Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Comfortable shoes without the frump

I was talking to some friends last night about the difficulty of buying flat shoes that are comfortable to walk in. We assume that flat equals comfort...not so. I think most of us know that feeling of our feet in a cheap pair of ballet pumps (often from Primark!) slapping down on the pavement with only a couple of millimetres of material between the soles of our feet and the hard ground. After 15 minutes of this, everything starts to jar – hips, neck, back.

However, there is such a fine line between comfort and frump and sometimes it can be difficult to judge whether the line has been crossed. By the very nature of shoes offering more comfort and support, it can mean that the soles are thicker and can start to look less feminine and flattering, and more clumpy and clod hoppy!

But after years of abusing my feet and now suffering the consequences (hip pain, back pain, chewed up feet!), I am more and more focused on finding shoes that look good, work with my outfits and daily life (which in London involves a lot of walking...quickly!) but still have a nod to fashion.

I get a cold shiver just walking past shop windows that display the dreaded ‘action sandal’! Surely, surely there must be an alternative to the action sandal in the arena of comfortable sandals?!

I’ve done a little online research to try and find some alternatives. Obviously it’s difficult to judge quality and comfort by looking at an online photo but these all looked reasonably well made and offered a little more on the sole of the shoe to protect the soles of our feet! I decided to run the gamut of flats, from sandals, to ballets, to brogues to boots for late summer/autumn…and some are even in the sale!


Miss L-Fire Delilah print sandals - £80

Bronx buddy flat sandals - £55

Pied a Terre Indiana sandal - £120 down to £60

African Berry Sandal - £50
Duckfeet Bornholm sandal - £59.95

Ballet pumps

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Melissa, three strap flat shoe - £75

Repetto orange ballet pumps – down from €155 to €93

M&S round toe stud pump shoes - £25

Flat boots

KG by Kurt Geiger Vancouver ankle boot in taupe, down from £150 to £96. Lovely colour which would work at the tail end of the summer, heading into autumn.

NW3 Georgia Desert Boot - £179 down to £69. Another really pretty boot that would work on colder summer days with dresses but also can take you into autumn (though the cut out leather may not be great on the rainy days!)

Office Frank blue leather brogues - £60
I bought a pair of these shoes back in April and have killed them! I wore them almost every day on my three weeks of honeymoon and everywhere they went (which included New York) they went down a storm. Lots of admiring glances and ‘I love your shoes’! They work with everything – jeans, dresses, dresses with leggings...honestly, not an outfit they didn’t rock! And, they were really, really comfortable for a £60 pair of shoes. Only problem is that traversing the length and breadth of Manhattan in them multiple times has meant the not hugely well-made heel has really worn down. I’m going to try to get them repaired but will be a bit disappointed if they only managed to last a month of use (they’ve been out of action since mid-May!).

Irregular choice Nougat brogue - £89.50
NW3 Fitzjohn Brogue - down from £169 to £79

Happy walking!

1 comment:

  1. Love the blue brogues. Had the same problem with Office shoes (quickly-disappearing heel). I think there was a real quality shift (maybe 5-8 years ago?) at Office; shoes got cheaper suddenly and the quality changed.

    I saw a comment recently on some blog or other where a woman said if she wore socks with her Tevas (aka 'action sandals') it would be a 'fashion fail' and I didn't want to be mean but all I could think was that Tevas are a fashion fail that can't really get much worse, socks or no.


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