The Find: The Go-To Flat

Yesterday, I posted a pair of dark tan flats in the Two Ways post.  A few hours later, I went to my local Macy’s to pick up a gift for a wedding and there they were.  So, of course, I tried them on.

These are the Nine West Alena flats (in cognac, in other colors) and they are the basic flat shoe of my 2011 memories.  Yes, they are that good.

First off, they’re simple.  No logos.  No metal accents.  No scalloped edges.  Just sleek simplicity.

Second, they’re light.  One of the reasons I moved to Rothy’s is that I hate a heavy, clunky shoe.  These are flexible, lightweight and perfect for shoving in a work bag after a commute.

Third, they’re comfortable with a cushiony rubber sole (that I wish was a hair thicker, but for the flexibility, I’ll take it).  Are you going to be able to walk the entire National Mall on a day of sightseeing?  No.  Are you going to be able to walk to and from the Metro, to and from lunch, and then home again without praying for death?  Yes.

Lastly, they’re not round-toe.  Now, I’m about to say something that’s going to set the comments ablaze like days of old, but here we go: I haven’t worn a pair of round-toe flats in a professional setting in years because I think they look less polished than points.  In fact, I think they look a little juvenile (maybe that’s just me, it could just be me).  These square-toe flats are the perfect alternative.  More relaxed than points, not as youthful as a round toe.

I loved these shoes so much, I bought two pair on the spot.  I’ve been looking for a red pair for casual wear, because the Sarah Flints are for the office.  And I bought a black pair because I intend to wear them with leggings and sweaters in the early fall.

If you’ve been looking for an easy commuting shoe or you just want something to wear around the house that isn’t a slipper, but also isn’t a heavy shoe, these are them.

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  1. Cait says:

    I agree with you about round-toe flats, but I wear them anyway because pointed flats never work for my wide, bunion-filled feet. Maybe the square-toe flats will work as a nice medium fit.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
    • Rachel says:

      This. I wish I could wear flats other than round toe, but I struggle to find anything that works with my bunions.

      August 16, 2021/Reply
  2. E says:

    Team round toe all the way. With large wide feet, points that fit across the front of my foot look absurd and I trip over my toes because the shoe sticks out so far past them, like a unicorn horn attached to the end of my foot. I’m already clumsy and don’t need help tripping over my own feet even barefoot. Square toe flats (TBH including these) scream 1980s to me and my brain automatically superimposes white hose, aqua net hair and boxy shapeless dresses with them every time (probably a me problem). But at soon to be 35 and reasonably senior in my career, at least senior enough to not worry too much about my fashion choices, the round toe Rothy’s flat is my shoe for all occasions, and perhaps it will add some youthful spring into my (sadly already arthritic) step. Maybe it’s because I wear them, I don’t find them less professional, just “blah” in a blend into the background sense, which is fine for me.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
    • Nadine says:

      i’m in the same boat. I have some pretty bio-mechanically messed up feet. Round-toed shoes work best for me, functionally, and I have decided to accept that my feet will just not be that fashionable.

      Lately, though, I’m really into the idea of Blundstones with dresses. It makes my look a little less twee.

      August 12, 2021/Reply
  3. paula says:

    I believe it is an incorrect link.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
    • Paula says:

      sorry, you are correct. it is hard to see in that image.

      August 12, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Checked the link, it’s correct, it’s just displaying the black glitter as the primary image, no idea why.

      August 12, 2021/Reply
  4. Clara says:

    Agree with you about the round toe. I’m still team point but if i had to choose an alternative, it would be square toe.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
  5. Faith says:

    Also on team round toe – have feet issues but my feet are also big (10) and the last thing I need is more length on them, lol.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
  6. meghan says:

    FWIW, I love that Amazon Prime shipping, but the Alena flats are on sale on the Nine West website for $40, which is pretty sweet!

    August 12, 2021/Reply
  7. Dismal science says:

    I like these a lot except for the square toe. I honestly thought the picture was oddly cropped on top! But totally with you on the no-round toe.

    August 12, 2021/Reply
  8. Julie says:

    Maybe this Gen X’er is a bit older than your target audience, but I have terrible feet and can’t wear anymore most of the shoes you recommend. For your readers looking for shoes that accommodate a range of foot problems, they should check out BarkingDogshoes

    August 13, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think this is becoming a more common refrain. I certainly am not choosing the shoes I did in my 20s, but I’m not yet to the must have arch support, cushion, room for orthotics place, though I will likely get there.

      So if anyone has good suggestions for shoes you like for a specialized issue, leave them here. I’m sure you’re not the only ones.

      August 13, 2021/Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Love Barking Dog Shoes for finding shoes that work with my bunions!

      August 16, 2021/Reply
  9. Marie says:

    I have just recently started looking at square toe shoes…I love points but they are just brutal on my feet (and after reading a few too many articles about the damage from squeezing one’s feet into shoes….I kind of steer clear). But I agree on round toes, I just feel unprofessional in them.

    August 13, 2021/Reply
  10. linda says:

    I too have wide feet with bunions, and since buying round toe Rothys five years ago, no other shoe has come close in comfort, so I have a number of them in the closet, but wear Rothys every day.
    I tried the Rothys point, but it did not go over the bunion well.
    This thread made me search for other brands that offer knit flats, but in wide – Torrid has flats that are points and are advertised for wide feet.
    Does anybody have experience with them?

    August 13, 2021/Reply
  11. Chloe says:

    Ooh I am excited. Need to replace my black flats. Thank you!

    August 13, 2021/Reply
  12. Jenny says:

    When I think of the thousands of dollars I have spent on shoes over the years, Nine West is the brand that was consistently the most comfortable while also looking cute. I feel like they have sort of flown under the radar lately.

    August 17, 2021/Reply
  13. Cait2021 says:

    I’m just going to chime in here to side with Belle here on the anti-round toe. No offense, ladies, but I agree that the rounded toe looks less polished and a tad juvenile. And cheap. I think these square toed flats are a nice alternative to the pointy toe and look very classy! Love your blog and your recs!

    August 18, 2021/Reply