I’ve confessed my addiction to lip gloss, now let me admit to another addiction. I can’t have enough shoes. And I KNOW I’m not alone in my obsession. The only difference between us might be the kind of shoes that grab us.

I have flat-as-a-board feet, and I wear a size ten. I’m not looking for torture devices, so I always wear flats. But like I said earlier, just because I wear flats doesn’t mean I’m any less styling than anyone else!

My penchant for flats has taught me that not all shoes are built alike. Just because a shoe should be reasonably high quality doesn’t mean it will be.

For example, these Chinese embroidered dragon mary janes that I got from the China Direct Store for $6.95. I’ve had them for three years and they’re still super comfy and cute. Then there’s the stylish Isaac Mizrahi pointy toe flats I got at Target for $30 (they’re no longer on the site and I can’t find a link, alas), that pinched my feet, and actually, audibly ripped when I was walking the streets of downtown Miami recently. I heard the stitching near my toes give way, and I felt like She-Ra. And not in a good, empowered sort of way.

This being my first real shoe post, I had to consult with my number one style blogger — Sylvia of I Like Her Style! She advised me to check out Payless, Forever 21, shopbop.com, ninewest.com, and Wet Seal. And FYI, if you haven’t checked out the goods at Payless recently, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Zappos is always awesome, but their prices tend to be out of my range. But Zappos has a great range of Sugar shoes, which are some of the cutest and most distinctive flats are on the market. One of my favorite pair of shoes are my Sugar Smoking Cat Rasta Sneakers (pictured above). I wear these all the time, and always get compliments on them. Plus, they are super comfortable. And that’s all I care about. (It seems that the Smoking Cat Rastas are sold out at Zappos, unfortunately). Speaking of comfy and cute flats, BC Footwear is among my fave shoe companies for funky, comfy flats. You’ll find a great selection over at Alternative Outfitters vegan boutique.

I tend look for shoes in unusual places. I found these adorably nautical black and white striped skimmers at Hot Topic, of all places. And they’re on sale for $14.99! Hot Topic has some super cute flats right now. If you’re digging the peep toe style for summer, check out these Leopard Peep Toes for $17.99.

Sister store Torrid also has delicious plus size fashion, and awesome flats. I would totally rock these zebra stripe square toe ballet flats. And no fear if you’ve got to shop online — Torrid’s shoes are guaranteed comfy, because they’re all made to fit a wider foot and calf. Now, why oh why isn’t there a Torrid store in Miami?

Urban Outfitters is a mecca for adorable flats, and the prices ain’t that bad. I swear, almost every time I compliment a fly bella on her shoes, she got them at Urban. These soft, feminine ruched mary jane ballets are on sale for $19.99!

If you’re of the mistaken impression that flats are boring and not fashion forward, check out the Shelly’s London line. These beyond bright snake peeptoes are $58, and will get your feet noticed. I’d wear these with a cute, swingy black jersey dress, and eye catching accessories for a date night.

Delia’s might be a store for tweens, but their shoes are ageless.

I am loving the Allie Flats for summer! That shade of yellow looks incredible on chocolate colored afrobellas, and I’m on a mission to find the perfect top to match these shoes!

The important thing to remember is, just because they’re flat doesn’t automatically mean your shoes will be comfortable.

Sandal season is around the corner, so treat your tootsies right with Airplus for Her insoles. The company makes products for all varieties of shoes. Love My Straps and the ultra squishy ball of foot cushion is ideal for you bellas who still strap on your torture devices. Fot flat shoe divas, the Save My Sole Invisigel insoles are par excellence.

Stay tuned for a post on pedicures soon!

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Latoya says:
April 17, 2007, 11:06 am
Hey Girl! I feel your pain on shoes...size 11, high arch. Flats hate me. Boots hate my calves. Shoe shopping can be hell, but when you finally find a good pair, it is heaven. I'm living on all those sites you mentioned, but I'm also pimping the hell out of www.endless.com. And I adore Sugar (where did you find the shoes pictured?) You aren't the only one who has ripped a pair of shoes...
Brunsli says:
April 17, 2007, 11:06 am
Happy Tuesday, Afrobella! I love shoes too! Well, who doesn't? I recently found out I have narrow feet -- no wonder I had trouble sliding right through my heeled sandals all this time! Anyway, I encourage your readers to have their feet measured now and then. This spring I have been rocking flats too: green keds with koalas on them. (http://brunsli.blogspot.com/2007/02/it-didnt-even-occur-to-me.html) And, of all the parts of me to be skinny, it had to be my feet!
Peajai says:
April 17, 2007, 12:05 pm
Bella, Even though my shoe collection is numerous and scattered all over my house and my boyfriend always talks about me because I have so many shoes that I haven't even worn yet... I feel as though life will not be complete until I have those zebra print flats from Torrid and a similar pair in leopard! I definitely have issues with shoes, wearing a size 11 shoe and being 5'11 and yet I still feel like I am not dressed up unless I am wearing some heels that pinch my toes and make me 12 feet tall. I definitely am going to have to up my flat game so I can be fabulous and comfortable at the same time.
Nerd Girl says:
April 17, 2007, 1:48 pm
I think I've got you all beat -- 12N. I have the darndest time finding shoes of any variety that are not orthopedic and/or old looking. Please believe me when I tell you that I wore SAS (nursing shoes) in elementary and junior high school because my mother refused to send me to school in pumps!! Anyhoo, about the only options I have are Zappos.com, a brick-and-mortar store in Houston called Brucettes (which has always sounded like a drag queen to me, but their selection is pretty good) and sometimes Nordstrom.com. I don't wish for smaller/wider feet - just for more affordable options. My size is not that hard to find. But the width . . . that's a whole 'nother beast!
sloane says:
April 17, 2007, 1:52 pm
i'm a size 7-7 1/2, so i always find shoes in my size, but never my width! like you, i'm flat-footed and shoes are never wide enough for me, and heels have always been murder on my feet. even sneakers and flats hurt sometimes. all shoe wearing for me has become synomous with hurt, and i've gotten used to my feet hurting all time, particularly with heels. i will definitely check out the "save my sole" ivisigels. maybe they'll save my feet from a little pain!
E-Fresh says:
April 17, 2007, 2:13 pm
From reading all the comments, it sounds like a custom fit shoes company would be a solid idea. There's gotta be some out there.
almostthere says:
April 17, 2007, 2:17 pm
Yay! Thanks afrobella. This post is right on time.
too many pairs to count says:
April 17, 2007, 3:27 pm
The downside of Forever 21's shoes is that, at least in the San Francisco store, there's no place to try them on (not even a chair) but they're not returnable, so if you don't go in wearing easy to kick off shoes, you have to take your chances. They do have some very cute ones right now.
bella says:
April 17, 2007, 7:18 pm
Hi Latoya! I got my Sugar rasta shoes on Zappos. But they're all gone now, sad to say. I'd keep an eye on Ebay, if you search for Rasta or Sugar shoes, you might luck out! Brunsli, I LOVE your Keds!!! So adorable. I might have to give Keds a second look, it's been years.
Shasta MacNasty says:
April 17, 2007, 8:54 pm
I'm not much of a shoe person. First, I'm on a budget. :) Second, I have wide, flat feet. Not very sexy. :( I find it difficult to find shows that fit right. They all seem to hurt. I can go a size up or a half size, but the fall off my feet. It's a pain in the buttocks.
Auragirl says:
April 17, 2007, 10:26 pm
Female size 10s...UNITE!!!
Liz says:
April 18, 2007, 1:27 am
Oh, wow. I have small feet, 5 1/2, so it's not that hard finding shoes that fit me. I've gotten so used to wearing heels now, but my mom says they will cause me health problems when I'm older. I LOVE flats tho! Steve Madden has the CUTEST shoes ever, but they are so expensive. Honestly, 70 dollars for a pair of plain black flats is a little too much for a college girl like me. Old Navy on the other hand has pretty inexpensive wedges, and they are sooo perfect for the summer. Nice post Bella ... like always! :)
Tai says:
April 18, 2007, 1:36 pm
Hey bella, Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that torrid has an additional 50% off of clearance from 4/18-4/22. Happy shopping.
bella says:
April 18, 2007, 2:34 pm
OMG!!!!!! Thanks, Tai!!
afro jamaicano says:
April 18, 2007, 5:20 pm
chinadirect has very low prices, me likey ^_^
Danielle says:
April 30, 2007, 2:37 pm
yo! I soo needed this post! I'm a flat fanatic Thank you sooooo much, I found it very useful! Dani
maryamafulami says:
May 1, 2007, 4:14 pm
I saw those sugar rasta shoes at Nordstroms Rack (an outlet store in surburban philly) for just $14.00
DettyGirl says:
June 2, 2007, 3:59 pm
How do you buy those JOURNA flats? I love flats & wanted to order a pair, but I didn't see any links to do so.
gabarron.org says:
October 5, 2014, 11:31 pm
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