As someone who’s been a bridesmaid three times (and a bride with bridesmaids), I understand the kind of duties you have to perform during a wedding. While I’ve never encountered a true bridezilla, it still requires being completely on your game.

Think of it as a wedding version of Whack-A-Mole—the minute one problem has disappeared and you’re on to the next one. It might be something as simple as rearranging the bride’s veil or perhaps a little more taxing as attempting to distract a second cousin intent on giving an inappropriate speech.

What I’m saying is that there’s a lot of standing, sitting and then getting back up again with little respite. Then once your duties are complete, there’s the important matter of having a great time on the dance floor. All of which can take a toll on your feet.

Unless you have Beyoncé-level skills when it comes to wearing high heels, I probably don’t need to tell you that stilettos are out of the question. If you’re a bride, you’ll be wary of mounting costs and don’t want to have to foot a huge bill for shoes (however, bridesmaids wincing down the aisle in cheap sandals isn’t a great look). In essence, you’re looking for a Venn diagram of comfortable but inexpensive bridesmaid shoes.

Now, this isn’t always easy considering it really is true: The cheaper a pair of heels, the less likely they are to be kind to your feet. However, like the intrepid fashion investigators we are, the Who What Wear team trialled some of the best high-street shoes around the office, making sure that they were easy to walk in and didn’t pinch or hurt our feet by the end of the day.

We mainly opted for sandals in classic bridesmaid colours—metallics, whites, pinks and greens—starting from as little as £20. Keep scrolling for our verdicts and shop our picks.

“My feet are small but wide, so these feel just a tad narrow despite the fact that they’re extra soft. I can see how they’d be very comfortable for anyone with normal or narrower feet than my trotters! I know they’re totally kitsch, but that’s why I love them. The kitten heel is a great option for city weddings (probably not field-friendly) and will last through a long day. After the wedding, they’d look cool with jeans and a plain vest.”—Hannah Almassi, editor in chief

“I’ve spotted Topshop’s sellout strappy sandals on so many fashion editors this season thanks to their on-trend ’90s appeal. These are actually my own pair that I’ve bought for a wedding, so it was a great opportunity to give them a test run. The inside straps rubbed a little and I found them quite tight over my toe. However, I like the low heel and they lasted a full day’s wear at work, so I would call that a success. It’s a solid 7/10 on the comfort scale from me.”—Joy Montgomery, shopping editor

“I know this isn’t a very ‘fashion’ thing to admit, but I can’t stand heels. I so rarely find a pair that are comfortable—they’re either too high or too pointy, too blister-inducing or too sweaty (sorry, but you know it’s true). That’s why this challenge was right up my street. Charles & Keith’s white strappy heels were an unexpected success. I wore them for a full day at work, and apart from a slight arch ache, I was super surprised by their support and cushioned comfort. Don’t be fooled by the high heel, because these babies will take you from aisle to dance floor with ease.”—Joy 

“Topshop’s sandal offering this summer is seriously strong, and these cream sandals are no exception. They’d look fab with any style of dress and fit like a dream. All I need now is for one of my friends to ask me to be their maid of honour and I’m set.”—Alyss Bowen, associate social media editor

“As someone who is pretty fussy about shoes and often prefers saving up to buy expensive, better-quality versions, I have a really weird soft spot for New Look’s footwear department! I’ve often found their styles to be quite comfortable (and they do wide fits as well, which can be a godsend during the summer months or for weddings when you’re on your feet for 12 hours straight). These aren’t leather, and they are at the cheap end of the spectrum, but many a similar sandal would be hideously painful. These are easy to walk in as they aren’t too high and the fabrication is supple. Also, the colour is rather pretty.”—Hannah

I’m a massive advocate of Marks and Spencer shoes, as they’ve always been great for my wide feet and I’ve yet to try a pair that is uncomfortable. However, I was dubious about these actually staying on my feet at first, but they felt surprisingly secure. The straps at the bottom felt tighter, and I worried that it would rub me but the shoes worked with my feet by stretching a little to ensure it wasn’t uncomfortable. Another win from M&S.

“I actually own the flat version of these which have a back, and I find the pointed toes a little stiff on my blister-prone feet, so I rarely wear them. Because of this, I was expecting to quickly veto these. However, the mule shape means these feel loose (in a good way), so there isn’t pressure on any specific part of the foot. The strap isn’t pressing on the foot, and despite the pointed toe, they feel roomy rather than restrictive. The heel is mini as well meaning there shouldn’t be too much hobbling on the big day.”—Emma Spedding, deputy editor

These felt so soft on my feet. I’m not exaggerating when I say they were the comfiest shoes I’ve worn in a long time and I own a 5-year-old pair of Birkenstocks that have moulded to my feet. I would 100% want to wear these as a bridesmaid. To be honest, I want to wear them every day of the summer too.

“I’ve already worn these white Zara sandals as a wedding guest, and they didn’t pinch or hurt my feet once so I know they’d be perfect as bridesmaid shoes. They go with literally everything and tie into the whole ‘naked shoe’ trend you’ve seen all over Instagram. I’d pair them with a long flowing bridesmaid dress in a bold colour to offset the white (that is if the bride was okay with it!).”—Alyss

Next up, the ultimate summer capsule wardrobe.