Summer-ish, VERY comfortable, closed-toe shoes that go with skirts?
May 7, 2015 7:30 PM   Subscribe

During the winter, I wear my Born boots to work with all my skirts and dresses. (They're similar to these) But what do I wear in the summer??

The boots are perfect because they're very very comfortable (I've probably walked 1000 miles in them in the last year, no exaggeration) but dressy enough for work (librarian) and to wear with skirts or dresses.

The summer shoes have to be something I can wear socks with, because I can't stand sweaty feet, and substantial enough that I won't be crippled by running over my foot with a book cart. Anything over a 1" heel is out, since I'm standing most of the time. Arch support is a must.
Also, no booties. HATE them.

They don't have to be very formal--our library system is pretty casual--but maybe a step up from Converse (which would be what I might wear with a casual skirt outside of work).
My skirts and dresses are usually pretty simple a-line or fit-and-flare, usually with a cardigan to ward off the ferocious AC in our building.
posted by exceptinsects to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like socks make your question tricky, but what about little oxfords like these?
posted by three_red_balloons at 7:35 PM on May 7, 2015

Best answer: How about Oxfords?

Born makes Oxfords.
posted by Fairchild at 7:35 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

They're not Born, they're "b.ø.c," which I'm not familiar with, but I notice the boots are "vegan" -- which prompts me to ask if vegan is an important thing here?

If not -- punks are not good at doing summer clothing, so anything with a punk aesthetic can work as a summer shoe -- is the library casual enough for Blundstones or Docs?
posted by kmennie at 7:40 PM on May 7, 2015

Response by poster: No, vegan isn't important. I think b.ø.c is Born's cheaper brand.

Docs might be a little too...stompy?
posted by exceptinsects at 7:45 PM on May 7, 2015

I'm also a librarian. The traditional shoes of our people are Keens and Danskos.
posted by MsMolly at 7:49 PM on May 7, 2015 [27 favorites]

I've only had one pair of Keens, hand-me-downs from a girlfriend, and I loved 'em, loved 'em, loved 'em. RIP fair footware. You are missed.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:52 PM on May 7, 2015

They make no show no slip socks that can go in slip-ons/loafers. They have a gel pad on the heel so they don't slip. These Hue ones are an example and I think I have some of the same brand. They are amazing. They really do stay up.

With those, any loafer should work.
Otherwise, yes I agree to oxfords with some low ankle socks.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:58 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nthing oxfords. I got some low-profile socks to wear with mine and they work pretty well. I also saw a librarian rocking her oxfords on a warm day at the LA Times Festival of Books.
posted by mogget at 7:59 PM on May 7, 2015

Another option for sockifying shoes that would look weird with socks are sock-free insoles. I have the sweatiest feet in the world and they really do help me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:11 PM on May 7, 2015

I like Jambu--and know lots of other librarians who wear them, too. (I wore a pair to ALA & seemed to spend more time talking about shoes than libraries.) They have a comfortable memory foam footbed. Some are too sporty, but these might work. I wear these socks. Both the shoes & socks often show up on sale sites like Sierra Trading.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:27 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love these Dansko clogs:

and they can be worn with or without socks.
posted by aviatrix at 8:31 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Espadrille-inspired, jute footbed shoes such as Soludos are perfect for sweaty feet. You don't wear socks with them, and your feet don't sweat or stink at all, basically. You probably want to get two pairs and rotate so they have time to breathe (but you could say that about all shoes). They come in a lot of styles, such as lace-up, platform lace-up, slip-on, more fancy stuff, etc. Granted, the footbed is textured, but I actually like that and I walk 3+ miles a day in mine.
posted by acidic at 8:36 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I straight up love Dansko sandals. They're very supportive, you can wear them with or without socks (and they'll look good either way), very comfortable to walk in, and they have a lot of different styles. Good quality-- they'll last a few years at least. This year I actually bought a more mule-style sandal (in blue-- so cheerful!), but I can vouch for pretty much every style of shoe that they do (clog, sandal, boot, etc.).
posted by easter queen at 8:41 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest Keens too, but if you haven't worn them before, definitely try them in person before buying. I do not find them as comfortable as other people seem to. They have arch support but it sits in a funny location for my specific feet.
posted by lollusc at 9:13 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just discovered New Balance Aravon and I'm very happy with my shoes. (I've always liked the way their sneakers fit, too.)
posted by she's not there at 9:38 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Not the prettiest shoe on the block but are they ever comfortable, with or without socks. Aetrex
posted by lois1950 at 11:53 PM on May 7, 2015

Seconding New Balance Aravon. I have problem feet for which Born is actually on the too narrow/ too pointy side, and a pair of Aravons have been my "aaah... relax, comfy shoe!" for a whole year now.
posted by Bardolph at 3:27 AM on May 8, 2015

Nthing Keens because of the toe protection and arch support. I wear socks with my Keen Siennas all the time (usually with low-cut Smartwool or other wool-blend socks, as they deal with sweat significantly better than cotton socks for me - I find that "no shows" tend to slip down in my shoes too much). I rotate between those and a similar pair of Born flats that don't have the toe protection, but are still fairly sturdy.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 7:13 AM on May 8, 2015

I have 4 pair of Keen Sienna Mary Janes, no joke. Right now I'm wearing a pair of lavender Ahnu flats that I love. I get all of my shoes off the clearance rack/website at REI. And I wear them all with skirts and dresses and the one pair of pants that currently fit.
posted by Maarika at 10:48 AM on May 8, 2015

Allegria shoes might work. They have mules and Mary Janes
posted by ramix at 2:32 PM on May 8, 2015

Response by poster: Aravons look like they might work! I will try them.

MsMolly I fear you are correct...however I love my dansko sneakers with jeans but I feel like they're too clompy for skirts. And the wide toe that Keens have is not really my style.

Thanks, all!
posted by exceptinsects at 9:13 PM on May 8, 2015

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