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August 6, 2009 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Help me find comfortable walking shoes! With high heels please.

I am going on vacation soon and will spend a great deal of time on foot walking around a city. I have worn high heels (3+ inches) all the time for as long as I can remember. I am very comfortable walking in high shoes and would maybe even go so far as to say I walk better in heels than flats. The only flat shoes I own are my running shoes.

I do some walking in my day to day life but not extensive amounts - usually just around the city for an hour on my lunch breaks. It usually takes about an hour or two of walking before my feet start to get sore, regardless of the thickness of my heels. I plan on doing much more walking than that on vacation and don't want to be distracted by sore feet. Does anyone know of shoes that will be comfortable for a lot of walking but also provide some height? At least three inches would be best, but I know that might be pushing it. All of my pants are too long to wear with flat shoes and I would rather buy new shoes than buy new pants. Closed-toe would be best as it will be in October and I don't care what kind of heel the shoe has, just as long as they provide some height and are black. Does such a shoe exist?
posted by triggerfinger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I've always found Clarks heels to be shockingly comfortable -- I can wear them all day, come home, and keep them on for a few hours more while I cook dinner and walk the dogs. Sofft heels are comfortable, too, but in my experience not as much as Clarks. Both brands have a ton of styles available at Zappos.
posted by scody at 1:32 PM on August 6, 2009

You don't say where you are going on vacation, but keep in mind that cobblestones are murder in high heels. Especially ones with tiny heels. So if you must do heels, think wedge, or at least, not stiletto.

In my experience, better quality(i.e., more expensive) heels are always more comfortable than cheaper ones. What is your price range?
posted by ambrosia at 1:33 PM on August 6, 2009

I find wedge heels are way more comfortable to walk in. They are more solid and provide better arch support. If you find ones with just a little platform in the toe area, then they also won't bend too much at the end of your step, and overextend the joint at the base of your toes. I've walked comfortably in espadrilles for hours. And they make your legs look sexy!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:35 PM on August 6, 2009

The most comfortable heels I've ever owned have been Artisan by Clarkes. According to Zappos there are a few styles over 2.5", and probably more than a few just under that. My favorite pair has a slight platform to it, kind of 40's style.
posted by padraigin at 1:36 PM on August 6, 2009

I'm like you – I live most of my life on high heels. Born makes some exceptionally comfortable shoes—as in, walk around all day in 4-inch heels—and as someone who owns six pairs of them, I can't praise them enough. Most of their shoes are ugly by normal standards, but occasionally they'll release some quite handsome models, so it's worth checking out their website regularly.
posted by halogen at 1:36 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

What about some Fluevogs? They're super-comfortable. The Sigourney is on sale for $89.
posted by runningwithscissors at 1:37 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

Or, dear Lord, the Kelly. I must stop looking at this site.
posted by runningwithscissors at 1:38 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I really like Melissa Shoes.
posted by spec80 at 1:39 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

I find the aforementioned Clarks, Sofft and Fluevog shockingly comfortable to walk in. I live in the city without a car and never wear flats and rarely walk less than 2 miles in a day. As ambrosia suggests, they all make a broader heel which makes them sturdier for real walking in.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:41 PM on August 6, 2009

I'm a big fan of Faryl Robin shoes- I just bought some of their 3.5'' heels and I can stay in them all day at work and then for a night out.

If you are looking for cheap, I actually bought a great pair of wedge heels from Zara that are my other go-to allday/all night pair. They are similar to these.
posted by rmless at 1:42 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry, I should have mentioned I am going to Prague.

I live in the UK but am willing to buy shoes from the US if need be - my mom will ship them to me. I'm aware that I will probably need to buy good quality shoes for comfort but I hadn't really thought of a price range. II guess maybe around £60, £70 at the most? That's around $100 - $120. Is that realistic? I have no idea how much these kind of shoes should cost.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:43 PM on August 6, 2009

I have a pair of these Devotte shoes and they are RIDICULOUSLY comfortable, plus I get compliments on them every time I wear them.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:47 PM on August 6, 2009

Big second for Fluevog. They're very stable, well-constructed heels, and so much fun. I never fail to get compliments on them.

I was constantly flabbergasted by Eastern European women who could manage hilly cobblestone streets in stilletos. It can be done, but like street luge, I'm not the person to do it. Wedges all the way.

Also, runningwithscissors, my productivity and wallet do not thank you.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:48 PM on August 6, 2009

Another vote for Clarks.
posted by Evangeline at 1:48 PM on August 6, 2009

Oh hell yes, a bunch of the Fluevogs are on sale right now. My pair arrived this afternoon. I haven't yet worn them for anything more than prancing around my apartment, but they may be the comfiest pair of heels that had ever touched my feet.
posted by little e at 1:53 PM on August 6, 2009

Seconding Melissa shoes, Devottes, and I'll add Che Miharas.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sorry- it's Chie Mihara.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2009

One more thing- there are lots of Chie Mihara sales out there- don't pay the full price. Ebay!
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:59 PM on August 6, 2009

$100-120 isn't out of the question (especially with the Fluevog sale), but you'll open up your options a lot more if you can stretch to $150 or thereabouts. I haven't seen a shoe suggested here yet that won't last for years with proper care, so if you can swing a little more, they'll pay for themselves over the long term.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2009

I love Sofft shoes, and they're in your price range. I also really like my Cole Haans, which regularly priced are outside your range but they do go on sale occasionally (and there are outlets in some places). I can and often do manage several miles of walking in them each day, and as long as they're well broken-in, it's not bad at all. I also manage unevenly bricked/cobblestoned streets in Boston this way.

That said, I would never be a tourist in heels, unless I knew I was going someplace nice for dinner or something. Just saying.
posted by olinerd at 2:05 PM on August 6, 2009

Clarks and Sofft usually run in the $100 range, I've found, though it's not hard to find them on sale.
posted by scody at 2:06 PM on August 6, 2009

Try the Cole Haan Nike Air collection, maybe via zappos? Only heels I've ever called comfy.
posted by cestmoi15 at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2009

I was just in Prague!

I would definitely go with a wedge heel, even over a thick or stacked heel. I completely ruined a pair of stiletto heels after one night the cobblestones in that part of Europe, and even the thicker heel I wore later sometimes got caught.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on August 6, 2009

posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:51 PM on August 6, 2009

Endless (part of amazon, who just acquired zappos) offers very usable search features to allow you to find the shoes you want.

You can search by shoe size, color, heel height, price range, and brand (including some of the brands previously mentioned, such as Chie Mihara, Clarks, Dansko, and John Fluevog, though it doesn't offer everything mentioned). Note you do not need to search by Category if you want to see all categories of shoes.

Also note once you find the shoes you like, you may want to search the internet for a lower price, as endless sometimes has higher prices in return for generous return policies.

(not associated with Endless at all except as an addicted shoe shopper)
posted by cranberryskies at 3:55 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

From Ms. Vegetable:


posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:38 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, runningwithscissors, my productivity and wallet do not thank you.

I know it. Mine feel the same way. I'm just waiting for a full-time gig, and a pair of those Kelly Fluevogs will be mine.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:19 PM on August 6, 2009

I'm a Christian Louboutin-lusting teacher and spend all day on my feet, but for years I've worn Aerosoles which are truly comfy but I get tons of compliments (and my feet are happy) when I put those Fluevogs on.
posted by dzaz at 4:02 AM on August 7, 2009

Seconding Faryl Robin. I bought a pair for my wedding, and decided to wear them to dance lessons without having really worn them before. They're amazingly comfortable.
posted by thejanna at 7:16 AM on August 7, 2009

Nthing the wedge-heel suggestion. They're the ONLY kind of dressy shoe I can walk around confidently in without any problems (to me they are more comfy that flats but YMMV).
posted by wiretap at 12:09 PM on August 7, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, thanks everyone. I truly had no idea there were so many high-heeled shoes out there that are comfortable. I am making my way through all the websites, but I'm leaning towards a pair of wedges as I think they will truly be the most comfortable for hours of walking. However, I may also need to get a pair of the Sigourneys from Fluevog. You know - for backup.

Thanks again for all your replies - they've been really helpful.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:19 AM on August 10, 2009

Will you get the Sigourneys in purple so I can live vicariously through you? :)
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:23 AM on August 10, 2009

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