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The Best Flats for Commuters

Recommended by people who don’t drive to work.

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It doesn’t matter where you live in the world: Traveling from home to work by public transportation in corporate job-appropriate footwear can be a pain — especially if there’s a decent amount of walking involved. Which is why a lot of women (including some in this very office) stash a pair or two of heels underneath their desks.

Here, six people who commute to work (without driving a car) on their favorite flats to wear to and from their day jobs that don’t scream Working Girl.


pink ballet flat with bow
Cole Haan Tail Bow Ballet Flat, $170

I’m a girly girl and love to wear pink. I try and switch up my look by wearing heels one day and flats another. Most days, I’m running late after dropping the kids off at school and I forget to pack my heels and end up wearing the flats I use to commute. Luckily, they’re office-appropriate and trendy. Ashley, front desk assistant. Commute time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Black Suede Slipper With Rose Wreath Embroidery. Black Grosgrain Trim
Del Toro Black Suede Slipper With Rose Wreath Embroidery, $350

I usually wear stilettos or wedges at the shop, but when I’m commuting to work from home, I throw on my tuxedo flats. I have different variations of them — some from Zara, H&M, and Del Toro. I try not to spend too much money on flat shoes, but Del Toro has a pair with roses on them that I had to have. They also match the rose tattoo I have on my shoulder. — Marissa, tattoo artist. Commute time: 1 hour.

Fabric ankle-strap d'Orsay flats
Gap Fabric Ankle-Strap d'Orsay Flats, $29.97

I’m a frequent Gap shopper when it comes to basics, and I have a ton of Gap flats in different versions. When commuting to work I’m always walking fast, so I wear pairs with an ankle strap. Living in New York and commuting to work in the morning means someone is going to step on the back of my heels while trying to rush on to the train. I love that the ankle straps protect my shoes from falling off when that happens. —Kim, teacher’s assistant. Commute time: 50 minutes.

Black Open-sided Flats
H&M Open-Sided Flats, $25

My office’s dress code is very strict. I’m always in a pantsuit or some variation of a suit. I don't wear high heels because I have weak ankles, so I wear block heels and kitten heels instead. To work, I wear these cutout flats from H&M that I have in various colors. —Jazmine, accountant. Commute: 1 hour.

Sueded Moccasins for Women
Old Navy Sueded Moccasins for Women, $23

I’m a sucker for moccasins and have them in a lot of different colors and patterns. My newest pair is from Old Navy. I often buy different flats that I can wear from day to night if I’m not in the mood to wear heels. —Monique, receptionist. Commute time: 1 hour.

Black and White leather loafers
G.H. Bass & Co White Weejuns, $110

I don’t wear shoes with my commute in mind, even though it takes up almost two hours of my day! Yes, it’s preferable if my shoes are comfortable, but I don’t prioritize it over style. That said, my favorite shoes lately are a pair of Bass loafers. I added some insoles for extra support and now they’re comfortable and cute, and they go with almost anything. —Charlotte, associate editor. Commute time: 45 minutes.

Brown striped flats
Frances Valentine Lydia Ankle Cuff D’Orsay Striped Flats, $195

I work in human resources and am not required to wear heels in the office, but I do like to wear them to important meetings. When I’m not wearing an ankle-strap heel, then I’m in a flat version. (Maybe this is because I went to Catholic school and wore a uniform when I was younger.) Frances Valentine makes a cute version that I have in both gray and black. —Pamela, human resources assistant. Commute time: 30 minutes.