Shoes for a Funeral: Dos and Don’ts

May 21st, 2020

If you’ve never attended a funeral before or you’re involved in your first funeral planning in Philadelphia, you might be unsure what is and isn’t appropriate attire. While most people know that an all-black ensemble is traditional, many funerals today take a more relaxed approach, with shades of white, cream, and navy being seen as more acceptable than in previous years. However, rules on shoes and footwear remain strict. If you’re attending a funeral, be sure to read these footwear “dos and don’ts” before you choose your outfit.

Do: Choose Closed-toed Shoes

Many styles of women’s shoes feature a peep-toe or open toed design. These shoes are not usually considered appropriate for a funeral service, even during the summer months. Opt for a conservative, closed-toed pair of heels or flats.

The same rule applies for both men’s and women’s sandals. If your funeral will be taking place in a warm climate, you might be tempted to throw on a pair of fancier sandals or open-toed shoes. However, it’s always a better idea to choose a close-towed pair of shoes and to leave these sandals for the beach. No matter if you’re a man or a woman, you should also avoid flip-flops at all costs — no matter how casual you expect a funeral to be, these shoes are always considered too casual for a formal affair like a funeral or reception service.

Don’t: Wear Sneakers

No matter if you’re a guy or a girl or if your sneakers are matte black or neon pink, you should never wear any form of athletic wear to a funeral service.

Do: Break Your Shoes in Beforehand

If you’ve had to purchase new shoes for an upcoming funeral service, don’t be afraid to take a long walk in them before the date of the service. Some funeral services may involve hours of standing, so you should take steps (literally) to ensure that you’ll be focused on the service and not on the pinching in your feet.

Don’t: Go Too High

While short heels are appropriate for a funeral, you shouldn’t choose shoes with a heel that’s too high. Stick to heels at or below an inch tall or choose a pair of dark-colored flats.

Do: Think About Dressing for a Job Interview

If you’re having trouble selecting shoes (or any type of funeral attire) it’s a good idea to think about what you’d wear if you were attending a job interview. As a general rule, the types of footwear that would be acceptable at a formal job interview is usually considered appropriate for a funeral. For example, if you’re a woman who was attending a job interview, you probably wouldn’t select a pair of hot pink high heels — but you might choose a low-to-the-ground pair of black ballet flats or Mary Jane pumps. Similarly, if you’re a man, you’d probably opt for a pair of brown loafers over your well-loved tennis shoes. If you remember the words “conservative” and “understated” when selecting your attire, you’ll have no trouble finding the right pair of shoes for any funeral or reception service.

Don’t: Be Afraid to Ask a Family Member of the Deceased

If the person who has passed on was part of a more conservative culture or religion, there may be additional rules dictating proper funeral attire. Don’t be afraid to ask a family member of your loved one if you aren’t sure about what types of shoes should be worn to the upcoming service.

Losing a family member can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. McCafferty Funeral Home is available 24/7 to help you plan your funeral or low cost cremation in Philadelphia. Call our team for immediate service.


For more information about planning a burial or to schedule a consultation, please call 215-531-5014.

Schedule Consultation >
  • This is the only funeral home my family has ever used…

    The team at McCafferty Funeral home made this extremely difficult process a breeze. Thank you Mr. Mark & Lisa and Koryn you guys were so wonderful and understanding. I highly recommend this wonderful place.

Read All Reviews