Which block heel pumps are best?

Block heel pumps are classic styles that remain popular for their chic yet practical designs. While they’re a wear-to-work essential, more recently, block heel pumps have been embraced by the fashion community for casual wear.

Block heel pumps have thick heels that offer more stability than most heel types, including stiletto and kitten. They’re also safer to wear for prolonged periods of walking because they’re less likely to throw off your balance, given their thick designs. 

If you’re looking for a contemporary block heel pump, Calvin Klein Women’s Nita Almond Toe Pumps are a top style that features a simple metallic band for a touch of class. 

What to know before you buy block heel pumps

What are block heel pumps?

Block heel pumps feature a stump-like heel that provides more stability than slender heel designs, including stiletto and kitten heels. Because the heels are so thick, their structured aesthetic is associated with functional and utilitarian fashion. With that said, many block heels have elegant designs and details that soften the silhouette.

How to wear block heel pumps

Block heel pumps are worn with professional attire, including pantsuits, dresses and slacks. The style may also be worn with casual outfits, including flared trousers, skinny jeans, A-line skirts and rompers. Certain low-heeled block heel styles may be acceptable footwear for school uniforms as well. 

What to look for in quality block heel pumps


You can find countless styles of block heel pumps made with synthetic materials such as faux leather and micro-suede. They have the look and feel of their real counterparts, only they’re lightweight and more affordable. However, these materials may deteriorate much sooner than others. 

Leather and suede pumps are built to last. They have a finer aesthetic that polishes upscale looks, including outfits and handbags with leather or suede accents. Unfortunately, these block heel styles are expensive and require ongoing care to keep them looking their best. 

Heel design

Generally speaking, block heel pumps share the same stocky, stump-like design. While square is the most common shape, a few styles have round heels. There’s also a subset of block heel pumps called stacked heels, which feature a column of visible layers and horizontal lines. The design is particularly popular in loafer-inspired block heel pumps. 

Toe box style

Toe box refers to the front part of a shoe. It’s available in several shapes, and as far as block heels are concerned, round, square, pointed and almond are the most popular. Round and square toes are comfortable because they allow a reasonable amount of wiggle room for toes. Pointed and almond toes give the foot a dainty silhouette, but they’re nowhere as comfortable as round or square toes. 

Comfort features

Many heeled styles, including block heel pumps, are now designed with comfort features. Cushioned footbeds are the most common, though they’re not suitable for everyone. They tend to be thicker than regular footbeds, which means it may not be possible to add insoles or orthotics. Other popular comfort features include elastic details, flexible insteps and seamless designs. 

How much you can expect to spend on block heel pumps

Block heel pumps made with inexpensive materials start at $40. Better-quality styles, including those made with leather or suede, start at $75 and run as high as $225. Designer block heel pumps cost $250-$750.

Block heel pumps FAQ

How tall are block heel pumps?

A. Low- and medium-heeled styles range from 1-3 inches. The highest block heel pumps start at approximately 3.5 inches and go as high as 6 inches. These usually have platform soles to support the sharper heel angles. 

How do I pack block heel pumps?

A. To prevent pumps from transferring dirt and debris onto clothing, invest in travel shoe bags. Another option is to store them inside plastic bags, but you may need to double-bag them to prevent potential rips and tears that may occur when luggage is handled. 

What are the best block heel pumps to buy?

Top block heel pumps

Calvin Klein Women's Nita Almond Toe Pumps

Calvin Klein Women’s Nita Almond Toe Pumps

What you need to know: The classic style has a contemporary update with a pointed toe and metallic detail. 

What you’ll love: At just over 2 inches, the heel is the right height for walking and commuting. It’s made with buttery-smooth leather that naturally flexes with the foot. These pumps run true to size, but there’s enough room to place insoles inside them. 

What you should consider: The metallic accent is gold, which may contrast with silver jewelry.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top block heel pumps for money

LifeStride Devyn Slip-On Pumps

LifeStride Devyn Slip-On Pumps

What you need to know: A preppy option, this stacked block pump has a loafer-inspired design that dresses up any bottom, from jeans to slacks. 

What you’ll love: These LifeStride shoes have a cushioned insole and flexible upper. They’re one of few styles available in wide widths. The traction outsole improves grip on slippery and uneven ground. They’re available in four neutral colors. 

What you should consider: A few shoppers would have liked to see this style available in lighter brown or neutral shades.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Worth checking out

Alfani Women's Step N' Flex Jensonn Block Heel Pumps

Alfani Women’s Step N’ Flex Jensonn Block Heel Pumps

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a dressy block heel pump, this 3-inch style with contrast details is a popular choice. 

What you’ll love: The rectangular heel has the stability of a block style with a stiletto-inspired silhouette. It has extra heel and sock padding for shock absorption. The metallic accent creates a unique contrast between the heel and ankle counter. 

What you should consider: Some people like the red suede choice, but others would have preferred it was smooth leather.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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