Comfortable shoes.

While I don't think I'll be nominated for What Not to Wear anytime soon (I hope), I'm not exactly the most fashionable person out there. I have things I like to wear, and I wear them. I don't really follow a lot of trends or always know what is in style.

What I do know about, though, are comfortable shoes. I love comfortable shoes, especially ones that are work appropriate - i.e. closed toed and somewhat dressy. Even though I constantly hear people say that their high heels are comfortable, I cannot believe that any high heels could stand the test of a 12 hour day walking around a hospital floor. Thus all my shoes are flats. Before I get into all my favorites, I will say up front that I have learned that the most comfortable shoes are pricey. Well-made = comfortable = pricey, at least usually. I have figured out that if I want my feet (and me!) to be happy during the day, then I have to spend a little more. But well made shoes also last a really long time.

When I first realized that I would need comfortable shoes for working at a hospital, I went the usual route: I bought Danskos.There is a reason why this is the shoe of choice for nurses, doctors, and teachers everywhere. These shoes are comfortable, sturdy, and they last a long time. But they are, let's face it, ugly.
Exhibit A:

Don't get me wrong. I like my dansko clogs and they are comfortable.  But they are definitely not very stylish or cute. I also find that it's easy to turn my ankle while wearing them. I pretty much only wear them in the winter now. But I do love to wear them with some fun socks.

My second pair of danskos were some super cute sandals that have a much softer sole than the regular clogs. I LOVE these shoes, but I can't really wear them in the winter, unless I were to wear some hose or something, which I refuse to do. Sadly, it seems like they don't make this shoe anymore, although they do have some other cute options.

The next pair of comfortable shoes I got were some brown loafers made by Born. Honestly, these are actually more comfortable than my Dansko clogs because the sole is softer. I would say they are slightly cuter than the dansko clogs, but just barely. (Although if you check out that link they do make lots of adorable flats. Maybe I need some pale blue ones?)

Thankfully, I quickly realized that there is a whole world of cute AND comfortable shoes out there. Privo by Clarks is a brand that makes some cute and fairly comfortable shoes, such as these, which I found for pretty cheap at an outlet: The sole is a bit thin, but I can still wear them all day without pain. Their shoes tend to be a little more on the sporty side.

I eventually got some of these cute flats by Naturalizer. These were probably my favorite work shoes until very recently, because they are very light weight and comfortable. They have great arch support and really keep my feet feeling very happy.
I have been hearing about Earth shoes for several years, but never could find any to try on. I finally did and ordered some last week. The big claim about these shoes is that the heel is slightly lower than the toe, so they make you stand up straighter. Supposedly, you also burn more calories than normal when you walk and they will make you have more toned calves and gluts. I cannot speak whether or not they tone the calves and gluts since I've only worn them to work once. But I can say that they were delightful to wear. I have pretty high arches and these have awesome arch support. If I ever need to replace my dansko clogs (not likely anytime soon), I'm going to replace them with some earth shoes. I will admit that some of the earth shoes suffer from the ugly-but-comfortable shoe syndrome, but not the ones that I got:

So there you have it, my favorite shoes to wear to work.

Anyone out there with other comfortable (and cute) shoes you love?


Annie said…
Finally, someone else admits that Danskos are hideous. I bought a pair because everyone raved about them and I tend towards stress fractures in improper footwear. I looked much like Frankenstein with my lovely dainty sized-11 feet. Ugh. I had a pair of Primos which I loved but wore out. I think I might go buy another pair right now.
Fred said…
I was having problems with leg pain and someone recommended SAS shoes. They eased the pain and I have not looked back since. Pricy, yes, but if your feet are not comfortable nothing else is either.
Catherine said…
Merrell! I refuse to wear shoes I can't walk 5+ miles in -- in the winter I'm in Tetra Launch boots, which have the added bonus of being waterproof. In the warmer months I wear Merrell Mary Janes - similar to the Allure style. (Mine have been discontinued.) Both the boots and shoes are great with skirts or pants. Yes, they are pricey up front -- but they last forever. In fact, after 3 years of hard use, I resoled my boots... and now they're as good as new.

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