Best Church Shoes for Places of Worship Reviewed

Though the trend of informal attire has permeated nearly every aspect of society, there are still a few places resisting this revolution — namely, religious institutions. Churches. Cathedrals. Mosques. Synagogues. No matter the place of worship, in the past, traditions likely mandated what you wore, right down to your shoes. (If shoes were allowed, of course.)

Yet, as we all know, traditions are mighty hard to break. So while the rest of the world is fine with flip-flops and tube socks, most churches still expect (and even require) modest, conservative dress. And in this new era of sneakers and leopard print, it’s entirely possible to look in your closet and realize you have nothing that fits the bill.

To make it easy for you, we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the best shoes to wear to church.


Cobb Hill Aubrey
  • Cobb Hill Aubrey
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Adjustable Fit
  • EVA Footbed
  • Price: See Here
LifeStride Parigi
  • LifeStride Parigi
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Padded Insole
  • True To Size
  • Price: See Here
Rockport Perth
  • Rockport Perth
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Full Grain Leather
  • Non-Marking Sole
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Church Shoes

 

1. Rockport Cobb Hill Aubrey

This strappy sandal has a retro style with modern comfort. With the 1.5 inch block heel, you can have a little lift without feeling uneasy on your feet. The rubber outsole and EVA foam footbed help to provide you with added comfort that will last as long as you wear them.
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Adjustable Fit
Unlike other boots or heels on our list that aren't adjustable, the Aubrey's can help to perfectly fit your feet perfectly. They are even adjustable so you can loosen or tighten them as needed throughout the day.

EVA Footbed
The EVA foam footbed adds to the comfort of the Aubrey's. The compression-resistant foam keeps the shape of your foot to protect against shock and pressure while you walk.

Cost
Right in the middle of the pack, the Aubrey's are inexpensive so you won't feel guilty buying them.
Pros

EVA Footbed

Comfortable Rubber Sole

Comfortable Round Toe

Adjustable Fit

Cons

Long Break In Time

2. LifeStride Parigi

For a reserved retro look, consider the Dream Pairs Comodo pump. Featuring a tapered 2.5” heel, Parigi is another kitten heel with a lowkey profile. These classy heels come in many color options so you can fit your style whatever it may be.
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Demure Style
The Parigi heel has a gently pointed toe and a dainty bow across the vamp. Semi-matte patent leather uppers give these pumps a mature, yet sweet appearance. This is a shoe that can be easily paired with dresses and skirts of all lengths, or a smart pair of slacks.

Walkability
Despite having a 2.5” heel, this isn’t a bad church shoe for extended standing or walking. Whether you are planning to be part of the choir or walking through the pews with a collection plate, the Parigi will keep you comfortable while you do so. The Comodo features moderate arch support and a snug fit.

Cost
At half the price of the Anne Klein Expert, this is a great conservative shoe both fiscally and socially. While these may not last quite as long as the Expert or the Perth, they’re affordable enough to invest in more than one pair. Furthermore, retro style shoes have come back into style in a big way and don’t seem to be going away again.
Pros

True To Size

Soft System Technology Insole

Padded Synthetic Insole

Cons

Scuffs Easily

3. Rockport Perth

As one of the first brands to create dress shoes with walking comfort, Rockport is a top-notch option for a church shoe. The Rockport Perth is a traditional boat shoe, meaning that it’s designed for boat decks, first and foremost. Nevertheless, a moccasin-style toe paired with rich leather uppers make the Perth a stylish, yet prudent choice to pair with your Sunday best.
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Handsewn Construction
The Rockport Perth is genuinely handsewn for the utmost strength and durability. Perth features full-grain leather uppers, grippy and textured rubber soles, and decorative eyelets. The Perth also has rawhide lacing that serves a role in both decoration and function. For further durability, and to help the shoe retain its shape, the Rockport Perth has a steel shank throughout the midfoot.

Daylong Comfort
Designed to be worn without shoes, the Rockport Perth features a moisture-wicking suede upper liner for breathability. This boat shoe also has a padded collar and tongue and deep heel cup. Being that the uppers are leather, over time, the Rockport Perth will conform to your feet for a customized fit. The insole of the Perth is also moisture-wicking and is treated to reduce moisture.

Cost
On its face, the Rockport Perth is a fairly expensive shoe. However, these are shoes that can be expected to last for years with regular wear. If only relegated to being worn to worship services, the Perth is the kind of shoe that will pay for itself multiple times over the course of its life.
Pros

Narrow And Wide Widths Available

Strong And Durable

Non-Marking Sole

Decorative Eyelets

Cons

Non-Removable Insoles

4. OluKai Moloa

4. OluKai Moloa
The OluKai Moloa is a rugged leather slip-on suitable for churches with looser dress requirements. ‘Moloa’ even translates to ‘lazy’ in Hawaiian. The Moloa has a simple cloth-like look that is discreet and low profile. Handsewn whipstitching imparts a unique design, as do the pronounced rubber traction pods on the sole of the shoe. Plus, with thirteen color variants that are all subtle for a religious service, you can’t go wrong no matter what.
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Changeable Style
One of the more prominent features of the OluKai Moloa is its ‘drop-in’ heel. Unique stitching around the heel counter allows the heel to be flattened, transforming the Moloa into a mule or clog-like shoe. Go from house slipper to service-ready instantly with the OluKai Moloa.

Enhanced Comfort
Aside from being removable and washable, the footbed of the OluKai Moloa is anatomically contoured and boosted by gel inserts for superior cushioning. There is moisture-wicking properties courtesy of a Dri-Lex microfiber cover; combined with velvety nubuck leather uppers, the Moloa provides a smooth experience akin to walking through sand.

Cost
Equal in price to the Rockport Perth, the OluKai Moloa is a similarly comfortable and durable shoe. The Moloa is exceptionally down to earth and has all the makings for a long-lived church shoe.
Pros

Runs Large

Removable Footbed

Non-Marking Soles

Subtle Arch Support

Cons

Expensive

5. Dansko Maria

5. Dansko Maria
The Dansko Maria is a perfect, classy boot that would be a perfect look for church. Featuring a rounded toe and small heel that will amp up any outfit.
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Good Fit
The wide toe box and relaxed fit won't leave your feet feeling squished. You can relax knowing that your feet won't be aching from during long stretches of standing during the sermon or wearing throughout the day.

Cost
The Maria's are more expensive than other options on our list but they are proven to be long lasting and durable so you can rest assured that your investment will be worth it.
Pros

Contoured Wooden Sole

Easy To Clean

Easy On And Off

Polyurethane Outsole For Shock Absorption

Cons

Requires Breaking In

6. Anne Klein Tamarow

6. Anne Klein Tamarow
While the 3-inch heel might be intimidating for some, but the sleek design and wedge heel make it a great option for church. The body of the shoes is made up of fabric while the sole is syntehtic and therefore durable so you can rest assured that your investment will be worth it.
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Foam Insole
Inside the Tamaraow are lightweight foam insoles that aid in cushion and shock absorption. This helps to keep your feet feeling great even after long hours of standing on your feet. The insoles form to the shape of your foot and arch to better distribute your weight evenly as you walk.

Fabric Body
The fabric body is lightweight yet durable. This will keep your feet feeling cool and comfortable throughout the day. This also means the shoes are great for hot summer days or churches that don't always have AC.

Cost
With a well-known brand name you might think these shoes are out of your price range but think again. They are surprisingly affordable and if you plan to wear these often, they will be an excellent bargain.
Pros

Foam Insole

Runs True to Size

Good Arch Support’

Extra Protective Front Toe

Cons

Tight Toe Box

7. Cole Haan Tali Grand

7. Cole Haan Tali Grand
Wedge heels are often considered the best intersection of height, stability, and modesty. The Cole Haan Tali Grand is a superb example of this. Featuring a 1.5” wedge heel and a rounded closed toe, the Tali Grand has covered the bases of fashionable prudence. Tali is also purchasable in seven variants, including a chestnut brown crocodile print; almost all of them are subtle enough to be suitable for religious ceremonies.
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Grand.OS Technology
As a revamp of a previous shoe, the Tali Grand is the culmination of a four-pronged approach to comfort. Flexibility, cushioning, breathability, and weightlessness merge. The success of the Grand.OS shoe technology is in the fully padded sock lining, quilted foam-padded footbed, and shock-absorbing rubber outsole. And as if that wasn’t enough cushioning, there is also separate forefoot padding for daylong wear.

Humble Heels
The Cole Haan Tali Grand wedge is made of vachetta leather, an untreated Italian leather popularized by designer Louis Vuitton. A gold-capped woven bow is the only decoration the Tali Grand has, so it is an unobtrusive shoe with a luxurious feel. Plus, a slightly elasticized collar adds detail and a snug fit.

Cost
The Cole Haan Tali Grand is an expensive shoe, there is no denying it. It is the most expensive of the recommendations in this guide, but for good reason. Premium Italian leather is durable, simple to care for, and is one of the few materials that look better with some age. This is a shoe that’s in it for the long haul.
Pros

Narrow & Wide Widths Available

Half Sizes Available

No Breaking In

Easy To Slip On

Cons

Bows Son’t Lie Flat

8. Clarks Keesha Raine

8. Clarks Keesha Raine
Part of the Clarks Artisan Collection, the Keesha Raine loafer is a perfect companion to your Sunday best wardrobe. A 1.25” heel, split between 1” heel and 0.25” platform, provides a gentle lift to your silhouette. Available only in black and nude, CLARKS Keesha Raine also makes an effortless addition to professional and formal outfits.
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Cushion Plus Technology
CLARKS brand shoes often feature proprietary comfort technology that sets them apart from other shoes. The Keesha Raine loafer features two of these exclusive designs — Cushion Plus and Ortholite. Ortholite is the material that the footbed is made of, while the Cushion Plus technology is why the footbed is anatomically targeted and adapts to the motion of your feet. The build of the Keesha Raine also reduces ball-of-foot strain and provides lasting, supportive softness.

Chic Construction
Polished patent leather, embossed with a crocodile skin-inspired print, gives the Keesha Raine a mature look that is only enhanced by the accompanying squared toe box. A gold-buckled strap across the vamp is the only adornment the CLARKS Keesha Raine loafer has, which only further improves its simplistic style.

Cost
The Keesha Raine from CLARKS sits in the same price range as the Rockport Perth. Though that means the Keesha Raine is costlier than other church shoe options, it’s worth its price. The Keesha Raine loafer is timelessly fashionable, and CLARKS is a brand that is known for quality and longevity.
Pros

Removable Footbed

Available In Narrow & Wide Widths

Roomy Toe Box

True To Size

Cons

Polished Look Can Fade

9. LifeStride Farrow

9. LifeStride Farrow
The LifeStride Farrow is a wedge pump in the same vein as the Cole Haan Tali Grand. What sets the Farrow apart, however, is quality faux leather uppers and a distinctly adorned style. These wedges come in an effortless slip-on style yet fit snugly. The Farrow is available in widths from narrow to extra wide and in ten church-suitable hues.
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Sharp Stepping
The Farrow from LifeStride is another shoe that provides subtle lift and stability with a 1.25” faux-stacked heel. The rounded toe is complemented by three stitched, buckled straps across the vamp. The buckles are not adjustable, but they add an element of class to the Farrow.

Soft System Technology
Soft System is LifeStride’s innovative comfort technology that makes the Farrow an excellent cushioned choice. Soft System takes a three-part approach to comfort. It uses a breathable, energy-returning foam insole; a flexible outsole that bends to reduce the impact your foot takes; and adds moderate foot support and balance.

Cost
The LifeStride Farrow wedge matches the Viotti 179 in price. It is a fantastic alternative to similar albeit more expensive recommendations in this guide. As a bonus, the LifeStride Farrow is considered a casual shoe; it won’t be difficult to repurpose these wedges for other occasions.
Pros

Vegan

Traction Outsole

Arch Support

Easy To Clean

Cons

Runs Wide

shoe organizers 1

Finding the best shoes to wear to church is really about adhering to a modest dress code. Though the phrase ‘come as you are’ lends itself to the ever-increasing casualness in the church, it’s not exactly meant literally either. We hope you’ve found this guide useful in narrowing your search for the perfect church shoe.

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Church Shoes

Best-Church-Shoes-4

 

When reviewing shoes to wear to church, there are a few things to keep in mind. It can’t be overstated that modesty is the foremost consideration when searching. Unassuming and straightforward shoe designs will serve you best not just as a shoe to wear for religious services, but also as items that are easy to blend back into your everyday wardrobe.

Shoe Toe Type

The type of toe your shoe has will be a primary indicator of whether it is suitable for church. Closed-toe shoes, whether round or pointy, will work best. Closed-toe shoes will make sure that you don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself or otherwise distract fellow parishioners.

Round closed-toe shoes are ultimately preferred, as they will serve to hide your feet and make them appear smaller. Square-toed shoes are equivalent to round-toed shoes. Pointy closed-toe shoes are a decent secondary choice, if your church leans more casually in dress code or if being fashionable is of import to you. Keep in mind, though, that some pointy shoes stand out just by being pointy.

Oppositely, open-toed shoes are not ever recommended. Many religious institutions have specific statements about open-toed shoes and those that don’t still are likely to have an unspoken rule. However, if you can’t avoid wearing open-toed shoes — or if you’re sure your church allows casual dress — try to opt for shoes with small openings, like a peep-toe.

Heel Height

Another critical consideration is heel height. Sky high heels have never been more popular than they are today; it’s not uncommon to see 5” heels in even the most mundane situations. Nonetheless, as trendy as they are, save the highest of your heels for another time. The recommended heel height for a church shoe is 2” or lower, although a 3” heel could work if the shoe is otherwise demure.

Of secondary importance is the type of heel your shoe has. While thicker, chunkier heels are ofttimes painted as unsexy, they are perfect for churchgoing. Remember, though, that heels are entirely optional too. No one will look twice if your shoes are flat.

Color

This is likely a no-brainer, but shoe color is something to think about when picking out a shoe for church. Neutral colors like black, brown, and white are, of course, easy choices but it’s okay to want another color or three. First, know that pastel colors are more acceptable than “hot” tones, like neon pink or green. Even if your shoe fits the other criteria for religion-based modesty, a loud color can override all of that.

On the other hand, some colors are better darkened. For example, the average red shoe is going to be too attention-grabbing for a religious ceremony. Burgundy, however, is muted and unobtrusive. Another example is the blue hues. Navy is a common shoe shade that is almost a neutral all its own.

Best-Church-Shoes-3

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How do I find out if my church has a dress code?
A: If your church has a website, the easiest way would then be to visit their website. Churches that have sites will often have primers on the kind of etiquette and behavior necessary. If your church doesn’t have a website, calling the church for the dress requirements is your next best bet. Just avoid calling during typical worship times.

Q: Will a church kick me out if I’m not correctly dressed?
A: Fortunately, it’s rare to be kicked out of a church for inappropriate dress. You may receive sidelong glances, or someone may pull you aside to mention your outfit to you politely.

Q: Should I wear different shoes for an evening service?
A: Ultimately this is up to you, but it’s not required. A good, single pair of shoes should be sufficient for day or evening services.

Q: Do church dress codes also include church weddings?
A: Not necessarily. While dressing conservatively helps you err on the side of caution, a wedding is still an event separate from the church. If it’s not too late, try checking in with the betrothed; they’ll have the final say.

 

 

Sources

  1. Hem of His Garments, A Modest Girl’s Shoes
  2. Cosmopolitan, How to Dress for Church
  3. Ask Sister Mary Martha, Too Open…Toed


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