Living in New York City, I walk for miles every day and have gradually stopped wearing heels altogether. There’s nothing worse than new heels stuck in subway grates or your shoe sliding off your foot while you sprint to cross the street before the light turns.
So instead, I wear flats. Classic ballet flats for work, cute embellished flats for drinks and dinner or casual loafer flats for weekend errands – I even pack soft leather flats for travel! After trying so many brands over the years (both designer and orthopedic), I’ve finally found a couple tried and true brands that make chic, comfortable flats to share with you today.
So, if you’re also looking for comfy flats that will support your feet while still coordinating with your wardrobe – keep reading!
The Most Comfortable Flats
1. Hush Puppies Nude Ballet Flats
Hush Puppies makes an adorable ballet flat that’s super comfortable. They’re crafted from a breathable suede so your feet don’t sweat like crazy and best of all, they’re incredibly affordable. To break them in, I bend the shoe a bit back and forth, and from side to side, to give them some additional stretch and flexibility.
Other things I like about Hush Puppies’ flats: the leather is soft and squishy so they pack down tightly for travel. I also like how the rounded toe doesn’t show any toe cleavage and provides enough room for your toes to sit comfortably as you walk. Best of all, Hush Puppies keeps this flat in their staple shoe line up and offers a huge range of colors, so you can definitely find a shade you like.
2. Tory Burch Travel Flats
With over 1,000+ reviews, it’s safe to say it’s not just me that loves the Tory Burch travel flats! The leather is buttery soft, the fit is quite comfortable and these flats work great as a driving shoe or walking shoe. I’ve worn them as part of my casual airport outfit with stretchy jeans and a jacket as well as part of my everyday work uniform, with a blouse and skirt. I order my usual size, give them about a day to break in, and over time they mold to perfectly cushion my feet.
The best part is Tory Burch makes them in a rainbow of colors and finishes. I particularly like this blush pink ballet flat with the subtle matching pink Tory logo, although there are gold and silver hardware finishes if you prefer more of a statement! Each pair is very well made, so they’ll last you a good couple years.
3. UGG Loafers
These UGG loafers feel like wearing clouds on your feet. They’re super comfortable, have great arch support and are great quality! I wear UGG slippers at home around the house and most days, transition into these out the door… so it feels like I’m still wearing my slippers to work! UGG says they’re made with triple layer foam cushioning to provide extra support.
I love the classic metallic flats to add a pop of color to outfits, but you could opt for the black or nude for a more conservative neutral look. Usually I have to size up for UGGS.
4. Nine West Ballerina Flat
These Nine West flats are really cute. They’re perfect if you’re looking for a classic ballet flat and I’ve picked them up in a variety of colors – the black flats especially are very work appropriate with a suit!
I would say the comfort level is medium, in that they’re comfortable enough to wear all day to work but I wouldn’t go walking miles in them. I would also recommend sizing down 1/2 a size as they run slightly big OR you can go with your normal size and add gel inserts for added cushion.
5. Frye Flats
The Frye flats are a cult favorite. Comfortable right out of the box, they’re versatile enough to match any outfit and durable enough to last miles of walking.
Frye uses buttery soft antiqued leather for all their shoes and these ballet flats are no exception! You can get them in pastel suedes, neutrals or metallic finishes.
6. SKECHERS Flats
These Skechers are soft, flexible and comfy. They’re extremely affordable, as they’re made from a fabric upper, but buy your regular size as the shoe doesn’t stretch much.
If you have bunions, you should definitely give these a go! My mom owns several pairs of Skechers as they hide her bunions quite well while still being comfortable enough for everyday wear.
Skechers makes these flats in a range of muted colors and I like the minimalist, logo-free look.
7. French Sole Ballet Flats
I’m a huge fan of French Sole. They make really high quality ballerina flats as part of their core shoe line, with some embellished versions each season if you want something unique. The ‘Jigsaw’ is a beautiful scalloped shoe that looks very similar to the designer flats Chloe makes (but is obviously much more affordable) and the leather is buttery soft (no digging into your feet).
It features a rounded toe, so no foot cleavage – thank goodness – and a slight heel just high enough to make you feel like you’re not barefoot on the ground. I’d say foot bed support is light to medium.
In general, French Sole works best for narrow feet. These are available in a huge range of colors, both suede and leather.
8. Naturalizer Flats
If you want a comfortable flat for work, consider these Naturalizers, which come in a wide range of neutral shades and have a fun buckle on the front. They look much more expensive than they are! The footpad is slightly padded and they’re a chic, sophisticated flat to match any suit or wide legged trousers.
Naturalizer also makes this loafer that has lots of padding and contoured foot support, if you want a menswear inspired flat!
9. Coach Classic Flats
I typically try to buy shoes made of real leather, since they’re better for your feet. If you want gorgeous leather or suede shoes, Coach is the brand to beat! These classic ballet flats are simple yet stunning and I love them equally in black or the dusty pink.
The footbed is lightly padded, the heel doesn’t slip off your foot and the micro heel raises them slightly off the ground. I knew when I got these that the classic shape wouldn’t go out of style and they’ve held up well for years! Size down 1/2 a size.
10. Sam Edelman Flats
Sam Edelman is one of my go-to shoe brands since they make cute, comfortable shoes that look like more expensive designers at a very affordable price point. Case in point: these classic flats are a great dupe for the Chloe Lauren flats…at less than a fifth of the price.
They have a classic look, with a scalloped edge that works equally well in the office as a work flat as they do on the weekend when worn to brunch with a tee and jeans.
I never get heels on my blisters when I wear these, even if I wear them all day, and the foot bed is lightly padded. Sam Edelman makes these comfy flats in a couple different neutral colors as well as in both suede and leather. Best of all? There’s no toe cleavage!
11. Vionic Flats
Vionic flats are perfect if you have plantar fasciitis. They’re an Australian orthopedic brand dedicated specifically to help those with foot pain and they partner with a podiatrist to develop bio mechanical foot beds in all their shoes that are designed to provide significant arch support.
The effect of all that built-in padding is a cushioned hug for your arches that makes walking on concrete feel natural.
Especially if you have flat feet, you’ll be surprised at how Vionic shoes enable you to walk comfortably! I also think they look sharp enough to wear to work, which I can’t always say for orthotic shoes.
12. Trotters Loafers
Comfortable pointed toe flats can be hard to find. Inevitably, the cute ones squish your toes in the front! Once I discovered Trotters, I was hooked. These give a really nice menswear vibe to my girlier outfits while still being polished enough to wear with work (I usually pair them with a blouse and ankle pants) and the pointy toe helps make your legs look longer.
I find these loafers super comfortable to wear, even for long periods, as they’ve got some padding in the insole. They come in black, off white, pink, suede versions and printed versions. I also really love these woven flats and think they’d look perfect in the summer!
The Best Flats of 2018 – Summary
To summarize, here are our favorite brands for comfortable flats!
What to Look for in Comfortable Shoes
While it can be relatively easy to find comfy sneakers these days, chic flats are a little tougher. To help, I stock up on memory foam shoe inserts, heel cushions and heel liners! There’s a couple elements you want to look for to find the perfect flat:
- Adequate Sole Support
- Breathable Fabric
- A Roomy Toe Box
Not all flats are created equal. Finding comfortable shoes that don’t pinch, squeeze, rub or create blisters can feel impossible. I walk a lot on concrete pavement in New York, so I prefer insoles with a bit more support to cushion and absorb the shock. Bonus points if they’re molded for arch support.
If you fall in love with a pair of pretty flats that don’t have built in support, you can try sizing up 1/2 a size and adding shoe inserts and cushions to beef them up.
I also try to stick to high quality leather or suede shoes and avoid fabric uppers, so that my feet can breathe. There’s nothing worse than stinky feet and usually the cause is poor quality shoes. To make my suede shoes last longer, I spray them with this protector when they’re straight out of the box.
And finally, for all day comfortable flats I usually opt for a rounded toe. I find these offer more room for my toes to spread out while I’m walking. Hope these tips help! What are your tips for finding great flats?
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