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Wear This, Not That #2: More Popular Shoe Alternatives
Readers seemed to appreciate our recent “Wear This, Not That” post, where we looked at a several currently trendy shoe styles and found more comfortable or less-pricey options. So we decided to go for round two! Here we feature a few more current shoe trends, and our picks for more foot-loving and/or budget-friendly alternatives.
Boat shoes, like the iconic Sperry Topsider, are perennially popular among nautical types, but also seem to return to the fashion forefront every couple of decades. But for some folks the Sperry Topsider just doesn’t cut it from a fit or comfort perspective. If this describes you, check out the Skechers Performance On-the-Go and Skechers Go Step Seashore Boat Shoes. We can vouch for this shoe’s forgiving upper, higher vamp than some women’s Topsiders (for a more comfortable fit over bunions or a wider/narrower forefoot), and super cushiony memory foam insole. They feel like you’re wearing slippers! And a bonus – they’re available in lots of colors and patterns, from basic to bold. Both available at Amazon, Famous Footwear, Shoebuy and Zappos.
Block heel sandals are having a major moment, and we love them! (Why wobble in narrow heels when you can be stylish AND stable?) While not all block heel sandals have much support or cushioning, we’ve found two great options. The Earthies Saletto gets terrific reviews for its padded, contoured foot bed, good arch support, and functional laces (which mean an adjustable fit for wider or narrower feet). The Earthies Saletto is available in sizes 5-12 at Zappos, Shoes.com, and Amazon.
The Crocs Isabella Block Heel is a dressed-up version of a Crocs sandal with the same incredible cushioning that made the original Crocs famous. The Crocs Isabella Block Heel is available in sizes 5-11 (and for a comfort shoe, the price point is terrific) at Crocs.com, Amazon, and 6pm.com.
Loafer mules are hot, hot, hot this spring! If you love them but don’t feel like paying big dollars for ones like the AGL Penny Slide, the G.H. Bass & Co. Wynn Weejuns might be just right for you. No one does penny loafers better than Bass, so we have reason to trust their take on the loafer mule, made of premium leather with a cushioned insole. (And we admit, we’re obsessing more than a little over the beautiful metallics!) The G.H. Bass Wynn Weejuns are right on trend, but come in at a friendlier price point than higher-end brands. Available in sizes 6-11 from Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon.
Platform sandals have been a welcome style development, especially for petite women who love having a little extra height. But the lack of support inherent in most flip-flop styles can be a real problem for feet, knees and legs. Vionic now offers its extraordinarily well-reviewed flip-flop sandal in a platform version, the Vionic High Tide. Vionic’s orthotic-grade footbed will provide all the support you need in a cute, versatile sandal. The Vionic High Tide is available in sizes 5-11, medium and wide widths from Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon.
We’re crazy about the shoes with ruffled flower detailing that seem to be everywhere right now, but many don’t have much going for them in the comfort department. After much searching, we finally came across two with solid comfort features. The Spring Step Dezi is an adorable flat with a cushioned, padded footbed that gets great reviews. (We’ve seen the Spring Step Dezi in person, and it’s even cuter than online!) Find a pair at Zappos and Amazon.
The FitFlop Florrie Superballerina combines FitFlop’s legendary ergonomic comfort technologies with an adorable ruffled flower detail for the perfect sporty summer flat. The FitFlop Florrie Superballerina comes in sizes 5-11 and is available at Fitflop.com, and Amazon, If you like the ruffled flower but prefer sandals, check out the FitFlop Florrie flip flop.
Have you found any comfortable or budget-friendly alternatives to popular shoe styles? We love hearing from readers about your finds – please leave a comment!