February 4, 2023

My Favorite Shoe Brands

Once upon a time, I was smitten with the idea of owning shoes made by Prada, Fendi, and Christian Louboutin. I thought those were my favorite shoe brands. These days, I find myself looking at shoes I can walk through Europe in, and I’ll admit, they are classified more as a “comfort shoe” than a sexy, head-turning foot piece. My everyday life doesn’t permit me to wear a lot of stilettos, and frankly I don’t really want to anymore. My feet hurt so much afterwards that I end up wanting to wear fuzzy slippers for days after. Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of shoes. I’m always interested in finding new ones that I like and can stand to be in for more than 45 seconds. Alas, I’ve comprised a list of my favorite shoe brands, and why I like them. Your feet will thank you.

Fly London Mary Janes

1. Fly London

I discovered the Fly London brand years ago. It all started with a pair of orange sandals with a velcro strap. I have since bought boots, more sandals, and a Mary Jane style. Clearly I own many pairs of Fly London shoes. They are all a little edgy and different, and I get compliments on them all day long. They are comfortable, and I can do a full day’s work in them. My feet always hurt at the end of a long day of running around town (I own a real estate company), but during the time I am wearing them, I’m feeling cute and comfortable.

Lace-up Vans

2. Vans

The classic black and white checkered slip-on Vans were my first go at this brand. I bought them on Mardi Gras day when I was dating my (now) husband and specifically remember this because I had no idea we had a Vans store in New Orleans. I darted across the street, tried a pair on, and basically didn’t take them off until I finally had to retire them. Socks were never worn with them, and they got ripe. I bought two more pairs to replace them, one lace-up and one slip-on, but I will always hold affection for my first pair. The look is so "me", and they are super comfortable. My foot is narrow, and these shoes stay on my feet. In love!

Swedish Hasbeens (one of many pairs I own!)

3. Swedish Hasbeens

I love these wood-bottom shoes! While I can’t and don’t wear them for all-day affairs, I can be in these for hours and not have any issues. As many of these other brands, I have several pairs, and I will likely buy more as I see fit. Unfortunately for someone in my house (my husband) I see fit all the time. The three sandals I own are all different: a black pair, a brown, and a silver platform style with gold trim. They are all great for dressing up and for more casual occasions, and my feet do not detest me after wearing them. I like to get mine on sale at RueLaLa.com, although I have seen many other styles not on there that I am jonesing over. They are expensive, though!


4. Arche

Loafers. Have they ever been out of style? Or have they ever really been IN style? I don’t know, I don’t care. I bought a metallic silver pair of Arche loafers and have trekked them all over the place. They come along as my dressy shoes on my travels, and wear them to jazz up a more casual outfit for work. Arche is a French brand and is very much about comfort, so not all of their shoes appeal to me. When I see another pair that I love and are priced right, I am buying them.

Vince Heels

5. Vince

Not only do I enjoy their shoes, I also love their clothes. This is a brand that is comfortable but chic, and I am a huge fan. I have worn my flats almost completely out, and on the hunt for another pair. They are the perfect shoe for a dressy flat, and the leather is so soft that it feels like a slipper. This is a pricey brand, so I try to shop around and get them on sale when I can. I recently bought a pair of nude color heels with a square toe, and I am looking forward to sporting them. The brand is thoughtful and classic, as well as aesthetically pleasing. I am a huge fan.

Birkenstocks - well worn

6. Birkenstock

My first pair of Birkenstocks were what I called the “hush puppy” style. I was probably 16 years old, on a family vacation in Sacramento, CA, and I walked into the first Birkenstock store I had ever been to. I felt like I had died and gone to hippie heaven. I’ve owned the classic sandal, the hush puppy, and more recently the one strap style that looks similar to the old Dr. Scholls. They are by far the most comfortable shoe/sandal I have probably ever put my foot into, and while they are not cheap, they are 100% worth the spend. I would have 1000 pairs if I could. Because I try to shop local as much as possible, I like to get mine from a local shoe store called Orleans Shoe Co. They always have a bunch of colors and styles, and I always walk away very happy. One thing about a new Birkenstock, though: it takes a couple of weeks for your foot to mold into the shoe, so wear them around the house everyday until it’s comfortable. After that, prepare for never wanting to wear another brand.


7. Dansko

College. The year was around 2000. I had to have a pair of Dansko clogs. I wore them so much that they literally fell apart one day. They were a suede brown and way too expensive for a college budget. (Back in those days, I was more than happy to run up my credit card bill.) I didn’t get another pair of Danskos until much later, but now I have a few pairs: the classic clogs, this time in a dark green leather, and some yellow sandals that are fit for a queen. They are so incredibly comfortable that I find myself pairing the yellow with just about anything I can. They are actually cute, too, and maybe a little on the bohemian side. The clogs don’t get much use these days, but the sandals are definitely getting their miles. If you’ve never worn a pair of Dansko shoes, there is a little bit of an adjustment. They are very supportive, which I like, and it’s not typical of most shoes these days.

Madewell Mary Janes

8. Madewell

This amazing brand has quickly become one of my favorites - for shoes and clothing. I own a couple of pairs of shoes from them, one being a pair of black Mary Janes. These shoes were at the top of my list as a nod to my childhood. I had no idea that our local mall had a dedicated Madewell store, which I have since realized is very dangerous for me, and I got my shoes on a very good discount. They tagged along with me to London and Paris, and they turned out to be very good dressy shoe partners. I walked quite a bit in them, and they, as their brand states, are made well.

I'm Not Footing Around About My Shoes

Shoes are a great way to accessorize yourself. I love shoes! My biggest issue is that the older I get, the closer to the ground I want to be. While I love the way high heels look, they just aren’t for me anymore. I am into cute, classic, and practical shoes that will last me a very long time. These eight shoe brands are definitely worthy of a look. I hope you enjoy my review of my  favorite shoe brands. It’s taken me years to acquire, test, and now review these. I can vouch for each one. Happy walking!
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