Basic Training: The Perfect Black Pumps

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Whether you’re a high-power exec already nestled in a corner office or a newly hired fashion assistant plotting out her outfits for the first day on the job, you’ll find yourself in need of a basic black pump at one point or another. The reliable shoe is a vital component of every working girl’s closet, after all.But, not every black pump is created equal, and a lot of that has to do with the specifics of your job — and life. Whether it’s height, support, or a shoe that’ll give you that perfect amount of toe cleavage (come on, you know what we’re talking about), that you’re looking for, we’ve got you. We scoured the market and found the covetable pairs (from budget options to the investment-item splurges) that will help you put yourbest foot forward.

Cole Haan Air Talia Pump, $198, available at Cole Haan.

The Comfy Pump — With Nike Air technology, these heels have the squishiest soles you’re likely ever to encounter. The 3 1/2″ heel gives you a substantial boost, without give you a case of the wobbles, and is built to hug your feet so your toes won’t have to clench. 

Manolo Blahnik Suede Pump, $595, available at Savannahs

The Sexy Pump — Cutting right at the base of your toes, this Manolo pump will give you the subtlest bit of toe cleavage. Plus, the super-skinny heel, sleek lines, and pointed toe make this the shoe equivalent of an LBD. 

Olsenhaus Crystal Pump, $225, available at Olsenhaus.

The Vegan Pump — Made with ethical, sustainable materials (that won’t fall apart on you), this Olsenhaus pump also features a hidden platform for a sneaky height boost.

Ivanka Trump Taran Pump, $96.90, available at Nordstrom.

The Strappy Pump — No need to raise your hands, but who among you all need a little extra ankle support to keep your shoes on your feet? These pumps by Ivanka Trump have got that so-important ankle strap, but it manages not to detract from the professionalism of the pump. 

Zara Combined Court Shoe, $29.99, available at Zara.

The Under $30 Pump — For those of you who don’t need anything fancier than a budget shoe, this $29.99 Zara pump is a great option. Featuring an expensive-looking silhouette and soft man-made materials, this shoe won’t give you blisters and a broken ankle at the expense of those savings. 

Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pump, $695, available at Jimmy Choo.

The Platform Pump — If we’re not walking the red carpet, there’s not need for a 3-inch rise in the platforms of our pumps. This Jimmy Choo shoe is just tall enough for the platform lover, but it won’t require a cane to operate.

Nine West Gillyan Pump. $89, available at Nine West.

The Work Pump — You’re on your feet for hours at a time and sprinting is oftentimes an occupational hazard. Your pump should be low and stable, with a modest toe that keeps everything tucked in. This version also happens to be pretty cute. 

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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