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Style & Living Fashion

12 Pairs of Flats That Prove You Don't Have to Wear Heels to Be Stylish

These fall flats look cute without causing major back pain.

By Angela Law

I once had a job at a huge publishing company for which I had to wear heels. To say that I could not (and still cannot) walk in heels in an understatement. Even in stacks, I walk like a drunk penguin. I became one of those people who commuted in flats but then changed into heels before I got to work. That’s right, I didn't even have the luxury of changing into heels once I got to my desk. I had to make sure nobody saw me walking into the building in flats. That meant I had to change into my heels before I even exited the station.

For many reasons, that was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. And, the heel thing bothered me more than I thought it would. It wasn't quite cool again yet for women to wear loafers and oxfords and all the other flat shoes were just shapeless blobs with no arch support. Meanwhile, I developed severe back pain. I tried in vain to find cute flats. Eventually, I just had to wear the ugly shoes. Around the same time, I got laid off. (Best thing that ever happened to me.)

Since then, I have not worn a single pair of heels. At this point, I even fancy myself a bit of a flat-shoe connosieur. Want to see what my favorite picks are lately? 

Botkier Women’s Violet Leather & Calf Hair Loafers

Let me say right a way that a teeny, tiny heel does not automatically disqualify a pair of shoes as being flats. If you can do it, I highly recommend a little heel — it offers more support. This pair also comes with a little padding for extra comfiness.

ASOS Design Magnet Suede Ring Detail Loafers

These suede loafers will instantly brighten any outfit. I used to think red shoes were a bit much. But now I own three pairs and I wear them all the time! Strangely, red shoes are so bold that they kind of make any piece of clothing work with them.


Anastasia Ballet Pumps

Not ready for bright red shoes yet? Maybe start with a slightly more muted pair. These patent leather butes are also a little more feminine if you have a penchant for dresses and skirts.

Vesta Skimmer Flat

Consider this the perfect pair of shoes. You get just enough toe cleavage so that they're slimming. The color is sophisticated and neutral so they'll match everything. The shape will go both day and evening! Also comes with padding.


T.U.K. Pointed Mary Jane Creeper

We disrupt all the prettiness with something ... a little edgier. Made with vegan leather, these creepers are also good for your conscience.

Flute Houndstooth Flat

This is one of my go-to flat shoe shapes. I love the play on texture here. Great for when you are going for a neutral look but want to add a little bit of fun.

Marni Laced Shoes

Make no mistake, if you get these, they will be your fashion shoes. Meaning? You don't wear them all that often but when you do? Everybody wants to know who you are.

Chloe Red Suede Lauren Ballerina Flats

The scallop detail alone is enough to melt your heart. The rich red hue make these to die for.

Mango Lace-up leather shoes

If ever there was a pair of shoes that made you feel like a tiny dancer. These lace ups are delicate and sweet.

Newbark Melanie Loafer

For that girl who has always wanted a pony...

Everlane the Day Glove

These are the ideal everyday shoe. You can truly where them anywhere, at any time, with any outfit. They even have a padded insole and vented sides! Work.

Acne Studios Amina Denim Loafers

I leave you with these: part guido elf slipper, part coolest thing I've ever seen. Really? Denim shoes? These will definitely be a conversation starter.

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