OK, the saga continues—this is Part Deux of my dogged search to find a pair of comfortable yet stylish shoes for fall. A pair that would go with my particular aesthetic. A pair that I could wear for a long time (and thus I was willing to stretch my normal price point skyward). And a pair ideally in the color palette of burgundy/oxblood/cordovan so I could wear them with black as well as dark brown tights.

One caveat: As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I widened my search to include stores/brands (e.g. J.Crew ballet flats) that are not part of the traditional comfort shoe category (e.g. The Walking Company, Rockport). So almost everything was fair footwear game.

After trudging through Tysons Corner and Tysons Galleria for countless hours over the course of a few weekends, here are several models that became bona fide contenders. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I have tried ordering shoes from zappos.com in the past, but for me, nothing beats visiting a bricks-and-mortar store and trying on a multitude of styles in as many sizes as possible. Besides, my right foot is almost a full size smaller than my left so finding a good fit is devilishly difficult. Ugh.)

Contender #1: These Mephistos had alot going for them. My feet definitely felt well-cushioned. I liked the curvy wedge heel. I liked that they were made in Portugal. The buckle was small and discreet. But, I decided not to buy them. Maybe it’s because they came up too high on the sides of my feet. I dunno, something was holding me back.

Mephisto Jaika Mary-Jane in “Wine Crinkle” patent leather. Price: $325 but on sale for $209.

Contender #2: [Sigh.] I really wanted to buy these Cole Haans. I liked the classic penny loafer styling in an unexpected color. I liked the mini stacked heel and Nike Air cushioning (you know how I feel about Nike). This moccasin in black calfskin leather was so unbelievably comfortable—but in patent leather, the shoe felt very stiff. [Sigh.]

Cole Haan Air Sloane Moc in “Oxblood Patent.” Price: $188.

Contender #3: At the Ferragamo boutique at Tysons Galleria, I tried on the “Deka” loafer, the “My Pretty” pump, and various versions of flats, ballerina flats and elastic ballerina flats (picture me surrounded by towers of shoe boxes while pushing the patience of my once-eager salesman). These flats were the cutest of the bunch. I loved their classic, ladylike styling. I loved the bright red accent and the iconic Ferragamo bow. But, eegads. They were so not comfortable. (I’m now thoroughly convinced that my feet are not meant to be shod in patent leather.)

Ferragamo Varina Ballerina Flat in “Oxblood/Red” patent leather. Price: $450.

Next up: In the end, I did finally buy a pair of shoes. I’ll reveal all the details.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. […] the nightmarish memories from my epic search for fall shoes in 2011 didn’t deter me from jumping back into the fray this spring. My new quest? Find a […]

  2. […] up: the Contenders—the handful of comfortable shoes that made my short list. [Hint: I had to widen my search so I […]


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