Most people would agree that finding comfortable shoes is very important. Not only does a good pair of shoes allow us to walk around all day sans blisters and sore spots, but it also minimizes the chance of having permanent damage to feet and joints later in life. I’ve put together a varied list of comfortable shoes. I hope it helps you!
For those that are going to be on their feet all day today, tomorrow, and everyday for the next 30+ years, these are for you.
- Dansko Clogs – You’ll find these on the feet of so many doctors and nurses. Danskos have a few things going for them. They are cut wide and never constrict your feet. They have rocker bottom soles plus insole support, perfect for all day walking. They also have a padded instep collar, which is more important than you’d think (they’re a heavy shoe). If you’re going to buy a pair, go to the store or buy from somewhere with free returns. They are all cut slightly differently and you need to get your perfect pair. They also recommend sizing up and I actually sized up 1.5 sizes! These were my first pair of Danskos. Cute, huh? They took about a week to get used to but fit like a dream thereafter. Cons? They’re not an attractive shoe.
- Birkenstock Clogs – Birkenstock has been making comfortable clogs for ages. They know what they’re doing! Similar to the Dansko clog, these are cut nice and wide and give your feet lots of room to breathe, and their padded footbed molds perfectly to the shape of your feet. The Birkenstock clog has an undoubtedly casual vibe, but if you’re into it, these will be keeping your feet (and knees and hips and back) nice and happy. I wear my Birkenstock clogs nearly every day I’m on wards and even after a 24 hour shift my feet aren’t sore. Cons? They don’t have grippy soles, beware of slippery surfaces! There are a ton of options on sale at Norstrom Rack right now, now sure how long those will last (probably not long…)!
Guaranteed No Blisters
You always need at least one pair of flats that you can wear if you happen to have blisters or rubbing from the previous day’s shoes!
- Sanuks – These have totally been a lifesaver for my sister and I over the years. I have this pair and got this pair for my sister. They are made out of a soft canvas with a little elastic at the sides for the perfect snug (but not tight) fit. They also have a sole that feels like a yoga mat! If you like the idea of a yoga mat sole but want a sandal version, check out their yoga sandals! Just be aware that due to the super soft sole, walking on things like cobblestone or sharp rocks can get uncomfortable quickly!
- TOMS – These have been popular for a while now (huge in the yoga community!). Their classic pair comes in tons of colors and is always a safe bet. TOMS also frequently comes out with seasonal versions, like their crochet and chambray versions for summer. Some people size down, but I like mine TTS because I don’t like feeling my toes touch the top.
Affordable Flats – Dressy
- Sam Edelman – You can’t go wrong with their classic Felicia flat. They’re simple, comfortable and comes in a huge variety of colors! Just be aware that many Sam Edelman flats run small. I usually size up 1/2 (or even 1 whole size) for mine.
- Lucky Brand – If you like the look of Sam Edelman’s Felicia flat but don’t want to spend that much, Lucky Brand’s Eadda flat might be a good, slightly less dressy alternative. They don’t have the excessive color options, but they have the basics and some cute patterns. Sizing is about the same, I size 1/2 size up.
- French Sole – Their most popular flats are as simple as flats can be (but not in a bad way!). No embellishments, just soft and cozy leather. Its a little tricky to get the sizing right, though. In order to get the perfect fit, you have to buy your TTS and stretch and mold them to your feet (see below for tips!). They’ll be perfect after a wear or two. If you size up you’ll end up with floppy shoes after a few wears! If you’re not into breaking in shoes, you might want to pass on these.
- Cole Haan: Their quality has been up and down throughout the years (there were some good years with their Nike collaboration for sure!), but even if the quality isn’t quite where it was, some of their flats are still worth checking out. Their Tali flat, for example, is a great option for a casual-Ferragamo-Varina-style flat (at about 1/3 of the price). I haven’t personally tried this pair, but I’d order 1/2 size up if I did. (FYI, on sale in nude, still available in some sizes)
Affordable Flats – Casual
- Frye: Most people think of Frye boots, but Frye also has some great casual shoe options as well! I’ve had a few great pairs of their loafers over the years. But I absolutely love their current version – the most stunning fading I’ve ever seen!! Their Regina (pointier toe) and Carson (rounder toe) flats have been out for a few years and also have beautiful leathers. I’ve tried them both and had some rubbing with them initially and ended up returning them. I think those pairs require some break-in.
- Sperry – They make an awesome boat shoe! And their most popular style comes in tons of different colors and patterns. I’ve seen women from age 12 to 70 rock these shoes, you can’t go wrong. These are comfy from the get go. Sperry is branching out with new sporty and dressy flats, too. Might be worth checking out if you’re a fan of the brand.
- Attilio Giusti Leombruni – This brand has a cult-like following…. people rave about how comfy they are! I currently have two pairs of the cap toe ballet flat and love them both. The leather is buttery soft so there isn’t any rubbing or blistering. I get compliments on them nearly every time I wear them. They just recently came out with a stunning pointy toe version that I can’t wait to get my hands on! These are expensive shoes but worth their price if you’re on your feet a lot. Plus, you can easily find them at Nordstrom Rack or on eBay for a very reasonable price (that’s what I did).
- Salvatore Ferragamo – Its no secret that Ferragamo makes stunning shoes. The Varinas are their most popular flats. They come in so many colors (purple, red, navy…). Every so often they’ll come out with a limited edition pair of them (They just released their mixed media pair, holy gorgeous!! Just enough details in just the right places…). Most people find them comfortable. The great thing about these is that they come in a number of different widths. Worth the money if you have hard-to-fit feet (ie super narrow feet). If those are too dressy for your taste, they also a similar but less dressy version called My Joy.
A quick word on breaking flats in. I always thought that I just had to suffer through pain for the first few days of wearing any shoe. But, as I’ve said, the shoes should be comfortable off the rack. To stretch them out and mold them to your feet, try this:
Put a heavy pair of socks on (or two if you normally wear socks with them). Blow dry each shoe for one minute while they’re on your feet. Now walk around! Wear them until they cool and for a short white after. After you take them off, test them out. Are they better now? If not, do it again. You can always try a leather product if you need it, too. Pads and heel cushions (these are the best) should be a last resort!
Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment on your favorite brands, I’d love to hear them!