Let me tell you a little bit about my feet. First of all, I have bunions. Big ones. If I wear the wrong shoes, my bunions swell and throb, making walking difficult. I also have flattened arches that ache after a long day, no matter what shoes I wear. And if those two maladies weren't enough, I also have narrow heels, which means many shoes slip off in the back when I attempt to walk.
All that's to say, finding shoes that accommodate all my problems is a never-ending struggle. In the months before my wedding a few years back, I ordered more than a dozen pairs of heels from Zappos (thank goodness for free next-day shipping and returns). I settled on a pair of hideous wedge thong sandals because 1) I could actually walk in them without tripping over myself and 2) they were the only ones tall enough to prevent my dress from scraping the ground. The straps dug into my feet, leaving me with painful blisters, and I couldn't feel my right middle toe for the first three days of my honeymoon. I swore I would never wear heels ever again.
I actually stuck to my self-imposed heel ban and wore flats for a full three years before the leg-lengthening and style-enhancing benefits of heels began tempting me again. And as luck would have it, I struck gold on my first try with the Clarks Florine Sashae ($110 at zappos.com, nordstrom.com, and clarksusa.com). So far, I have worn them to two weddings, and they stayed on my feet the entire day both times.
These shoes feature a few design elements that make them ideal for someone who normally hates wearing heels. First of all, at 2.75 inches, they're just the right height: tall enough to be flattering, but not so tall that an inexperienced heel-wearer like me won't be able to walk without teetering along precariously. Speaking of the heel, its stacked design—combined with crisscrossing straps across the front of the foot—kept me feeling stable, even when I was jumping up and down to "Can't Stop the Feeling" during the reception (gotta love JT, right?). What's more, these heels are made from a soft leather upper that never rubs or digs into the feet; it almost seems to disappear against the skin.
Here's a photo of me wearing them:
These heels are comfortable and functional, and I hope you'll agree with me based on my photo above that they are seriously chic as well. Both times I wore them, I received lots of compliments about my overall look. I also made sure to ask a few of my friends specifically about my shoes: Could they tell they were from a comfort-oriented brand like Clarks? Nobody could tell—but they did want to know where they could buy a pair, too, so that at the next wedding they wouldn't need to switch to flats halfway through the reception.