Taos ballet flats. They had some in pewter a few years ago, with a laser cut design along the opening, that I wore daily until the leather on the right toe of one of them cracked. It was the only time I’ve ever felt heartbroken about shoes. I now have a pair of shiny patent leather (black) Taos ballet flats, but they lack the laser cut detail. I would pay double for another pair of those original flats. So cute, comfortable, and perfect with pants or dresses, even for someone with narrow feet.
If you’re a commuter, I really recommend the brand All Black! I have a few of their slip-on Vans-style shoes and have received so many compliments on them. They’re super comfy for the commute into work, and they’re nice enough to wear in the office if you work somewhere a bit more casual/ slip off super easily if you’re running to a meeting and need to quickly change shoes. They’re the best (and currently on sale)!
I work for a public transit system, so I have a job that has my time split in offices with public officials wearing suits and walking around in train yards and tunnels with oil-covered rail mechanics. Sometimes I’ll have time to swap out my shoes at my desk, but I’ve relied on these suede Vans https://goo.gl/yVJZxT for 3 years now. They’ll never pass for heels, but they are incredibly versatile and comfortable plus the price point is perfect.
I have the same problem with some of my shoes, you just have to pick the right store. I like nine west and MK but I have bought a few online I love and are comfortable. I have found a site I like called http://www.heelstoday.com, I bought a 6in stiletto from them that turned out to be great and I have bought two other pairs. So I would look at them if you are in to online shoes.
I’ve been wearing Sam Edelman Felicia flats to work almost everyday for over a decade (not the same pair…I have a couple pairs at a time that get replaced every two years or so). They are cute and have a padded sole so they’re comfortable to walk distances in. A few years ago the manufacturer changed the design a bit, so now they have an embroidered logo on the heel (yuck) and are slightly less comfortable for my foot. I haven’t found anything as good yet to replace them though, so I am soldiering on with them.
Basically, these are them. https://www.deichmann.com/GB/en/shop/home-ladies/home-ladies-shoes/home-ladies-shoes-loafers/00009001307653/Slip*On*Casual*Shoes.prod?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8J6yqf_f2QIV7bXtCh1wiAn0EAAYASABEgIeU_D_BwE&adword=google%2FBrand_Brand_Deichmann%2Fsearch%2Fdeichmann&imgFmt=&_=1520624405081&mlid=1178.26.244312.44044fabbd4970dcb4af7508ed681eb3…0.1520624402.1.1523216402&fromCategoryDetail=true&positionInList=46
Emily, thanks for this comment! I work in disaster relief, so I wear work boots when I’m on sites. I LOVE that my “work uniform” is a)whatever I want when I’m remote, and b)work boots and a hard hat when I’m on site. I wear Vasque hiking boots. These are sturdy and comfortable, with traction and support. They are not, however, steel-toed or puncture-proof, which would technically be best practice. I love them and am willing to forego the latter precautions, but I know that as another commentor mentioned, Red Wing has those things. I would recommend checking out Sierra Trading Post for certain boots, because nice quality brands tend to get very expensive, but they are worth seeking out at a discount.
My husband splurged and got me a pair of Tory Birch flats for Christmas this year (these: https://www.toryburch.com/minnie-travel-ballet-flat–leather/32880.html?dwvar_32880_color=232&cgid=shoes-ballet). After years of wearing el cheapo Target flats, it was AMAZING. Zero break-in period. One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever worn. It has definitely made me realize that, if you can float it, better quality shoes are worth it!