Where to buy decent ballet flat in Australia
July 6, 2012 2:05 AM   Subscribe

Dowdy-shoe wearer needs advice about buying decent quality ballet flats in Australia

After years of laboratory work requiring sensible shoes, I've recently started something new and want to wear ballet flats. I'm a university student & want to wear them with jeans and just-above-the-knee dresses.

However, since I only wear sensible shoes, I am clueless about pretty shoes.

I bought a $20 pair to see what they were like, and while I really like them, the sole is coming away from the upper after a week's wear (admittedly, it's been a week with a lot of rain). I investigated a couple of better-quality stores and see that you can pay over $100 for a pair of ballet flats.

Are more expensive ballet flats worth the extra cost? And has anyone found a brand that you can buy in Australia (or online from Australia) that lasts well while being pretty?

How much should I pay & how long can I expect them to last?
posted by JeanDupont to Shopping (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Leather is what you want. There are plenty of good brands out there; just check to make sure that the shoes are predominantly leather. For a relatively good quality leather ballet flat, I would expect to pay upwards of $100. I recently bought these Zensu ballet wedges and absolutely love them. (I love them even more because I got them on sale for around $35!)

I think with shoes you almost always get what you pay for (to a point; once you're paying more than a couple of hundred bucks a pair, there's probably not a huge amount of difference in terms of quality/longevity).
posted by Defying Gravity at 2:40 AM on July 6, 2012

Some online stores/brands to check out:

Diana Ferrari
Tony Bianco
David Jones

I could keep going, but that should be enough to get you started!

Oh, and for the love of god, stay away from Rubi shoes. I once bought a cheapy $10 pair while I was out because the (brand new, non worn-in) pair of shoes I was wearing were killing my feet. The Rubi shoes lasted all of a few hours before they stretched entirely out of shape and the sole started coming off. Total waste of $10!
posted by Defying Gravity at 2:50 AM on July 6, 2012

I had a history of killing ballet flats UNTIL I adopted the approach of having different ballet flats for different situations.

1) Your day-to-day ballet flats: This is your go to pair that you wear most days. Truth be told, these will get pretty beaten up so don't spend a crazy amount on them. The best pair I ever had was a pointy toe suede pair from Trenery that set me back about $120. I wore them every day and they lasted two years, which is a bit of a record for me. I recommend Trenery or Country Road for these flats - both shops are a good source for this basic shoe.

2) Rainy day ballet flats: These ballet flats from Crocs (of all places) are brilliant. They don't look like Crocs and people are always suprised that they are. They have a nice profile and show just a tiny bit of toe cleavage. AND THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE! On rainy days you can still work your ballet flat look, and when you get inside you can just dry them off inside and out with a paper towel.

3) Awesome killer ballet flats:
These should set you back no more than $250 and are a splurge, but it means you can wear the hell out of your day-to-day ballet flats and have these for nice. I've got a great pair from Mimco that I'm breaking in at the moment - I find it's good to have a nice pair of flats for going out, because my day to day ones tend to look a bit shabby after a while.

I had no idea until now that I had such strong views on ballet flats...
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 3:44 AM on July 6, 2012

I have those croc flats, I bought them thinking they would indeed be rainy day flats, instead I find myself wearing them all. The. Time. Granted, I'm not wearing them to work, just pushing a pram around, but still. Very comfy, and at $50, they're indestructible good value because, hey they're plastic! But they don't look it.
posted by Jubey at 4:22 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'll second Country Road and Wittner for ballet flats that last. I thrash my shoes so always get rubber tread thingies added before I wear them and though expensive, this greatly extends their life span. Ditto with some kind of inner sole to protect the insides from sweat and dirt.
posted by Wantok at 5:29 AM on July 6, 2012

Tom's has some locations in Australia. I can't say how long the ballet flats will last, but I've been happy with the quality of my other Tom's shoes.

I will say that the best way to get a pair of shoes to last is to not wear them every day. They need to rest at least a day between wearings. Get yourself a couple pairs of new shoes and then rotate them.
posted by ephemerista at 6:13 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I live in Australia, and have had great success with:
Melissa ballet flats
Bloch ballet flats (supple soft leather)

If you want cheap, I've had some success with Target and Payless ones!
posted by shazzam! at 7:51 AM on July 6, 2012

Nthing the Crocs flats. There come in a variety of attractive styles, feel amazing, and are crazy durable.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:18 AM on July 6, 2012

I purchased a pair of Bloch Arabians on March 17 of last year and have worn them about 5 or 6 days a week since then. They've held up incredibly well with some wear around the toe and on the heel just now starting to show. The leather is soft and comfortable but hasn't stretched out of control. I did a lot of walking on concrete and paved sidewalks and the leather soles have worn so that they're a bit slippery to wear on carpet and polished floors but they perform beautifully on wood dance floors.
posted by healthytext at 8:33 AM on July 6, 2012

Third-ing the bloch ballet flats! I have non-slip soles applied to mine by my local cobbler, and they just go and go! And they're SUPER comfortable.
posted by tabubilgirl at 9:14 AM on July 6, 2012

I have some crocs ballet shoes - which I'm only slightly embarrassed by. But they look like Barbie shoes, which amuses me instead.

The best part is that I'm between sizes so I throw them in the drier for just a few minutes and they shrink to fit.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 11:33 AM on July 6, 2012

As a sensible shoe girl myself, I like Rockport, Ecco, Clarks and Naturalizer. You can see some of their ballerina flats at this website. My only problem with ballerinas is that my feet tend to sweat, and so it's important for me to look for flats that have a good breathable liner and 100% leather uppers.
posted by amusebuche at 5:35 AM on July 8, 2012

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