Over the last year I feel my standard for comfortable shoes has gotten REALLY high. My body feels wear and tear through out the day more acutely than when I was younger, so whereas I used to be pretty tolerant of less supportive, less comfortable, and cheaper feeling material, now I pay more attention to the comfort of my shoes.
My standard used to be that if shoes weren’t UNcomfortable, I would call them “comfortable.” If they were neutral, or there was no noticeable pain right away, or if they didn’t bother my feet until 1-2 hours I’d consider them comfortable. Now, in order for me to call shoes “comfortable” they need to be actively comfortable. Like, have a cushioned footbed that lasts through out the day, a walkable heel or none at all, and material that is soft, flexible, breathable, and doesn’t rub my feet even after hours of wear. If I can wear them all day and be on my feet for hours without being annoyed or in pain then I’d call them “extremely comfortable.” I don’t know if that’s already your bar, but it wasn’t for me for a long time because I didn’t now shoes like that even existed!
There is one brand that set that standard for me–Clarks! Last year I tried Clarks shoes for the first time in a collaboration with Zappos, and it changed the way I saw shoes. I was nervous because at that time I didn’t really spend more than $50 for shoes unless they were my 1 pair of riding boots. Rather than agreeing to the post right away I ordered them on my own to try first because I wanted to make sure I could wholeheartedly recommend them to you. I wasn’t about to recommend something expensive that was mediocre. Once I set my foot in them it was so easy to say yes because they were the most comfortable pair of boots I’d ever tried!
One year later, I’m collaborating with Zappos again to feature a pair of Clarks booties that are available this season. Before owning my first pair of Clarks, I had known about them but for some reason I was told their styles tended to be for an audience that didn’t fit my age group. However, they have some really modern, cute styles that are also EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE, like the pair I”m wearing! The pair I’m wearing is made of gorgeous leather with a cushioned footbed. The leather is so soft and flexible and feels so good! Recently I said that while my other Clarks booties were very comfortable, they were *slightly* heavy for me to do excessive amounts of walking in ALL day, but this pair is a little lighter and eases that worry.
The pair of boots I’m wearing can be found HERE. I’m normally size 8.5 to 9 and wear this in 8.5.
Clarks has a few other pairs that I think are very cute and also worth checking out, from more boots like this to booties that you could wear to an office to pumps. See their collection HERE.
I know many people who read this blog shop on a budget, and for the most part there are only a couple of categories I’d consider spending over $50 on: jeans and shoes. Especially boots. For the sake of taking care of my body I am way more inclined to getting better quality shoes these days. I don’t always think “you get what you pay for,” meaning a) I believe you can find less expensive things that feel really good and b) that not all expensive things are good quality. But for Clarks I really believe that though they are higher priced, you are getting what you pay for. The shoes feel like they’re made of quality materials that are very comfortable with cushion and support that is better for your body.
Through out the last year several PMT readers have told me they bought the Clarks booties I featured last year and that they were the most comfortable booties they had ever worn as well!
I’d totally encourage you to at least TRY a pair of Clarks shoes if you’re at all inclined to. You really don’t have anything to lose because Zappos has super fast shipping that is FREE, with FREE return shipping. And you have 365 days to return it, so you can really take your time with the decision! Also, if you have any questions or problems, their customer service is superb. I contacted customer service twice this past month via chat to exchange a couple of pairs of shoes (not as a blogger, just as a “normal” paying customer), and both reps I worked with were SO pleasant, friendly, knowledgable, and seemed like they were really happy to help me. I talked about sports teams with one of them and felt like I was saying bye to a friend afterwards, haha! Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be about their customer service, but I couldn’t help myself–it was such a good experience! 😛
I definitely need to start learning to care for leather now that I am upping my shoe game!
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