Shoes as comfy as Alegrias, but prettier...what are they called?
March 20, 2014 6:13 PM   Subscribe

I have developed problem feet; bunions, a chipped bone and arthritis. I tried Alegrias and woohoo, they don't hurt!! Nice styles, pretty colors, but they are just a bit...chunky. Know what I mean? I know about Dansko, Keen and Merrell, but are there other brands that combine exceptional comfort with good looks? I want a feminine effect. I like sporty, athletic, fun, colorful, girly shoes. Low heels. I am a lady, 55, petite, active and on my feet more often than off, during my work day. I have an eclectic, thrift store wardrobe, heavy on blacks, and neutrals, with colorful accent pieces. I tend toward "costumes" rather than outfits, if that gives you a sense of my style. I want pretty feet that don't hurt!
posted by LaBellaStella to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oh, man, you are going to LOVE the Barking Dog Shoes blog.
posted by juniperesque at 6:24 PM on March 20, 2014 [5 favorites]

I second the recommendation for the Barking Dog Shoe Blog! Also, check out Bernie Mev shoes. They look super cute on, and many styles have stretchy fabric uppers, which are very kind to problem feet.
posted by 41swans at 6:30 PM on March 20, 2014

Best answer: Another blog, in which a lady podiatrist reviews pretty* shoes and highlights which ones might be suited to particular pathologies.

*And bless her for working hard to find a few that are actually pretty. Most of the time you have to redefine the word or at least compromise on stitching. I mean it's hard to get away from wide toe boxes, but there are at least a few decent-looking, wearable pairs of shoes on there.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:33 PM on March 20, 2014

Born shoes can be pretty great.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:39 PM on March 20, 2014

Comfort One Shoes in DC has some European brands that are less frumpy. Of the kind of stuff that's available at Nordstrom and Zappos, I most frequently end up with Borns, although I have also had some Naots.
posted by matildaben at 6:48 PM on March 20, 2014

I have had good luck with Aravons, which are made by New Balance. I have plantar fasciitis. Aravons are medicare reimbursable for arthritis. Joe's New Balance Outlet and Zappos often have good deals on them. I particularly like the Maya style.
posted by OrangeDisk at 7:09 PM on March 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

Believe it or not check out the crocs website, no seriously stop laughing. They have some pretty strappy summer sandals, some in leather, and are the only heels and wedges I can wear anymore, and there flats are like walking on clouds. Just check the reviews for sizing info to make sure as their sizing can be a little hit out miss.
posted by wwax at 9:15 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I do chunky heels most of the time and I am a fanatic for looks awesome and is well-balanced and walkable. I swear by Fluevogs. I have literally walked for miles in these. I used to do cosmetic sales in them (on feet all day). My first pair I bought a size too big since I was broker then and they were on sale. I put an insert in for extra comfy and to take up the extra room, but they are engineered well; lasted 7 years. I am now on my second pair, which is my true size, and hugs my feet like they are bespoke. MMM. They are expensive, but seven winters before the heels on the first pair disintegrated quite dramatically at SFO. Heh. It was time for them to go.

Good luck!
posted by Lardmitten at 9:34 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like Hush Puppies. Scroll down - they get prettier. This brand has a reputation for boring, comfortable shoes but are really trying to up their game.

I have troublesome feet (plantar fasciitis) so usually avoid even low heels for walking but I wore these yesterday for hours, walking across cobbly rainy streets, with zero pain afterwards.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:40 AM on March 21, 2014

Best answer: I have really severe bunions, and don't want surgery because I am really active and I like being active. So I've chosen to focus on shoes that fit and practicing exercises from a Yamuna class. I wear toe socks a decent amount and find that they help. And I have a "bunion corrector" that my podiatrist told me won't work, but I find that if my feet ache at night the correctors really relieve the aching. (And I'm already sold on Podiatry Shoe Review because their top post today is all about not getting surgery. Thank you @cotton_dress_sock)

I am a huge fan of Sven Clogs. I got my first pair through Clog Master but other shops will do custom size/color orders (I recently got a pair of boots from Refinery in Brooklyn. They're definitely "clunky" but I love them and feel stylish in them and there's really no way I could ever rock Alegrias. Sven definitely has some styles that feel too granny/orthopedic to me. Where by "granny" I mean specifically that my own grandmother wore some redonk ugly shoes in her dotage.

I also have a pair of Osborn Shoes that I really like. They don't have a lot of support by the leather is really soft (mine are all leather), so they fit very comfortably. I also love my Dansko Theas, though I did have to use a stretcher to make room for my bunion. I use Proofied to stretch new shoes. It works well for me.

I also have a pair of Hush Puppies Ballet Flats that don't make me swoon, but they solve a lot of "I don't want to wear clogs today" problems. They're plain.

Finally, I did buy some silver Birko Gizeh's last summer. I never thought I would do such a thing because I have such a fear of orthotic-looking shoes, but I decided that they look good and lord knows they were comfortable.

Your feet aren't my feet, though, so find a way to try things on! And ... I haven't gotten orhotics but I've been told they make a whole lot of shoes possible.
posted by amandabee at 11:30 AM on March 23, 2014

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