Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
We’ve talked a lot about flats over the years, but I don’t think we’ve ever done a major roundup of the most comfortable ballet flats for work. So ladies, let’s hear it — which are your favorites? What are your favorite ways to break in a new pair of flats, or make them more comfortable for your feet? (As someone with narrow heels I’m always adding these heel pads.) Although rounded toes have come really far for work, I still think the best flat for work is one that has a bit of a point to it, in a durable leather, preferably with a rubber sole or rubber heel for comfort and grip. I know some people hate the look of patent leather flats, but I don’t mind them, particularly in a tumbled patent leather (like the Calvin Klein flat pictured below) or a color other than black, like a nice gray. We’ve rounded up some of the best-selling, highest rated styles below — which brands and styles are your favorite?
- Hall of Famers: BP., Salvatore Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, French Sole, AGLs
- $100 or Under: BP., Calvin Klein, Sam Edelman, Naturalizer, Clarks,
- Foldable/backup flats: Yosi Samra, Sidekicks, Dr. Scholl’s,
- Extended widths: (come in sizes like AA, N, C, W, etc): VANELi (NMW), Sam Edelman (MW), Naturalizer (NMW), Clarks (BD), Cole Haan (2A B C), Trotters (N M W), Trotters (N M W), Cole Haan (2A B C), Shoes of Prey (AA-EE), Rockport (M W)
- Extended sizes (4-13): BP. (5-13), Sam Edelman (4-13), AGLs (3.5-12), Trotters (5-12), Shoes of Prey (2.5-15), Naturalizer (4-11), Frye (5.5-12), Soft Style by Hush Puppies (5.5-12), Anyi Lu (4-12),
- Comfort brands: Naturalizer, Clarks, Rockport, Gentle Souls, Cole Haan, Anyi Lu
- Other highly rated shoes not pictured below: Frye, Valentino, Paul Mayer, Cole Haan,