As any regular Shoeblog reader knows, I’m always looking for the perfect blend of comfort and style when I buy new shoes. And so, apparently are some of the enterprising reporters for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. They rated a bunch of shoes under $155 on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being best) for comfort and style, as well as reviewing how it felt to wear them and how long they remained comfy.
So, what did these smart ladies find? It’s all here, plus added pictures.
Aerosoles Kin Ship wedge (shown here in all its various color options), $79.
Heel height: 3 inches
The dish: These cute espadrilles made it through a full 10 hour day retaining their comfort. You might want to order a half size down, since these apparently run a bit big, but their comfort was undeniable.
Born Monte Carlo wedge sandal, $94 at Zappos.
Heel height: 3.5 inches
The dish: These cute summer sandals only lasted a few hours before raising blisters on the reviewer’s feet. She says the footbed was comfy, and the rubber sole was great for anti-slipping power, but the leather was stiff and rubbed her feet raw.
Corso Como No. 4019920, $145 at Citysoles.com
Heel height: 4 inches
The dish: These made it through the whole 10 hour day, as well, but the reporter giving them a spin was happy to take them off at the end of the day. The footbed was cushioned nicely, and the platform under the ball of the foot helped alleviate pain in that area, but, as she put it, ”Four-inch heels are still 4-inch heels.”
One of Two Pacific Peep Toes, $148 at Anthropologie (although when I checked them, they were $168).
(You’ll have to forgive the tiny picture… Photobucket is being difficult at the moment).
Heel height: 3.25 inches
The dish: These lasted 10 hours easily. There’s lots of padding in the insole and through the arch, and the platform again cuts down on the feeling of height from the wedge. The leather is soft, and the ankle strap helped with a feeling of stability.
Sofft Noel heeled sandal, $92 at Shoeline.
Heel height: 2.5 inches
The dish: At first, these cute sandals didn’t last more than 3 hours before causing blisters, but after a little break-in period, they made it through the day with flying colors. The footbed was the most comfortable the testers tried, but the heel was a little wobbly and the gold metallic leather looked a tad on the cheap side.
Faryl Robin Fanny ankle-strap sandal, $148 at Zappos (although now it’s $158).
Heel height: 3.75 inches
The dish: I can’t really put it any better than the reporters themselves do, so let me just quote you what they say:
How long can they be worn without pain? All day, plus you can clomp down four flights of wooden stairs balancing a giant purse and a Glad trash bag stuffed to bursting. Now that’s a shoe a girl can count on.
Impressions: The perfect collision of bohemian style and orthopedic comfort. New York designer Faryl Robin follows a simple guiding principal when crafting women’s shoes: If they aren’t comfortable enough to take the kids to school in them — on foot — it’s back to the drawing board.
Natural Comfort D100 Rust Suede platforms, $143 at Zappos.
Heel height: 4.5 inches
The dish: Well, with tights, these lasted a full day, but without tights only half a day. The cushy footbed is made out of the stuff that pads football helmets, so it’s soft to walk on, but the toe box is kinda narrow, so it may squeeze.
Blowfish Swiss Cheese ballet flat, only $30 at Shoebungalow.com.
Heel height: flat
The dish: The usual issues with ballet flats: no arch support and digging into your feet by the end of the day. But the ”fabric” is a rubberized material instead of leather, so they’re veggie-friendly, and all the holes let your feet breathe freely.
And that’s it.
I’m skipping the last two entries. One is the Geox D Megan wedge sandal, which can apparently be found at Zappos for $99, but didn’t appear there or anywhere else in my search. They only get a 3.5 for comfort, anyway. And the last one is a Steve Madden wedge with an ankle strap, but they don’t give a style name, so I’m stumped.
And there you have it. The findings of several intrepid reporters in Cleveland. Now go out into the world in comfort and style.