August 24, 2011



I know I sort of wax on about "foot slimming mojo." It might not make sense to people with little feet, but when your flippers are size 9, you set much store in not making them appear larger than they already are. (I actually wear a size 9.5 about 30% of the time, including my running shoes.) So here are some shoe reviews. The first day of classes is for nothing if not procrastination.

Ecco "Goya" (navy patent): Extremely unflattering. I imagine that they make even small feet look very wide and short. The sides don't come up enough and the vamp has too little curvature. This visually slices the foot such that the exposed area looks rectangular. I also ordered the size 40, which tends to be either 9 or 9.5, and the heel slips occasionally on one of my feet. They make a weird squeaking noise when I walk. I got these heavily discounted.

Frye "Regina" (cognac brown): Very flattering. I guess pointed flat is a category unto itself, but they're comfortable enough despite their necessarily squished toe box. These shoes come in a lot of different colorways, too. I went with a size 9.5 in these. Size 9 would have been too small, even though that's always my size for Frye boots.

Vera Wang "Lillian" (black): I didn't initially understand why this shoe (and the Tory Burch "Eddie") were considered a class of their own, but now I see. The sole is phenomenally padded and has the slightest wedge lift, unlike most thin-soled ballet flats. Not much of the foot is exposed, and, along with the rounded (but not bulbous) toe box, the collective effect is comfortable and attractive. I'm thrilled with this shoe. Only downside is that the bottoms are not rubberized. Will be getting Vibram soles.

Bloch "Fonteyn" (taupe): I really like this style. It's retails at significantly less than the Bloch Arabian (see below) does and is a more quintessential "ballet" shoe. The little bow ties are made of elastic and actually serve to tighten the vamp part of the shoe. Bloch shoes were a little frustrating to buy because of sizing reviews online, but I went with my usual 40. They fit perfectly. Bloch shoes are considered very similar to but much cheaper than Repetto shoes, which have skyrocketed in price lately because they've been adopted by the fashion set. Will be getting Vibram soles.

Bloch "Arabian III" (black): While I always like black flats, I wouldn't have kept this shoe had I not gotten them as a present. They actually set me off on this ballet shoe quest. They're very comfortable but not as attractive as the Vera Wang Lillian shoe. As is the case with all Bloch (and Repetto) shoes, the soles are extremely thin. I went with my usual 40. Will be getting Vibram soles.

1 comment:

  1. brilliant and super helpful post. i have a love-hate relationship with ballet flats, mostly because of the vicious nyc sidewalks that alaways seem to rip the bottom heel leather up. i'm a 6.5 and actually wish i had bigger feet, because i'm always afraid that small feet shorten my leg line. anyway, go figure!

    on the topic of ballet flats though - i have to add my rec: Arche laius ballets. they're phenomenally comfy and well made, and require no vibram-ing as there's a sleek but substantial latex outsole that wears well for years. they're pricey but i try to find them on sale. even if you shell out the full retail $$, i think it's worth it.