In my head I dream I’m the sort of person who wears 6″ stilettos every day. In my head I’m also about 6 foot tall and willowy as a gazelle with shiny hair that’s always “just so” and am being picked up by my chauffeur from lunch at whatever place is trendy now to be whisked to my next high powered business meeting. In reality I’m walking into town to grab lunch at Wetherspoons before delivering leaflets to various bars, or grabbing a quick meeting in a coffee shop before walking home. I’m also 5’4″, curvy, and with hair that sticks out at funny angles if I don’t keep a really stern eye on it. So, in my real life, I’m not always wearing 6″ stilettos and an elegant black perfectly tailored shift dress, I’m often running around in t shirt and a skirt (I hardly ever wear trousers) and very probably flats, even if I’ve got my heels in my bag.
Often I write about fantasy shoes for that 6 foot tall willowy woman with a chauffeur, or I post outfit photos wearing the heels that have come out of my bag and people tell me that they love them, but couldn’t possibly wear them.
So, today, just for you, and for a touch of the real world, here are my favourite casual flats for the 5’4″ busy lady who can’t even drive. These are all shoes I actually own and wear, even if they don’t turn up in outfit posts so often!
Without a doubt my favourite casual shoe. I like the lower cut ankle and low profile, the fact that they’re all one colour, and the comfortable arch support that means I can wear them all day without ending up with huge amounts of pain in my poor flat feet. I have worn at least 2 pairs of these to death. Launched in 1916 these also have a great vintage pedigree!
My current pair of run around flats is a pair of Converse. I personally prefer the lower profile of the Keds, but these are an iconic style dating from 1917.
Deck shoes are another style with a long pedigree, dating from the mid 1930s. I’ve included this particular style as I actually own them, but you can get different styles of deck shoes from various places! These need wearing in carefully, the first time I wore them I gave myself hideous blisters, now they’re like slippers and perfect for Summer. The thicker sole is also much better for your feet than ballet flats!
Link here is to the purple, because that’s what I have, but they obviously come in an exciting range of florals, prints, metallics, patents and other colours. When I got these I also bought a pair of ballet flats, thinking I would get more wear out of those, but actually the boots are the ones that have made it into my regular wear. They also need some serious wearing in, but they have the air cushioned sole and a raised arch, so are perfect for stomping around all day in, especially if it’s rainy, snowy or muddy and canvas pumps just aren’t going to cut it.
Ok. So that’s a bit of a curveball. Bear with me a minute here.
Fitflops have no vintage pedigree whatsoever, they are generally not an attractive shoe, and I also don’t really buy all that stuff about them giving you a great bum and legs. However, recently I have had lots of trouble with the arches of my feet, the balls of my feet, my shins, my calf, my achilles, you get the idea. Turns out one of the things that’s very bad for them is the pretty vintage isnpired slippers with completely flat soles I was wearing around the house. I need arch support all the time, so my Mum got me the most basic pair of these for my birthday (a bit in advance, obviously!)
Personally I wouldn’t wear the pair I currently have outside the house, but OH MY GOD they are comfortable. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about getting home and changing back into them. They have arch support and squishy shock absorbing soles and a bit of research reveals they actually do other styles that are much more wearable outside the house. This pair is a pair I now have my eye on. I can imagine wearing them in a nautical inspired outfit for Summer without it being obvious they’re “healthy” shoes.