The Best Everyday Shoes of 2023

Our top pick is New Balance’s 574 Cores

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Everyday Shoes

Byrdie / Kevin Liang

Shoes are the basic foundation of any good outfit, not just because they can make or break a look but because the best pairs will support you physically throughout your day. If you’ve ever walked even a long-ish distance in a pair of uncomfortable shoes, you already know this; ditto for those who’ve clocked miles around their home city or explored a vacation destination on foot, without giving a second thought to their choice of shoes. The best everyday shoes, on the other hand, won’t derail you with aches or blisters because they balance fashion with function.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

New Balance's 574 Core Sneaker takes our top spot for their well-balanced appeal—they're chunky without seeming over-the-top. For under $100, though, you can snag the Cariuma's OCA Low Canvas Sneaker, which is so popular that it's racked up thousands-long waitlists since the style was introduced.

To guide you further, we scoured the internet for rave reviews, then doubled down on our research by speaking to several experts, podiatrists Dr. Elizabeth Bass Daughtry and Dr. Najwa Javed.

Best Overall

New Balance Women's 574 Core Sneaker

4.5
New Balance 574 Core

New Balance

New Balances certainly have made a splash on the sneaker scene over the past few years. Their “dad sneaker” vibe has been re-interpreted as an effortlessly cool shoe beloved by the likes of Rihanna and Emily Ratajkowski. The 574 Cores, for example, are chunky without seeming over-the-top and versatile enough to be worn with leggings, jeans, bike shorts, and joggers as you go about your day

Price at time of publish: $85

Material: Suede and polyester | Size Range: 5–12

Best Budget

Dr. Scholl's Madison Sneaker

Dr. Scholl's Madison Sneaker

Amazon

Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker is an affordable and easy-to-slip-on shoe in one. The under-$60 shoe has been worn and loved by thousands as these currently have 17,000+ reviews on Amazon. From a comfort perspective, reviewers say that weary feet will be a thing of the past thanks to the design’s soft microsuede lining and strategic cushioning. And style-wise, they’re minimalist enough to wear with any casual outfit and come in a myriad of colors and patterns.

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: Microsuede from recycled bottles and rubber | Size Range: 6–13, plus wide sizing

Best Designer

Gucci Brixton Horsebit Convertible Loafer

Gucci Brixton Convertible Loafers

Nordstrom

You can’t go wrong with Gucci’s horsebit loafers; after all, they’re a designer staple that’s existed since the 1950s. The Brixtons have the added value of being convertible, so you can wear them as a slide, too, and are easy to style—we love how they can class up a basic, everyday outfit or seamlessly complement a more polished ensemble.

Price at time of publish: $920

Material: Leather | Size Range: 4–12

Best Sustainable

Cariuma OCA Low Canvas Sneakers

Cariuma OCA Low Off-White Canvas Sneakers

Cariuma

These under-$100, Nina Agdal-approved canvas sneakers have racked up thousands-long waitlists. And it is perhaps easy to understand why. The Brazilian brand designs them for optimal comfort that's also good for the environment, having included everything from cork-based memory foam insoles to breathable, organic GOTS-certified cotton uppers. Other features include natural slip-resistant rubber and laces made out of recycled plastics. And, with every pair of sneakers purchased, Cariuma plants two trees in Brazil.

Price at time of publish: $80

Material: Organic cotton and natural rubber | Size Range: 5–13

Best (White) Sneaker

Nike Air Force 1 '07 Shoe

Nike Air Force 1

Nordstrom

Originally released as a basketball sneaker in the 1980s, Nike Air Force 1’s have since become an iconic street style staple. Basically, they’re the type of shoe you’ll love if you don’t want to buy a new pair every season. And comfort-wise, the foam cushioning and padded collar allow your feet some respite when walking distances daily. The little perforations allow for airflow to make this a breathable sneaker—a non-negotiable for sweaty summer days in our book.

Price at time of publish: $110

Material: Leather, rubber | Size Range: 5–12

Best Sandals

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandal

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandal

For those sweltering hot days, you’re going to want shoes that allow your feet to breathe. These sandals by Teva’s do exactly that. They’re also great walking shoes because of their great cushioning, adjustable fit, and arch support. Their materials (e.g., quick-drying, webbed straps from recycled polyester and grippy rubber outsoles, both treated with an antimicrobial solution to fight odor) make them durable so you can wear them often and for a long time, too.

Price at time of publish: $75

Material: Polyester and rubber | Size Range: 6–16

Best Flats

Rothy’s The Point

Rothy's The Point

Rothy's

Like it or not, ballet flats are back in style. Rothy’s pointed flats make for a great re-entry—they’re elegant, minimalist, and enduringly comfy thanks to their flexible uppers made from recycled plastic bottles (so they’re eco-friendly, too). They’re ideal for the office, the commute to and fro, and whatever else the day may throw at you. Simply take your pick from over 20 colors and patterns, add them to your checkout cart, and prepare to be impressed.

Price at time of publish: $149

Material: Yarn made from plastic water bottles | Size Range: 5–13

Best High Tops

CONVERSE Chuck Taylor® High Top Sneaker

Converse High Tops

Converse

Converse high-top sneakers are beloved for their durability, comfort, and reliability. (For many people, the beaten and worn-in look the canvas kicks garner over time is akin to a patina on leather.) . In terms of styling, they can be paired with denim jeans but also with delicate dresses and skirts. And if you’re open to a trendy twist, opt for the platform version.

Price at time of publish: $65

Material: Canvas, rubber | Size Range: 5–18

Best for Travel

Allbirds Women's Wool Runners

4.4
Allbirds Wool Runners

Allbirds

Washer-friendly, lightweight, and cloud-like comfort—these are just a few of the standout qualities of Allbirds’ Wool Runners, which make them the perfect pair of travel shoes. Reviewers rave about how their shoes were comfortable from the first wear and offered no sign of blisters or soreness. The slipper-like, temperature-regulating wool interior even has wearers ditching their socks, and the unique castor bean insole works wonders to wick moisture and reduce odors.

Price at time of publish: $110

Material: Merino wool | Size Range: 5–11

Best Boots

Dr. Martens 2976 Smooth Leather Chelsea Boots

Dr. Martens 2976 Smooth Leather Chelsea Boots

Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens’ 2976s are both classic and functional—both key components for an everyday boot. In fact, if you could pick only one pair of ankle boots, we’d recommend this exact style for the same reason. They’re a great way to take on Docs without obviously doing so, as they boast a more refined Chelsea silhouette compared to the typical lace-up style. The low heel makes them manageable for commutes and errands on foot, not to mention the hours on your feet you might spend at your friend’s house party on a Saturday night.

Price at time of publish: $170

Material: Leather | Size Range: 5–12

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Elizabeth Bass Daughtry, DPM, D.ABFAS, FACFAS, has been a podiatrist for over 20 years. She currently serves as Executive Board Treasurer of the North Carolina Foot and Ankle Society and Conference Chair 2023 for the American Association for Women Podiatrists.
  • Dr. Najwa Javed, DPM, MPH, AACFAS, is a board-certified podiatrist, foot and ankle surgeon, and founder of E’MAR Italy.

What to Look for in Everyday Shoes

Support

Perhaps the most important feature of an everyday shoe is its ability to support your feet and sustain long-term comfort. You want a pair of reliable shoes that provide arch support and don’t give you blisters. A reliable everyday shoe should be wide enough and long enough at the toes for the adequate most comfortable fit of your foot.

Fit

Proper daily shoes should provide some arch support and be able to bend where your toes bend but also only have some torque and a stiff back. To test the torque, Javed recommends holding the shoe at both ends—the shoe should be able to be twisted only slightly and not be too flexible.

Everyday shoes should have at least a half an inch heel counter and a somewhat wide toe box The sole should also have some rigidity. Javed says these parameters help to stabilize the arch of the foot and allow for a heel-to-toe gait. “Shoes that are too narrow in the toe box can cause hammertoes, corns, calluses, and aggravated bunions. Shoes that are too flexible or flat can destabilize the arch and cause plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and arch pain,” she says.

Material

According to Bass Daughtry, EVA is a good material for shock absorption, which is why it’s used in so many running shoes. Shoes with mesh uppers are “more breathable, prevent excessive friction/pressure for toe and foot deformities, and keep feet cooler.” Meanwhile, leather shoes eventually mold to your feet but aren’t as breathable and can cause blisters if they’re too small. Canvas shoes, on the other hand, are very lightweight, breathable, and easy to clean.

FAQ
  • How often should you replace everyday shoes?

    Everyday shoes should be replaced between 8–12 months on average or between 350–500 miles. According to Javed, these guidelines help you change shoes once signs of wear and tear start as well as when the insoles start to lose their support.

     In addition, Bass Daughtry recommends looking out for when “the liner of the shoe has worn down or if the sole of the shoe has worn areas on the shoe treads” as this indicates the cushion has met its wear capacity and needs to be replaced.

  • How to make heels or sandals more comfortable?

    Sandals and shoes that have built-in arch support are the best way to ensure comfort; however, if you are looking for comfort without compromising style, adding a thin orthotic to the inside of your shoes is a great way to add some support. Javed recommends the Superfeet Carbon Light or the Women’s Fashion Orthotics by Aetrex. She also advises using a shoe stretching spray if your shoes are too tight, as a tight fit can cause blisters.

Why Trust Byrdie

This roundup was written by Rachel Lee, Byrdie contributor and Dotdash Meredith commerce editor. She is always on the lookout for cute shoes that go with everything and can sustain all the walking required for living in NYC. Her hours of research for this piece included evaluating comfort, price point, and versatility.


According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find everyday shoes from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP. 

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