Want or Need to Wear Flats to the Office But Still Look Smart?


Today you can read my post on Wearing Flats to the Office over here at Women’s Agenda.


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  • Regarding “elongating” your legs – what if you already have long and slim legs – Would wearing high vamp shoes (e.g. oxfords) with knee lenght skirts consider non-professional then?

    I cannot wear low vamp and thin soled footwear due to medical reasons so I often end up choosing my athletic slip-ons (they look like loafers and mary-janes but athletic-leather) because Im not keen on wearng riding boots when the weather gets warmer! =P
    I often notice that every stylist and people working with outfits or fashions always suggest that you “should” look slimmer and longer in order to look more presentable, but I often feel this is a misconception, because some women/girls doesnt feel or dont need to look even taller or skinnier/leaner than they are already are – either naturally or due to medical reasons. (I lost weight due to a depression a few years ago and Im 5’5″ and 95ibs but are naturally thin, so I def. dont “need”/want to look skinnier. lol :P)
    When I use the column of color method on myself I mainly using it to make the shoes less of a focal point because they are usually a bt too relaxed for dressier occasions , but one issue I find that Its make my legs looks sickly skinny even when wearing regulare pants. Nude shoes looks better but I prefer to wear dark pants or dark tights with skirts/dresses most of the time.

    • Lina – you can wear a high vamp shoe – just keep the scale of it in proportion to your legs and feet. I wouldn’t wear an oxford with your skirts as they are a pant shoe (or need a mini-skirt – which is not appropriate for work, but there are many other high vamp shoe options you could find.

  • Many of the flats pictured are as bad for your body as heels. I think it’s more about wearing ergonomic shoes: wide enough front that it doesn’t squish the toes and a bit of a heel for support. The shoe also needs to bend with your foot instead of being stuck flat like may “flats”.

    • Really depends on the width of your foot Olga. All my flats bend with my feet – not sure why you think these don’t. There is no need for a heel, unless you have shortened your calf muscles by wearing heels too often! Our feet are designed to walk perfectly comfortably bare foot – with no heel. Some people find a small heel more comfortable as they have short muscles, not everyone does.

      • I know this is not a health/bodypart site, but has calf muscles anything to do with our foot arch?

        I cannot wear thin soled or completly flat flats because my footarch is very high arched (my relatives has same problem). Ballet flats doesnt bend after my feets at all, so I think Olga or those she talk about has arched feet and you, imogen has lower footarch.. In my case, it has never been the witdh thats a problem, just the arch on shoes.
        I find that pointed toe shoes pinch my toes but they dont cause any back or calf problems (but cause bunions and deformity issues from what Ive heard?). A pair of 2 inch wedge are much more comfortable (to me) than a pair of ballet or loafer flats, health wise, except that my feets get tired of them faster so in long run they are not that good for everyday wear. I need to take pain killers after 2 hours from flats, the same thing regarding skinnier heels. low heeled or arch supported shoes are the only kinds that seems to work for everyday for me.
        Lived in medical specific walking shoes until late teenhood for reference. 😛

        But Im not familiare with calf muscles so thats why I ask if you know any difference between that and footarch.

        • Calf muscles and tendons can be shortened by wearing heels and this makes flat shoes uncomfortable. High arches are another thing completely and a separate issue – you may need an orthotic in your flat shoes to give you extra arch support.

          • Ah, I thought they were related, because ive had issues with my flats.
            I have arch support inserts in most of my shoes that doesnt have a shaft (boots only need insoles, thanks to sturdy square heel most boots has) and tried it in the ballet flats, but that made the ballets flats even worse, because the inserts Im using fill the entire sole on the inside. Even with walking shoes and some orphotic shoes, I need the arch support inserts, because Ive been using those most of my life.

            So I think my case is a medical issue rather than the actual shoe, because I was born with one slight developed feet and never did anything about it (one foot were twisted and looked like a pigeon toe). The doctors couldnt find a solution for it. The last idea Ive is going to the shoe mender and re-heal the flats, giving them a slight 1″ heel, so the shoe is tilted a bit more. :-L Its funny how many women/girls love shoes, the shoes hates me. X’D

      • I am totally up for barefoot on grass and sand and at low speeds, but not on hard pavement at city speed. (I am watching the almost-barefoot running trend. Seems the jury is still out.)

        Every doctor I’ve talked to about feet said that most shoes on the market are not made for feet. The toe boxes are too narrow, in particular.

        E.g. http://www.webmd.com/beauty/style/worst-shoes-for-your-feet

        “The solution: a wider toe box. There’s really nothing you can do to improve a shoe that squeezes your feet into an unnatural shape, Shapiro says. If you must wear them, as with sky-high heels, make it only on special occasions and not every day to the office.”

        “The solution: You can choose a flat that resembles a ballet flat but has a real sole and support around the heel counter (the part of the shoe that wraps the heel). A good test: If you can fold it up and stuff it in your purse, it’s a shoe that doesn’t give you much support.”

        I still wear some less-than-ideal shoes myself, but I remember they are for fashion and not good for my body, and give my feet breaks by wearing wide-toe-box, comfortable-support shoes, e.g. something like http://www.besttmail.com/images/a/1/493529/shoes_iaec1196886.jpg works for my feet.


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