May 21, 2012

Our Readers Weigh-In! The Comfiest (and Most Stylish) Shoes For All-Day Exploring

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Back in February, we posted this Facebook question to our readers:  

What are the shoes you reach for when you know you'll be walking around all day long? These would be the shoes you bring to explore a new city, or when you're out exploring your own city. Any thoughts?

And Mamas, you didn't let us down.  Since the summer travel season is almost upon us (and a looong weekend just around the corner) we thought this would be the perfect time to reveal your picks for the most stylish and comfortable shoes for all-day toolin' around (in any climate).  Each pair of shoes in this article has been rigorously tested — by you.  

Here's the list (starting with warm-weather picks and getting cooler….)

Birkenstocks!

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Birkenstock Gizeh in bronze | Birkenstock Chania Gladiators

Birks get lots of love, here at Ain't No Mom Jeans.  What can we say?  We are children of the 90's.  While M rocks her Birkenstock Gizeh's below, reader Elizabeth was the one who called attention to Birkenstock's newest style, the gladiator.  Ooooo.  

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I've been coveting M's Gizeh's for years…after seeing how amazing they look with virtually all of her summer dresses and skirts.  But in terms of all-day comfort…my brother once called his Birks "sex for the feet".  'Nuff said.  These babies go the distance. 

 

Teva's Mary Jane Pasas

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Teva Mary Jane Pasas

While many readers identified a few sport or comfort sandals, my very favorites were Teva's Pasas, recommended by reader Sarah, over in Australia.  Sarah writes:

I am wearing some green and grey Mary Jane style Tevas everywhere! Cycling, walking, swimming pool showers with my daughter. As a result I have a funny tan but they look very Prada – ish.

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Love the mint and gray.  Thanks, Sarah! 

 

TOMS

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TOMS Silver Morocco Classics

I can't even count the number of Mamas throwing out a vote for TOMS.  But I get it – even without socks, my TOMS remain one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own.  And as Lane can attest: "Just spent two days pounding pavement in Tokyo with a toddler in the Ergo wearing my TOMS. My feet felt great!"

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 I'm embarrassed to admit how many pairs of TOMS that M and I own between the two of us…(and yes, M – I just threw you under the bus with me…)  

  

Sperry TopSider Loafers

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Sperry Original 2 Eye in Salt Washed Greige

Like TOMS, Sperry's are another shoe that are just as comfortable sans socks.  It's amazing, really.  I have worn mine all. day. long.  And like Emily (our nanny) mentioned on Facebook, they "work with almost any outfit!"  Yes.  They do.

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That's Em and her baby.  

 

Cute Sneaks

We Mamas looove our sneakers.  And when the offerings are this cute…why the heck not?

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Converse 'dainty' in pink | Adidas Originals SL 72 in light ocean

Camper Imar | Nike Lady Cortez in yellow

 

Reader Brooke called our her pink Chucks specifically, calling them "comfy but a little cool."  Exactly, Chick.  Well said.  And they are such classics – I picked mine up in Paris years ago.  I know, right?  But I had a shoe emergency (broken heel) and when I looked at all the cool French girls…they were all strolling around town in their Converse.  When in Rome, I guess.  Fast-forward a few years…and my Chucks are still feeling the love. 

Reader Linda relies on her Campers: "They are not only super cute (and often quirky and colorful) but also very comfortable, wear well for years and are made by an ethical company that pays its workers well!"  Love that.

Any many, many of you shared your love for the hard-core sneakers – especially Nikes.  However, I've found that my 'cute' sneaks (like the Adidas or Nikes pictured above) are every bit as comfortable for all-day walking as my actual running shoes…but a whole lot cuter. 

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My next cute sneaker purchase?  The Bensimons I wrote about here….

 

Frye Boots

Like sneakers, we Mamas love our Fryes.  And I can personally attest to their comfort.  I layer mine over SmartWool socks….ahhhh….and YES:  My Fryes and I have pushed a stroller all over Denver.  And while there are other high-quality boots that deliver on both comfort and style…Fryes are just so darn consistent.  Regardless of style, Mamas rave about their Fryes.  Even more amazing?  Two of my Fryes are vintage…and still crazy-comfortable. 

My current favorite Frye-obsessed Mama:

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 (Sarah, I'll bet you had no idea what you'd be in for when you sent us your reader question)

 

EL Naturalista Boots 

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Naya Quails in Porto

Only one Mama recommended a boot with a major heel, but Reader Kristen currently lives in Europe and walks everywhere.  So for those Mamas looking for a gorgeous yet comfy heeled boot…I'd bet on Kristen's recommendation.

Kristen

(isn't this a gorgeous photo?)

 

Danskos

Finally, an honorable mention must be given to Danksos.  So many of you mentioned them as being your go-to shoe when serious walking was required….but from a style perspective, Danskos are fraught with error.  However, when they nail it…it's good.  Crazy-comfy and stylish.  M's Dansko picks can be found here.  And my Dansko picks here.

 

That's it, Mamas!!  Our current list of comfy, yet crazy-stylin' shoes for all of your urban exploring adventures!

A HUGE thank you to all of the Mamas who left comments and especially to those of you who supplied pics!  It is MUCH appreciated….

xo,

S

ps.  I'd love to keep this article up-to-date…so if there are any must-haves that we've missed, feel free to send us a pic of yourself in your fav shoes at aintnomomjeans (at) gmail (dot) com.  Also let us know how you've put them to the test!

 

14 Comments
  • Stephanie Rudolph
    May 21, 2012

    Anything, *anything* by Gentle Souls… I am living for a bit with my two littles in Croatia and walk all day long. I brought a pair of ‘Break My Heart’ gladiators and an older pair of ‘Bay’ flats. I also brought my Gizehs, of course! I am a fast walker and find out really quickly if a shoe is going to destroy my feet. Great post!

  • Kate
    May 21, 2012

    Bensimons were my shoe of choice last summer. To top it off I them on a long cross-country trip through France. :-)

  • Megan
    May 22, 2012

    VANS. For a cool skater-y vibe. So easy to slip on and off, too. LOVE THIS BLOG.

  • Christy
    May 22, 2012

    I second Gentle Souls and also recommend Indigo Clarks. My wedges by Indigo Clarks are my go to shoe when I know I’m going to walk a ton. Oh…and Cole Haan (pricey, but worth it in cuteness and comfort)

  • Bonnie
    May 22, 2012

    Bensimons, Saltwaters, and Kork-Ease! Also, Shana– where is your white top with the cut-outs from? Super cute! Thanks :)

  • Closetcoach
    May 22, 2012

    Those low-profile Converse are adorb! I just ordered them in red from Zappos.
    Puma make a lot of cute lifestyle sneakers, too.

  • Hadilly
    May 22, 2012

    Walked all over Manhattan last week in my grey Supergas (with orthotics) and Dansko Sissys.
    Love the recommendations!

  • Beth
    May 22, 2012

    I love M’s outfit!!! Please spill the details!!!! Great post as always – you guys rock!!!

  • Madeleine
    May 22, 2012

    I LIVE in the silver metallic Birkestock Gizeh in the summer. They are perfect with everything and I can walk in them for hours. I think they are absolutely fabulous. I bought them last spring and my neighbors on either side bought them as well after seeing me wear them.

  • Jennifer
    May 22, 2012

    Those pink Chuck Taylors are making me happy! I’ve never seen the “dainty” version, and feel like I need to run out and try a pair. Any idea how Chucks fair in the wash?

  • Stephanie
    May 23, 2012

    What did I do wrong with my Gizehs– I hate them! The ridge thing under your toe (where you toe meets your foot) hurts like hell. I dislike wearing them to get the mail, let alone on a walking trip! You did inspire me to break down and buy some Toms for my upcoming Europe trip though– I hope they work out.

  • Lis
    May 24, 2012

    Saltwater’s!
    Stephanie–I didn’t find my Birkies comfy either. Returned.

  • Amanda
    May 28, 2012

    My Gizehs are awesome! I wear them constantly in the summer. When my feet hurt, I put on my Birks. Love.
    Lis and Stephanie-the fit of Birks is very precise. If you are off a size and they don’t fit perfectly, they WILL hurt! And they take a bit to break in-they really have to mold to your feet. Your best bet is find a store that sells them and get fitted professionally.

  • Jane
    April 29, 2013

    I love my Birks. They died last year and I have to admit that I have forgone buying more fashionable styles because I know I have to replace them.

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