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women's ballet flats with arch support for summer in London?

I'm looking for ballet flats or similar shoes that I can wear walking and standing most of the day in London, particularly the day I take my daughter to Buckingham Palace and then afternoon tea at the Kensington Palace Pavilion and Tea Room--I think I need to look presentable there and my sneakers will be out of place. I'm planning to wear capri pants and a dressier top. Any suggestions for attractive yet supportive shoes? Thanks much.

Posted by
25 posts

Hi. I too need shoes with arch support. Fortunately, it's getting easier to find stylish ones with true arch support. I'd recommend searching online for styles by Dansko or Vionic. They both have good arch support. Have a wonderful time in London. Touring with your daughter will be a special experience.

Posted by
25720 posts

At Kensington Palace you will see a lot of people - really a lot of people -- who only wear what is comfortable for the day sightseeing. Most people won't make any effort to dress up. You may be the dressiest one. That's fine, and I know I'm a man and my vote doesn't count, but I suggest dressing for comfort.

You'll want comfy feet for all the walking at Buckingham Palace too.

You'll see plenty of people in sneakers.

Posted by
3789 posts

Ballet flats aren't built for foot support, but that being said heavy or casual lace ups aren't your only alternate option.
I have worn orthotics for over 10 years, and am a heavy woman, so that really impacts my shoe options, but Danskos work well for me, even without orthotics.

Posted by
73 posts

I have had good luck with the American brand called Born. They have a nice cushiony footbed and some cute styles in ballet silhouettes. Search online for this brand. I took a pair to Europe for going out to dinners. I also have found nice support in tennis shoes by Ecco and I notice they also make flat shoe styles.

Posted by
154 posts

I took my 31 year old daughter on a mother/daughter shoe shopping outing a few months ago and when I saw her in these I said "What are those? I want those shoes, too!"

It was the first time I'd tried the ECCO line of shoes. I bought both the black and the rose quartz - they were comfortable right out of the box and that is pretty rare for me as it usually takes me several weeks to break in new shoes. And now that I see them on sale at Zappos I may have to order a replacement pair or two for down the road. I don't understand the reviewers who didn't like the "pointy, elf-like toe box" - it's not that pointy but rather sporty and sharp and I couldn't look like an elf if I tried.

After experiencing how comfortable these were I was looking at the ECCO site and came upon these:

These are absolutely adorable and I was really disappointed that the toe box wasn't wide enough for me, so sadly sent them back. Even if these two styles don't suit you, take a look around the ECCO site - they do have a few styles of ballet flats but my experience with ballet flats in Europe was not good - just not enough support for me. Everyone's feet are different and shoes are the most important thing you pack for your trip. It's possible to find a shoe with both comfort and a bit of class.

Best to you and I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time!

Posted by
44 posts

I love the Josef Seibel Fenja ballet flat. Very soft leather, nice non-slip sole. I usually like a lot of arch support, but find that I can wear and walk comfortably in these all day without an added insole. They do run a little bit small, so I would size up. I have the camel color (wearing them today!) and just ordered another pair, in black, for our upcoming trip to Sicily and Rome.

Posted by
1941 posts

I love my Skechers ballet flats for travel:

They have a nice arch support and come in a variety of colors. Just don't get a pair that has a small design feature that sticks up in the back at the ankle. (The ones with little tabs might be ok.) I made the mistake of buying a pair of those and the little tab rubbed my ankle uncomfortably. I noticed that model was changed the following season to remove the tab. I don't see many that have what I'm referring to.

I've walked miles in this one:

Posted by
44 posts

Update: I received my black Fenja ballet flats and they are slightly different from the camel ones -- the front part of the upper isn't cut as high, so it doesn't completely cover the bunion area :~(. Had to return, and back to the search for a lightweight, supportive black casual flat.

Posted by
2 posts

Walking shoes that look nice and are extremely comfortable even with my bunion!
My adult daughters had a say in what I wore on my feet in Italy - Rome, Florence and Venice. After test many slip on shoes before our 15 day trip to Italy, I returned many shoes and broke down and bought Vince Slip ons ( in style) I do not like sneakers
for daily use. They are worth ever penny and I wear them at home now
with jeans and look appropriate for a women in her 60's

The other ballet shoe I found - inexpensive and supportive and good looking for day or night in Italy ( depending on what I wore) were Hush Puppy nude ballet shoes
I walked all day in those

I also brought lightweight white Keds - they are cute and in style - comfortable walking and casual
and I brought regular sneakers because we did a bike trip from florence into Tuscany one day and hiked in Cinque Terre - a day trip from Florence

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks all for the many suggestions. I've purchased a couple of slip-on shoes from Keds (the double decker model) and have been enjoying them at work. But I'm also interested in the other suggestions too for other reasons, so thanks again!

Posted by
10 posts

Arch support isn't a concern of mine; I pretty much wear minimalist shoes all the time BUT when traveling in Europe, I have been taking my shoes that have a bit of padding on the sole because those cobblestones and cement sidewalks was unforgiving.

Posted by
44 posts

Found a nice pair of Ecco black leather slip-on sneakers at Nordstrom right before the Anniversary sale ended. They also have suede accents, so not really a warm weather shoe, but they should be great in the fall. Very cute, and good arch support. I have been wearing a similar style by Dr. Scholl's and know that I'll get a lot of use from them. The Scholl's are cute, too, and can fit a slim orthotic insole but they're man-made materials and very hot.

Posted by
224 posts

I have several pairs of Skechers Go Walk Lite and to me they feel like I’m wearing sneakers. I like the Dreamer style the most. They are so comfortable that I’ve completely stopped wearing my other flats.

Posted by
3523 posts

I'm a fan of Abeos. There are many styles, including both sneakers and ballet flats. If you have a Walking Company store near you, you can try them on and get your feet tested for the often-included orthotic insoles.

This is a link to the online store's selection of ballet flats. They are not all Abeos. I own and love the 3590s, but I only wear supportive, lace-up, over the ankle shoes/boots for "walking and standing most of the day." The Abeos are very supportive, but they are my 2nd pair of shoes.

Do not underestimate how tired your feet (and ankles and knees and back) will be from all the walking and standing.

Posted by
5 posts

I have really bad plantar fasciitis and oddly Rothy's are awesome! I'd definitely recommend spending most days in sneakers but I've started taking my Rothy's flats (not points, those are awful) along as a "dressy" pair of shoes that I can spend the day in. They're cute, super lightweight, surprisingly supportive, and double as shoes for the hotel room. I also loved Tieks, which are extremely supportive and have more padding but they're really easy to damage (scraping the leather on an uneven sidewalk in $195 shoes nearly killed me).

Vionic and ABEO both have tons of support and are wonderful for travel.

Posted by
915 posts

Bernie Mev. I wear the Comfi, but Zappos does carry a ballet flat type called Catwalk. Shoes are made of fabric with nice durable soles. You can machine wash. I have worn these in London and have observed local ladies wearing that brand, too. Actually, I observed this at Kensington Palace.

Posted by
2285 posts

I agree with lizthemadhatter. On our September trip to Bastogne and France, I brought a pair of the Ecco "Gillian" shoes and they were absolutely perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I now have them in both colors.

Posted by
4886 posts

It is important to understand that as people age, many of us develop foot disorders like plantar fasciitis. These are recognized medical conditions that can be diagnosed by our regular Internal Medicine physicians. Of course there are specialists, and marketers (I mean, like foot problem-specific shoe stores) who can also provide both ethical and also exploitative advice.

If simple remedies don't work, you need to find a professional you trust - in the usual way we all get referrals.

I mention this because slip-on shoes are barely suitable for arch support. And ballerina flats are totally unsuitable for serious treatment of these conditions. Anyone who needs an orthotic insert that costs more than $40 needs to consider a lace-up (or velcro-up) shoe that holds the foot against the arch support.

I don't mean to make specific remedy suggestions for anyone. I just don't want you to think that all foot problems can be solved "on the Internet."

Posted by
7469 posts

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Posted by
7919 posts

Totally agree with Nigel... no one will care what you wear. That said, i also agree with above posts recommending Dansko. Amazing support. I have their clogs, but also their very cute dressy heels - wore them to SF Ballet this past Saturday - most comfortable heels e.v.e.r.

Tennis shoes are appropriate at any age, including 60s-100s, in response to a post above. There are 100s of stylish, nice tennis shoes.

In Paris this year, capri pants, dresses, skirts worn with cute tennis shoes with no-show socks were all the rage. A practical and very cute look.

Posted by
51 posts

Dansko Kirsten Ballet Flats have great arch support and heel cushion. The are sleek but very comfortable!
Perhaps the best part is that the insole is lined in leather so you don't need to wear socks and your feet won't get sweaty or smelly.