Ask Belle Roundup: All Shoes, All the Time

Feb 10, 2014

Hi Belle,

What kinds of shoes can I wear with medium dark khaki pants/chinos? Usually if I’m wearing chinos it’s because I want to be comfortable but still polished, so nothing too dressy, but my brown leather classic Sperrys are getting old and boring.

Thanks, Anna

I think chocolate-brown shoes are the best choice for khaki or tan pants.  The contrast is just enough.  However, when it comes to the style, I believe that a slightly casual pant needs a structured shoe to hold it together.  I would opt for a pointed-toe flat, like this Elatedd flat from Steve Madden.

If you want something a bit different, these cognac flats with a buckled strap from Forever 21 are cute.  Want to add some texture?  How about leopard flats for autumn and winter and these Coach tortoise flats for all-year?

Hi Belle

I’m a preschool teacher, which means that while I love the beautiful work shoes you suggest, they are largely impractical for my job. From spring to fall, I rely on pairing ballet flats with my casual tailored pants and dark-wash jeans, and in these cold months I mostly wear flat boots. I would love an in-between option, something like a mule (similar to Danskos) but that looks more sleek and professional. I’ve been looking and can’t find anything I like.

Thanks! -B

When you say “ballet flats,” do you mean round-toe shoes or just flats?  Because if you’re relying heavily on round-toe shoes, I would try some point-toe shoes.  They lengthen the leg and look a bit more polished.  I would try a bright color like these coral flats from Modcloth, or a great basic like these Sole Society penny loafer flat.

If you’re looking for a mule, it’s difficult to find mules that aren’t…well…hideous.  I searched around for a while and didn’t have much luck.  Have you thought about wedges instead?

Wedges provide more stability and can be more comfortable than heels.  You can also buy them in any height.  These Via Spiga shoes are on the higher side, but have a sleek look.  The Pilner wedges are lower, as are these Crown Vintage wedges.  If you have a bit more to spend, I love the look of these DvF wedges or these two-tone Loeffler Randall wedges.

Belle,

I love peep toe shoes, but so many of the pairs I find show too much toe.  Can you help me find some open toe shoes that show a peep instead of my whole foot?

Thank you so much! Jamie

I certainly have seen some open-toe shoes that expose the entire front of the foot, and it’s not attractive on anyone.  You didn’t specify a color that you were looking for, so I selected these black open-toe pumps from Ivanka Trump.  I also like these Michael Kors Mid-Flex Heel in beige (very comfortable).

Want a color?  The Ivanka Trump Cleo heels mentioned above also come in red.  Looking for something inexpensive?  These Merona heels from Target come in several gorgeous colors.

Hi Belle,

I just started my first “grown up” job and my FEET ARE KILLING ME.  High heels all day walking hither and yon, not fun.  You’ve mentioned that you like insoles for your shoes, which ones do you recommend?

Sha

I wear Dr. Scholl’s insoles.  Depending on the shoes I am wearing, and where they hurt my feet, I’ll wear either the ball-of-foot insoles or the full-shoe insoles for high heels.

Some of my friends swear by Insolia inserts.  They shift your weight from the ball of your foot to the heel.  This reduces pressure on your whole foot and can add hours of comfort.

Dear Belle,

I know it’s really early for this, but I’m headed to San Diego on vacation next month and I’m looking for a pair of sandals.  Can you help me find some flat casual sandals under-$50?  I’m looking for something inexpensive but with style.

Love CHS! Adele

Early?  I just defrosted my feet in the bathtub.  Yes, a bit early for sandals.  However, there are already some cute ones on the market.

Jaclyn Day featured the Lakitia Sandals from Target, and they are very chic for $20.  These Aerosoles sandals have a light embellishment in a fabulous cocoa color.  This Coconuts sandal in black a cognac are great.

Also, I spotted these $85 Joe’s are kind of crazy, but they’re very unique.  Very fashion forward.

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  1. I just wanted to mention – I live in San Diego (a few blocks from the beach) and it won’t really be “sandal weather” in March. People are still wearing boots around here. Granted, we’re weather wimps but unless there’s an unexpected hot streak I wouldn’t see myself wearing sandals for a few more months!

  2. Lynn says:

    For sandals, Target has super cheap, cute sandals. I don’t know if they are in stores yet or not. Of course, I prefer to spend my money on winter shoes and classic pumps or anything really beautiful. Sandals to me are throw away shoes. I buy two or three pairs every summer at Target (for a total of $30 for all of them) and then throw them away in September.

  3. Anne says:

    This tip will not immediately help your sore feet, but it’ll help in the long run. Look up some yoga poses that are meant to strengthen your feet. I used to have a lot of problems wearing heels, but since integrating more yoga in my work out, I can wear heels for much longer. The balancing forces you to strengthen the muscles in your feet and stretches them out to release tension.

  4. Ashley says:

    Khaki is in the taupe family. I would have recommended dark taupe/mushroom shoes or make sure your brown is on the cool/gray side otherwise you may be a clash.

    Why does anyone feel they have to wear high heels/shoes that kill your feet? That makes no sense to me at all.

  5. Rachel says:

    Just FYI – the high in San Diego in March is only about mid 60s. Might be sandal weather for you, but might not be too. So, you may not use them as much as you think.

  6. Sara says:

    Some of the neutral colored “high” Swedish Hasbeens might work well in a preschool classroom. I have a pair of light moss green Hasbeens peep toe sandals that I wear with dark jeans or a maxi dress on the weekends.

  7. Jssatx says:

    This line may be too “grandma chic” for many’s taste, but Worishofer is a German..umm… Orthopedic brand that started popping up on celebs, etc. Shoe Market in NYC caries the brand (and ships) but looks like they are really low on stock. I think you can find via other online retailers. I personally like the 505. I used to teach and could sometimes find Clarks that were OK.
    For shoe inserts, something at the ball of the foot is important but I sometimes use a heel grip strip to prevent my heel from slipping (and resulting blisters).

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