Top 5 of the week: my source for comfy-but-cool sandals

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Interesting scientific fact: as we age, we lose a lot of the padding on the balls of our feet, making heels higher than an inch or two rather uncomfortable—which is likely why a surprising number of women I know around my age insist that they will never wear a pair of them again. But you may know by now how I feel about wanting to look taller, preferably without pain—so a while ago I did something I couldn’t have imagined myself doing for at least a couple more decades and searched commerce sites like Nordstrom and Zappos for “comfort shoes.” And I am here to tell you that I was discouraged by what I saw. That is, until I rediscovered Clarks, the well-priced brand that puts a premium on ease of wear. Last year I bought these sandals, which aren’t on the Clarks site anymore (I tracked them down on Amazon) and which look so much cooler than you’d expect a highly walkable shoe to look, and are super, extra-cushiony.

 

This raffia & leather pair would be as good for a trip to the beach as it would the greenmarket.

Here’s another cute option that also comes in black, but I find the army green to be really cool and actually, surprisingly versatile.

This extremely 70s number also comes in black, which would probably be easier in every way, but I’m kind of digging this poppy orange.

And how glam are these wedges? I don’t just adore the sole’s treads, but I also feel like they wouldn’t be very noticeable.

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11 Thoughts on Top 5 of the week: my source for comfy-but-cool sandals
    KHD
    12 Jul 2021
    6:51pm

    I have flat feet and Birks work well for me but they are clunky. I walk to and from work daily so I need comfort. I discovered Secra on Insta: they only have 2 styles and I got Willow…they are AWESOME. Very comfortable and cute. No break in, no blisters. https://secrashoes.com/

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    Nancy
    12 Jul 2021
    2:20pm

    I HAVE to wear custom orthotics for i.e. walking hours in the city…so hard to find cute/stylish shoes/sandals that have removable insoles. If ANYONE has recommendations, please share.

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    Marcela
    12 Jul 2021
    4:24pm

    Clarks are awesome! Naturalizer also has a ton of cute/stylish and comfortable shoes. I spent 20 years on my feet, and at 47, I no longer like to wear anything high that isn’t a stacked/chunky/platform heel.
    The ‘comfort shoe’ industry has really stepped up their game in the last few years.

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    Stephanie
    12 Jul 2021
    12:58pm

    At 55 my holy grail is shoes with a lot cushion in the forefoot and/or a platform, plus really good arch support. I’m always finding good looking Clarks that have the former but not the latter. Recently, however, I’ve discovered these little stick-in gel arch support thingies that make a world of difference. All kinds of previously off-limits shoes — including Clarks — are back in play.

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    Candy
    12 Jul 2021
    1:35pm

    I also love the Cloud-Stepper line of Clark’s sandals. So comfortable, lots of sizes. Here’s one example:
    https://www.clarksusa.com/c/Marin-Sail/p/26159926

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    Dawn
    12 Jul 2021
    11:23am

    I never think about Clark’s, although I am always on the lookout for comfortable, walkable sandals. The raffia & leather pair look remarkably like my Vince sandals (at a much better price point!).

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    Heather
    12 Jul 2021
    11:32am

    I’ve been singing the praises of Clark’s to all my friends and anyone who compliments my shoes. They always have some very cool, modern looks every season, and importantly to me, they really hold up, at least their boots and rubber soled shoes (alas, cork and raffia only look fresh for so long).

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    Hodgko
    12 Jul 2021
    12:27pm

    I had those Maritsa Laras a few years ago, in a fawn/taupe colour and ADORED them! Vouching that they are indeed very versatile, from cute dresses to jeans and so on — I had to retire them because the padding was shot, even though they still looked brand new. I’m currently in a flat sandal phase due to some knee issues but I am VERY glad to know this style is still in production (my wallet, not so much!).

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    Viajera
    13 Jul 2021
    10:00pm

    In case this is relevant to anyone – I am enjoying my Oofos thong sandals. At first, I really, reeeeeally did not like them and I tried to return them, but it had been too long. They are squishy on the bottom, sort of like a Bosu. I was not at all prepared for that, as the word “squishy” is not on the website. (They call it a “recovery” shoe, like I know what that is … ) Time went by. … … … … It got hot, and so I started wearing regular flip flops around the house, which started to give me knee issues, so, I tried the Oofos again. Well, compared to a horrible, regular, health-destroying flip flop, these are much easier on your feet, and your knees, and your back. (I have had PF before … plantar fasciitis for you youngsters. It is bad, try not to get it.) … … … … *If* you try them, I would just put them on in the afternoon for a bit the first few days, after your various body parts have warmed up already. Not first thing in the morning. (Their customer service seems fine, just don’t take as long as I did.) I still love my EVA Birks, but these cover less of my feet, and now that I’m used to them, I like them a lot. These are the thong style. (Usually I dislike thongs, but it is quite quite warm, so…) I am saving these for house shoes. If I win the lotto, I may buy more of them. They aren’t that expensive though, when you consider how important feet are! And, at long last, I am done talking. Oh, except, thank you D.!!! I think you mentioned them here. ; )

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      D.Morgendorffer
      14 Jul 2021
      11:04am

      Had to ride out a tension headache yesterday so only now responding…am so glad they worked out. The uppers on my clog style Oofos gave me blisters when I had to walk just two miles in them so I’m glad to hear the thong styles are better.

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        Viajera
        14 Jul 2021
        8:37pm

        Oh no!!! I’m so sorry!! I hope you’re feeling better now! … … … That is a giant bummer about the blisters. I wonder why it is so hard to find shoes for walking? I mean, I like my hiking shoes but I feel like a huge nerd in them…

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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