Ask Belle: Basic Black Flats

Aug 5, 2014

Hello again Belle,

I am in desperate need of a pair of close-toed black flats to wear with pencil skirts and dresses. I’m hoping to pay less than $100. I am hoping for something comfortable and not narrow at toe box (I have a decent sized bunion).

Thanks, Judy

This is one of those posts that is evergreen.  No matter how many times I cover, there’s always someone on the hunt for black flats.  It’s kind of like that quote from Sex and the City: Women are always searching for a new job, a new apartment or a new boyfriend.  But I digress, back to the black flats.

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BP Move-over Flat ($50)

For the office, I prefer a pointed-toe flat.  It offers more structure, a sleeker look and reads more professional to me than a round-toe.  This flat from BP is a great buy, especially at this price.  I also like that it comes in four basic colors, and they also offer metallics and prints, like snakeskin and leopard.

Another great pointed-toe flat is the Nine West Speakup flat.  I owned both of these shoes at one point and found them to be comfortable enough for 2-mile walks and daily tours through the Capitol.  If you want to put your money into something more expensive, I’ve tried on these Tory Burch flats twice, but haven’t pulled the trigger on them yet (hoping for a sale).

Also, don’t buy into the notion that a pointed-toe and comfort are mutually excluding.  The BP flats have a fairly generous toe box.  I, like the reader, have a bunion on my left foot, so I use this Lifehacket tutorial to stretch shoes at home or I take them to a cobbler.

Just prefer round toe?  A round-toe flat can look professional, but you need to skip all the bows, baubles and embellishments some retailers add.  These simple Vince Camuto flats are as basic as it gets.  Nine West also offers their Fiore flat, which is a good option.  For summer, I also like a peep toe flat.

One last tip: If you find a pair of shoes you like, and you can afford to buy multiple pairs, do it! I have two extra pair of J.Crew Miri pumps in my closet now, and I snap up every size 9 pair that comes up for sale on eBay.  When you find something you love, stock up.

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  1. Shelley says:

    Tory Burch flats are painful in the toes! Don’t buy them. I only kept mine because they were a gift.

  2. Ali says:

    Old navy this past season had amazing pointed toe flats and I stocked up! Here is hoping they keep the same manufacturer! The only thing I added was padding at the heel but I walk miles in them and they are amazingly durable at around $25

  3. Brittney says:

    I got my black flats that I LOVE TO DEATH from a custom online shoemaker – Poppy Barley! poppybarley.com and they make the shoes custom to your measurements! Very cool startup company 🙂

  4. Kate says:

    I swear by Rockport’s Ashika Scoop Ballet. They come in wide widths and wear very well for under $100.

  5. Cait says:

    I have very wide, flat feet (10.5 W or 11) with bunions and found these flats at Rack Room of all places. https://www.rackroomshoes.com/product/me+too/fiona/1202.134482.html
    They’re roomy in the toe box, don’t slip off the heel, and the cushioned sole feels like you’re walking on clouds. The only flaw is that they’re not pointed-toe, but they’re still a fabulous work basic for $50!

  6. Ashley says:

    I bought the BP move-over flat in both black and nude. Love them! They were a great recommendation.

  7. Caroline says:

    Sam Edelman’s Felicia Flat is also great for under-$100, although it’s a round-toe; not much support, but they’re extremely comfortable (my feet are very susceptible to blisters and I have never had a problem)

  8. Justine says:

    Haflinger flats have very soft and supple leather that mold to your feet. They don’t have the firm cork arch support of the Haflinger clogs. Instead, the footbed is soft cushion. All of the ballet flat styles have rounded toes. They’re like wearing slippers outdoors that look decently professional. However, you may prefer more structured leather. They can easily be found for less than $100 on sites like 6pm.com

    For bunions and other feet issues, I recommend the barkingdogshoes blog. If you search for it, there’s helpful information in the archives.

  9. Gabriela says:

    Belle, did you find that those Tory Burch flats had too much toe cleavage to be worn in a conservative work environment, and were they comfortable?

  10. Judy says:

    Thanks so much for the info!!

  11. Pam says:

    I have the Moveover flat in snakeskin. Love them!! Wish they came in black and navy without the patent finish….Belle, ever seen a similar shoe without the patent?

  12. For custom flats, has anyone tried Etsy? I am looking at ballet flats there… and the price point is good at around $100 USD.

  13. Rachel says:

    I highly recommend Ann Taylor’s pointed toe flats. They are comfortable and a good structured shape for the office.

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