Cool, Feminine, and Comfortable
September 22, 2019 9:03 AM   Subscribe

What brands make comfortable closed-toe casual shoes?

I live in a warm climate that gets cool for a couple months at best. There is no snow or freezing temperatures. Birkenstock Gizeh is my favorite shoe. I wear it year round but at times toe exposure is not appropriate. I’m looking for a casual closed toe shoe that’s not a sneaker or a boot to wear in Fall and Winter.

I’m looking for comfort and trying to avoid anything too masculine. I would wear the closed toe Birkenstock options but one is too masculine and the other has a higher heel.

Campers are out because they aren’t really my style. I like comfortable, and slightly feminine. Some loafers are too “manly” to me. The Birkenstock Gizeh appeals for quality, stability, comfort, and the thong makes it more feminine. Ballerina flats are hard for me because they often gape at the sides.

What brands other than Birkenstock can I wear with casual clothes? I can spend around $150 or less. Thank you.
posted by loveandhappiness to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe check out Clarks, or are those not what you had in mind? Is something in the genre of espadrille flats up your alley?
posted by brainmouse at 9:16 AM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Josef Siebel?
posted by Sublimity at 9:18 AM on September 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ecco is another brand that makes "normal looking" shoes with Birkenstock level comfort. Think! Shoes are similar, and often more fun/stylish. Riekers are always comfy, Gabor can be good too though more conservative. For more style (feminine but alternative) I like Fly London and El Naturalista.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 9:30 AM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ziera is my go-to but the nicer styles are above your price point. SAS is what I first started wearing when I couldn’t do birks anymore; if you go to one of their stores they actually have a good variety of cuter shoes these days.
posted by nat at 9:39 AM on September 22, 2019

Personally I love Rockport's Cobb Hill collection, though they skew a little more professional/dressy. They make the only heels I can wear, and flats I regularly walk miles in.
posted by babelfish at 9:43 AM on September 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have a pair of moccasins that I adore. I have these, but these may be more appropriately femme for you.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:44 AM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by bluebird at 9:55 AM on September 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Jambu has a few styles that work with pants or a skirt. I wear mine with no socks but removable washable liners. If you like a wide toe box and good arch support they are a dream!
posted by selfmedicating at 10:25 AM on September 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Try Naot, a brand widely available on Zappos.
posted by danceswithlight at 11:02 AM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Minnetonka moccasins. I would buy these at a retail shop on the way to Girl Scout summer camp when my children were younger. Now I order online. I am particularly partial to the Kilty Hardsole moccasin in suede and the Kilty Softsole moccasin around the house.
I've lost pairs while traveling, but I've never thrown a pair away. That's good workmanship.
posted by TrishaU at 11:35 AM on September 22, 2019

I am a huge fan of Born, they have a very large selection including flats.

Very comfortable, quality materials and construction.
posted by porpoise at 1:20 PM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I recently ran across Sabah, essentially Turkish leather flats and have been eyeing them though no first-hand experience.
posted by typecloud at 1:33 PM on September 22, 2019

Fly London pumps? They've got a bit of a wedge sole, but feel fairly flat on.
posted by penguin pie at 1:51 PM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love TOMS. They're super comfortable and they have all sorts of cute styles.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:16 PM on September 22, 2019

I just bought a pair of these all birds, and love them. I think I would go up a half size next time I order though.
posted by rainydayfilms at 4:10 PM on September 22, 2019

Does it rain where you live? (A place that's cool a couple of months a year makes me think of California...) Personally, I don't like wearing shoes that expose skin when it's cool and raining, so I turn to ankle boots. If forced to wear something else, I would probably wear clogs so that I could wear socks. For ballerina flats, have you tried Rothy's? The knitted design may help with the gaping issue.
posted by pinochiette at 8:28 PM on September 22, 2019

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