November 14, 2013

Happy Feet

Throwback Thursday, everyone! After a recent flurry of travel posts, I’m revisiting my original Practical Fashionista ethos with this piece.

You know by now that I’m always on a quest to find stylish and comfortable shoes. It’s bordering on an obsession but I can’t help it. Life is way too short to suffer through shoe-induced achy feet. Besides, you can’t put your best face—rather, foot—forward at work or a cocktail party if you’re silently enduring numb and pinched toes while teetering on 4-inch spikes.

Why the heck am I thinking about this topic yet again? Well, I just stared down a small crisis when the T-strap of my eight-year-old Pikolinos literally snapped off as I was running the gauntlet that is Whole Foods on a weekday evening. More distressing than hobbling through the store past posture-perfect, yoga-toned twenty-somethings loading up on kale was the prospect of tracking down a worthy replacement. The Pikolinos were my only pair of brown shoes that carried me through fall, winter and spring. Ack!

Fortunately, I was based in McLean one day last week and visited Comfort One Shoes at Tysons Galleria. I’ve had great luck with them before—and my latest adventure was, thankfully, just as productive:

My savior: Ara Randi pump in tan leather. They fit like a glove right out of the box (I don’t believe in breaking in shoes) except they were slightly too long. Added a pad in the cushioned footbed and voilà, problem solved.

The heel is 1.5 inches, and the sole has rubber traction.

Simple and versatile, they cost a relatively reasonable $145 (plus I got a 5% discount with a loyalty card). Right off the bat, I wore them for twelve hours straight without a hint of discomfort.

As a bonus, I also found a sweet pair of suede ballet flats. (I still love my Attilios from last spring but their light color makes them feel too summery in colder weather.)

Gray-beige feminine flats from Bailarina. (Have I mentioned how much I love greige?) Made in Spain.

Nubby rubber sole is a nod to driving moccasins.

Practically a steal at $125, these come in other colors like taupe, burgundy, black. Not that I’m tempted…

In general, I live by the 90/10 rule: the vast majority of the time, I wear shoes that I can run around in for hours. On rare occasions, though, I’ll knowingly slip on the pretty but painful stuff:

Gucci mules from fifteen years ago. Wouldn’t they look chic in Palm Springs with a Calypso St. Barth flowing dress? Hey, a girl can dream…

Here’s to keeping your feet happy!


Other comfort shoe brands you might like:

Anyi Lu: If the Shoe Fits: Part Three – And the Winner Is…

Attilio Giusti Leombruni: Attilio the One

Børn flip-flops: Børn to Run

For context, my first post about feet: Rex-N-Effect