Review: CitySlips Ballet Flats

12018 Update: I’m still wearing my CitySlips, but they no longer seem to be available for sale. There are a ton of affordable foldable flats on Amazon or at your local drugstore, though — a great option for an upgrade is this foldable flat.

I had been curious about CitySlips (“foldable ballet flats for the well-heeled gal on the go!”) for a while, but never seemed to cross paths with them, so I was grateful when the nice ladies over at CitySlips sent me a gold pair to review.

I’ve still only worn them a few times, but they are impressive little things, I must say, and quite comfortable to wear around. They have stayed on my feet without flopping around (an amazing feat in and of itself) and they have surprisingly substantial foot support for something that folds in two. You’ll definitely feel cracks in the concrete and whatnot below you, but it isn’t a “bad” feeling so much as it is a “huh, that’s different” feeling.

So here’s the question that I always wondered about when I saw them advertised: will they replace my comfortable Reef flip flops that I’ve walked miles in, both to and from the office but also on the tail end of countless parties and dinners out? The ones with arch support? Well — the answer turns out to be both yes and no: sometimes they’ll replace my Reefs (handily) and other times I’ll still probably stick to my Reefs. Here’s how I’ll break it down…

City Slips for

  • keeping in a desk drawer or your bag for a day when you’re wearing higher-than-comfortable heels and need to run a quick 20-minute errand outside your office — they look more professional (and hide a bad/nonexistent pedicure).
  • nights out on the town — I am finally liberated from my huge purses that I used to carry to hold my Reefs!
  • any time I have a carefully-assembled outfit (the CitySlips are far more attractive)!

but I’ll keep my Reefs for

  • when I want to be able to walk miles
  • for weekend wear, probably
  • for an EXPECTED commute, not a “just in case” kind of thing — if only because I would want to keep my CitySlips pristine for professional wear!

They’re $24.95 at Amazon or (available in black, gold, and silver).

Readers, have you bought CitySlips or other commuting products?  What are your impressions?


  1. no coupon code …. boo…. :(

    I know I bought and tried the insoles that were on here before when there was a coupon code for them. Can’t seem to find one online either.

  2. I have the city slips and they’re great. They kill my toes if I walk long distances in them though.

  3. I really like these, but I am wary that the L (9-10) may not be large enough for my size 10 to 10 1/2 feet. Any reviews from girls with larger feet?

  4. My mom gave me a pair of black flats from Dr. Scholl’s that fold up and fit in a cute little zip pouch. I haven’t walked in them yet (sorry Mom!) but I think I’ll put them in my purse for “just-in-case”. I’m known for putting a pair of regular flats in my huge purse when I go out, and I’ll change out my shoes to walk downtown or somewhere long distance.

    • Anonymous Today :

      I have the same ones. I bought them when I was in Vegas (at a huge mark-up, of course). The soles are really thin, but they are still perfect for a night out. I actually didn’t even use the zip-up pouch since all I was carrying was a very small purse. I wound up just rolling them up and securing them with a hair band. It was perfect because the next morning as I walked back to the hotel (it was a late night, but it was Vegas, OK) I had a hair tie and the little shoes!

      • Anonymous :

        I have them too – and they’re great! They are thin – which means they fit compactly in your clutch (!) but you also feel the ground a little ( :( ). They also cost under $10… so that’s a plus!

  5. I have a discount code for these that a friend forwarded a while back – ’10off” for 10 % off (as in the number 10, and the word off – in case the font here makes the number zero and the letter o look the same to anyone else).

    Have not bought a pair (Here in suburbia, there’s usually a car nearby to stash extra shoes), but I do like that they thought the concept through enough to include a tote bag for the ‘real’ shoes.

    • I entered that onto the site and the site said I would get 10% off, but when trying to buy via paypal, it wouldn’t work.

      Might just not be in the cards for my poor tootsies!

  6. reef flip flops have ARCH SUPPORT? how did i not know this?? i’ve been trouncing around in those gawdawful fitflops for that very reason!!

    • Reefs ROCK! They have *good* arch support, are the best post-pedi shoes ever, and are virtually indestructible. Zappos sells them in ‘twofer’ packs now (my dog ate my last pair so I just bought some more). I don’t work for Reef, just a fan :).

      I share RR’s question re ‘large’ sizing on these CitySlips – my size 11 gunboats don’t usually fit into things for the 9-10 crowd.

      • I bought some reefs which I thought were great, though I would describe the arch support as minimal… more accurately, they are so delightfully squishy that they get compacted under the weight-bearing portions of your feet (heel, outer side, and ball), and thus provide somewhat fluffy arch support. I went to buy a pair for my husband and found that the mens all have sturdy and substantial arch support – way better than the women’s. They also are not too wide for my medium-width feet, like most mens’ shoes are. My next Reefs will be mens. Seriously, try them!!

    • I much prefer Chacos to Reefs. Way better arch support IMO.

      • Oh, and FWIW, I had both – I actually tossed my Reefs after I had the Chacos for a while.

        And – I bought a different version of the CitySlips-type shoe when it was featured on here a while back – CitySoles I think? They came in a little zip-up pouch that you could turn inside out into a tote bag for your regular shoes (nice) and were pretty compact when all zipped up, but I found that (1) they still weren’t compact enough to carry around all the time and (2) the soles were so thin I couldn’t wear them for long. Really felt like I was pounding the pavement with every step. Maybe the CitySlips have more support, though.

        • i love my chacos. mine are six years old and endure daily use from april or may until october (i live in minneapolis, otherwise I’d probably wear them more). they even survived my senior year of college, being worn to the bar five nights a week. arch support is fantastic even after all these years. i wear them all the time in the law firm where i work and no one seems to notice. i used to be a ballet dancer, so the feeling-the-cracks-in-the-sidewalk concept is very appealing, like wearing actual ballet slippers out in public. i am intrigued.

  7. I like that these come with a pouch! That is such a necessary/good idea. I usually just toss my shoes in my bag, as is (gross, I know). I will def. consider these…esp. at the $25 price point!

  8. For me, I’d love to have sneakers that are foldable / flat because sneakers take up way too much room in my suitcase when I travel. Anyone know of anything like this?

    • Can’t help, but I almost always wear my sneakers when I travel for this very reason. However, this won’t work too well if you are traveling in business clothes (unless you want to rock the Working Girl commuter look).

    • Have you tried the Nike Free runners? I love mine for this reason. They don’t provide enough support for me to want to run in them all the time, but they weigh next to nothing and are easy to squish in a suitcase. They don’t roll, but they do flatten down.

    • yes…check out pumas…they make foldable sneakers that are super thin and light. I bought mine when I lived in Europe a few years ago, but they still make them. They are THE BEST for throwing into a weekend bag in case. And I look quite sporty in them if I do say so myself. They are considerably smaller than Nike Frees.

      Zappos has a good pumas selection. I’d start there.

      • Sharon – did you mean sneakers that you can exercise in, or more of a casual sneaker for walking around during the day (I’m thinking of my pumas here)? Because I can’t imagine any foldable sneaker provides enough cushioning or arch support to be a good idea for a workout.

        • barefoot runner :

          depends on how you walk and run, etc. some of us believe you don’t need any arch support :)

          • To each his own :)

            Whenever I hear “barefoot running” I think of my college acquaintance who ran a full marathon barefoot. His feet were NOT in good shape after that!

          • Anonymous Today :


            That’s why I love my Vibram Five Finger shoes. (I know they’re not for everyone.) I get to have the benefits of barefoot running, but I don’t have to worry about my feet getting all cut up.

          • To each his own, but I just had to have foot surgery for bunions caused by not having enough arch support over the years (and bad genetics) so arch support does serve a purpose for some! Take care of your footsies!

    • I have a pair of Merrells that I got several years ago. They are quite compact. They are suede and they zip up (no laces or tounges or anything bulky). They have hard soles, but basically if you fold them on top of each other, they are like carrying just the soles. They are VERY comfortable. And actually after a car accident, I wore them to court for a few days (with pants suits).

      • Experienced :

        Couple questions on the athletic shoe thread:

        1) Anon, how do you like your Vibram 5 fingers? A number of the men I work out with have gone with these and they love them. How do you like them? Which ones do you have? Sorry -have to ask – do they look freakish? Not my primary concern, but I just have to ask.

        I see they weigh slightly more than the Frees, at 8.5 oz vs. 7 oz. I look to travel as light as possible!

        2) Pumas: which ones plse?

        Re: foldable ballets -I’m so excited! I walk a lot in my job often, but need heels for meetings so this is a great solution. I’ve just worn out beautiful, expensive heels. May go to the cheaper Scholl option.

        • Anonymous Today :

          Experienced, I like them a lot. They took a little getting used to because I was so accustomed to having my heel higher than the rest of my foot (even in tennis shoes, there is a slight heel). But, now that I’m used to them, I feel strange when I wear other tennis shoes. I have the Sprint, which is the one that looks kind of like a Mary Jane. Looking back, I’m wishing I would have gotten the one that covers the whole foot. For some reason, that one is uglier to me, but I think I would have appreciated it when there was snow on the ground.

          And yes, they do look freakish. Although, I got them right before they became more widely known and they were a conversation starter at the time since a lot of people hadn’t seen them yet!

          • Experienced :

            Excellent! Thanks for the advice. I’m going to at least go for a fitting.

  9. s in Chicago :

    I bought a pair of these (Ryder style) from a catalog at the beginning of the summer. Can’t say enough great things. The arch support is AMAZING.

  10. What do you wear in the winter? I have to walk a couple blocks walk to and from my parking garage. Most people wear Uggs but I can’t stomach the thought of that again this year. I feel so dopey in the Uggs even though they fit the bill.

    • I wear nice, winter boots to work when it’s cold out. Either flat or a small wedge/heel. I keep shoes under my desk.
      I do not do Uggs. I have a really cute pair made by Timberland with a small wedge, zipper & warm lining; another shearling pair I bought in Italy, and a simple black leather pair for when it’s not all that cold as to warrant the others. La Canadienne has great shoes for this purpose, too, in my experience. Much better than Uggs, and very well made & usually waterproof.

    • Anonymous Today :

      I wear Ugg sweater boots, which, contrary to popular belief, are waterproof in the foot and water resistant in the leg.

      Although, I suspect this is all a matter of personal taste. I find boots with visible shearling and wedge boots ugly. I think as long as they are a “normal” color (brown, black, grey) and not obviously hideous, any sort of winter boot is fine and “professional” as a commuting shoe (as in, if a partner saw you in them at 7:30 when you were coming into the office, he/she wouldn’t think anything of it).

    • L – you expressed my exact thoughts on Uggs! I am “over them.” They are not flattering or ladylike or high fashion, but still, I cannot find any waterproof replacements that [WARNING: GUSH AHEAD] are as warm and snuggly, and cushiony, and just generally wonderful to my feet. I’ve had the same pair since I was I was a 1L and I think I’ve formed an emotional connection with them. Overshare?

      I’m interested if others have good comments and suggestions on witner commuting footwear!

    • What do you all do with your pant legs in winter boots? Most of my pants are hemmed to 2-3″ heels, and they would drag on the muddy, slushy ground with flat winter boots. Heeled, dressy boots just seem dangerous on ice & snow though. Tuck them into the boots? Or any recs on a good winter boot that has more of a heel to it? I end up wearing skirts all the time in the winter because I haven’t found a good solution.

      • binder clips for the pant legs. It’s only for commuting time, doesn’t have to be pretty. Alternatively I carefully stick them inside my boots (if they’re not too tight). I try to buy boots that aren’t too tight so I can do that instead of binder clips.

      • Dansko clogs got me through a great many soggy winters in boston and DC. They are what nurses wear. Last forever and incredible arch support. They also have a pretty thick heel/platform that tends to lift you out of the muck and are reasonably waterproof. Slip on and off comfortably in the office. Also if you forget your actual shoes they are reasonably work appropriate though certainly not beautiful.


        • I wore Danskos through 4 years of college in Maine. Not only did they get me through the winters, but also the fabulous springtime mud season. I had winter boots, but the Danskos worked much better for me, at least when the path was “cleared” through the mountains of snow.

          really, I like Maine. not the winters so much.

          • ballerina girl :

            I swear, I should buy stock in Danskos. I was never a fan before I had them because I thought they were ugly (and I still kind of do) but they are more comfortable for me than sneakers. Lots of room in the toe area, great arch support (I prefer them to being barefoot) and they seriously last forever. I’ve had mine for five years and with just one polishing, they still look like they did the day I bought them.

            My only issue with them in the winter is that they don’t have a ton of traction–I would be careful wearing these when the sidewalks are icy. But they give you a two inch lift so that helps with longer pants for a commute. I don’t think they’re appropriate for many offices (I work at a casual enough law firm) but they work for many other types of jobs.

      • I found some good canadienne suede boots with a higher wedge heel. They’re waterproof, snow proof, and very sturdy. Plus they look a bit dressier, and I can wear them out on the weekend. They do come up to kind of a weird low-calf spot on the leg but as long as you’re wearing them under pants it doesn’t matter. I got mine on sale last March for 40% off which helped, since man Canadienne’s prices are a little high.

    • Merrell Jungle Mocs have been my winter shoe of choice since my college ski team days.

      They appear to have far more stylish versions these days. They don’t lift you out of the muck so you still have to clip your pants but they will keep your feet very warm and dry.

      I do have Ugg boots and also a treasured pair of rainboots and I do occasionally wear the boots (if I’m going to have a longer walk than normal, we have more than a couple inches of snow, etc. I wear the boots and tuck the suit pants in no matter how ridiculous I look) but for some reason I have convinced myself that the Merrell mocs are the least egregious of the three.

    • I’m surprised no one has mentioned Hunter boots. While they are definitely not attractive, they are generally wide enough to stuff your pant leg in. When paired with the fleece boot-sock, they are warm (I liked to wear a wool sock with the fleece-boot sock for Chicago winters). I think they are more attractive than Ugg boots, but they won’t win any beauty contests. And you’ll probably get some weird looks when coming into the office.

  11. I am not associated with Columbia Sportswear, but they carry a flip flop that you put in the oven when it is new and then mold to your foot by wearing it as it sets. Seems like a great arch support strategy!

  12. Great review! I’ve been wondering about those shoes. I always find myself embarassed in my flip flops during my commute if I have a bad pedicure. Plus, if I put together a great outfit, flip flops are such a poor choice of footwear! These seem worthwhile.

  13. Help! :) I can’t decide whether to buy this bag. I don’t “need” it, but it’s $125 from $397 originally and beautiful IMO. I don’t own any Kate Spades so I would love to hear what others think of the quality of her stuff … I’d buy it in turquoise and wear it to work (big law firm in Boston), is that crazy? :)

    FYI – Kate Spade is having a great sale at 25% off extra on all sale items ;)

    • Forestgirl :

      I’ve never owned any either, but that bag is adorable! I say go for it. :-)

    • I have 3 Kate Spade bags, and they have all been perfect quality and held up well–particularly the leather. As with all leather bags, they can be a little heavy. This is a GREAT deal. I got a $400 KS for $190 once and thought I was a rock star, so $125 is just amazing. I say buy it!

    • I bought two bags during the winter sale with the intention of keeping only one…guess what happened? (Unfortunately I think that I’m in love with the turquoise bag also – and I’d been trying to avoid looking at the website after I’d gotten the sale notification.)

      Anyway, at the sale prices, I think they are good deals. The quality is decent and personally I’ve always like the classic-styling-with-funky-colors designs.

    • Anonymous Today :

      I have been thinking about buying a bag from the sale all day so I took your post as a sign that I should get it!

      I wound up getting this one:

      I am usually a fan of the more fun colors, but I wanted a cross body bag that I could wear while biking that would still look OK for work. It’s like all of the stars aligned because this is exactly what I was looking for!

    • Love. Want. Have NO money. Grrrr.

    • LOVE you guys!! I bought them :) BTW the 125 (really $133 with tax) was because I signed up for their emails and got 15% off extra. So excited now!!

    • Remember that it’s final sale. Gorgeous bag though.

      • I thought about that Bonnie, but thanks for the reminder. I’ve seen it on ebay for around $200 so if anything I think I can sell it and make my money back.

    • I have this bag in a different color (or, something very similar from Kate Spade because mine doesn’t have that outside pocket) and I LOVE it. It is amazing. I took it to Alaska. I have two bags by her, and I like everything except that it has no feet, which is a sad thing. I am thinking of having someone put feet on the bag for me.

      Buy it in turquoise: it is gorgeous.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the tip (and the tip about joining the mailing list) – just picked up this one for $111

      • gah, i failed to join said mailing list and paid $162 by being inpatient and just clicking links!!! :/ DRAT. But I enjoy the bag.

        LOL…and Kate Spade was allegedly in my sorority. I wish my college booze fests had inspired me towards multi-million dollar sales! ;) You can call this sisterly jealousy.

    • Very cute — and I’m somewhat amused at the 14 karat gold plating – very luxurious in a fun way

    • Re: Kate Spade. She and her husband sold their interest in the company in 2006 to Liz Claiborne Inc., so she has nothing to do with “her” brand anymore. I read that months ago, and I felt a little like an idiot, because until then (for years), I also used to think, “she has such great style”.

      • Oh interesting … well I guess if the quality hasn’t changed since ’06 I don’t care that much, but good to know.

  14. I bought a pair of folding slip-on shoes from Travelsmith a few years ago. Mine are more for “athletic” wear and they can actually be worn as water shoes. That has been a big help, as I’ve been able to wear them on rocky beaches and in dicey shower/changing rooms. Not sure if Travelsmith still has some.
    I definitely need some of these folding dressier shoed. There have been days I’ve skipped running errands after work because my shoes are killing me. :)

  15. My concern on these shoes is that they will wear out pretty quickly. I have had a couple pairs of super-comfy driving shoes develop holes in the soles from wearing for purposes other than driving. As a result, I have refused to buy any shoes other than flip-flops, sneakers, and Birkenstocks (clunky, yes, but perfect for schlepping around Europe and Africa) that do not have traditional (and replaceable!) heels and soles.

    Will these make me change my mind?

    • Doubtful… their FAQ is pretty up front that they are not as durable/long lasting as ‘real’ shoes

  16. Just sayin' :

    Unrelated heads up to the IBTC members out there: the NYT has a great article today on bras for small-chested women.

    • Can I complain about this article? Thanks! I jumped on it, because I am definitely one of the women who fit this bill- most A cups are gapingly large on me, and bra shopping is a major headache. Otherwise, though, I don’t really mind having a small chest. But, does it have to be an “empowering” thing just because it involves women and their bodies? Ugg, it’s so demeaning. Yes, I have a different from normal (and different from the most “desirable”) chest. Yes, I’m OK with it, although it has it’s frustrations. No, nothing about it is empowering, it just . . .is.

      I’ll be “empowered” by my actual accomplishments, my awesome marriage, my general joie de vivre, but my chest is just my chest.

  17. Huh. These actually sound really interesting. And I LOVE wearing flats.

  18. I saw the $12 Dr Schools folding flats in a pouch at the drugstore this week and would have gotten them if they had my size. Smart idea, was very small for purses.

  19. COUPON – you can save a little by going to and using coupon code KABOODLE10. The shoes are more expensive, but you get 10% off plus free shipping. If you buy from cityslips, you pay $5.00 per pair for shipping.

    These will be great holiday gifts.

  20. Has anyone compared the city slips to the Footzy-Rolls?


    I ordered a pair of cityslips over a month ago. The website states 7-10 business days for shipping. I waited 15 then contacted them to inquir about my order and get a tracking number to see if they were lost in transit. I was given a tracking number 3 weeks ago and it still shows pending, as in they haven’t even dropped them off at UPS yet!!!! I emailed the company every week and received the same response each time “the item will be dispatched this week.” We it has been 5 weeks and still no cityslips. They were for a gift and that suprised was ruined so I am not a happy camper and wouldn’t recommend purchasing from them.

  22. So I decided to order a pair of the CitySlips and was wondering, if I am an 8.5 (on the wider side of regular), should I order the Med or Large? Anyone have any advice? Thanks!

    • Do NOT buy City Slips!!! I bought a pair and only wore them on carpeting in my office. Within months they fell apart and when I emailed the company several times, no one ever responded. I just wanted to return them for either a refund or replacement and no one ever responded. But if you insist on buying them, they run big.

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  24. DO NOT ORDER FROM CITYSLIPS! I have not received my order or had any notification however the money has been taken from my account! I have tried to contact them every way possible but no response. Any suggestions?

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