Who knew when I started blogging that I would get to write a post about one of my favorite things?! I like clothes, but I love accessories; I am the kind of person who matches my shoes and my earrings to my dress.
On television and in movies, women with jobs that require movement, like detectives and drama teachers and yes, doctors, often wear heels, and that fact drives me crazy! I know there are women who can wear heels all day long – in fact I work with some of them – but many of us cannot. So, I want to share how I’ve expanded my closet beyond Tory Burch. And to be clear, no one has paid me anything for my thoughts; these are all brands that I have found and tried and liked on my own.
Camper: The company was founded in Spain but has stores across the US, and online. Apart from my sneakers, these are the most comfortable shoes in my closet. I can last 10+ hours in them, and I
have another pair that serve as my official walking shoes for vacation. Camper has many flat and low-heeled options, plus I love that they are original. Their ‘Twins’ line challenges the notion that a pair of shoes should be mirror images, and their ‘Wabi’ line is classically minimalist. Price-wise, they run in the mid-100s, and to date I have found them to be durable with little evidence of wear.
Toms: admittedly this is not the first name that comes to mind when I think “dress shoes,” but, they are worth checking out. I own the ‘Jutti flats,’ which run a little big but are supportive and hold up well in the rain. For further proof of appeal, I know that a Book Club friend owns the same pair in black! I’m eyeing Toms’ new ‘D’Orsey’ versions right now, and I also love that they donate a pair for every pair that I buy.
Keds: I lived in these as a kid and rediscovered them a few years ago, when Taylor Swift did an ad campaign for them. Although the white sole is decidedly casual, Keds has some collaborations now that merit exploration. One is a sparkle line with Kate Spade that’s super fun – I own the navy blue ones and have received multiple compliments on them – and another is their floral versions with Rifle Paper Co. I find them to be really quite beautiful and elegant for what is basically a modified sneaker. And, price points on both these and Toms are excellent.
Chinese Laundry: I bought my high school prom shoes from Chinese Laundry! And recently learned that they make good grown-up shoes as well. They have several
flat and bootie options that run contemporary, just short of trendy, in a wider color scheme than I have found in other stores. Also, the quality of their shoes seems to be a little better than that of Nine West, which used to be my go-to place for functional shoes.
Rothy’s: This is the only name I cannot personally vouch for, but it is number one on the list of shoes I want to try. I have several girlfriends who have raved about how comfortable their Rothy’s are. And, I just learned that these shoes are made from post-consumer water bottles, and that the company recycles their insoles and aims for sustainable packaging as well. I mean, way to go green. Their website has a few different styles and lots of different colors and prints to choose from, and the shoes are machine washable.
Before I finish, I have to say a word about high heels. I remember a lecture from my third year of medical school during which a (male) orthopod showed us picture after picture of bunions and hammer toes and then said his one takeaway was that women should never wear high heels. While I appreciate his advice, the truth is, sometimes flats just won’t do.
For those instances I think it’s common knowledge that block heels are more comfortable than stilettos, that a platform at the toe limits stress on the arch, and that shoe shopping at the end of the day, when feet are at their biggest, is smart. I now know that shoes with a 65mm heel have the same look but are markedly more comfortable than shoes with an 85mm heel (admittedly I have done some attending-level splurging at Jimmy Choo). Recently I read that Megan Markle buys her heels a size up to allow space for swelling, and while I cannot fact-check this, I do know that too big is better than too small. And finally, my experience with gel inserts and tape (designed to stop feet from sliding down in heels) has been positive.
Any other brands worth checking out or tips worth sharing?
Happy shoe shopping!!!