Well! The responses to this post about shoe basics made it pretty clear that you lovely folks would like some casual shoe-specific input. Many of you have no need or use for heels, and others pointed out that great-looking casual shoes are FAR more difficult to find than great-looking dressy shoes. So here’s a short list of what I consider to be casual shoe basics, and some brand and style recommendations.
Ahh, boots. Durable, comfortable, and stylish. Those of you living in hot, humid climes may want to pass on this option, but for anyone dealing with seasons, a great pair of casual boots will serve you well for most of the year. Boots can add polish to just about any casual ensemble in a way that flats or Mary Janes cannot, in my opinion. Opt for a classic, knee-high pair with a walkable (or non-existent) heel in a versatile neutral.
I believe that ballet flats can transition beautifully from work to weekend, but picking up a casual pair will be beneficial if your non-work looks are quite different from your work looks. In my case, this often means a sporty ballet flat like the Pumas shown above. I don’t dig high-vamp shoe styles like loafers and oxfords, but both can totally work especially if you’re all about jeans for casual wear. And low-vamp moccasins, sporty ballet flats, and flat Mary Janes all get the thumbs up from me.
For a long time, I believed that sneakers/trainers should be worn in the gym or during exercise ONLY. But times have changed, and sneakers are chic once again. Some folks are wearing actual New Balance or Nike gym shoes with casual outfits, but I prefer the look of what brands have deemed “fashion sneakers.” Non-athletic lace-ups with flat, cushy soles or funky slip-ons work well … just track down something that isn’t meant specifically for running, cross-training, or tennis.
While I would say that the vast majority of women could make good use of casual boots and flats, sneakers are less versatile and may suit a narrower set of tastes.
Although stylish, comfy sandals made it onto my original list, I’m gonna go ahead and repeat myself. Why? Because sandals are more likely to be uncomfortable than many other shoes styles, and it is ESSENTIAL to find a pair that feel as great as they look. Otherwise, your tootsies will suffer all summer long. And we can’t have that, can we?
Again, you won’t find snow boots, athletic shoes, hiking boots, or other activity-specific styles on this list because I’m assuming that if you engage in those activities, those shoes will naturally work their way into your collection. Hope this roundup is helpful!
Top image is a pair of Converse All Stars.
**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.
Originally posted 2010-12-20 06:25:30.