I’ve gone through a lot of black flats. Like clockwork, the moment my current pair finally gives out from being worn into the ground I’m off to find something better. I keep trying because I believe that the elusive perfect classic black ballet flat exists, kind of like the Pegasus, 100% flattering swimwear and the answer(s) to world peace.
It’s brain dump time.
Here are the ones I’ve loved (or disliked) in my quest for a pair that really works. Keep in mind that I avoid extremely pricey flats.
Banana Republic Black Flats
I dig Banana’s ballet flats. They look great against fall foliage, dontcha think? I haven’t owned a pair in about two years because my size always seems to be out of stock, but the ones I’ve long since tossed were well made and lasted a long time. Be careful with sizing. I never had any issues with my shoes (always purchased TTS), but I’ve heard that sizing is inconsistent these days.
J Crew Ballet Flats
At over $100 a pop, these were not worth the money. The break in period seemed to last forever, and the support just isn’t there. If you like a dainty ballet flat, these could work. Just don’t do too much walking in them or you’ll have back pains. On a positive note, they’re attractive on your feet.
Cole Haan Maria Sharapova Ballet Flat
If I hadn’t been the Village Idiot who purchased these a half size too small, we could have a winner. They’re an attractive shoe for one thing (the corset detailing on the back is different in a good way), and the supportive cushioned sole is super comfortable. I might give in and buy another pair in the correct size. These seem like they’d hold up for a more than a year even with continuous wear.
Bp. Frankie Flat (Nordstrom)
Ah, the economical flat. If you’re on a budget, this is a good pair to consider. I wore mine through the bitter months of unemployment (see picture above). They last forever (forever = one year in ballet flat time), and they’re sturdy. Eh, possibly too sturdy. The stiffness takes some time to get used to and they never really mold to your feet. At around $50, you can afford wear them into the ground without taking great care.
Tory Burch Reva
I love the cut of the Reva—the shoe simply looks attractive on the foot. I find mine to be comfortable, though I’ve heard less favorable opinions about how the shoes fit and feel. As I slowly evolve and shed bits of logo-whoredness, I’m not too keen on the Revas. They’re kind of like sunglasses with flashy designer logos…not really my thing. They hold up, for sure, but so do flats at half the cost.
I. Love. This. Shoe.
I may have found “the one.” They’re real leather, and the quality of craftsmanship shows. I broke into these quickly, and they’re comfortable for extensive walking. I’ll probably continue replacing these shoes for the next couple of years. I'll post a real life photo of them soon.
What flats are you wearing these days? Any other recommendations?