Get Dressed
Kristin Booker • May 31, 2011

Reader Question Answered: Stylish, Comfortable Shoes That Aren’t Ballet Flats

Recently, a reader posed a question I thought was rather interesting…

“I LOVED the post you did on the stylish flat shoes. But I’m not a ballet flat girl. Can you find alternatives for those of us who don’t like ballet flats?” – Kimberley, New York City

Ladies, I will go to beyond the heavens to ensure that you don’t have to wear a certain plastic or rubber “shoe.” Stand back and grab a pen because ShoeAdviser have some rather good options for you:


Oxfords – I still love a good oxford and they look super jaunty with everything from jeans to denim shorts to printed sundresses (yes, you can.) You can go with a basic black or a good whiskey or oxblood leather, but how about a mix that works year-round, like this amazing Robert Clergerie Filmy Black Nappa Oxford? It’s a perfect year-round option.

Converse/ Jack Purcells – I know you’re thinking,”Duh, a tennis shoe,” but I argue that this is not your average gym shoe and they are WAY cuter than your spinning/running favorites. Super comfortable and an American classic, anything from this line will add an instant dash of style to your look. They range from super preppy styles like the LTT Turf Ox to beachy options like the Helen shoes (shown.)

Thong Sandals – I’m not talking about a flip flop. I’m talking about a seriously fabulous thong sandal that adds instant style without adding height. Take, for example, these gorgeous Sam Edelman “Grady” Suede Sandal with Buckle. These are a perfect addition to pretty much every casual look and would be amazing with a shorts suit at night.

Desert Shoes – If you’re looking to add a dash of military cool to your look, these amazing shoes are super comfortable and extremely fabulous and have been on the runway a few spring seasons in a row. The Clarks of England Desert Trek comes in all sorts of colors. Suede and uber-comfy, they’ll be great with a cream blazer and denim shorts.

Ankle Boots – These are personally my go-to alternatives to ballet flats if I want to kick up my look.  I personally own these Vintage Shoe Company Elijah Harness Engineers in Chocolate and I wear them everywhere all year. You don’t wear them with socks and they practically mold to your feet and age to perfection. I wear them with everything, including the sundress and denim jacket combination I’m wearing today. Military, western, whatever – flat ankle boots are a great alternative to heels year round.

Mid-Calf/Tall Boots – I’m also a person who wears Fryes until the pavement starts to melt. An alternative is the canvas boot, a slightly-more lightweight option that’s long on style but lighter in weight. I’m personally crazy about these Frye Sarah Grommet Pull On Cognac Leather/Canvas Boots. Can you imagine with a long white skirt or with a denim skirt? Hot.

So, again, just a few options for you not to tread into the plastic/rubber shoe variety. There are hundreds of options out there for you that are both stylish and comfortable.

Got a question? Write in! I’ll get the answer!


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