The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Meet My Favorite Flats

I got a lot of questions about flats after writing this post, so I thought I would introduce you to the four pairs of slip-on ballet flat type shoes currently in my closet - tell me about yours in the comments:

1. Gap leather flats with quilted footbed: These were my first pair of Gap flats. I bought them one day in NYC when I was hobbling around in some horribly uncomfortable yet fashionbale shoes that caused me so much pain, I could hardly walk. I ducked into Gap and bought these flats for $40, slipped them on and experienced the most sublime relief. They have remained one of my favorite flats because they're super comfortable and have a very low profile and understated elegance that I love.

2. Pour la Victoire studded flats: I have a love/hate relationship with these shoes, which I purchased for something like $80 on, which is a lot for me to spend on a pair of shoes. I'm convinced these shoes are trying to kill me. The first time I tried them on, I slipped on the smooth leather soles while walking down stairs and nearly plummeted to my death. My back hurt for two weeks after that fall. I proceeded to scuff up the soles for traction prior to wearing them for a second time, but after wearing them for a few short hours, they began to cut into my feet so badly that my feet nearly bled. Still, I like the look so I'm hoping that by wearing them for shorter intervals, I will eventually break them in!

3. Ras silver flats: These are my subtle silver leather flats by a brand I had never heard of before, which I purchased during a final clearance sale on for something like $50. These were really painful at first and cut into my heel. I was ready to throw in the towel when a reader recommended Band-Aid Blister Block, a product that rolls on much like deodorant - you apply it to your feet and it magically blocks friction and prevents blisters. It's not really a miracle cure, but it allowed me to wear these flats for a few hours at a time, thus breaking in the shoe to fit my foot. Now I can wear these pain-free, sans Blister Block. Love the look.

4. Gap leather ballet flats: My "Repetto knockoffs." I purchased these during a second trip into the city when once again, I found myself limping around in fashionable yet painful shoes! I ducked into a Gap and all their flats were on sale, meaning my size was sold out. Then I spotted this pair on a mannequin and asked a sale associate if I could buy them. She gladly helped me get the shoes off the mannequin and I walked out with happy feet. I'll admit these shoes feel like slippers but they are so chic and comfortable, they're among my favorite shoes. I wear them with cheap-o insoles from Walmart to keep them looking new, longer. I have nothing bad to say about them!

Ok, your turn!
#1 looks soo comfy! I was thinking about getting a pair of Gap flats. I think I just might get a pair the next time I'm in the mall =)
#1 thisizkim on 2011-01-24 18:45 (Reply)
The Gap City Flats are very comfortable, in my opinion. I can walk all over campus for several hours without pain (maybe a tiny bit of rubbing on the heal, but not noticeable). Other than that, Cole Haan flats from an outlet are nice and wide, but overall I have a hard time finding a good flat as well.
#2 Hill on 2011-01-24 18:55 (Reply)
I live in flats during the summer, and rarely pay attention to comfort when I first purchase them, so I've got my routine down for breaking in flats.
Insoles help, certainly. So does that Blister Block (I heard clear deodorant does the same thing). The best solution I've found for breaking in flats is to wear them...with your workout socks. Your super cushy, socks that prevent blisters while running will stretch the shoe and help it form to your feet. Of course, you'd do this breaking in in your house, much like you would do with a pair of heels. I usually break my shoes in for a few weeks before I take them for short runs to the grocery store or something. I like to think of it as their "trial" period, so I can assess their potential to be added to my arsenal of flats :-D.
#3 Christina on 2011-01-24 21:42 (Reply)
My favorites are Layton black patent flats by Me Too! They are very comfortable and cute. I bought them from Nordstroms after trying on every pair of flats they had last summer. If you want to see them, they will show up on a search on the nordstrom site.
#4 Sharon on 2011-01-24 22:26 (Reply)
I had such a problem this week finding good flats. I live in Korea, where the largest shoe size is US 8. I'm a 9, so, no go. When I'm home I've got to stock up on shoes, but ugh! There was just nothing in the stores for me. I bought a pair of the Gap city flats, which are super comfortable, but I wasn't crazy about any of the colors. I ended up getting another pair at H&M which were much cuter, but we'll see how long they last. I keep telling myself the $98 JCrew classic ballet flats are too expensive, but they're looking better and better...
#5 Katrine on 2011-01-25 00:26 (Reply)
love this post. i live in ballet flats. you should also check out matt bernson - his whole thing is about making them super comfy yet still stylish. regularly, they're a little more pricy (about $135) but they're constantly on gilt groupe and he did a collab w/lucky that is still available on hsn.

the gap ones are amaze!

xx grace
#6 grace - stripes & sequins (Homepage) on 2011-01-25 02:40 (Reply)
love this topic.

I'm an ex ballet dancer with long toes and a very pronounced achilles heels. I hate seeing toe cleavage from flats that end a little too abruptly and the back needs to have a lot of give to not cut into my heel. My solution, thus far, has been the Cole Haan Maria Sharapova flats. I bought them for 130 from Macy's but I regularly see them go on sale at for 60ish.
#7 Roya on 2011-01-25 09:14 (Reply)
I'm at that age (sigh, 40!) where flats hurt my feet because they're too "flat". Flats can be just as damaging to your feet as heels because they usually offer no arch support. So the only flats I've had success with are by Auri, a brand out of Southern California. The leather is super luxe and soft, and every pair has a built-in arch cushion. They're pricey, but I've been able to score them on sale for about $75.
#8 Target-Addict (Homepage) on 2011-01-25 10:23 (Reply)
My favorite flats, I have so many of them! My most comfortable are my Repettos and my Loeffler Randalls. My most fashionable are my Delmans and my Belle by Sigerson Morrisons. I love my flats to death, so I need to pay more; I find the cheapie ones die after one summer.
#9 FaithJ on 2011-01-25 11:14 (Reply)
I have a really hard time with ballet slipper. I find they come off all the time, so I have to grip them with my toes at every step and that is tiring! :-(
#10 saretta (Homepage) on 2011-01-25 14:42 (Reply)
Me too! That's why I love the Gap flats. They don't fall off and they don't make my feet look big, another problem I have with flats cuz I'm a size 9.5!
#10.1 The Budget Babe on 2011-01-25 17:01 (Reply)
My two go-to pairs of flats are my Me To Nevadas in black and my Tahari Valeries in Titanio (pewter metallic).

It took me forever to find exactly what I wanted in a ballerina flat, and the Nevadas fit the bill perfectly-- comfy, no toe cleavage, inexpensive (I paid ~$30 at Off Broadway Shoes), and very similar on the foot to what my ballet slippers from childhood looked like! (So many were too wide or rounded at the toe, which I didn't find flattering at all on me.)

I eyed the Valeries for months when they were about $89, loving the color and the embellished toe, but not wanting to spend that much on them. Finally scored them on Black Friday at Off Broadway Shoes for $40, and am so pleased I did. They're not as comfortable as anything Me Too makes, but they look great, and I can wear these for hours if I put a small bandaid on my achilles heel!

Great post, BB-- I've enjoyed reading people's favorite flats!
#11 KimmyDarling (Homepage) on 2011-01-25 16:00 (Reply)
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