The best flats for comfort and style
- It's surprisingly hard to find comfortable flats that actually look good with most outfits, but the Everlane Day Glove flats are the answer.
- They won't give you blisters or create an awkward leg line when you wear dresses — what more could you want?
- For different styles of flats, we also recommend picks from Rothy's, Allbirds, Margaux, and more.
One of the most cliché but true pieces of fashion advice we all come across at one point or another is this: Buy at least one good pair of flats. Heels are great and all, but flats are the shoes that you can really live your life in.
To use another cliché, comfort is key here. Otherwise, what's the point? Your flats should be cozy enough to wear morning and night, cute enough to elevate a basic outfit, but simple enough to go with most of the items in your closet. We've rounded up six pairs of flats that members of our team have personally tested or deeply researched to help you break the cycle of hope and bleeding ankles that so often comes with finding the perfect pair of shoes.
Here are the best flats for women:
- Best flats overall: Everlane Day Glove
- Best travel-friendly flats: Allbirds Tree Breezer
- Best sustainable flats: Rothy's Flat
- Best flats for wide feet: Margaux Demi
- Best luxury flats: M.Gemi Stellato Anello Suede
Updated on 10/22/2020 by Maria Del Russo: Updated prices, links, and our "what we're testing next" category. Removed our "best ballet flats" category because our "best flats for wide feet" are also ballet flats that we highly recommend, and also come in standard sizes. We believe our pick for that category is the superior shoe. We're in the process of testing more flats for this guide, including a pointy-toe option. Check back soon for our updated results.
The best flats overall
The hardest part of shopping for flats is finding a pair that combines comfort, style, and versatility. Enter: The Day Glove flats by Everlane.
This is it — the wear-with-anything shoe you've been waiting for all your life. Everlane's leather Day Glove flat is an almost (but not quite) ballet slipper guaranteed to go with just about all your clothing, even workwear. It's like the perfect "nothing" shoe. It's cute enough not to ruin your outfit but plain enough not to make a huge statement.
Everlane's product description boasts "a snug, glove-like fit" that "will give with time and mold to the shape of your foot." Not only will the flats last, they'll get more comfortable over time! The shoes also feature pull tabs, ventilation holes, and comfy insoles to eliminate some of the most common comfort-related issues flats pose.
The Day Glove flats come in 8 colors, including classics like black and white as well as some fun shades like Metallic and Embossed Snake, and they cost $118-$128. While not inexpensive, this is a great deal for shoes that will last you more than one season. Since the Day Glove flat first launched in 2018, it has become the number one bestseller at Everlane. The Insider Reviews team wrote up a full review after test-driving these flats, and they remain an all-time favorite from the brand.
"Everlane's Day Glove flats are much more comfortable than any other flats I've tried," writes Insider Reviews guides editor Malarie Gokey, "They actually fit my foot and move with me — not against me."
In addition to the original leather style, you might also consider the new Mesh version for summer heat or the ReKnit version, which has a textured, breathable knit upper and is made from recycled materials. — Erin Mayer
Pros: Molds to your foot shape over time cushioned insoles for support, ventilated, pull tab for easy slip-on
Cons: Reviewers noted that snug fit means you may want to size up.
Read our full Everlane Day Glove review here
The best travel-friendly flats
You don't have to resort to wearing sneakers when you travel thanks to the soft, pliable, and supportive Allbirds Tree Breezer.
Allbirds is probably better known for its Silicon Valley uniform-mandated sneakers like the Wool Runners and Tree Runners. But when you don't want to wear sneakers but still need the same comfort and support, you're better off with its flat silhouette, the Tree Breezer.
These are the flats you'll want to pack in your suitcase because a) they're very light and you can fold them up to maximize packing space, and b) you can walk around in them all day long.
Quell any fears you have of hobbling through a walking tour or calling it an early night because your feet have become one giant blister. The Breezers have bouncy outsoles made from sugarcane and soft, odor-minimizing merino wool-lined insoles. The knit collar wraps onto your foot securely, and the rest of the shoe's knit body is breathable and feels silky smooth against your skin.
Since the style is more sleek and formal than Allbirds' other shoes, they won't look out of place in a dressier environment. Instead of packing multiple pairs of shoes, you can just bring your all-in-one Tree Breezer flats. If you don't have a chance to try them first before you board your flight, don't worry — most of the Insider Reviews team didn't need to break them in. — Connie Chen
Pros: First Allbirds style available in half sizes, lightweight, foldable, machine-washable
Cons: Not as sleek as other pairs
Read our full Allbirds Tree Breezer review here
The best sustainable flats
On top of being versatile, lightweight, and machine-washable, the Rothy's Flat is sustainably made, and comes in a pointed-toe silhouette. It's the ideal shoe for the conscious consumer.
Shoe brand Rothy's was born out of the desire to repurpose wasteful, single-use plastics into something beautiful and practical. All of its knit shoes are made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles, which are hot washed, sterilized, then fused into a fiber that is knit into yarn.
The insoles contain recycled foam, while the rubber soles are carbon-free. The adhesives used are non-toxic and vegan. Even the packaging is made from post-consumer recycled materials and is biodegradable.
The lofty challenge of reducing your impact on the planet feels more manageable when you start with the things you use in your everyday life. Thanks to Rothy's, the endeavor won't compromise style or comfort.
Rothy's Flat is the choice for many modern working women because it boasts zero break-in time, a sleek look, and moisture-wicking breathability. You'll feel the difference immediately after slipping your feet in; the flats are very light and flexible, with a bit of give, and there aren't any uncomfortable seams or edges. They come with either round, square, or pointed-toe silhouettes.
Keeping them in top shape is as easy as throwing them in the washing machine. You can also buy extra insoles to help prolong their life. After wearing them often (and you will because of their versatility), you might wonder if they'll actually hold up. But we've been wearing and washing our pairs for more than a year and they look and feel as good as they did on day one.
And the brand makes flats that can even transition to chillier temperatures, too. A version made from a mix of Merino wool and Rothy's signature thread made from plastic water bottles is part of their new Merino collection. The result is a cute, comfortable shoe that also keeps your feet warm, not sweaty. — Connie Chen
Pros: Eco-friendly construction, machine-washable, don't stretch out over time, good variety of rotating colors and patterns
Cons: Fit might be narrow (particularly the pointed-toe style), so could need to size up
Read our full Rothy's Flat review here
The best flats for wide feet
Margaux's Demi Flat comes in three different shoe widths, so you never have to miss out on a cute flat style because of your foot shape.
Ballet flats look deceptively simple. You know if you're reading this guide that it's hard to get the fit just right — some pairs gape, while others rely on uncomfortable heel elastics to stay on your foot.
You won't encounter this problem with Margaux. It makes flats in a large range of sizes (from 3 through 14), including half sizes. Instead of suggesting you size up or down for wide and narrow feet, the company ensures fit precision by offering each size in Narrow, Medium, and Wide widths. There's also a made-to-order option for a truly custom fit.
The Demi Flat from Margaux is a simple and elegant ballet flat that benefits from this sizing design. Senior editor Sally Kaplan, who has tried both Medium and Wide pairs of the flat, realized, "With all the walking I do, my feet end up swelling a bit, and the wide pair is more comfortable for long days out."
They feature plush foam padding to give your foot some support, as well as a small heel so you're not walking completely flat on the ground. The bow at the top of the shoe is adjustable in case you want to give your foot even more breathing room.
You can get the flats in two luxuriously soft and flexible materials, Italian suede or Italian napa leather, which each come in a small selection of colors that show off the materials beautifully.
Though they're more expensive than average at $145 a pair, one online reviewer sums up the appeal of Margaux's flats perfectly: "I'd rather own a single solid pair of ballet flats than a whole bunch of fun, but poorly made ones." — Connie Chen
Pros: Available in half sizes and three widths, elegant design, high-quality construction
Cons: Smaller color and pattern variety than other flat brands, can take some break-in time at the heel
Read our full Margaux Demi Flat review here
The best luxury flats
The Stellato Anello flats by M. Gemi have the look of a loafer and a pointy flat combined, and they're made of a buttery suede.
Cheap finds are amazing, but sometimes you want to shell out a little more cash for something that will really last. Flat shoes make a great style investment because they are more classic than they are trendy, and you can wear them with so many different pieces.
M. Gemi's Stellato Anello flat is one such shoe that'll actually pay you back over time with its versatility. Handmade in Toscana, Italy, these flats have an elegant pointed toe design that can carry you to an important work meeting as easily as a casual weekend brunch. They come in five different neutral color and material options, from staples like black leather to a light beige suede.
Another luxe feature is that they're crafted using the sacchetto technique, "meaning it's formed from one piece of suede, sans the stiff insole." Like the Everlane Day Glove, the brand claims these shoes will mold to fit the unique contours of your feet the more you wear them. Most things in life don't bend to your will the same way, so I think that's a major selling point. —Ashley Phillips
Pros: Sophisticated and elegant design, high-quality, comfortable, made to last
Cons: Suede option not all-weather, minimal color options
What else we considered
We've been on the hunt for the perfect pointed-toe flats, but we haven't found our holy grail. We've also tested several other pairs of flats that haven't made it into this list — not because we don't like them, but simply because they haven't quite dethroned our absolute favorites.
- Everlane's 40-Hour Work Flat: We were hopeful that Everlane's new pointed-toe flat would fulfill all our hopes and dreams, but the pair fell short for us in the comfort department. Some folks on our team had a positive experience with this pair, but enough of us didn't that we were hesitant to name it the best pointed-toe flat. You can read our full review of them here.
- Everlane's ReKnit Day Glove Flat: We love these flats, but we opted to list the leather version as our best overall pick because the knit version gets dirty more easily, and it stretches out faster. You can read our full review of them here.
- Rothy's Mary Jane Flats and The Point Flats: We're big fans of Rothy's, as evidenced by their inclusion in this guide as the best sustainable pair you can buy. Those of us who tested the rounded-toe flats you saw above were big fans, but many of us who tested the pointed styles like the Mary Janes and the classic pointy pair found them to be a bit too squished in the toe area. You can read our full review of the Mary Jane flats here and our review of the pointed-toe pairs (along with a few other styles) here.
What else we're testing
- Oliver Cabell: The brand's Dream Flats ($114.80) are said to both look and feel extremely similar to Everlane's Day Glove Flats. We'll let you know how they stack up as soon as we receive them.
- Everlane: The Day Glove is already our top overall pick for flats, and Everlane just released a breezy, cooling Mesh Day Glove version for the summer. We're looking forward to comparing them.
Check out our other women's style guides
The best leggings for work
The best places to buy women's sweaters
The best winter coats for women
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
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