The 15 Best Pairs of Shoes You Don’t Have To Break In
Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes in-store, done the back-and-forth walk (you know the one), and thought they were comfortable… only to get home and realize that, after one wear, they were going to take some time to break in? Or you risk it and go on a long walk or run in a new pair of shoes on only to come home to angry feet?
It’s a common occurrence and it’s something that many people will endure in the name of trendy style. Some people, however, crave comfort above all else. Fortunately, gone are the days when folks have to forgo one in favor of the other. With that in mind, keep reading for the all-time best pairs of shoes that are cute and, most importantly, comfortable, from the moment you try them on.
The best shoes you don't have to break in
Beloved by celebrities like Pete Davidson and Dame Helen Mirren (as well as W+G editors), Cariuma makes sustainable sneakers that require zero break-in time (trust us—we’ve tried every style they offer!). That’s due to the high-quality, soft leather (sourced from LWG-certified Gold Rated tanneries) the brand uses. Other features like a slip-resistant sole makes it great for walking on nearly every surface, and a cork insole that’s soft, sturdy, and supportive (say that three times). We love the newest launch (the Salvas), but the brand has *so* many other great and comfortable styles to choose from—check them out here.
It’s no secret that UGG is back and bigger than ever. Along with the brand’s beloved boots is the resurgence of their slippers as outdoor shoes. The UGG Coquette Slippers, which are sold in five colors, feature the convenience of a slide with the comfort of a classic UGG boot, with the bonus of a thick-yet-lightweight outsole that makes them as great an option for outdoor wear as they are for indoors.
FitFlop is not your mother’s comfort shoe brand (even if it used to be). Nowadays, the comfortable footwear company has been making strides to become more stylish and, as such, launched their slip-on Vitamin FF Knit Sports Sneakers. Sold in five colors, the sneakers are the epitome of comfort, thanks to the flexible sole, insole, and upper, as well as high-rebounding cushioning. Plus, unlike many slip-on sneakers, they actually stay put while jumping and running, making them a great option for folks looking for workout shoes, too.
Speaking of workout shoes, the Saucony Women’s Ride running shoes are a cushiony dream. Despite the ultra-soft insole and sole, these best-selling sneakers are designed to be responsive and supportive, making them the perfect companion for walking, jogging, running, and jumping. They’re sold in 13 colors, ranging from neutral to bold, so there’s something for everyone.
Designed to feel like slippers, these washable flats are about as comfortable as it gets for office-appropriate shoes. They’re sold in four classic colors and two seasonal patterns and, best of all, are machine-washable. While they’re incredibly cozy from day one, if you end up finding that the pointed-toe loafers aren’t for you, you can take advantage of the brand’s 30-day fit guarantee to return them for a refund.
Now that the weather is warming up, you might be dreaming of outdoor adventures. Whether you’re hoping to head to the park or splash around in the river, a pair of Teva Original Universal sandals are a worthwhile buy. Sold in 14 colors, the quick-dry sandals are built to withstand sweat, water, mud, you name it. And, despite being a flat sandal, these Teva shoes offer ample support thanks to a molded EVA midsole, complete with heel cupping and arch support.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect TSA-friendly sneaker or shoes to work out in, the APL TechLoom Breeze sneakers are a cozy and stylish option. Beloved by celebrities, athletes, and influencers, these slip-on sneakers have laces to further tailor the foot-hugging uppers to the mold of your feet. While they’re designed to give your soles ample cushion for rebounds, they’re also incredibly lightweight, so they’ll never weigh you down. Plus, the fact that they’re knit makes them easy to toss into cramped luggage, so they’re great as packed travel shoes, too.
Leather Birkenstocks, as classic as they are, are renowned for requiring a break-in period. Their newer, rubber iterations—the Arizona Eva—do not. The waterproof sandals are comfortable from the moment you slip into them and pair as well with bare feet as they do with socks. They’re sold in 12 trendy colors and prints, too, and at a fraction of the cost of the original leather version, you may very well want to buy more than one pair.
We probably don’t have to sell you on these—they may already be a closet staple, and if not, you likely wore them in middle or high school. Flexible and endless comfortable (the more you wear them, the better they get), Chucks are even podiatrist-approved for being one of the best shoes you can wear while weightlifting. And they come in a nearly infinite amount of colors.
Now, we know that Crocs come with mixed bag reactions but one look at celebrity and influencer culture and you’ll see that the rubber clogs are having a major moment. Unsurprisingly, the controversial shoes are incredibly comfortable—not to mention convenient. From an extra-cozy stance, the lined clogs are an especially great option, as the classic soft, supportive insole is lined with fuzzy sherpa. Plus, the new celery colorway? We’re swooning.
Looking for something to wear to the office without feeling like you’re rocking a professional pair of uncomfortable pointed shoes? Check out Rothy’s The Point flats. Made of recycled plastic water bottles, the lightweight, flexible flats are not only comfortable but sustainable, too. One thing to note: Despite the appearance, these machine-washable shoes don’t stretch. With that in mind, you may want to size up a half size if they’re at all snug.
Behold: A pair of some of the most comfortable sneakers we’ve ever tried. From the ultra-cushioned sole to the layered ankle protection within the sock-like upper, these sneakers, which are sold in 17 colors, hug your feet with each step. The result? Cozy, blister-free wear from the moment you put them on—whether you wear them to walk, run, or sprint.
Our love for HOKA sneakers know no bounds (really—we’ve written about how great they are for walking, cushioning, and stability several times). They’re one of the best brands that makes the perfect walking and running shoe that you can slip into for the first time right before your workout or stroll and not come home feeling the pain. Thanks to a lightweight midsole, you’ll feel like you’re walking on a cloud.
Another shoe you likely owned as a kid, Keds are no-joke comfortable. If you want to switch things up from the standard canvas tennis shoe, these kicks have a slight platform for some added height. Plus, they’re made of organic cotton, making them incredibly soft (yet durable).
If you’re looking for a heel that has little to no break-in time, our senior commerce editor found a unicorn: M Gemi’s Mia slingback. It only has a few sizes left in the gold and black (the beige colorway has more to choose from, luckily), but if you can snag yourself a pair, Sunday brunch/date night/club-going you is going to be so happy. Made of soft Italian leather, this heel features an elastic backing that stretches as you walk (no stiffness that gives heels blisters), and a baby heel that makes walking long distances (if you must) doable.
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