Ask Belle: Comfortable Summer Shoes

Jun 14, 2010

The marble halls of the United States Capitol are iconic, but they’re also murder on staffer’s feet.  And don’t even get me started on the evils of the District’s cobblestone sidewalks.  Perhaps this is why one of the most frequent Ask Belle questions is how to find comfortable shoes on a Hill Staffer budget.

I firmly believe that the key to purchasing comfortable shoes is to select shoes with a rubber sole.  The rubber absorbs shock and provides a little cushion to each step.  If you don’t like the idea of walking around on a rubber sole, you can also try a shoe with a small platform to help prevent pain.

Sandals

Frye Vanessa Thong (Zappos, $107)

To get the most use out of your sandals, you should select a neutral color or a metallic.  This way, your sandals will match just about anything that you are wearing.  These sandals from Frye have a cushioned insole and a padded footbed for extra comfort.  

If this price point is a little out of your comfort zone, I have also had good luck with the Ciao Bella brand.  Their metallic sandals are a great buy at just $30.

Flats

Geox Donna Lola (Piperlime, $75)

These red flats would be perfect with skinny jeans for air travel or with trousers for a casual Friday look.  Their rubber outsole makes them obscenely comfortable and their breathable sole technology helps cut down on perspiration during these hot summer months.  If red isn’t your thing, they also have a snake print pair that are super cute.

Long time readers of this blog know that I also like the Steve Madden skimmers for my evening walk home.  But be forewarned, that while these shoes are comfortable on short walks, the lack of support can cause back pain during long treks on the Mall with out-of-town visitors.

Pumps

Cole Haan Carma Air Pump (Nordstrom, $199)

A pump with Nike Air technology to enhance comfort?  Yes, please.  Cole Haan’s shoes are really comfortable even without the Air technology, but with it they become life savers.  I’ve also had excellent luck with J.Crew and Geox brand pumps.  

It’s also important to consider heel height before you buy a pair of pumps.  I see no reason to buy a heel that is higher than 3″, unless you are so petite that you need every extra inch.  Three inches is plenty for any woman over 5’4″ and will keep your feet happy while you look good.

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  1. Kelsey C says:

    FYI– They have the Cole Haan Pumps at DSW for $150. And many more size options than nordies.

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