Better than Aerosoles?
October 2, 2012 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Really flat interview flats? Or less dressy alternatives (for women) in black?

I have an important interview next week. I have a prosthetic leg. Because of the "nature" of the desired "job," it is extremely important that I limp as little as possible in interview. Spare me the editorializing on this point, OK? Thank you.

My go-to dress shoe is Aerosoles' Mr. Softee. My actual flesh and blood foot is wide and flat. Merrells and that kind of shoe tend to be too narrow and too archy for my real foot. I can make anything fit on my leg with a shoehorn. I can wear a low heel, but would rather not in this situation.

On a recent dry run of the Mr. Softees, I noticed/remembered that they really don't have much support for a long day of walking around. I don't want to appear fatigued at 4 p.m.!

Is there another version of Mr. Softee?

OR is there a more casual shoe in black, including a Mary Jane or something like that, that you personally wouldn't wear with a suit, but could scrape by in a situation like this? The interviewer knows I have a prosthetic leg; it's better to wear more casual shoes (presumably on that account) than to be seen limping (presumably on that account).

For this particular matter I can find the money, so price is no concern, but please, let your recommendation be a shoe that you yourself have worn.

Thank you!
posted by skbw to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if your leg permits boots, but I usually wear knee high dress boots with a skirt suit to interviews - and these can include flats if they're pointy enough. Born might be a good place to start.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2012

Thank you! That is a good idea. Threadsitting to note that my whole demeanor is too conservative/unstylish for me to get away with boots + a skirt suit. (The suit in question is in fact a skirt suit, under the doctrine of I have nothing to hide.) As in, I wear Docs and similar on my own time, that kind of dresser.
posted by skbw at 11:43 AM on October 2, 2012

The Born Stowaway could work. (I have these in purple and they really are flat, and also are very comfortable.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2012

Are your Docs under dress pants not an option?
posted by endless_forms at 12:25 PM on October 2, 2012

I find Ecco shoes are the most comfortable shoes around. They have all sorts of flats which are great for walking all day in.
posted by jeather at 12:30 PM on October 2, 2012

I have several pairs of Danskos in different styles and they are very comfortable (walked around San Francisco all day in a pair of Dansko "Abby" shoes and my feet were fine). Would something like this work?
posted by erst at 12:31 PM on October 2, 2012

seconding the Born Stowaway!
posted by par court at 12:54 PM on October 2, 2012

I have these Katie & Kelly flats from DSW in three colors, and they are very comfortable. There's really no arch, though. Maybe you could try them a size bigger and get a pair of Superfeet or other insoles? However, I have pretty high arches and I can walk in these all day without trouble.
posted by peep at 12:55 PM on October 2, 2012

Thank you all very much for helping me out! Let me reiterate that I mean flat as in flush with the ground the whole way along, like a piece of cardboard, but hopefully more supportive.
posted by skbw at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2012

I have these black flats and I really love them because they are comfortable AND they work well with both dressy and casual outfits. I have wide feet as well.
posted by lunasol at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2012

How about Camper ballet flats? I just looked at my soles, and they are flush with the ground the entire way (so are many Ecco shoes).
posted by jeather at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2012

Oh man, I'm sorry, I somehow missed your update. These do have about a quarter-inch heel. You might want to poke around and look at the other flats on Rocketdog's site - they're great for flats.
posted by lunasol at 1:16 PM on October 2, 2012

I have quite wide feet too and need to add inner soles which are even wider and require a totally flat shoe. I do wear Ecco boots but they're rather narrow, as are all their styles, so likely won't fit you (I wear them without the inserts). Clarks and Merrells don't fit me at all.

I also wear Doc boots a lot of the time and they are the most supportive and comfortable. I was looking at the US website yesterday and they have some nice looking shoes. I like these in particular and their shape and sole etc is the same as my boots so I expect they'd be comfortable. If I could find them locally I'd totally buy them and wear them with everything from denim cutoffs to casual knee length skirts to business clothes.

Alternatively you can go more or less dressy. Poke around the website, there are lots of other styles too. Black lace up shoes do look a bit like school uniform shoes but as long as they're smart and well polished etc I think they are fine with business clothes, and more structured lace up or buckle shoes will always give more support than flat slip-ons.
posted by shelleycat at 1:36 PM on October 2, 2012

Sofft is really good -- stylish and supportive. It looks like the Palina has pretty similar slope (i.e., not much) to the Mr. Softee. They have multiple widths, too.

Fitzwell is another good company.

How about a loafer? Like this one? These Trotters are nice and a little more tailored than Aerosoles. Cole Haans are noticeably great because they have Nike Air in them. I know several people who wear Walking Cradles -- again, similar sole but a little more tailored than your Aerosoles.

If you were a wild and crazy thing, you might even try these Skechers.
posted by Madamina at 2:14 PM on October 2, 2012

Black Tory Burch flats are a good choice. What's nice is that they are a recognizable designer shoe, so you can wear them with an interview suit and not look shabby. They basic version is patent or matte leather, with an emblem on the front to dress them up. They're as comfortable as any flats.

You can see in the full collection of flats that they are normally around $300 new. However, there are plenty of knock offs and used ones for sale on ebay and various discount shops online. The simplest version of the flats (emblem in front, maybe black leather or patent, with a black or gold emblem) can definitely be found for less.
posted by kellybird at 2:35 PM on October 2, 2012

One thing you might do today (e.g. before next week) is call around to local cobblers. If you like your Aerosoles, but the sole is not supportive enough, they might be able to put in a custom shaped stiff insole.
posted by kellybird at 2:47 PM on October 2, 2012

Naturalizer's Creston ballerina flats have good arch support for a really flat flat.

If you're looking for something higher-end, try Taryn Rose shoes, which are designed by an orthopedist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:48 PM on October 2, 2012

Another idea: bring a 2nd pair of shoes in your purse. If it's 1pm and the pair you have on is uncomfortable, sometimes switching to a 2nd pair, even if no better than the first, eases the pressure points.
posted by kellybird at 2:54 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I just got myself a second pair of Ziera mary janes, I believe they are this Rhapsody. Very comfortable, sole is in contact with the ground, but there is a bit of lift; the shoe has a thick sole and the heel end is a little thicker than the toe end (maybe by 1/4 inch).

They come in wide, and support my no-arch feet quite successfully.
posted by nat at 3:32 PM on October 2, 2012

I wear men's dress shoes because they fit both my foot and my sense of style. Florsheim's oxfords and loafers (the latter being more forgiving of gender policing) are nicely understated. Fluevog's Twin Turbine family is comfy to me, though some prefer a thick-soled shoe like their Angels (which make me feel like I've got clown feet).
posted by thatdawnperson at 5:36 PM on October 2, 2012

My mother, who has very hard to fit troublesome feet and a bad knee, swears that these are the most comfortable shoes she's ever owned. Better than any pair of sneakers or Birkenstocks. She bought a pair of Dansko clogs at the same time and has worn them maybe twice.

I hope you find something that works. Sounds like quite a situation.
posted by monopas at 5:50 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Following your link to aerosole got me to the "Beckon" flats.
That might work as a quick fix.
posted by calgirl at 9:10 PM on October 2, 2012

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