Friday, June 28, 2013

Shoe Showdown Survivors: The Colorful Comfy Flats Verdict!

Softwaves Wave Mary Jane comfort flats in Citron: Beautifully made and on sale for $85, but too small for my giant feet!

So one of my most commented on recent posts was the "Colorful Comfort Shoe Showdown" where I was trying to find some bright flats to buy with a Mother's Day gift certificate from my mom. You all seem REALLY opinionated about footwear — which makes sense since shoes are one of the few things most of us CAN'T make for ourselves. So I thought I'd report back on the results of my mission of comfort shoe desperation.

In the end I bought three pairs of colorful flats (and returned one), winding up with two comfort shoe winners. Here's the scoop:

#1: Softwaves Wave Mary Jane leather comfort flats in Citron. (pictured at top of post).

  • Pros: Beautifully made, a really unique vintage-inspired style (one of many! I drool!), serious comfort construction and arch support, fabulous color.
  • Cons: The largest size available — a European 41 — was at least an inch too small for my big feet. I wear a 41 in some other European-sized shoes (and a 10 or 11 in most American-sized shoes), but I think I'd need a 42 for these.
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? They would if they fit.
  • Result: Wistful shoe sadness. So I exchanged them for a little dose of polka dot happiness...

Polka dot comfort shoe win!

#2: Ahnu Karma flats in "Mood Indigo"

  • Pros: Well-designed cross-strap flats perfect for summer and on sale. Great arch support and a really comfortable breathable insole for your bare feet. Also: internal polka dots and a bright orange sole and spiral stitch detail.
  • Cons: These "yoga-inspired" shoes mostly come in the kind of subdued/earthy/natural colors I generally avoid. Even this colorway is not as bright as I was going for (except for the topstitching and sole).
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? Oh yes yes yes!
  • Result: They are so comfortable and seem to go with MANY things. I have been wearing them almost every day since they arrived and there was no break-in period — just instant foot happiness. I REALLY wish they came in bright colors!

#3: Tsubo Aftenia fashion sneakers in "claret" and "silver"

  • Pros: Bright red, cushy insole, cute pointed-ish toe but not uncomfortably pointy, cheap because they were discontinued. And I had a pair of them in brown already so knew they'd be a win.
  • Cons: The insole is well cushioned, but not really shaped for firm arch support. The insoles don't really wick moisture, so they are fine with tights or socks but get a bit slippery/blistery inside after long walks and need to be broken in at the heel.
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? Only with socks.
  • Result: Moderate shoe happiness. Z calls them my "ruby slippers." Here they are in action back during Me-Made May (sorry for bad lighting, they truly are BRIGHT red):

Me Made May 29: Bright Hummingbird with Jeans

That's it for my shoe-buying budget for a good long while, but next time I have room in the closet/budget for an accessory hunt, I'm going to check into some of the other new-to-me brands suggested in the comments.

What are your favorite "walk for miles" comfort shoes?

P.S. Forgot to mention... I stupidly broke my toe two nights ago while sweeping up fabric scraps (stumbled and stubbed it on a chair leg). There's not much to be done for a broken toe except "buddy taping" it to the neighboring toe, but the doctor said to make sure to wear roomy, comfortable flat shoes with good support, and the Ahnu Karmas seem to be the only shoes I can walk in without crying at the moment!

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  1. I have multiple pairs of a brand named naturalist a out of Spain. Not sure us availability (I live in Austria)

  2. Ouch on the toe! BTDT. Hope it feels better soon.

  3. My favorites are orthaheel sandals, specifically Talia, which, of course, is (apparently) "So" last year. Fortunately, the Porto III style is still carried. Living in Florida, I only wear actual shoes when the temperature dips below 50.

    1. Those Talias are really cute! They do look actually comfortable with good arch support ... I usually avoid thongs and flip-flops because they are too flat. What makes them "so last year"?

  4. I appreciate you sharing the results of your search here so I can get some new leads! I also struggle to find cute, flat, orthotic-friendly shoes with a strap (nothing but ballet flats everywhere I look!). Have you looked into Ziera? I haven't checked their range for a while, as their "medium" last is always too wide for my narrow foot, but something often catches my eye in their shop window when I go past. Not sure if/where they're available in your neck of the woods though...

  5. Thanks for these reviews! I'm always on the look-out for comfy & stylish shoes. I love the first pair of citron Mary Janes! But I'd probably need a 42 as well, so it's a no-go. I just bought a pair of Naturalizer Weslie sandals which are really comfortable and they come in lots of colors, but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pair of closed-toe, supportive flats.


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