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Found: The Best Black Pumps

September 5, 2019


Erin Schrader

Mission Accomplished: The Best Black Pumps

It’s a staple that we should all have in our closet — classic black pumps. Whether it’s for work, for play, for date nights, events to attend, the reasons are unlimited as to why you’ll be wearing these tried and true wardrobe staple. While there are many [many] brands on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are worth the buy and which ones will have your feet hurting in zero seconds flat. Insert your product comparisons guru, the LIY team. We put 8 different pairs of black pumps to the test to bring you the best of the best. Interested in the results? Keep reading….

Meet the Pumps We Tested:

Here is the lineup of brands and styles that we tested in this comparison….

How We Tested:

After ordering all of the above, I tried every one on and then spent time evaluating the below categories and giving each category a 1-5 score [1 being the worst, 5 being the best] and then took the scores to bring you an average for each pair of pumps. As you’ll see below I’m bringing you the results from the highest rated score to the lowest. Here were the rated categories:

  1. Comfort – How comfortable are the pumps on my feet? Can I stand in them for hours with no problems or are my feet begging to come out immediately?
  2. Quality – How do the pumps feel from a quality standpoint. Will they last for awhile or will the scratch up and show wear and tear immediately?
  3. Appearance – How do the pumps look? Are they a style I find appealing? Not too matronly, not too over the top?

The Results

WINNER: Sam Edelman Hazel Pointed Toe Heel // Fit Tip: Size up .5

I was so excited that my tried and true favorites for year came in first place after stacking them up against the competition. I truly haven’t found a more comfortable pair of pumps. Not only are they great for all day wear [I wore these almost every day when I worked outside of the home and yes, you can see some wear and tear on the heels as these were the shoes I wore for years day after day] they have such a classic style and visual appeal. You can get them in both black suede or leather [I love both!]

Runner up – Calvin Klein Gayle Pumps // Fit Tip: True to size, they do run more on the narrow side.

What sold me on these right off the bat was the overall appearance – I love that these have a little silver detail on the back to give them an elevated, sexier look. I also appreciate a good pointed heel and these don’t disappoint in that department. Overall the quality seemed pretty great and while they aren’t AS comfortable as the Sam Edelman pair, they did rank high on the comfort scale! Definitely a great pair of pumps!

Third place, Amazon Brand – 206 Collective Women’s Mercer Dress Pump // Fit Tip: Size up one.

These probably win “most average overall black pump” and I mean that in the best way. The look is just right, the heel height is spot-on and there isn’t any extra flare, but just a good ole pair of basic black pumps. They did score high in the comfort department and I will continue to wear to see if they last as long as my trusty Sam Edelman pair. If you’re looking to save a few dollars from Sam, these may be a best route to go!

Fourth place [and the most expensive pair we tried], Via Spiga Nikole Pointy Toe Pump // Fit Tip: True to size

If money ain’t no thang, these may be your pumps. They are comfortable [although not the MOST comfortable pair in this lineup] and let’s face it, they look good. The only thing I didn’t love [other than the price] is that the front of the shoe does cover more of the toe line than I prefer. One visual note to add: the sole of the shoe is tan and it wraps a little on the sides if you look closely so you do see a smidgen of tan when wearing. 

Next on the list, Steve Madden DAISIE BLACK LEATHER // Fit Tip: True to size

HOLY COW these are some tall heels, I almost didn’t know how to walk in these babies. They are incredibly sexy though and I will say, other than not being able to walk properly, I felt so confident in them when looking in the mirror. Considering they are a 4-inch heel, they are pretty comfortable. They do hug the ankle which is a nice touch. If your motto is “the taller the better” you have met your match. 

In sixth place, Nine West Flax Pointed Toe Pumps // Fit Tip: True to size

I was shocked [and not in a good way] just how uncomfortable I felt like these were when I slipped them on. There was no extra cushioning and I felt like I could literally feel the stem of the heel right on the bottom of my foot. While I know that they are known for holding up well for years, I couldn’t give them the years [or days] to make it that long. I also didn’t love the look with how much they covered up my toes, a pass for me all around.

Second to last, we have I.n.c. Women Zitah Pointed Toe Pumps // Fit Tip: True to size

No offense, but I strongly [strongly] disliked the appearance of these. Too rounded, too much toe coverage, just overall blah. Frankly, I think my grandma would wear these with panty hose. If you’re into a more rounded look, I will say that the heel isn’t too high, so these could be a good lower heel option. The only thing I ranked them high on was comfort, but beyond that, no thanks. 

Last [and least], A New Day Gemma Pointed Toe Heeled Pumps // Fit Tip: Size down one

I think this is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for”. For starters, they had a very odd [and not pleasant] smell to them when opening out of the box. They definitely felt cheap and weren’t flattering on the foot. I wouldn’t want to count on these to get me through a day if I didn’t have to.

There we have it pump pals — the great pump debate settled. I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any other items you’d love to see us review, please drop us a note! For all other product comparisons, check out this section on our blog!

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