An Honest Review of our New Flats for Work

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.Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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 them for over a month at work (and on the weekends) and are here to report back on our honest thoughts about each pair.

Cognac Lace Flat

Casey: I’ve always 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.Cognac Lace Flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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.Cognac lace flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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!Cognac lace flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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. Cognac Lace Flats:Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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

$25 Payless Flats

Nude Payless Flats

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+

Payless Flats with Tassel

Tassel Flats

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!

Payless Flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY PlaybookUnlike 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.

Payless flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY PlaybookThe 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 FlatsGold Heel Flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

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.Gold Heel Flats: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook
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).Beige Flats from Aldo: Work Flats & Weekend Flats: Review & Buying Guide | DIY Playbook

As 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 wearier when I choose flats by looking for ones that are more flimsy on the back instead of so structured. The price of these flats was 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!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.