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How to Find the Perfect Everyday Ballet Flat

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How to find the perfect pair of ballet flats

Everyone has that pair of “everyday fallback ballet flats”, you know: the ones you wear so often that people wonder if you have any other shoes. Mine used to be a pair of black crochet ones from Urban Outfitters.

Ballet flats from Urban Outfitters
(The closest replica of my old flats on UO’s website- mine were a lot cuter, though. | UO)

I would wear them 75% of the week: through rain, sleet, and snow (not that it snows in LA very much). Every time they would start to wear out, I would replace them with another pair, dropping $40 dollars at least twice a year. And while I loved those shoes, I couldn’t help wondering, was there something better out there?

Time has come and gone, and I recently learned that Urban Outfitters no longer sells my trusty fallback flats-just as my last pair was on its way to the dumpster (RIP). So, it’s time for a change of pace, and a new pair of homegirl flats. The question is, when it comes to finding a pair of flats, what does one need to consider?

While I may not be THE expert, I think I have garnered enough life experience to say that I know what to look for when it comes to finding a reasonably priced and COMFORTABLE pair of ballet flats. Interested? Read on to get my advice on finding that perfect pair of flats.

Things to Consider

1. Price

Money
(Source: Flickr)

I’m just gonna come out and say it: if you want a good pair of long-lasting flats, you’re gonna need to drop some money. I know, I know, we’re poor college students. But buying those $20 dollar flats from Forever 21 just isn’t gonna cut it anymore. While they may be a steal, they just aren’t worth those squashed toes, sore ankles, and throbbing arches. (Trust me, I’ve been there, and my aching feet can prove it.)

If you want any sort of comfort and durability, you’re going to need to spend AT LEAST $25-30 dollars, and that’s the minimum. Some of the more comfortable flats run around $60-$100+ dollars. If you’re reluctant to spend that much, consider this: would you rather have a pair of $20 dollar flats that you need to replace around 4 times a year, or a pair of $80 dollar flats that will last all year long? Either way you’re still wearing the same flats (more or less) Wouldn’t you rather not have to bother with replacing them? Exactly.

2. Practicality

Comfortable pillows
(Source: Flickr)

Before you buy a pair, ask yourself: can you see yourself wearing these flats every day? Or do these only go with that cute top you bought last weekend? If your answer is the latter, then these aren’t your “everyday flats”.

Everyday flats should go with anything you wear, which means you should try and stick to a neutral color (meaning they are one solid color, not some “rainbow bright bedazzler flats”, although those sound pretty epic). Before you purchase your shoes, you need to be able to envision yourself wearing those flats with anything, and to anywhere. If you can visualize that, you’ve got a winner.

3. Comfort

Dr. Scholls Heel Liners
(Heel Liner- Dr. Scholl’s)

When you slip on a pair of candidate flats, you want to think “Wow, these are super comfy!” and not “Hm, kind of tight… but they’re so cute!”. Sure, those tight flats may be cute, but they’re not gonna be so cute when you’re limping across campus wishing you hadn’t thrown away your receipt. The bottom line is: style aside, COMFORT should be the first thing you consider when it comes to a looking for a ballet flat to wear often. They need to fit perfectly, feel good, and not rub your feet the wrong way (literally).

And since we’re on the subject of comfort, I thought I’d suggest one very important investment to further enrich your ballet flat experience. Whenever I buy a new pair of flats, I hate when the back of the flats starts digging into my heel: it hurts and sometimes even leaves a scar or bruise. Well, in order to stop that bothersome issue, all you need to do is invest in a pair of Heel Liners.  These babies are the best – just stick them onto the backs of your flats, and bam, all the hassle of wearing in your flats is gone. Goodbye discomfort!

4. Research

The last thing I want to suggest before you go out there in search of your ballet flats, is have a set idea of what you want. As flats are very popular nowadays, there are thousands of them on the market – some good, some not so good. And with so many styles, the search may get overwhelming.

One good thing about the internet is that you can do research way ahead of time to narrow down your search. Check out reviews on flats you are interested in because they are often helpful and can save you precious time later on.

Here are some good websites to get ideas for shoes you may like (or even to purchase shoes online):

Save vs. Splurge

Now that we’ve gone over things to consider when looking for the perfect pair of flats, we can get to the fun part, finding them. I’ve separated the flats I’ve found into two categories, the “save” category (meaning they cost less $25-$50 dollars), and the “spend” category (meaning they cost $60+ dollars). While I haven’t tested each shoe personally, I did research on the most comfortable flats on the market, and these are the gems I came up with.

Save

Inexpensive and cute flats
(1- Piperlime, 2- UO, 3- Aldo, 4- Target, 5- Piperlime, 6- Topshop, 7- Gap, 8- AE, 9- Asos)

The shoes in this section are priced from $30- $50 dollars, which is a reasonable price for a good quality ballet flat.

When it comes to choosing a pair of durable flats at a lower price, it’s important to keep in mind where or who you are buying your shoes from. Are they a brand or retailer that is known for good quality, or have you never heard of them before? If it is a store or brand that you know well and often buy from, you can probably trust the quality of the product. There are lots of cheap nameless ballet flats out there that can fall apart easily, and I don’t recommend buying from a no-name brand for this reason. In general, no-name flats are less durable and less comfortable (if they’re comfortable at all).

My best advice is to stick to shoes from stores like Macys, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Gap, J.Crew, Aldo, Zappos, and the like. That way, you know that quality is consistent (at least most of the time).

Splurge

High end ballet flats
(1- French Sole, 2- Steve Madden, 3- Sam, 4- Me Too, 5- Steve Madden, 6- Me Too, 7- Steve Madden, 8- Lanvin, 9- Bloch)

The shoes in this section are priced from $60 dollars and up. But keep in mind that although these shoes may cost more money, they are also better quality and probably longer lasting than their bargain equivalents.

When I was doing research for this post, I googled “Best Ballet Flats” and “Most Comfortable Ballet Flats”, and while some of the results led me nowhere, some of them gave me promising reviews from happy consumers.

According to my research (and a suggestion from a reader), the brand “Me Too” (4 & 6 in the above image) has a wide variety of comfy yet chic flats perfect for everyday. I myself have never tried them, but one brand I can vouch for is Steve Madden (2, 5, & 7 in the above image). I myself own pair number 2, and I can say with confidence that they are very comfortable- and since they are black, they go with everything.

Finally, just for kicks, I thought I’d include a pair of flats I have heard great things about (but probably will never own). French Fashion House Lanvin (8 in above image) is rumored to have some of the most comfortable ballet flats known to man – supposedly they last forever and are very, very comfortable. I’ve never tried these flats, but with such a high price tag ($425 dollars?!), if they don’t make me feel like I’m walking on air, I’m not interested.

Final Thoughts

When a shoe is more expensive, does that mean it’s going to be more comfortable? For me I really think it depends – an expensive shoe can look gorgeous but feel awful, and the same goes for cheap shoes- they can be cheap but feel great! When it comes down to it, it really depends on you- if the shoe fits, wear it (but only if you want to).

Whatever your price range, I hope this article was helpful in at least some way, I tried to keep things organized and easy to understand because I know how hard it is to find a good pair of flats; especially with so many on the market nowadays.

What are your experience with ballet flats? Do you have a pair that you absolutely love? Have you tried on any of the flats I chose to feature? How much would you be willing to spend on a pair of flats? What’s your idea of the perfect everyday ballet flat? Whatever your thoughts, let me know in the comments!

Posted on on January 18, 2010 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , ,

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77 Responses to “How to Find the Perfect Everyday Ballet Flat”

  1. 1
    January 18th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Nice post!

    I would love to wear flats, but at 5’2 I prefer heels!

  2. 2
    January 18th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I can vouch for Me Too’s quality – very comfy!

    My current pair of go-to flats is a Jessica Simpson pair of black patent leather flats with a bow on the front. They’re versatile and – most importantly – easy to walk in and don’t hurt!

  3. 3
    January 18th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! It’s great! I love ballet flats, but my mom rides on me if I wear them for days at a time, complaining that they don’t have any arch support and that later in life, my feet would have been better off if I’d worn something with more support. Can you recommend any inserts that might give some support, like Dr. Scholl’s, so I can satisfy my mom and sometimes my soar feet?

  4. 4
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Tommy Hilfiger flats – they’re a little pricey, but they’re über-comfy, and have never made my feet hurt.

  5. 5
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Hmmm, I dunno how I feel about this post.

    All of my flats are either from payless or thrift stores and cost me no more than 20 bucks. And I’ve had most of them for years, (at least 4) with no problem. I think it’s all about making the effort to FIND comfortable ones at a cheep price. I’m pretty rough with my shoes, so I really think you can combine low prices and quality if you really make the effort.

    Sometimes I buy a size that’s a bit too big if they’re uncomfortable and then buy cheep padding to put in the bottom. It’s worked wonders for me.

  6. 6
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I have two pairs of fallback flats: jeweled black patent leather Jessica Simpson ones and bronze Naturalizers. I’ve been wearing both for a good 2-3 years, with each pair getting worn at the very least once a week. They were both on sale for $30 ish…while they’re both ridiculously comfortable and in relatively good condition for their age, the black pair’s lining is detaching and the Naturalizers have a few fraying threads. =[
    I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect new pair of black flats with no luck, so hopefully your great post will be the springboard for a successful search!

  7. 7
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Great article!

    My favorite ballet flats are a basic black pair I got at Target for around $15 about 4 or 5 years ago. I wear them a few times a week and they’re still holding up great! Definitely one of my best purchases.

    I’m going to have to check out some of these flats though.. they’re all super cute!

  8. 8
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Mmmm flats. Old Navy’s not bad either– I guess. My Old Navy pair have lasted me 4 years so far and I got it for $10.
    Once in a while, cheap but cute flats appear so I prefer not to splurge (but I don’t mind splurging on some sneakers hehe).

  9. 9
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    @ Anna- If you are interested in trying inserts for flats, I definitely recommend some sort of insole like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Scholls-Dynastep-Inserts-Support/dp/B000052XWP

    (or anything similar) you can buy them at any local drugstore, and luckily they’re not TOO pricey, and they are definitely worth it in the long run.

    @ Dominique- I totally agree with you. I myself am a thrift store freak (just went 2 days ago!), and I can definitely vouch for thrifted flats, but as everyone has different tastes when shopping, I tried to appeal to everyone. However, I do agree with you, I think the main thing is to try and find flats that are comfortable to you, and if those flats are cheap, more power to you!

  10. 10
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I love flats, and one thing I’ve learned is that the breathability is really important. It’s the worst to buy a pair of flats you love, only to realize that the interior makes your feet sweat and smell awful every time you wear them.

  11. 11
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    i love me toos flatts! i have a pair and they are so comfy!(:

  12. 12
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Kim, i really enjoyed your article! I consider myself an avid reader of CF and I think you are one of the new interns that I am most excited to see more from. I think you offered some great advice here. I was especially psyched to see the heel liner info because I have always gone with band aids and then a few days of toughing it out until the rubbing subsided. I have to agree with the others who have commented on the price points you mentioned, my go to flats are from target and only cost $25. I don’t know if you have heard of any sites that offer cute wide flat options, but I need roomier flats to accommodate my toes:)

    Anna- Dr.Scholl’s actually makes flats that are ridiculously comfy with arch support already built in and they cost around $45-55 (DSW)

    Great article again and I can’t wait to see more!

  13. 13
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I would suggest avoiding the type with elasticized backs for everyday flats, especially if you go with a cheaper pair. After a few hours they can really start digging in, no matter what kind of insert you use.

    And like Dominique suggested, try going up a size and adding inserts. My mom always does that to use orthotics, and I got the idea from her. I added a $8 drugstore insert to a $15 pair of Target flats and wear them to work where I stand for hours everyday. Super comfy and still cheap.

  14. 14
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    @ Steph: for breathability, you might consider getting insoles. I have terry cloth insoles from Aldo, and they’re wonderful. They soak up sweat, keep my feet dry and keep my shoes from smelling too bad. They’re easy to wash too, so they keep my shoes from getting dirty on the inside. I wear them with all my flats – they really make a difference.

    http://www.aldoshoes.com/ca-eng/accessories/shoe-care/comfort-fit

  15. 15
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    oops, this is the actual link:
    http://www.aldoshoes.com/ca-eng/accessories/shoe-care/comfort-fit/56072302-471_073/97

  16. 16
    January 18th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    the most comfortable brands can sometimes be ones that aren’t targeted for girls our age, like Lifestriders, Aerosoles, Naturalizers, etc. You can definitely find cute flats there even if they’re not trendy brand names. I also have a pair of flats from Ann Taylor Loft that are comfortable AND have lasted 2 and a half years, and I’m hard on my shoes.

  17. 17
    January 18th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I would like to invest in a pair of quality black ballet flats soon- though I think mine would need more of a heel instead of just plain flat.

  18. 18
    January 18th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I disagree with the statement that ballet flats have to be expensive to be comfortable or to last.

    My favorite pair of red and white polka dot ballet shoes were purchased for me by my boyfriend’s dad (I know, best dad EVER) at the DOLLARAMA for $2.

    Dispite the miniscule pricetag these shoes are extremely durable (they have been trekked through the mud and washed more times than I can count) and super comfortable, I have never had a problem with these shoes at all and yet my $40 pair cause blisters galore!

    Overall I would reccomend giving them a “good ol’ fashioned college try” before buying them regardless of expensive or inexpensive they are, put them on and wear them while you finish browsing the rest of the store, just one lap won’t cut it!

  19. 19
    January 18th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    this is a great article, very thorough. Ballet flats have never been comfortable for me. Maybe it’s just me, but if shoes don’t have a slight heel (1-1.5 inches), my back starts to really hurt when I wear them…is it possible ballet flats are unhealthy or is it just me?

  20. 20
    January 18th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    my current go-to flats are a pair of black jellies that i bought in brazil for 20 reais. i literally wore them for three months straight this summer. i personally think that foreign shoes or expensive american shoes are most comfortable because it is really difficult to find cheap, comfortable, american shoes.

  21. 21
    January 18th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    As someone whos delt with feet issues most of her life I can vouch for the importance of a good ballet flat. that said I think that for me its really, really hard to find a good pair of shoes which look good AND don’t hurt to walk in. I’ve tried many of these brands and while they may work for normal girls, they just don’t cut it for me. Although, I have found a nice pair of flats for target which I’ve worn for three or so years. This article has inspired me to keep looking for a good brand which sells great shoes, I’m sure they are out their somewhere! :)

  22. 22
    January 18th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Good job. I totally agree that some flats feel like slippers and will get wrecked in a week or so. I have recently found a few pairs of quality Steve Madden flats on clearance at DSW, so look around and trust me it’s worth it!

  23. 23
    January 18th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    lol this article was fun to read. I like your attitude :)

    I totally know what you mean about finding a great everyday flat. My go-to flat is black patent that was actually only $20 from Forever 21. (I know, I didn’t expect them to be that comfortable or versatile either.) But, alas, I have over-worn them and Forever 21 no longer sells the same pair. I’m on the hunt for new everyday flats now too. My biggest struggle in buying flats is finding a comfortable pair to wear everyday.

    Thanks for posting!

  24. 24
    January 18th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I love this post !

    I bought a 10 dollars flats and they didn’t last. I checked for new flats but they are so expensive so I bought one pair for 20 dollars I hope they’ll last. But I agree that it’s hard to find the right flat especially when you live in a small island.

  25. 25
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    re: khatiya. flats are technically horrible for your body and feet. basic flats tend to not to have sufficient cushioning or arch support for your feet. it sounds like you have a high arch, which would explain why you prefer shoes with a bit of a heel. try arch-support inserts in your flats, it’ll probably make them much better.

    While I love the idea of this article, I personally have never spent more than $15, maybeee, on a pair of flats. However, I think this article is great for the girls who wear their one or two pairs of flats all the time. Living in Chicago necessarily means that I only get to wear flats for a few months (spring and fall are not flat weather in Chicago). I also wear out my flats like whoa, no matter how well-constructed the shoe is. I’ve had Dolce Vita flats that have lasted a year and a pair of no-name flats that lasted around the same. Rarely have I had a pair of flats last more than a year, and usually that is only because I do not wear them often. So, yes, flats are worth investing in if you wear them all the time (year-round) and prefer to stick with one or two styles. If you’re like me and want flats in different colors and textures to go with everything and only gets to wear them for a few months out of the year, finding cheaper flats around $10/$20 is totally doable.

  26. 26
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    My favorite flats were these ones I bought in China… for the equivalent of about 5USD. They were super cute and super comfy… and the sole fell off after a year :(

    Inserts have never worked for me, both the sole and heel ones. They just make my feet and my shoes really sticky, and they never stay!

  27. 27
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    This is definitely one of my favorite articles I’ve ever seen on CF, love your writing

    I agree with Andrea, I’ve gotten some inexpensive steve madden ballet flats @ DSW and marshalls and those suckers have lasted years. I think its a great compreomise betwee price and quality.

  28. 28
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    The main obstacles between me and flats are the resulting cuts I get on my heels and on the top of my feet where the shoe opens. I’ll definitely try the heel liners but what about on the top of my feet? Or is the problem just the fit of the shoe? Any ideas?

  29. 29
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I love flats! The main problem I have with some of them is that they are stiff and the edges of the shoes dig into my feet. My favorite pair ever are these: http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?skuId=064250085&productId=61593&subCatId=cat10276&catId=cat10088&lotId=064250&category=&catdisplayName=Womens+

    They are really soft with no hard edges and only $20. I’ve had them for a year and a half and they’re still holding up fairly good. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how long they’ve lasted because I wear them about 4 or 5 days a week. They have no arch support but I just took the inserts out of my tennis shoes and put them in.

  30. 30
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I love my Me Too flats! I am on my second pair, and they are great because they have so much support, I can wear them all day at work (12 hour shifts as a bartender). They are cute and great, and I’m thinking about buying another pair in a different color soon.

  31. 31
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    You forgot Tory Burch!
    Tory Burch flats, though probably out of a college student’s budget (hell, most people’s budgets), are epic. Same goes for Marc Jacobs Mouse Flats. There’s a new mouse flat every season, and they’re always cute. Who knew the same concept could be translated so many ways?!

    I’d also like to say that I have owned Steve Madden and Urban Outfitters flats, respectively. Both have failed me. I owned a gorgeous pair of Steve Madden blue gray ballet flats that actually LOOKED like ballerina shoes (a rarity, since so many shoes are dubbed “ballerina” when they’re just not). They lasted about two seconds. Even though I have clean feet, I wore them in the summer. Huge mistake. They smelled absolutely foul and I had to throw them out. No amount of soaking with soap and water (just a little, never for too long) could salvage them. It actually made them WORSE! The heel lining began to tear, and every time I’d attempt washing them the water would get stuck IN the lining and not come out all the way, producing squishing noises (despite me drying the shoes several over nights and using a blow dryer).

    I have since not found a replacement pair that is quite as cute. I’m not ready to give up on Steve, however, but I find a lot of their shoes are knockoffs of other higher end shoes (pros and cons with that). I got another pair of Steves for my birthday and will always wear them with tights or light socks (I think flats and most socks looks dorky and doesn’t work). The lining is not as fragile, but I’m still going to be careful. They seem more durable than the last pair.

    Urban Outfitters flats are cute but not always practical. I bought a pair of Fairy Tales Are True (or was it Fairy Tales Are Real?) pink “satin” flats and they got so dirty. I actually put them in the washing machine on hand wash and it worked somewhat, but I’m disappointed I have to go to the trouble of doing that every time I wear them. It’s not like I walk through dirt! I take good care of my shoes. :(

    Thank you for this article and sorry for the long winded comment. I’d love to find a splurge pair of flats I’ll own forever. My dream flats are Marc, Lanvin,Tory…but especially Chanel. ;)

  32. 32
    January 18th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Before the fall semester, I went to Marshalls/TJ Maxx and looked for cute name-brand flats. I bought the shoes in the link below for only $20 and they retail at $50! They’re super comfy and combine the comforts of athletic shoes with the adorable-ness of flats. So, even for “splurge” purchases, go to DSW or Marshalls or TJ Maxx and look around. You’d be surprised!

    http://www.shopadidas.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3356993&shopGroup=R&cp=2019628.2019615&colorId=

  33. 33
    January 18th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Love my tory (tori?) burch’s!! got them at Off 5th 70% off!!!

  34. 34
    January 18th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    these are my favorites: http://www.stevemadden.com/item.aspx?id=49189&path=|womens%20shoes|womens%20flats|

    i like a more pointed toe because i have the smallest feet and round toes make them look stubby :(

  35. 35
    January 19th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I bought “Me too” ballet flats at Marshals for only $34 while they would normally cost around 70!!! They are the most comfortable shoes ever! Totally worth the extra bucks. But I probably wouldn’t have the money to buy at the original price, so every time I go to Marshals now I look around the shoes department. We never know what kind of good deal we may find there. I really believe in “investing” in good shoes because there is nothing like an uncomfortable shoe to put you in a bad mood.

  36. 36
    January 19th, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Nice post. :)

    I do have to warn against the topshop flats pictured as number 6 on the save bit. As a rule topshop flats are great and I have a black strappy pair that are my everyday flats.
    However I also own an off-white version of the ones in this article (currently in shop as a dusty pink colour) and whilst they are really confortable they are not an every day flat because they do fall apart really quickly. I only had mine for a total of 3 weeks (only walking to and from uni – a 10 min walk each way – and round classes) but they scuff really easily and at the front and the back the material on top of the fabric of the shoes started to peel and look really scruffy. They also mark really easily due to the light colour.
    Don’t get me wrong, they are really nice shoes, comfy and pretty – just don’t buy them as every day flats, you will be really dissapointed.

    In my opinion black patent flats are the best for everyday – durable and still smart after over 6 months of wearing and plus they don’y get ruined in the rain.

  37. 37
    January 19th, 2010 at 1:02 am

    this is for natalie: i’ve never tried these myself, but there’s a company called foot petals that sells heel liners & other “foot cushions” for practically every type of shoe – even for strappy stiletto heels. maybe you could give these a whirl & see how it goes & perhaps even do a review on them!

    http://www.footpetals.com/shop/products.html?id=7xsS2v3P&mv_arg=Foot%20Cushions

  38. 38
    January 19th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    I am the type of girl who only wears flats, so I am obviously very picky about what I spend my money on. I must say Steve Madden makes the best flats I have ever found, and they last FOREVER. Definitely a good investment, especially for those of you who, like me, have smaller feet which make it more difficult to find shoes that fit correctly.

  39. 39
    January 19th, 2010 at 2:27 am

    nice post
    i love ballet flats i have one in silver, plain black and a few in colours(red,purple, yellow, green)
    they r comfy n chic(although some could give a shoe bite)

  40. 40
    January 19th, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I understand that brand name flats are sometimes of better quality, but expensive shoes aren’t necessarily better. For example, my Aldo flats ($40- I’m kind of a cheapskate when it comes to shoes) sit in my closet unworn because they give me blisters and just look funny on my feet. On the other hand, my floral ones from Target ($12.99- yes!) are super comfy AND I always get compliments on them.

  41. 41
    January 19th, 2010 at 6:21 am

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/emandsprout

    I wear these at least once a week and they’ve lasted me a year! They don’t pretend to be super comfy or durable but I love them. I have a black kitty pair and I think my next pair will be pandas!

  42. 42
    January 19th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Kim, I’m very impressed by the professional style of your writing. Numbering the images and referring to them was so helpful! I also like your attitude towards shopping and how you can cater to a variety of needs.

    I will definitely go back to this article again and again whenever I need to buy great shoes. I look forward to your next article! :)

  43. 43
    January 19th, 2010 at 8:48 am

    My first pair of go to flats were completely covered in silver sequins, from Old Navy, and they costed me 20 bucks! By the end of the year i had purchase them however, they began to look worn out, dirty, and hardly as sparkly as they had at the time of the original purchase. From that day on, i set out on the hunt for the perfect replacement pair.

    For years I could not find anything remotely the same. I would not buy anything that was different at all from my pair. They had to be completely covered in sequins, have a round toe, and comfortable. Meanwhile, my current pair had holes in the bottom which rain seeped through. However, after four years of searching, i found the favorite pair, they looked the exact same except for the fact they were Coach, and they were 168 dollars. Although it was quite the splurge, I knew I would wear them a couple of times a week, at least. I bought those shoes about 6 months ago, and they are in much better condition then the Old Navy ones were ever in.

    Overall, the splurge can really be worth it. If you are going to wear them all the time, you should be comfortable, and sometimes comfort (especially in shoes) can cost more money.) Now that I have learned my lesson, I try to really make sure the shoes are comfortable before just buying them.

    ps- if you look at my blog, the prized new shoes are in the header :)

  44. 44
    January 19th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I’m tiny, but I still love the look of flats. Unfortunately, I typically find them more painful than heels. As a result, I don’t like spending too much on them. I did pick up a cute pair of Steve Madden flats at DSW for $25. They’re a good brand and the price was right. I’m still breaking them in…

  45. 45
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I used to own two pairs of bright, colorful, bejewled, Indian style ballet flats which when I think back to them, actually seem quite ugly but back when I owned them they were my absolute favorite shoes. I have an amazing pair now that I got from dELIA’s for $40, they’re black with a flower at the front of them, they’re super comfy and I always get compliments on them whenever I wear them. I haven’t tried on any of the flats you chose to feature but maybe that’s because I live in Europe and buy most of my clothes online anyways. The most that I would be able to spend on a pair of flats is $60 but that’s my limit on any article of clothing. My idea of the perfect ballet flat is one that is in a neutral color that goes with anything, has a unique detail about it so that it will stand out in a sea of bow-tipped black flats, and of course they have to be comfortable.

  46. 46
    January 19th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I love this post because I live in flats!! I’m 5’3″ so I guess I’m supposed to wear heels but I have flat feet so it’s just waay too painful to wear heels. I’d love a post on dressier flats!

  47. 47
    January 19th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    flats are absolutely my signature shoe. i’m 5’11 so they are absolutely essential. they work even better since i am getting a science degree and have a lot of labs that require covered toes. surprisingly i have found many of my flats that i walk all over campus in from target. target has served me well. i have two pairs of target flats that i have had for years now. although i have never been very rough on my shoes, from when i was younger until now. anyhow, great post. i enjoyed it :)

  48. 48
    January 19th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    great post!!
    i was wondering if you could do a post about finding the perfect heel… or tips on how to wear them? especially in the winter, i find it so hard to wear heels because when i’m wearing stockings my feet are always slipping forward. thanks so much!

  49. 49
    January 19th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Funny, I read this article, then went out this afternoon and happened to find the perfect pair of flats :)

  50. 50
    January 19th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    amen to tory burch flats!

    i bought mine over the summer and legitimately wore them into the ground. everyone i know always says, “you had only had THOSE shoes for FOUR months?!” and it’s true because they are a disaster. holes, stretched out, everything..but they are the COMFIEST shoes i’ve ever worn in my entire life and they make everything look put together.

    plus, i just went to nordstrom and got them replaced for free! i might have doled out $195 on a pair of flats that i slaughtered, but i got two pairs for that price…and i intend to continue to trade in old ones in return for new ones.

    i would never spend any money on cheap, ugly, knock off (SORRY! but its true) steve madden flats when i could buy one pair of real, high quality tory burch flats that can be traded in at the end of their life span.

    ps. i just bought the louboutin love flats…and i HIGHLY recommend them to anyone. they are adorable and VERY well made!! it’s a great investment :)

  51. 51
    January 19th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I agree with some other posters here-I don’t think you need to spend a ton for comfortable flats. I have a few pairs from Target that I purchased for 10-20 bucks two and a half years ago, that are still in perfect condition today. I wore one pair almost every day this fall, through rain and snow, and even after walking about 3 miles in them everyday, they look new. They’re pretty darn comfortable, too.

    I think that’s probably one of the reasons I do love ballet flats so much-you can get a cute pair for a great price. I guess I think of ballet flats like I think of flip flops-they’re fairly disposable, and cheap, so why not own 5 (or 10) pairs?

  52. 52
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Me too and Naturalizer have the best flats and heels. Sofft is also a good comfy brand as well.

  53. 53
    January 20th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    It doesn’t make any difference to me if my shoes are cheap or expensive because I have a tendency to destroy them. If I find a pair that I really like, I usually go back to the store and get another pair just in case the first one breaks. I usually get cheaper flats though, the main difference is that the cheaper ones (which sometimes could cost less than $5) last about two months and the more expensive ones last about a semester.

  54. 54
    January 20th, 2010 at 3:34 am

    i have flats that have a slight heel, since really flat flats hurt my feet (i overpronate so thats why..)

  55. 55
    January 20th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    ALL of my shoes, flats, boots, heels and everything else, including running shoes cost me no more than 25 bucks! I am a cheapskate on everything, but i will spend a whole day or week finding the perfect flats for me. I’m majorly pigeontoed and such that i need to try everything on when it comes to shoes. it seems to be that the more expensive ones are cute, do fit but arent as comfy as a cheaper pair for me.

    My most comfy flats are a pair of gold flats from k-mart for under 10 bucks. I didnt even need to put blister bandaid stuff on the heels to keep them from rubbing when i first wore them.

    My suggestion to anyone though, is buy a shoe insert from walmart or wherever so when u need to run and catch the bus, the balls of your feet don’t hurt from running in your flats

  56. 56
    January 21st, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the awesome advice! I just bought a pair of awesome black leather flats with a huge leather bowfrom Aldo for only $30 after reading this post! You should do a similar post about high heels, because I never really wear heels but want to, I absolutely adore this site, thank you!

  57. 57
    February 4th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I have always been a fan of the square toe ballet flats since they make my size 11 feet seem smaller. The Mossimo at Target and the Jessica Simpson Leve were always my easy to obtain when shopping and the price and the comfort were adequate. I recently wanted to splurge and bought a pair of Bloch Stardust from Zappos. These shoes are like walking on clouds. I was never a heel gal, and at 5’11” I don’t need the height. These ballets are very nice with an almost flat heel. Oh and btw….because of this thread I was compelled to count how many flats I have. 19 pairs as of today. Guess I am a junkie…cheers!

  58. 58
    February 7th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I’m amazed I actually found a brand that sells cute and comfortable flats: SO for Kohl’s. They have pairs of the most amazingly versatile black flats ever. They are priced from $8-$15 range. They usually last for 2-3 years in my case. They also work with wider and narrower feet widths.

    I’ve had Me Too flats before–they are really comfortable, but they are pretty big, so I suggest go a size down from what you normally wear.

  59. 59
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    My favorite ballet flats are Jessica Simpsom Leve(square toe) ballet flats. I love the way they feel and look. I wear them year around barefooted even when it is cold out.

  60. 60
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Spending over $30 on a pair of flats is not necessary. America just forgot the minor detail that shoes don’t need to be as expensive as they price them here.

    I wore my pair from BC Footwear ($24) as my go-to shoes for three years and they are still intact. These also have a decent sole so you don’t feel like you can feel every bump and crack in the ground. If you’ll spend that much on a pair of shoes just save up for a plane ticket to East/South East Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia), where shoes were made to walk the whole city in, not to get you from your door to your car. The majority are more comfortable and more reasonably priced. $20 is enough to give you a wide range of choices, and you can find shoes for less than $5 in your ‘save’ category — that still last a good 2 years with every day wear.

  61. 61
    April 18th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I have a secret shoe that I bought in almost every color. These flats go with everything! Google Dessy Group. The ballet flats are so comfy, and they are reasonable in price. They last awhile, too. Shoe love!

  62. 62
    July 14th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I just bought a pair of pewter Me Too flats at TJ Maxx for $15.00! They go with everything and are amazingly comfortable! Heaven! :)

  63. 63
    September 8th, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I just found this website…thanks for the tips. I’m pretty sure the author and I have the same taste in shoes. I owned a pair of the crochet shoes she mentioned at Urban Outfitters and was so sad when I had to make the call and throw them away. I had a serious love affair with them. Any pair of Steve Madden’s I’ve ever owned, I’ve also loved. Anyhow, now that I live in Bangkok and am walking far more than I did my previous city of residence, my cheap flats that never used to cause me problems are now killing my feet even though they still look nice. When I’m able to go back to the U.S., I’ll be doing some serious shoe shopping. I haven’t had the Asian shoe “luck” a previous commenter mentioned, but here’s hoping for a more comfortable and cute shoe future…

  64. 64
    September 8th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Shalinn:

    Go to macy’s in USA and get a pair of Jessica Simpsom (leve) square toe ballet flats for $59.99 They are so comfy and feel like slippers. I bought 3 pairs in black. They have the little bow on the toe. I wear them barefooted year around even when it is cold out.I also wear them to work barefooted. I get some many compilements on them.

  65. 65
    September 15th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    love the lanvin flats! they are very cute and must be comfortable……..can’t wait to find one pair for myself!

  66. 66
    February 14th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love that I found this forum. I have found it nearly impossible to find comfortable, stylish flats. Most of the ones I bought only last me a couple of hours before I have to take them off. I recently came across Vera Wang lavender Lillian flat, and wow! These things are super comfy, it’s basically a cheaper version of lanvins. Too bad its still about $200.

  67. 67
    July 16th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Love my red Lilly Born flats….Co comfy!

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