A Dissenting Opinion

Like many ladies with an urban commute, I always have a pair of lightweight slip on shoes/sneakers so I can commute in comfort and preserve my pretty work shoes. I’ve tried a couple brands and a few styles over the years but I’ve settled on Toms Avalon shoes for a last couple years. I get a pair, wear them into the ground in about six months, then replace them.

Recently I’ve seen the hype around Allbirds and they have a slip on style comparable to my Tom’s so I decided to give them a try. While they’re lightweight and very soft, I have mixed opinions. Here’s my pro/con list:

Pro

  • lightweight
  • breathable (I got the “tree material” version)
  • machine washable
  • no break in required

Con

  • run small (they only have whole sizes so I don’t want to size up)
  • no instep support
  • upper has a lot more coverage than my Toms (my friends said they look like water shoes)
  • limited color options
  • price point- $100 (every alternative is about $50)

I think the main issue for my is the size issue. I have been a size 10 forever, and I think if I sized up to an 11 they would be huge on me and my feet would look really large. Also the lack of support is not great. I want to use them for walking, but my Toms have much better support. Lastly, if I can get Toms or Skechers that are cuter, more supportive, and $50 cheaper, I think the choice is obvious.

So the plan is that I’ll wear this pair into the ground. We’ll see how they last. Then I’ll go back to Toms or I did see a cute new version of Skechers Go Walks in the store the other day.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer…

Shopping for Summer: A Hunt for Sandals

It’s just about sandal time, and I realized that when I cleaned out my shoes this winter, I tossed most of my sandals because they were just plain worn out. Now I’m trying to figure out what kind of sandals I need this summer. I have my standard Rainbows and Havanans that I wear running around on the weekends, but I need a couple nicer options for social occasions. I should caveat that most of these options are very neutral because I tend to only get a couple options and just wear them into the ground with every outfit, so I prefer a versatile color.

Here are some of the styles I’m contemplating:

Flats

Slides are so trendy this year, so I think I need at least one slide option. I love Toms in general, and these seems like a really neutral and comfortable option. They also come in plenty of color options, and several brands are doing this style this year.

Everyone is doing a version of these Grecian inspired slides. These are Sam Edelman but Steve Madden does a good version too. Getting them in brown or a metallic would work with everything.

I think this option from Sam Edelman is the perfect marriage of fashion and function. They seem comfortable to walk in, but a little more feminine than some of the chunkier options out there.

I love a metallic, and I love the asymmetry of these slides from Nine West. These are a little more day to night than the other options above.

Another from Nine West. I love a stud accent, and the back strap would be helpful for a long day. I love these in black and they have a slightly more substantial footbed than some other options.

Heels

Starting with Toms again, I think these are great for dressing up or down on the weekend. And they look really comfortable which is a big bonus.

Ann Taylor has surprised me lately with their shoe options. I think these would be perfect for a summer dinner out because they are a little more polished but still not really formal. The heel looks kind of high but I think it’s only three inches.

I saw a friend wearing these the other day, and I loved them. They might not quite be sandals but I think they’re perfect for brunch with the girls when you’ll be in the air conditioning. They also would be great almost year ’round- perfect with jeans.

These from JCrew scream wedding guest to me. They are dressy but a little more interesting than the standard simple strappy heel. It’s also great that the heel is chunky because you’ll last long in these. I’m seeing ruffles on a lot of shoes these days. I guess that trend worked it’s way to the ground.

What’s on your wish list right now?

There’s Always Room for Shoes

Ok, now that we’ve established that it’s the season for an easy slim leg pant, let’s talk shoes. I go two directions. If I’m feeling ambitious, it’s a pointed toe 3-4 inch heel. If I’m feeling tired, it’s a cute loafer. Shoes are not a category where I like to spend a lot of money so my general strategy is to buy a few basic options under $100, wear them into the ground, and then replace them after a couple years. I usually have nude pumps and flats, black pumps and flats, and a couple statement shoes or alternative neutrals for fun. Here are a few that I have and few that are on my list right now.

Super Simple Loafer from JCrew Factory

I have these in the grey above and they also come in black on nude. They are a great neutral both in color and design and will go with almost any pant color out there. They are typically priced around $50 depending on the current sale, so the price is right. A bonus is that they’re really light and easy to throw in your work bag when you have to commute in snow boots!

Super Sleek Nine West Loafer
Sometimes I find loafers to be too chunky or unflattering, but these are the perfect finishing touch to an outfit for work. They’re from Nine West and the Nine West website is constantly having sales, so you’re not going to spend close to the $79 that they are full price.

Fun and Easy Nine West Pumps

How fun are these? I think these would be perfect for a really neutral outfit that needed a statement. I love that they’re a 3 inch heel which is very do-able. Again they are always on some kind of sale at Nine West. These are in the shopping cart…

Fabulous Gold Boden Loafers

I’m a little upset that I don’t own these, but I actually have 2-3 pairs of gold flats that are a couple years old and in too good shape to buy another pair. For women from New Jersey like myself, we have the added fashion advantage that metallics and leopard print are considered neutrals in our closet. I would wear these with anything. I haven’t shopped too much a Boden, but I did just get a dress on super sale from there that I love.

Basic Pointed Toe Sam Edelman Pump
My go-tos for basic pointed toe pumps are Sam Edelman, Vince Camuto, and Nine West. They all usually have a style like the one above that is basic but sleek. I require a pointed toe, because I find a rounded toe unflattering on me, and like I said earlier, a 3-4 inch heel. Too high and I’m not comfortable, too low and I think it just looks awkward.

My other secret to success with work shoes is that I never commute in them. This cuts down on wear and tear (escalators can really scuff up a new pair of shoes), and it makes it easy for me to move quickly through the metro stations. I have my Toms most of the year and then Uggs or snow boots when it’s cold and snowy out. I have no shame when I can run up an escalator next to the women struggling in heels.

What shoes are you loving right now?