Pedestrian Friendly Shoes

A couple days ago, I made a statement on Facebook that got a lot of attention from ladies of a certain (i.e. my) age:

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I’ve already given lots of love to the glorious face cream I found, but what really got the attention of my peers was the comment about shoes. In addition to being the age where youthful indiscretions begin to come home to roost, I also happen to live in a very pedestrian city. Walking to work is one of my joys (except when the polar vortex visits), but you have to have the right shoes.

[Momentary point about how I know I can wear completely functional shoes for my walk and change into whatever impractical heels I want when I get to the office. I don’t want to do that. You know what makes a delightful 8am walk not delightful? Being weighed down with extra stuff. I will be walking with precisely as many pair of shoes as I need, and no more, thankyouverymuch.]

As I’m rounding the bend on my sixth year in DC, I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what shoes work best for my walking commute without sacrificing style. I’ve got a dugout deep with all-stars that can be used for work, play, and travel. Here’s my starting lineup (and if you’ve been following my #OutfitSelfie posts, you won’t be surprised by any of them):

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Sidewalk Skimmer | Madewell

A man got to have a code, and a lady got to have a reliable model of flats. For me, it’s Madewell’s Sidewalk Skimmer. The leather is pliable enough that the shoes perfectly conform to your feet after a wear or two, but strong enough that the shoes retain their integrity, and the almond-shaped toe is perfect for a professional-but-relaxed look.


Milly | Cole Haan

My newest discovery, and alas, a bit late in the game as these seem to be discontinued. You can still find them in Nordstrom’s shoe clearance or on 6pm, but you’ll need to snap them up while they’re still around. (I’ve already done my patriotic duty and bought them in black – for choir – and nude-to-me. I’m eyeing that red.) These are obscenely comfortable – the Nike air technology makes sure of that – and the slight wedge heel allows for definition in your calf muscles. Wedges, if you didn’t realize, are way more comfortable than regular old heels because they’re so much sturdier.

If you want a pair but can’t find your size, the Tali model seems to be of a similar cut and is available in an open-toe version and a closed-toe version with a little bow, if you’re not worried it’s too precious.

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Anya | J. Crew Factory

Don’t ask me why, but the Factory version of J. Crew’s basic ballet flat fits my feet far more comfortably than the original. Any time the cheaper version is preferable to the more expensive, though, I’m sold. These flats manage to be comfortable and flattering all at once; the rounded toe that by all logic should make my leg look stumpy instead is aided by the slight (about 0.5″) interior wedge to elongate the line. As a result, you look like you’re wearing ballet flats and therefore just happen to have such gorgeous looking legs all by yourself.

I would recommend any of these shoe models for a schlep across town. What’s your go-to pedestrian shoe?

3 thoughts on “Pedestrian Friendly Shoes

  1. Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one. This year I’ve also started buying face cream and flats 🙂 Right now my most worn pair are black Sperrys but I do not recommend. The leather is so incredibly soft that it easily wore a hole straight through it just from the friction of my pant legs. But they do feel amazing so I pretend people can’t see it.

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