There’s a lot that goes into attending a wedding, whether it’s figuring out travel and lodging, your wedding guest outfit and your wedding gift. One thing that might not be top of mind? Which wedding shoes you’re going to wear. Keep in mind, there’s a lot to consider; whether they’re appropriate for the venue, how much they cost, and how many wears you’re going to get out of them. And an additional factor that’s arguably the most important?
“Comfort is the number one thing I look for when purchasing a shoe to wear to a wedding,” explains Julie Sabatino, a bridal stylist and founder of The Stylish Bride. “It’s a long day on your feet, even as a guest,” she adds. Because whether it’s your special day or you’re supporting someone on their special day, that last thing you want to be thinking about is how uncomfortable your feet are.
Kennedy Bingham, a bridal stylist and creative design consultant, agrees. “Always opt for the safer option,” she shares. “You never know when a couple is going to ask you to walk through a field for their ceremony or go across a brick path to their reception.” One way to figure out what type of shoe might be most appropriate? “I recommend looking to see if there is a dress code stated on the invite,” explains bridal stylist Maisie-Kate Keane. Invitations will often suggest you “dress accordingly,” she explains, which can be a good indication that a wedding on a lawn or a beach might require some strategic footwear decisions.
Another way to guarantee a pain-free wedding day is with a little preparation. “I recommend couples spray their feet with blister prevention spray prior to putting their shoes on,” Keane explains. “And for grooms or men wearing socks, it’s always best to wear blister pads underneath as an extra bit of support.”
Once you’ve taken comfort and terrain into account, “then go for style,” explains Sabatino. But where to start? Fortunately, our three experts have weighed in on all the best wedding guest shoes (with a couple options for brides and grooms thrown in) that are comfortable enough to dance the night away in.
“Comfort doesn’t have to mean your shoes can’t look cute or that they have to be flat,” shares Keane. A perfect option? These sandals from Sam Edelman, which sport delicate straps, a simple buckle closure, and are available in tons of fun, bright colors to compliment any outfit.
A classic sandal design, this pair from Aldo features padded insoles with a double layer of foam that “helps skip the break-in period,” according to the brand. Recommended by Sabatino, it’s a classic shoe that will always be handy to have in your wardrobe.
“A good platform will never do you wrong,” shares Bingham. She recommends this bold option from Schutz, which is available in a ton of fun colors – all of which are so stunning you could easily build your outfit around them. The platform, in addition to the ankle strap and chunky heel, make these super comfortable and a breeze to stand in all evening.
“Dolce Vita has some great more casual options for those summer weddings,” Bingham explains. This simple yet super chic and trendy style is perfect for dressing up and down, so you’ll be sure to get tons of wear out of them.
“I personally love Reformation’s strappy sandals,” shares Bingham. “The brand has a lot of options in different heel heights and with or without a block,” she adds.
Recommended by Keane, these lamé sandals are the perfect way to add some sparkle and shine to a simple outfit.
“There are so many comfortable shoe options nowadays whether you’re opting for a block heel, a mule, strappy sandal, or a wedge,” Keane explains. For some added drama without sacrificing comfort, she suggests this tie sandal, which is perfectly on-trend and appropriate for warm weather weddings.
A delightful pairing of a platform heel and suede material, this sandal – recommended by Sabatino – is a great option for those on the hunt for a versatile shoe that’s sure to be comfortable all day and all night long.
“Lace-up oxford shoes allow you to adjust the tightness of your shoe throughout the day,” explains Keane, which can be helpful for managing comfort.” This pair, recommended by Sabatino, is a classic option that will last you years and is versatile enough for nearly any event.
For the gents, “suede or leather shoes are great options when comfort is a priority,” explains Keane. Both materials “naturally stretch with your body heat,” she explains, which makes for a more flexible and comfortable fit. This sleek option also features a removable insole, which reviewers love.
A cult-fave shoe recommended by Sabatino that many love for everyday wear, this stylish and unique wingtip oxford shoe is made from a butter leather but boasts a whole ton of innovative features that prioritize comfort and walkability.
For a simple yet professional dress shoe that delivers on comfort, Sabatino recommends this option from Clark’s. The design includes a soft lining and smart Ortholite® footbed, so you can bet that you’ll be completely fine walking (or dancing) in them all day.
“I’m a huge fan of Fluevog,” raves Bingham. “They have everything from super daring to traditional with a twist to ultra classic,” she says. This funky take on a classic silhouette is perfect for the guy who can’t help but add a bit of flair to his footwear.
“Steve Madden has some great options at an affordable price point,” Bingham shares. “And the shoes will really last you forever.” These classic oxfords are perfect for nearly every semi-formal to formal occasion, and you’ll be sure to wear them time and time again.
These distinctive dress shoes, recommended by Sabatino, are all about comfort and support. The design features everything from custom soles to a triple-density memory foam insole and a full glove-leather lining.
Even if you’re used to wearing heels, Sabatino recommends opting for heels under 75mm or around 3 inches when prioritizing comfort. Fortunately, shoes like these adorable slingbacks prove that you don’t need a ton of height for a show-stopping shoe.
Flared heels give you “the delicate look of a stiletto with the support of a block heel,” shares Keane. Similarly to if you were to add heel protectors to a traditional stiletto heel, “the extra surface area of the heel provides stability and comfort,” she explains. At the same time, the front twisted knot “adds a cushion effect to avoid blisters.”
If you want some height sans the foot pain, Sabatino recommends a platform shoe. “The smaller the difference in height is between the front and back of the shoe, the more comfortable it will be to wear,” she explains, naming Loeffler Randall as one of her go-to brands when it comes to platforms. “ They give a good amount of height, and still look cute,” she explains. “My clients think they are very comfortable.”
When it comes to comfort, Sabatino turns to suede. “Nothing is softer or easier to wear,” she explains. “This shoe has the added bonus of being a platform too.”
Keane recommends a slingback strap with a little stretch, which provides you with more flexibility and comfort throughout the night. The three-inch is high enough for some significant height, while still being comfortable enough to keep on throughout the evening.
Even when it comes to sneakers, “there are lots of great shoe options for women these days that are fancy and fun,” explains Sabatino, who recommends this blingy pair. Because who doesn’t love a sparkly sneaker?
If you’re looking for a shoe that’s easy to slip on and off, try out a mule. The three-inch heel is practical yet dressy, while the block heel and elasticized strap helps to add stability. And the pointed toe adds such a chic, girly feel to the design.
“I love the daintiness of these velvet slingback mid heels,” raves Keane. Available in six different styles in addition to an option for those with wider feet, “the two inch block heel gives the perfect amount of height while staying comfortable.”
Cushion insole, arch support, and memory foam are all words to look out for when hunting for super comfortable shoes, explains Keane. She recommends these versatile leather slip-ons, which are easy to get on and perfect for wearing all day, throughout the year.
When dressed up, a velvet loafer can be a super stylish way to wear something that’s essentially as comfortable as a slipper. Keane recommends higher-end options like the Sagan Black Tie from Baudoin Lange and the Foxley Slip-On Shoes from Jimmy Choo, but you can achieve the look (and comfort) for less with this pair.
“These sneakers, designed in collaboration with NFL legend Kam Chancellor, were created to take on an entire day of wear,” explains Keane. With features like full leather lining, latex memory foam padded insoles, and thick rubber soles, “they make for a great fashion-forward and comfortable wedding shoe option for men,” she raves.
A comfortable alternative to your typical oxford or tux shoe? Try a Chelsea boot. While they won’t be suitable for every type of wedding, it is a great option if you’re prioritizing comfort and attending a more relaxed event, explains Keane. These are handmade in the United States, and from a high-quality leather that stretches and molds to your foot.
This strappy sandal is the perfect dressed-up shoe that’s still practical. Block heels help prevent you from sinking into the sand, the materials of the shoe are durable, and the straps help keep the shoes on your feet while you’re walking, explains Keane.
“For those who dislike the feeling of sand between your toes, rise above the ground with platforms,” Keane suggests. Not only will the style of these fit any beach wedding occasion, they’re durable against water and sand, she adds.
“I love these jelly sandals from Sam Edelman,” shares Sabatino, who adds that “you can rinse them off when you’re back on solid ground.” Available in ten different colorways, opting for a brighter shade is the perfect opportunity to add a fun pop of color to your outfit.
“Some choose to wear a flat sandal or even go barefoot at a beach wedding,” explains Keane. If you’re opting for a simple yet chic sandal, she recommends this option from Steve Madden. “The microsuede straps give support and comfort while the stones add the perfect amount of bling.”
Sabatino recommends these metallic wedges that “blend in with everything” and are a “little more understated,” while still being dressy enough for a more formal occasion.
“Durable materials like linen can be washed,” explains Keane, noting that it’s an ideal material for beach attire and footwear. These linen espadrilles are casual yet stylish, and perfect for all types of warm weather gatherings.
“Guys can’t go wrong on the sand with this classic leather flip-flop,” shares Sabatino. “They’re a step up from the regular beach flip-flop, but still functional.”
More formal than flip-flops but just as casual and comfortable, Sabatino recommends these leather sandals for any upcoming beach weddings.
If you’re looking for a comfortable shoe that also boasts some gorgeous texture, Keane is a fan of these sneakers, which she describes as the “perfect mix between a dress shoe and trainer.” Plus, “rubber soles stop you from sinking into the sand,” she explains.