Manolo the Columnist: Varina from Salvatore Ferragamo

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here is the recent column for the Express of the Washington Post.


Dear Manolo,

As I have matured (I am now in my 40s) I have developed foot problems that hinder me from wearing cute shoes (& I don’t mean just heels, but cute flats as well). I am hoping you can recommend/help me find a pair of cute ballet flats (in a neutral summery color; perhaps something metallic) that can accommodate wide feet that need a lot of support (think bunions & arthritis) & will go well with skirts & tapered pants.

DC Walker

Manolo says, it is the same sad story, as one grows into the age of maturity, the infirmities begin to pile up, leaving us less and less capable of doing the things that we once did so effortlessly. When you were 23, you thought nothing of stuffing your feets into the too-small, hot-pink, stiletto-heeled pumps and spending hours of getting down to the boogie sounds at the disco.

Yes, the next day there were blisters aplenty, but they were the small and temporary price to you gladly paid, so happy to be young and out on the town.

But now that you are 43, your nights on the town are considerably less rambunctious. Certainly, you would be more than willing to cut the rug, if the rug was not so insistent on cutting you back, and so, instead of the disco round, it is the Ground Round and the latest Adam Sandler movie with your date Larry, the actuary who lives with his mother in the two-bedroom brick duplex in Bethesda, and whom you met on the internet forum for cat fanciers.

Here is the Varina ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo, in the dusky gold, and available in the wider widths. This is the classic, well-ade shoe with the good structure and excellent support.
Varina Ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo

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4 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist: Varina from Salvatore Ferragamo”




  1. Nancy Says:

    Cute shoes!

    What has saved my life shoe-wise and might help DC Walker is this arch support which is thin enough to fit in any shoe and is invisible in sandals.

    http://www.goodfeet.com/products/arch-supports/the-flex/




  2. Ari Says:

    Ah, the Manolo writes true. Thankfully, those pretty shoes are adequate compensation for the inconveniences that accompany age.




  3. klee Says:

    Another alternative is the Arche Laius. It comes in a bronze color, has a rubber sole and enough space for orthotics/arch support inserts. Goes well with skirts or pants. Buttery soft leather and rubber soles make it super comfy. While not cheap (around $250, I think?) they will last forever, look identical to Lanvin’s trendy ballet flats for 1/3 the money and your feet will thank you. I walked all over Europe with the pair I had.




  4. Peg Says:

    I own this shoe in two colors. When I was young I made fun of the “Ferragamo Ladies” in my hometown so the humor in ending up with multiple pair is not lost on me. With spinal disk issues I can no longer wear any type of heel and the Varina is the best and most supportive dressy flat that I have come upon. Zappos Couture seems to always have them – and also carry them in wide sizes.

    The Arche Laius is also a great shoe. It is a soft leather as compared to the more structured Varina.













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