Wednesday 28th October 2020
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Taking requests

chloe flat

“Kim, could you come to my rescue?” writes a reader named Jessica. “I have orthotics, and summer defeats me. I am desperate for something that will accommodate them.” Jessica, I feel your pain, because for a period of time I couldn’t take a step without an orthotic—as in, it even hurt to be barefoot, and I kid you not. At no time is total orthotic dependence a bigger inconvenience than summer, when your feet want to breathe free and all you want to do is be like the rest of the world and embrace a cute little sandal. My solution most days was ballet flats—not my style at all, but if you dig a little it’s possible to find some that aren’t so much on the prissypants side. I like that this pair from See By Chloe has a little ventilation—plus, the snakeskin and high back bring a little edge to the party.

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Crazy splurgy, but the metal studs take it to such an excellently I-dare-you-to-call-me-too-girly place.

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All the straps make this choice fall on the sexy side of sweet.


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Of course the biggest drawback of ballet flats is that they are, in fact, so maddeningly flat, and give you next to nothing from a height perspective. These Doc Marten Mary Janes provide just the tiniest bit, and a whole lot more structure, which is always a plus.


Laugh if you will (and I know you will) but I am obsessed with this raffia oxford from Robert Clergerie: a rare breezy option for the orthotic-bound, and just so clever too. Plus you get a very nice dose of height.

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I am totally not a loafer person—just as ballet flats often feel too femme for me, loafers feel too butch. But I can totally see wearing this this platform-y patent pair all summer with jeans.

Posted on June 2nd, 2014 12 Comments

12 Responses

  1. Tammy says:

    The platform, patent pair you posted by Tod’s are amazing. I have a couple pair of Tod’s loafers and they’re the most comfortable shoes I own. Yeah, they’re expensive, but they’ll last forever. I found one pair for $50, brand-new at a resale shop.

  2. Nancy says:

    Look at Ziera; seriously the arch support is AMAZING and they have an entire section of shoes that have can accommodate orthotics. I have severe plantar fascilitis and these are the only shoes I can wear. The only prob. is they are a bit difficult to find in the U.S. the site does list retailers for the shoes.

  3. Viajera says:

    “Too girly!” “Too girly!”


    I agree this is an underserved market. Just out of curiosity, what kind of orthotic is it that makes you have to have a closed toe? I know about arch supports, but what else are people out there dealing with?

    • Viajera says:

      Perhaps weirdly, ballet flats are among the few shoes I don’t hate these days. (Except for the ones with bows. Bows are not right. And it’s not doing anything, so why is it there?) If they are done right. For my feet though, an open toe is more comfortable so so far I haven’t found any.

  4. Jessica says:

    Wonderfully useful–thank you!

  5. Kathy says:

    I have had good luck with Orthaheel, now Vionic, shoes and sandals. I also use Dr. Scholls gel arch supports or Superfeet insets in shoes that I can’t squeeze in a orthotic.

  6. Cait says:

    I recognize that these are only vaguely work appropriate, but the best shoes of all time (as a person who wears orthotics any time my feet touch the floor) are Chacos. The plain black Zong is my favorite.

  7. Jen says:

    I’ll echo what Cait said. I passed several summers in orthotics (plantar fascia tis) and had Chacos made with my orthotics in them. Just call the company and have they’ll custom build your sandals.

  8. Lisa Wallace says: is often helpful for me and my problem feet.

  9. Gilli says:

    The platform slip on ‘vans’ by Ash or Vince, especiallynthenmesh ones give height and are very in for summer.

  10. Gilli says:

    Oops, meant the mesh ones.

  11. itadarling says:

    Love the Clergerie option. Their shoes are mostly a little “off”, but almost always in a good way..