Please hear my confession: I am not the world’s biggest fan of heels. Don’t get me wrong, they look gorgeous, but as far as comfort and practicality go… it’s a huge no from me. Now, everyone should wear whatever they damn well feel like on their feet, but if you’re like me and live for flats then read on.
It took me such a long time to get out of an only owning one pair of shoes rut, I was perfectly happy with my £7 a pair New Look pumps and would simply buy a new identical pair whenever the old ones became worn out. A couple of months ago I decided to branch out and be an adult about my flats, so here I have picked out five of my current favourite alternatives to ‘standard black ballet pumps’ that cover all bases from work, to nights out, to garden parties, and back again.
These black loafers from Sole Diva (via Simply Be) were my first foray into ‘grown up’ flats. They’ve been my faithful companions ever since; worn with dresses, jeans, leggings, skirts and shorts etc. I’ve been getting away with wearing these with most spring and summer daytime outfits, and I’m sure they’ll take me into autumn and winter with the same versatility.
If they feel like they look a little out of place with any particular outfit I have just added socks (like those pictured) and somehow that makes the look work. It’s witchcraft, I swear. Anyway, these are true to size – I’m a 6.5 and the 7 is comfy if a tiny bit large on my smallest foot (much like boobs, we all have one bigger than the other…. don’t we?) They come in a variety of width settings, from standard to EEE.
The next pair are also from Sole Diva (via Simply Be again, and as featured in this post) so the sizing and width fittings are identical to the black loafers above. Similarly, they appear to go with everything, the oxblood colour is a great alternative to tan and acts as a neutral in the same way tan accessories do.
These shoes definitely look best worn as shown, with bare feet, and seem to lend the illusion of a shapely ankle even to my sturdy and capable legs. I have been wary of wearing these out and about if it’s very wet, the faux suede effect on the upper might not be too happy with that.
Meet my current go-to flats for weddings, picnics and nights out… these are old M&S sling backs that I picked up for a steal from a charity shop, they cost me £3 and looked unworn! A pair of good quality sling backs are a must for me in the summer: they keep my feet nice and cool, plus the non-restrictive back of the shoe tends to help with a little extra room for my wide feet. I wish for a pair in every colour!
These peep-toes from Peacocks are v.cheap and v.cheerful. The first wear cut my heels to ribbons so I’ve been wearing them with socks ever since. I’ve always found Peacocks sizes to run small, so I went with a 7 and they were pinchy to begin with but over time they have stretched out. The mix of colours on a neutral base colour means these can be worn with most block coloured clothing, and the odd pattern such as polka dots or stripes for a bit of a clash.
Everyone should own a pair of Dr. Martens, these are Polley which is a t-bar style, but I have a pair of lace-ups on my wishlist. Dr. Martens are notoriously painful for the first few wears, before settling in and being the comfiest shoes you’ll ever own. PRO TIP: stuff them with wet newspaper overnight before wearing them, then put gaffa tape directly onto your heel while the shoes break in.
These are another all rounder, really – worn with floaty dresses, chunky jumpers, jeans and jumpsuits. Rain? No problem. Oh, did you stand on my toe, I had no idea! On the hotter summer days, perhaps these are best left in the wardrobe, but overall – a great ballet pump replacement.
These are the five pairs of shoes that are getting me right through the summer and some will see me through to autumn as well. I have not once felt out of place for not wearing heels to functions or events. I’m on the lookout for a couple of pairs of brogues, tan and black maybe, so if you have any recommendations then please throw them in my direction!
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