There's nothing worse than a pair of gorgeous shoes that kill your feet by the end of a long day. And when you live in N.Y.C.—or any walking city for that matter—a craving for comfort can sometimes derail even the dreamiest shoe shopping strategy. The good news? Sleek heels that are actually wearable do exist, you just need to know where to look for them.
That's why we grilled six InStyle staffers, who always manage to look polished (and pain-free) straight out of the subway, to spread the shoe love and spill the deets on the high heels that never let them down. Minimalist ankle strap sandals with block heels were the clear winners for their unwavering durability when you're pounding the pavement and the undeniable chic factor that they bring to cropped trousers, sundresses, and practically everything else in your summer wardrobe. Two editors even name-dropped the same Loeffler Randall gladiator heel (above) as the one shoe they can't live without, uptown or downtown.
Scroll down to see why they loved it and all the other editor-approved faves.
1. Raye “Bennie” Heel
"I am really into Raye's heels! They aren’t super high (most of their styles are 3.5-4 inches), and the materials are really soft so I feel comfy standing in them for long periods of time."—Christina Shanahan, Senior Editor
Raye “Bennie” Heel, $180; revolve.com.
2. French Connection “Urlian” Sandals
"The stacked heel on these French Connection sandals make it easy to maneuver around Manhattan without ever feeling wobbly. Plus, thanks to super-soft leather and suede, they don't cut into your foot whenever you (literally) have to run to make it somewhere on time."—Samantha Simon, Editorial Assistant
French Connection “Urlian” Sandal, $140; bloomingdales.com.
3. Loeffler Randall “Hana” Sandal
"I've been wearing these gladiator block heels nonstop since I bought them a month ago. They're the perfect height and I almost forget I'm wearing heels because they're that comfortable. You can adjust the ties, which is key during the hot summer months when your feet swell. Plus, they look cool with just about everything.”—Laura Simola, Associate Art Director
"Only Carrie Bradshaw can run around the city in stilettos with reckless abandon. These stacked-heel sandals are comfortable without sacrificing height, and the laces keep the straps secure when I'm free-sprinting onto the subway right before the doors close.”—Claire Stern, Associate Editor
Loeffler Randall “Hana” Sandal in black or tan, $350; loefflerrandall.com.
4. Alysia “Elsa” Heels
"I love the Elsa heels from Alysia. Not only do they have a sleek look, but they have great support. Perfect for running around the city for appointments."—LaShauna Williams, Senior Credits Editor
Alysia “Elsa” Shoe, $238; thealysia.com.
5. Kenneth Cole New York “Teagan” Sandal
"I have been loving the 1970s comeback and this chunky heel has been my saving grace! The wooden heel and buckle accents edge up any sundress and look great paired with cropped wide-leg jeans. They are comfortable and affordable, so I don’t feel guilty wearing them on the subway."—Kelley Cintra, Internatonal Coordinator
Kenneth Cole New York “Teagan” Sandal, $140; kennethcole.com.