Professional Flats – An Analysis


I discussed my favorite professional pumps in a previous post. While heels are my default, I greatly appreciate a good pair of flats.

I learned quite quickly, however, that the absence of a heel does not necessarily guarantee comfort. Thus, I discuss the merits of three solid options for professional flats below.

Tory Burch

The Tory Burch York Ballet Flat ($195) is my number one pick for comfort. It is extremely flexible and thus moves with the foot. It does not rub my foot at any one place. And, while flexible, the shoe still provides sufficient protection from the ground.

This flat is cute enough. However, it is nowhere near as attractive as the Prada shoes discussed below. That said, given the comfort and the price, this is my recommendation for a go-to work flat.

Unfortunately, my latest searches show this shoe is sold out. Should you find a similar Tory Burch flat, I’d give it a go. I plan to do the same and write a follow-up post.

Kate Spade

Kate Spade’s Wooster Flat[i] ($198) is simple and sufficient. This shoe falls in between the Tory Burch and Prada flats as far as comfort, and perhaps with looks as well. These do not bend with my foot as the Tory Burch flats do, but neither do they cut my ankles open. While this shoe is not my favorite, I recommend it as part of a collection. The dainty bow on the toe makes for a pleasant appearance.


The Prada Patent Buckle Ballerina Flat ($690)[ii] is gorgeous. This is the best looking flat I have found. It looks like a nice shoe, period. The buckle on the toe is an elegant addition—but really, it is the overall quality of the shoe that lends to its exceptional appearance.

A problem arises, however, when I need to walk any reasonable distance. For example, when going to court in Downtown LA, I am able to walk from the parking structure across the street to the courthouse no problem. When I take a mile stroll down to the Financial District, on the other hand, these flats tear up the back of my feet. (I note that they are the correct size and do fit properly.) This issue stems from the extreme rigidity of this shoe. This structure prevents the shoe from bending and thus moving with my feet when I walk, instead rubbing the backs of my ankles with each step.

I still think this is a great shoe if you are not going to be walking up and down hills for a mile. Around the office or the courthouse, I am completely content in this shoe. I will thus continue to wear this pair of flats in appropriate circumstances as it is aesthetically, by far, the best.