Gussy up my feet for summer.
April 13, 2009 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Are there any sandals as comfortable as Chacos but . . . well, cute?

I live in Central Florida and I walk an average of 2 miles a day. Thanks to the climate here, my feet develop blisters really, really easily--most strappy sandals are a disaster, as are most flip-flops (because I get blisters between my toes, to boot). Last summer, my sister gave me a pair of her old Chacos and they were a god-send; I've yet to get a single blister in them, ever.

But they've started to get pretty smelly, and I've been lusting over the strappy leather kind of Roman-looking sandals I've been seeing a lot of this season. But, man, just looking at them makes my feet hurt.

I have a few other restrictions on shoe selection: I strongly prefer leather sandals with ankle straps and I am totally, completely incapable of walking in heels of just about any height. The Dansko Sissy linked on today's cankle question are cute, but I'm even skeptical about my ability to walk in heels that are that high. And because I'm a starving, soon-to-be-unemployed graduate student, I'd like to spend under a hundred dollars on them. In fact, the cheaper the better though, since I'll live in a comfortable pair of sandals, if they really fit the bill I'll be willing to pay a bit more than I normally would.

So how about it, hivemind? Do cute, truly comfortable leather walking sandals exist?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The Chaco folks make sandals with leather straps (these basically look like a leather flipflop), and ones w/nylon straps that are at least a little more stylish than the river-guide models. One of my coworkers has these, and I've often envied 'em.

Some folks find Keens, Eccos, Tevas, etc. to be as comfortable as Chacos. Depends, I think, on the shape of one's foot.
posted by box at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Some folks find Keens, Eccos, Tevas, etc. to be as comfortable as Chacos. Depends, I think, on the shape of one's foot.

My issue with these is that most of these brands seem to only produce sport-sandal-looking shoes. I guess I'm looking for something with the utility of a sport sandal, but slightly dressier looks. If anyone has specific styles of any of the above brands that would fit the bill, of course, I'd be open to it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:02 AM on April 13, 2009

Those companies all have a sport-sandal focus, no doubt, but almost all outdoor- and comfort-footwear companies attempt to make something that's a little more stylish as well. Browsing their sites might prove rewarding.

I know more about comfort than style, though, so that's kinda where I focused my answer.
posted by box at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2009

Best answer: I have a pair of adorable leather Chacos with the wraparound straps. Unfortunately, they're a few years old, so I don't know if they're making anything of the kind these days. It's too bad, because mine are about to die and I'd love to get another pair.
I also have a pair of Bare Traps which are very comfy, although not as heavenly as the Chacos. Clarks has many cute leather walking sandals, and since they're Clarks they're almost guaranteed to be comfortable.
I currently have probably 4-6 pairs of comfortable leather walking sandals, all purchased in Austin or Houston and all cute. So don't despair! It's totally doable, you just have to look a little farther afield, to European and Australian brands and so forth.
posted by katemonster at 11:06 AM on April 13, 2009

How did I forget Eccos? They even have a Gladiator style, although it's a little more utilitarian looking than the seriously strappy ones.
Also, the Bass Margie is one of their classic styles and is a good walking sandal.
posted by katemonster at 11:09 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have these and I LOVE them. They are even more comfortable than I'd hoped, and they are great for day, night, skirts, shorts, and pants.
In person they look more delicate than in the picture, because in person the tabs aren't so close together and you see more of the laces.
They also offer some ankle support which is nice for me.
posted by rmless at 11:11 AM on April 13, 2009

Okay, one more post and then I'm really going to shut up. I'm outing myself as a shoe fiend, I fear. But Soffts are also quite comfortable and have a couple of gladiator styles plus lots of other cute leather sandals.
posted by katemonster at 11:12 AM on April 13, 2009

The Dansko Sissy is cute! And I wouldn't worry about the heel, actually. I wear Danskos all the time (used to be a Chacos gal myself in more casual days), and the height isn't really like wearing a heel. Plus the "stapled clogs" Danskos are the most supportive and comfortable. I find them much more comfortable than their lower-heeled models. And way more comfortable than flip-flops even though I adore flip-flops.

Danskos are pricey, but always worth it, I think.

For your first pair, to limit expense, you might try the Dansko Outlet or Sierra Trading Post. Stick to the stapled clogs for your first pair! (This is assuming you know your size in Danskos already--do you?)

You might like the Mirabelle in brown or black for $65.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:26 AM on April 13, 2009

You know, if you like the look of the Dansko's you linked above, it might be worth it to go try them on and walk around. Despite the heel, they are very easy to walk in, probably because of the thick heel and the fact that they are slight platforms (i.e., height under the ball of the foot as well). I have these, which are very similar, extremely comfortable, and versatile as well. They are a bit above your price specifications, unfortunately, though I do think they are worth it as Danksos are very durable. When I bought mine at REI, they were having a 20% off one full-price item for members, plus I had a dividend, so I got them for half-price.
posted by JenMarie at 11:26 AM on April 13, 2009

These (non stapled-clog) Danskos at Sierra Trading Post may not be what you had in mind, but they are only $77 plus Sierra Trading Post is having a 20% off sale on items that have 4-5 stars, which these do.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:37 AM on April 13, 2009

I have particularly angry feet and have had the best luck with either Keens (take a look at their website, you might be surprised how not sporty some of their shoes are) or Borns. From your description, I think you would probably like these
posted by mjcon at 11:48 AM on April 13, 2009

I just got the Troy model of these J41's and they are the most comfortable wedge sandals I have ever worn. I wore them all day yesterday without any wear and tear on my feet, and I am a wuss.

I rarely wear any heel because of the comfort factor, but these have won me over and now I'm thinking about purchasing one of the other styles. The Troy's very cute on - most of the women I saw yesterday inquired about them.
posted by readery at 11:49 AM on April 13, 2009

I love Mephistos, especially the older types with the thick soles (though the new types are lovely). I have traveled heavily in them and walked averages of about 5 miles per day for a month in them. And I, too, have blistery, sensitive feet.

I have friends who swear by Naots, and they're not quite so expensive.

Oops, missed the desired price the first time reading. Well, you could try on the Mephistos on in a mall or free-standing shoe store and then watch Ebay for a pair. I have a friend who has bought two pairs of new Mephistos for under $50 each that way. Both times -- surely not a coincidence -- the seller neglected to put the model name ("Elka," "Afida," etc.) in the description.
posted by palliser at 11:52 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Privos (made by Clarks) are sometimes a little more stylish and always super-comfortable. What about these?
posted by MsMolly at 12:02 PM on April 13, 2009

Response by poster: I wear Danskos all the time (used to be a Chacos gal myself in more casual days), and the height isn't really like wearing a heel.

Just a note that I do have experience wearing Dansko open-backed clogs, and that experience included a lot of ankle twisting. However, the lack of an ankle strap might have well had something to do with it (I have a tendency to fall out of open-backed shoes), so trying on some pairs with ankle straps might be a good idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far! I especially like the Clarks page, which has a few styles that are adorable and right in my price range. But those Borns are nice too. And the Privos. Shoot, I think I'm going to have a lot of trouble deciding!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:21 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Mephistos -- I can't even guess how many miles my pair of Helens has logged.
posted by bunji at 1:31 PM on April 13, 2009

Clarks are way more comfortable than Privos (I know, made by Clarks) for me.
posted by sulaine at 6:08 PM on April 13, 2009

I also wear my Dansko sandals everywhere in the summer = they have the strap and are soooooooooooo comfortable.
posted by gt2 at 11:16 PM on April 13, 2009

PhoBWan, I agree that the ankle strap makes the Danskos easier to walk in. Good luck with your very fun decision.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:18 PM on April 13, 2009

« Older What was a 786?   |   What do you hate about New Zealand Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.