Flats! Fast!

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

My dearest Manolo,

It seems that my daily run combined with “excessive” (according to my doctor) wearing of stilettos have given me both a heel spur and plantar fascitis, which makes walking feel very much like there is a very sharp dagger stabbing me in the heel. I am prohibited from wearing anything but flats for (gasp!) at least a YEAR. To make matters worse, I have to wear an orthotic heel cup, so anything that doesn’t cover the Cold War Era Soviet utilitarianistic hideousness of said cup, is out of the question. I should be somewhat excited to be shopping for an entirely new shoe wardrobe, but I feel so limited.

I need flats for every occasion/ensemble (ie. cocktails, barbeque, lunch with the girls, running errands, semi-formal occasions, night on the town, etc.) and I need them fast. Style-wise, I’m very much into classics with a twist of attitude. I am currently wearing tennis shoes with everything, and it makes me feel very housefrau. Please, please, please help. Please. Please. (This is me, with the begging.)

Your faithful,


Ayyyyyyy! To be limited by the painful circumstances to only wearing the flats would truly be the fashion emergency. Happily, the Manolo stands ready to make the few suggestions to ease his friend’s trauma. You can always do the TOMS free shipping, as well as these trendy flats.

Albany by Pedro Garcia    Manolo Likes!  Click!
Here is the attitudinous satin flat from the Pedro Garcia in the color called “pewter”, which would be good for the wearing during the evening, either dressed up or dressed down.

7045 by Sigerson Morrison    Manolo Likes!  Click!
Three words: Red Patent Leather!


Prada Flair City Drivin Mocassin  Manolo Likes!  Click!
For the more casual times the Manolo likes this driving moccasin from the Prada.

And, finally, for the barbeques, the Manolo gives you the perfect shoe…

For-Real by Beverly Feldman   Manolo Likes!  Click!
These from the inimitable Beverly Feldman are so cutesy with the raffia and the gingham fabric and the cloth berries. Are they not exactly what you would wish to wear with the the capri pants while enjoying the afternoon out in the backyard?


20 Responses to “Flats! Fast!”

  1. Faye Says:

    try things like miu miu, louboutin, tory burch, prada, ferragamo, some blahnik, and for something ceaper, KENZIE! So CUTE! Those are the most comfortable brands that I own. I love love love miu miu flats. I have some that are years old and I still love wearing them! Also Roger Viver, if you can ever find his flats!, have some really chic ones with the pilgrim buckle on them. Chanel does really cute flats, but most with the hideous, but tastelfully masked logo. OH! , always always always, try to find REPETTO! they were the first to make the ballet flat! and are so comfortable! but are REALLY hard to find!

    After finding these shoes, you won’t want to go back to heels! Wait, I take that back. I love my heels way too much! I try to limit heel wearing to at most 4 times a week, and those are high heels. I usually wear a 2.5 pointed toe slingback in any brand I can find for work, and also pumps are hot, but flats save my feet from 5 inch louboutins and stiletto heels. I found out after having my surgery for tripping on a tall flight of stairs and breaking my ankle and damaging my right knee in some 4.5″ jimmy choos, that I had to start worrying about heel height! I stuck to flats for about 1.5 years. Thank god flats had just become hot!

    Oh, yes, the Repetto ballet flats! If you live in CA, there is a shoe boutique there that keeps prices fairly fair, called Satine.

    8117 w.3rd street
    Los angeles,ca 90048
    ask for Jeannie, she will be more than happy to help you.


    Bird 8428 Melrose place suite B
    West Hollywood

    If you aren’t in CA, go to dandelionfeet.com! They are a little more expensive, but are super cute!

    and those are only flat pumps, skimmers, or ballet flats. The sandals are also amazing, but I don’t think they are as glamorous.

    And if you can’t find them, you can always check zappos,com or couture.zappos.com they have a broad collection of sizes and widths. I like really expensive shoes, but if you want something more affordable, check Nine West or your local mall for some cute imitations. They also look very cute!

    and one last thing, flat boots are really cute in the fall on top of cigarette/skinny jeans. They look very chic if you can pull it off! My prada boots are just calling out for me to wear them, even in the heat we have right now! I could almost go to say that the flat boots look (which usually only have at most a 1″ heel) better, if worn correctly (up to the knee), than tall spindly heels which has been done so many times before!

  2. Faye Says:

    oh, and have you considered a kitten heel for those fancy days? a 1.5″ heel at the most is really comfortable. And you can usually find them in wide sized to accomodate the heel cup. one thing I know is that sometimes the heel cup can make you go up half a size to be comfy.

  3. Deborah Says:

    Thank you. I am dying, I mean DYING, to get that last pair with the cherries. Thanks for those wonderful suggestions. One can be of the certain age, and still be super fantastic.

  4. Jenzilla Says:

    If you have plantar fasciitis, you must stretch religiously for it to get better. (Your doctor should have told you what kind of stretches to do.)

  5. Genevieve Says:

    Oooh! Manolo, I just bought a pair of red patent leather flats on Thursday.

    Danielle, get those. They’ll make you smile all day. At least, this poor working girl smiles when she wears her red patent leather flats.

  6. Style Spy Says:

    Oh, you have all my sympathies. I have plantar fasciitis, too, although my doctor has instructed me to wear heels as much as possible, in order to take the pressure off my heel. He also put me on a prescription for anti-inflammatories that seems to be helping, and little cortisone injections in my heel that work amazing wonders. Also, try icing your heel at the end of the day — it helps me a lot. Even with all this, I think there’s a surgical procedure in my future, because it never seems to go completely away, and I need to start running again or I’ll have to buy all new clothes due to weight gain. Good luck!

  7. Danielle Says:

    *gasp* I am in love. Thank you thank you thank you! I would like to thank Faye, for dandelionfeet.com and her beautiful suggestions (alas, I am an East Coast girl.)

    The red patent flats and the cherry flats are on my list of must-haves. I still cannot bear a cocktail dress without heels; it just feels *wrong*. I have been wearing heels since I could sneak them out of the house.

    Spy: I will have to seek a second opinion regarding the wearing of the heels all of the time, as I was told that this, and the repetitive pounding of the pavement are the reasons for the heel spur. It has literally made me not want to leave my house.

    My darling Manolo… you are my knight in shining armor.

  8. Trackie Says:

    Is the Danielle still running? If she has not already done so, she may wish to change her stride so that she lands on mid-foot. It’s possible to do this so that the heel barely touches, if at all. Fortunately, this is how top marathoners run, so she will also be faster. Here’s how:

    – increase the cadence to 180 steps/min. This shortens the stride so that the foot lands under the body.
    – be sure the forward knee is bent (to bring the foot further under the body,) and the forward foot relaxed so the foot angles down slightly.
    – run with the shoulders back, chest forward and head up so as to be looking up and away.
    – the hips should be up and forward.
    – the body should have a slight forward lean.
    – the arms and hands should be carried fairly high. The elbow joint should never be open more than 90 degrees.

    Photos of top marathoners on the web clearly show the angle of the torso and the angle and position of the forward knee as the forward foot is still above the pavement.

    This will also much tone the calves, so the Danielle will look the extra-fabulous in her wonderful shoes!

    PS. this also works for walking. Quicker strides are shorter, and minimize the heel striking first by bringing the foot under the body.

  9. Jezebella Says:

    I, too, have had plantar fasciitis, and it has really done a number on my shoe options. Dansko clogs are, while not cute flats, perfect for wearing with jeans and such, and are the only shoes I can wear all day without any pain at all. Truly FLAT flats provide no support, so inserts are a must-have with those. I can forego the insert with the Danskos.

    Also, if you can, switch to running on an elliptical machine. My doc forbid any impact exercise, even walking, but the elliptical will get you the same workout without the pounding of the feet. Lard, but those cortisone injections hurt like a bastard, and had the unfortunate side effect of tripling my appetite for a day or two after each one. Ugh.

  10. Faye Says:

    my goodness!! I went out shopping today, and found the cutest flats! They are marc jacobs’ mouse flats that he is so famous for! There are really obvious variations, and others that are just cute!


    There should be a link, because I have had the toughest time trying to find a picture.


    Here are some white slingbacks, and net-a-porter has some more that aren’t so cutesy and are more work appropriate, though I think I should be able to get away with those.

  11. Elizabeth Says:

    Have you thought about taking up swimming or biking? A running injury made me turn to the pool. I’d go swimming twice a week and running the other days to reduce the impact on my body. Besides swimming laps, you can see if they’ll close the diving area for you. An hour’s “run”, using the running movement to tread water (no floaties), kept me in shape and able to race.

  12. crabby Says:

    Re: plantar fasciitis: I find it helps immensely to put either a golf ball or tennis ball (depending on whichever is most comfortable that day) on the floor while at a desk, and use it to deeply massage the fascia by pressing a bare foot on it while rolling it around.

  13. Steph Says:

    Perfectly flat shoes cause me more problems with my feet than things with a bit of a cushioned heel. Ballet flats are just painful my heels–everyone I’ve ever tried.

  14. Ann S Says:

    I have the red patent pair and I HIGHLY recommend them for feeling incredibly sassy, flats or not.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve been trying to find comfy and cute flats for weeks, and nothing fits well! I have yet to find a cute flat with any kind of arch support. They’re uncomfortable as hell. So while all of the above shoes are simply adorable, I doubt that the majority of them would actually be comfortable, as they seem not to have any support. An expensive shoe, especially a low heeled one, should be comfortable. Otherwise, we might as well just buy from Payless.

  16. Let's be realistic Says:

    Sorry to disillusion my beloved Manolo–but the shoes he recommended, although sweet and pretty, show no sign of the support of the arch and metatarsal that are so vital to us victims of plantar fasciaitis.
    When one is in severe pain, one cannot buy a shoe merely based on the cuteness factor.
    The following revelation may make the Manolo close his eyes and cry out in anguish–but Earth shoes (they really stretch out your heel, take pressure off the arch, and have offered me great relief) and Finn Comfort shoes have been sent straight from heaven to help me be able to walk without limping.
    The shoes that are the pleasure to the eye are all too often a pain to the feet, and soon create a patient for the podiatrist.

  17. Rachel Says:

    If you still want to run, or even if you aren’t running and just want a sneaker to go to the grocery in, you should really go to a running specialty store that specializes in telling you which kind of shoe you need for your foot. Runnersworld.com also does a good job in explaining the differences in feet and the different (running) shoes which will fit your foot the best.
    Have the right shoe can provide help not just to your p.f. but also to your knees, back, and alignment.

  18. Kim Says:

    I, too, must wear orthotic inserts in flat shoes. The problem with dressy flats is that the inserts tend to flop around, making it difficult to walk. I’ve thought about using carpet tape, but have never been committed enough to try. I’m a college student, so I can get away with wearing Chucks most days, but I would love to wear SUPER fabulous shoes EVERY day. Sigh. Orthotics have (almost) taken the joy out of shoe shopping for me.

  19. Kim Says:

    I forgot–with the orthotics, I usually need to go up half a size. Just an online shopping tip :)

  20. Ninjarina Says:

    I have flexible flat feet so I have orthodics in all my shoes. The trick is to rip out the lining and/or original orthodic and put in a new one. I suggest looking for a “deep” shoe b/c orthodics have more padding in the heel than by the toes – a shoe that is not deep enough will result in yucky blisters from the back of the foot popping out.

    Also, when you finally get to wear heels again, try these:


    It shifts the weight onto the heel instead of the forefoot, much like a woman’s ballroom shoe.

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