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Seeking dress shoe for Paris & area

My “go-to” shoe for traveling and Pacific NW summers is the Keen Rose sandal. They are always comfortable for me. I will be packing dresses as half of my four outfits when I’m traveling in France next year, so I would like to supplement my Keens with a nice-looking dress shoe. I’m hoping you can narrow down my choices because I’ve yet to find anything stylish that comes close to the comfort and no blistering issues of wearing my Keen Rose sandal, even with a dress.

Posted by
375 posts

I feel your pain!! Have you tried Naot or Corkease? Naots are more flexible than Corkease but the latter tend to be more “on trend”. I’ve done a considerable amount of walking in both, including on loose soil hills.

Posted by
1084 posts

Please clarify how much walking you think you will do in these shoes. I purchased a lovely pair of very light weight black suede flats with a scalloped edge around my foot for my trip last summer. They packed easily and looked great in the evening, but I couldn't have worn them all day. I had never heard of the brand before, but I got them at DSW. I plan on taking to Paris next year.

Posted by
3317 posts

Hi Laurie, I will be walking at least 6-7 miles a day in these shoes.

Posted by
1834 posts

Are you a ballet flats kind of person? I swear by them. But, just depends on your personal style. JCrew, Jill, Talbots and many carry good ballet flats, but oddly Target's seem to work best (as far as comfort) goes for me. Regardless of which brand fits you best, a proper fitting back (heal side of the shoe) and a good rounded (roomy) toe area seems to be what helps most for walking comfort -- at least for me.

Posted by
760 posts

So maybe continue to wear the Keen's when walking 6-7 miles even in a dress, but give yourself a treat and purchase a pair of Arche while in Paris. Depending on when you travel, you may hit the twice-yearly sales. Good comfy shoes that last forever. I have some of the ballet types, but also some of the little summer sandals - I know I can walk in these as I have had three or more pair (yes, you can find them in the states at discounted prices, sometimes). Winter booties are naturally waterproof due to some construction characteristic. Nice leather - they mold to your feet. Good souvenir.

Posted by
1084 posts

I love Debbie's suggestion. But if you want to buy here and break in (always advisable) I would recommend Skechers. They have a couple of styles that are flats, but are comfie for walking as well as nice enough to wear with a dress. They'd be more supportive than the ones I have.

Posted by
760 posts

Good point, Laurie Beth. I wear Arche and don't usually need to break them in regardless, but for sure the little sandally ones I linked to do not need any breaking in. They are very soft suede/leather. The ballet flats - yeah, you might need a bandaid at the heel.

Posted by
3317 posts

I wish I could wear ballet flats for that distance because they don’t take much room in my suitcase. But, I have high arches, so they haven’t given me enough support to wear longer than for dinner close to our hotels.

Posted by
1084 posts

I have the same problem with walking in flats which is why I asked if you intended to walk alot in them. The Skechers I suggested are much more supportive of my feet than the little black suede flats I take.

Posted by
5161 posts

I own 8 different pairs of Keens.

Why don’t the KEEN Mary Janes work for you?

Posted by
2275 posts

How dressy? There are walking sandals that look better with dresses than the Rose, but they aren't "dressy". Anything in brown or black leather (or fake leather) will look dressier than the fabric of normal keens. I'd go with a leather, comfy sandal and also bring a pair of ballet flats for going out to dinner etc. I've walked 8+ miles in ballet flats before, but it's not the best option.

Something like this looks fine with casual dresses and is comfortable.
https://www.zappos.com/p/naot-etera-latte-brown-leather/product/8253272/color/596278?zlfid=191&ref=pd_detail_2

I actually have a pair of keens in leather that worked perfectly for this, but they are sold out on the main websites. Maybe they will release more?
https://www.keenfootwear.com/en-ca/p/W-ANA-CORTEZ-T-STRAP.html

Posted by
81 posts

I'd be wary of ballet flats, my friend wore them when we were there and she ended up with a stress fracture. The Dr told her it was from all the walking, and the hard floors of museums, the shoes didn't have enough cushioning.

Depending on the dress, could you wear Adidas Stan Smiths? I've seen that all over Europe...has to be the right dress though.

Posted by
945 posts

A friend of mine was wearing ballet flats in Paris a month ago when she slipped on the cobblestones and broke her arm.
So whatever shoes you choose, make sure that they have a textured sole that won't slip.
You might some cute leather sandals that are a little dressier than your Keens. I have a pair of Finn Comfort sandals with a removable footbed in case you want to insert a higher arch.

Posted by
187 posts

I have fallen in love with Vionic flats. Good arch suppprt and rubber sole. I got mine at Zappos

Since you are in Mill Creek I’d recommend going to Market Street shies in Redmond’s Town Center

I was in the Ballard store yesterday looking for a replacement for my Keen Rose sandals. I tried to buy a replacement pair and the fit is
very different.

They had a bunch of great dressier shoes that you’d be able to walk in Naot and some cork soles shoes that were very comfy

Posted by
3317 posts

Gretchen, thanks for the info for the store in Redmond to browse!

Sad to hear your comment about the Keen Rose sandals. What changed? Luckily, I still have a pair in great shape from my trip last year that I could wear to France this year, along with finding something nicer for evening meals & dresses.

Posted by
70 posts

Are you looking for sandals or closed toed shoes? I find Taos brand very comfortable for my high arches, they are a bit spendy, but so is going to Europe 😉

Posted by
3317 posts

For the dress shoe, I would like it to be closed toe. I have high arches, too. I also pack light, so something that doesn’t take a lot of room would be preferable.

If there’s a better option than the Keen Rose sandal that also looks decent with a dress, I would just take the one pair of shoes. But, I love that the Keen sandal has the protective toe cover, also. It’s saved me from a broken toe on a couple of trips.

Posted by
1 posts

I LOVE these shoes! I've been wearing Jambu shoes for years now - started wearing them when I needed a nice looking shoe to wear in our restaurant. Planning an upcoming 17 day trip to several European locations and I wanted a dress shoe that would look good with pants or a dress/skirt. These are so beautiful and so comfortable! The stretchy strap is a little loose on my skinny ankles, but for about $10 I had my local cobbler tighten them up no problem. I will follow up with a true travel review after our trip in March.

https://www.zappos.com/p/jambu-rumson-too-black/product/9091279/color/3

Posted by
1084 posts

I also have a pair of Jambus and I love them. Mine are grey with cutouts and and I got slightly larger so I could put arch supports in and they not only look nice, but are very comfortable. My daughter made me get them because she absolutely refused to let me wear tennies to dinner in Paris. Mum, OMG, what will they think!!!!

Posted by
760 posts

I recommended Arche a few months ago, but the price point is really high - still, look for sales if you are in Paris in January or July.

My other go-to at a much better price is Bernie Mev Comfi. Super comfortable, great soles, throw them in the washer. Many colors at Zappos.

https://www.zappos.com/p/bernie-mev-comfi-black/product/8436656/color/3

Many other Bernie Mev styles at Zappos, but these are what work for me, a little cute and dressy with the open toe, but a great rugged sole for walking, plus, no blisters since they stretch.

Posted by
3317 posts

Thanks everyone for your ideas!

I’ll check out the store in Redmond and am thinking I might end up with something in the Rockport Cobb Hill line. Possibly the Aubrey or Angelina. Then I would still take my Keen Rose sandals for the main shoe on the 3-week trip.

Posted by
23 posts

If you want something that looks like a ballet flat but has a lot of support, I recommend Dansko's Kirsten

They are not cheap, but they are really well made and supportive shoes.

Posted by
3317 posts

Thank you, Rebekah! I saw your other post this morning so was checking out the shoes you mentioned. When I checked out reviews on this one, there was more than one review with people saying they had heel slippage. Have you experienced that problem? I will try this one at a store to see how it fits.

Posted by
23 posts

My pleasure Jean! I really love these shoes, hence all the posts about them haha
I personally haven't had any problem with heel slippage. I suppose every foot is made differently and mine are wide at the heel as well as the toe box. I wore my pair straight out of the box and never had to break them in or suffer through blisters. If you get them, I hope you have a similar experience!
Musings on slip-on shoes: I guess they will never feel as secure as shoes that lace up or have an ankle strap... I live in NYC and walk a lot and fairly quickly but so far I haven't had a Cinderella moment with a lost shoe :)

Posted by
23 posts

p.s. I hope you have a wonderful time in France!!! Eat something tasty for me :)

Posted by
194 posts

Take a look at Naot Arataki. They're super comfy, pretty, and I can walk miles in them. My go-to walking shoe for warm weather in Europe is Keen Whisper, but the Arataki is a good 2nd shoe, for something prettier.

Posted by
3317 posts

Thank you, Shelly! I will check out that style. I’m planning to take two dresses, one capri and one pair of long pants to France, so those would be a great option.