Let’s go back….back to this post where we outlined all of the shoe recommendations we received from our lovely readers. After lamenting the fact that it is so difficult to find flat shoes for work that are comfortable AND cute, our readers came to the rescue with some amazing insight.
If you’re currently on the flats struggle bus (we feel ya!), then we strongly urge you to check out this post because it has a wide-variety of flats for every price point.
After reading through all of the comments and reviews, we both decided to purchase some new pairs to add to our repertoire. We then wore then for over a month at work (and on the weekends) and are here to report back on our honest thoughts about each pair.
Casey: I’ve alway admired the lace-up look from a distance, but never took the plunge on purchasing because I just didn’t think it would be functional. I imagined tying and re-tying the laces, and figured most lace-up shoes would be incredibly uncomfortable.
I’m happy that I was dead wrong with these flats from Nordstrom. Not only are they stylish (& make me feel cool because I’m trying the lace-up trend), but they’re also incredibly comfortable and low-maintenance.
Many readers recommend Vionics because of their support and cushion, and these definitely have that. I hate when flats have no support on the bottom, and you literally feel like you’re walking barefoot on the ground. No thank you!
The first time I wore these they did pinch a little on one side of the toe “cleavage” (gross word, but it does accurately describe the foot area. ha!) but they’ve since loosened up a bit and I’ve had no more pain issues.
I’d double knot the laces and haven’t had any trouble with them unraveling over the course of the day. So my initial worry has been put to rest. I’m obsessed with the cognac color because it goes with everything. I wear these with black, brown, white, jeans….any kind of pants really! I will say that these probably are not the best shoes to wear if it rains, specifically because they’re suede.
Overall Grade: A
Casey: After hearing how AMAZING these budget-friendly Payless flats are, we both ended up buying some to add to our shoe collections. I went with the nude plain ones (above). I’m not gonna lie, these are not exactly a “cloud” on your foot. But for $25 they’re pretty impressive. The first time I wore them they did pinch a bit on my heels, but after one wear they got a lot better.
The nude color is nice because it goes with everything, but I prefer the cognac lace-up flats to these. I do keep these nude flats at work though, just so I have a second shoe as a back-up.
Overall Grade: C+
Bridget: I bought these tassel flats from Payless and honestly didn’t have a high expectation for their performance, but was still willing to give them a fair shot because they were $19. I mean let’s be real, who can beat $19 for a pair of everyday shoes? BUT I shouldn’t have judged just by their price tag because I have really grown to like them a lot! Surprisingly I have worn them at least 4-5 times per week since buying them because they go with everything. I pair them with jeans, black pants, navy pants, and even skirts!
Unlike Casey’s ballet flats, these have a little bit more support and a tiny heel so you definitely don’t feel like you’re walking on the ground. My mom tried mine on one day and went out and bought the same exact pair and reports positive reviews as well.
The one negative I would give about these shoes is that they make my feet sweat a little bit. <— I know that’s way too much information, I apologize. But in honor of full disclosure, this makes shoe a tiny bit slippery inside at times.
However I asked my mom about this issue and she hasn’t noticed that at all. Overall I’m super happy with the performance of these $19 flats and will definitely go back to Payless to shop for additional flats next school year.
Overall Grade: A-
Gold Heel Flats
Bridget: I chose these flats from Aldo as my more expensive pair because I loved the shape and the gold accents. Much like my Payless pair, this shoe matches with just about everything and the gold accent instantly brings a hint of glam to your everyday wear. I have received quite a few compliments on these structured flats since adding them to my work wardrobe.
However, I don’t wear them nearly as much as I want to because they are extremely sturdy and structured in the back of the shoe, which has caused severe blisters from a whole day of walking. I walk about 3 miles while at work and that was too much for my feet to take, so unfortunately I rarely wear these flats. If I do wear them, I typically only wear them once every few weeks so the tender spots on my feet have time to heal before exposing them to more rubbing. Or because these flats are a tad “fancier”, I wear them to evening events that I know won’t require a ton of walking (i.e. date night).
Like I said, I really love the look but the pain isn’t worth. And I still love buying shoes at Aldo, I’m just going to be more weary when I choose flats by looking for ones that are more flimsy on the back instead of so structured. The price of these flats were almost three times the Payless alternative and I would reach for the cheaper pair 10 times over the more expensive pair.
Overall Grade: D+
We have had so much fun testing out these “products” and then reporting back of our results. It’s always nice to get honest feedback, so we’d love to continue these little experiments throughout the year! If you have products or ideas of what you want to see reviewed here on the DIY Playbook, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!