Are your “shoes made for walkin'”?

Okay, it’s 2010. There’s just one thing I want to know. Why, with all of our technology, can’t the shoe industry make a really cute walking shoe?

I’m getting ready for a trip to Chicago for shopping and sight-seeing later this week. Just last week I realized I haven’t made any improvements in my walking shoe wardrobe since I battled with it for Europe 2 years ago. To add insult to injury, not only do I need something for lots of walking, but I am also battling tendinitis in my ankle, so that cuts out certain styles as well.

So I headed out to Dardanos on Colorado Blvd. Two of my clients have had great luck there-why not me, right? I was truly amazed at the number of  shoes they had, but equally amazed at how many ugly shoes they carry. I understand that for some, the comfort shoe, i.e. Birkenstocks, Danskos, etc, is a look-their style. I’m perfectly fine with that, but that isn’t everyone’s style. Again, it seems as though we have the technology!

I also don’t understand why these comfort brands make such unfashionable colors? I thought found a shoe that was great, but when the salesman brought it to me I realized the color was far too old for me. I found a pair of  cute-ish Dansko faux platforms right off the bat, but I could not find another pair. (I’ve since decided they’re too high for my ankle right now.)

Even though I encourage my clients to limit their shoes when they travel, I knew I needed at least one more pair, so I continued on to REI. Fortunately or unfortunately, I ended up with a pair of leather strapped Tevas (pictured only mine are darker brown…much better.) It’s not the look I’m really going for, but I have a good history with them. They are certainly cuter than sneakers!

This leads me to a conclusion that I know is true for me and many of my clients and friends…We settle! (I mean, really-I don’t love those Danskos.) We don’t want to settle, but we can’t go barefoot. I must admit, the comfort/walking shoe industry has improved immensely, but has a long way to go!

Just so no one shudders too much at my choice of Tevas for travel, I actually had a pair of cute Sofft metallic sandals (pictured) that I’m praying will get me through the streets of Chicago. (The sales guy at Dardano’s told me they’re not meant for walking all day.)

What have been your experiences with comfortable shoes? Do you feel like you settle? Have you found amazingly cute walking shoes? Are they comfortable all day? I would love to hear stories!

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5 comments on “Are your “shoes made for walkin'”?

  1. Hi Dana, I just happened to come across your article about cute walking shoes and I’m sooo in agreement. I have yet to find an utra comfortable, cute, colorful walking shoe. I think we need a consumer revolt! Maybe we need to be emailing the manufacturers. Let me know if you find anything wonderful! Marj

    1. Hi Marj,
      I finally figured out (at the last minute) that any sandal was aggravating the tendinitis in my ankle, so I’m sticking to my sneakers and a really cute pair of Sam Eddleston flats until I’m “cured.” I thought it would be too hot to wear the closed toe shoes, but I was okay. The Sofft sandals pictured at the bottom are comfortable, and I think they’ll be pretty good in the future.

  2. Patagonia Maha Breathe flats from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/806281). I put them on the first time and walked all day around Portland. When I start out in a new pair of shoes, I bring along Dr Scholl arch inserts, heel bandages, and a roll of the Rub Relief strips. I didn’t need any of them. I have had good luck with the newer Cole Haan ballet flats, too. The Air Bacara Flat is particularly good. I wear them for 20 minutes and then check my feet for red spots. I apply the Rub Relief material to the inside of the shoes in the appropriate spots and I can walk in them for 8 hours at least. (Almost any good fitting flat can be made into all day shoes with the proper Dr Scholl products.)

  3. Patagonia Maha Breathe flats from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/806281). I put them on the first time and walked all day around Portland. When I start out in a new pair of shoes, I bring along Dr Scholl arch inserts, heel bandages, and a roll of the Rub Relief strips. I didn’t need any of them. I have had good luck with the newer Cole Haan ballet flats, too. The Air Bacara Flat is particularly good. I wear them for 20 minutes and then check my feet for red spots. I apply the Rub Relief material to the inside of the shoes in the appropriate spots and I can walk in them for 8 hours at least. (Almost any good fitting flat can be made into all day shoes with the proper Dr Scholl products.)

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