Still, if you love this boot style, it is definitely still out there! Some longstanding favorites out there if you prefer a shorter boot. For example, these Marc Fisher LTD boots have been reader favorites for years, and these Tory Burch Chelsea boots look great. If you’d prefer a weatherproof shoe for work, these Chelsea boots from Blondo look nice, and Naturalizer has a lot of nice options.

Are Kitten-Heeled Boots A Trend Right Now?

Kitten-heeled boots can can look really nice with flared, straight, and wide leg pant styles. They’re not yet at the mass market trend stage, but you can find a lot of expensive shoe brands and trendy shoe brands with kitten-heeled options.

Our latest favorite affordable kitten-heeled boots include those from Madewell, J.Crew, and Dolce Vita; for more expensive brands check The Row and Totême. (These AGL ones are a bit high, but might also fit if you’re on the hunt.)

Are Sock Boots Still Trendy for Work Outfits?

There are still a TON of sock boots out there right now — but due to the lack of support, in my experience they’re often not the best for lots of walking.

Still, if you really want a sock boot, check out Everlane’s Glove boot – Nordstrom also has a bunch, including these highly rated Eileen Fisher sock booties.

Sleek But Walkable Boots for Work in 2024: Our Picks

With all that said — I think these mid-shaft booties are a good mix between classic and trendy. There are lots of higher heeled styles out there, but if you’re hunting for low, walkable boots that are a bit sleek, we’ve got you!

Our favorites of 2024 include:


Darcy Boot from Madewell - sleek but walkable

Madewell’s Darcy Boots are among the most affordable in today’s roundup — They’re $198 full price, but there’s a sale on top of a sale today. I like the almond toe and the stacked heel (2.25″ high), along with the MWL Cloudlift Lite padding. Nice! (You can get them at Nordstrom, as well as

Another affordable option (although I’m not in love with the stitching) are these boots from Nordstrom’s house brand, marked to $79.


Classic 35 Bootie from Ecco - sleek but walkable

If you’re hunting for a boot from a “comfort shoe brand,” these ones from Ecco look nice, and boast “cushy, anatomical construction.” They’re $199 full price (but some colors are marked down), and you can find them at Nordstrom or Amazon.

Want more sleek but walkable boots from comfort brands? Check out Naot, Paul Green, and Dansko.

Sam Edelman

Bronson Boot from Sam Edelman - sleek but walkable

Can one DO a roundup of shoes for work and not mention Sam Edelman? The brand is affordable, has serious cushioning, and some of their shoes (such as this classic pump or this loafer) have been reader favorites for years.

These Bronson boots look great, and they’re selling fast – some colors are down to lucky sizes. You can find them at Nordstrom and Zappos.


Piper Boots from J.Crew - sleek but walkable

I really like J.Crew’s kitten-heeled boots, but these Western-inspired Piper Boots look a bit better for walking around. They’re available in suede as well as leather, and are a pull-on style. They’re $278 full price, but with select colors on sale.


City Boot from Everlane - sleek but walkable

These City Boots are bestsellers at Everlane, and I like the “architectural style, featuring a modern square toe” — I like their minimal vibe. They’re $275 in sizes 5-11.


sleek but walkable boot for 2024 from aquatalia

Aquatalia always makes great waterproof boots — if you want the classic boot that’s a good investment, these pictured boots look great. I like the squared toe and block frame, as well as the full length side zip. The boot is available in black and navy, as well as taupe for sizes 5-11.

Another nice option from Aquatalia: their bestselling boot, the Ulyssa.

Other Great Boots For Your Commute

Weatherproof Boots

Knee-High Leather Weatherproof Boots

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