The Vine: November 11, 2011
I need shoes. I've been a student for a long time, but now I'm at the point where I can't wear jeans and running shoes every day. So I need a nice basic pair of shoes I can wear every day. The problem is I also have to wear heavy-duty prescription orthotics. This means I have to wear flats, and most "supportive" walking shoes are deeply, deeply, hideous. And clunky, expensive, go with nothing, and HIDEOUS.
What I'm looking for is an attractive, comfortable shoe I can walk in and wear all day. Ideally, I can wear them with a skirt, shorts, or pants (but if I have to I'll settle for just pants). It needs a thick sole and the shoe itself has to be deep, or have a removable lining so I can put the orthotics in. (The orthotics are hard, curved, plastic, to give you an idea of the depth requirements). For that reason, ballet-flat-type shoes are out. I want something I can wear in all weather, but I live in Canada, so if I had to choose I'd pick non-summer shoes. I already have winter boots, don't need those.
Budget is a concern, but I'm willing to spend money on one pair of shoes that will last years.
Flat-foot and fancy free
Try searching Zappos (or Endless, or your shoe site of choice) for Naot, Keen, and Merrell. I have a pair of Keen maryjanes I wear constantly, and a pair of Clarks wallaby-type black shoes that I wear with skirts and pants. There's a limit to how dressed-up some of these crunchy-ish shoe brands can get, but if you want everyday work-wear shoes that go between skirts and pants, these shoes should fill the bill. Dr Martens has a few sleeker styles now, more than they used to, and I think the Docs-and-babydoll-dress thing from the early '90s is coming back in, if you want to take a run at that.
Tags: Ask The Readers retail