Off The Cuff: Do Fancy, Comfortable Shoes Exist?

Metallic flats. Sturdy AND stylish!

Metallic flats. Sturdy AND stylish!

Dear Winona,I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m no longer willing to sacrifice comfort for style. I just took a big bag of painfully high heels to Goodwill and felt like I was disposing of all the poor choices of my 20s. It was awesome! The only problem is I have a few weddings and fancy-ish events coming up and feel lost when it comes to finding comfortable shoes that aren’t high heels. Any thoughts?


Comfortable But Not Casual

Dear CBNC,

When I turned 30, I decided I no longer had the time and energy for the following things:

  • High-maintenance friends
  • Pretending to like beer
  • Shapewear that crushes my internal organs
  • Trying to understand the plot of Interstellar
  • Uncomfortable shoes

In short: I know exactly where you’re coming from, and you GO, girl! It’s empowering to decide you’re done with the whole “beauty is pain” mantra, because seriously: life is too short to be hobbling around on painful stilettos when you could be dancing and enjoying the open bar. When you’re shopping for shoes for a fancy event, it’s easy to assume that a super high heel is required for a shoe to feel dressed up enough, but that’s not necessarily the case. I’m happy to report that “sensible shoes” and “cute shoes” are not mutually exclusive terms. Here are some comfortable options that will fulfill your inner shoe lover, look fabulous at fancy events, and not incapacitate you for days afterward:

Fancy Flats

Proof that heels are not required for elegance: fancy flats a la Audrey Hepburn. There are tons of options available right now for any style or price point. I especially love the styles with a slightly pointed toe like these. Opt for a simple, streamlined style for a timeless look, or go for whimsical embellishments like bows, sequins, or ribbon if you want to make more of a statement.

Kitten Heels

A small, sturdy heel will give you a bit of height and formality without the excruciating pain of a 5-inch stiletto. Kitten heels are one of my favorites because they’re a bit retro, totally sexy, and allow for dancing all night. How fabulous are these cobalt beauties from Kate Spade? And they’re on sale right now!

Metallic Sandals

Metallics are a great way to impart a special-occasion vibe to any type of shoe, especially sandals. I just attended a wedding and wore these gold gladiator sandals, which were cute and comfortable and brought a little bohemian flair to my simple dress. They wouldn’t work for a super-formal dress code, but for many summer events, a metallic flat sandal hits just the right note.

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