Roundup: Wedding Flats

Let's get some shoes

Alice and Olivia Flats, from Bloomingdale’s ($295)

When I got married, I searched high and low before buying a gorgeous pair of strappy gold snakeskin leather heels that I was in love with. The problem is, when I got married we were are also on the beach.  Which means that the actual wear time for my perfect dainty gold sandals was approximately eight and a half minutes (just long enough to get from the getting ready house to the ceremony site, before I slipped them off in favor of a pair of fifty-cent bamboo flip flops I’d bought as favors for our guests.) But even if you’re not getting married on the beach (sand + heels ≠ magic), the dirty secret of wedding style is that unless you’re wearing a short dress, ain’t nobody going to see your shoes. And chances are, if you’re wearing sky-high pumps, they’ll be kicked off as soon as the ceremony is over anyway. (Meg apparently kicked off her shoes during her ceremony, and she was wearing a short dress.)

Does this mean you shouldn’t wear heels if you wanna? As a 5’2″ devout heel-wearer myself, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t. But I will tell you that you really don’t have to. (Did you hear me, WIC? HEELS ARE NOT REQUIRED BRIDAL ATTIRE.)

If you’re taking my advice at face value, and realizing people probably won’t really see your shoes, you can walk into any Payless and grab a pair of cute flats for about $20. But if you’re like me, then half the fun of wedding shoe shopping is buying A) Something a little outrageous, or B) Killer shoes that you’re going to want to wear all the time (which is clearly the best way to take your wedding day with you).

Today’s roundup is not for those of you that want ballet flats. (Pro-tip: you can actually buy ballet shoes for $17, which is what Meg’s mom wore under her dress.) This roundup is a little fun, a little sassy (and we promise to come back in the spring with a flat sandal roundup).

White & Ivory 1. Dandyperf Perforated Oxford, Ivory, from Neiman Marcus ($375) 2. Doris Spiked T-Strap Beige Flat from Neiman Marcus ($99) 3. ‘Anya’ Ankle Strap D’Orsay Flat from Nordstrom ($59.95) 4. Tahari Nora Patent Bow Flats from Lord and Taylor ($89) 5. Blue by Betsey Johnson Dance Flat from Nordstrom ($79.95)

Metallic 1. Women’s Avery Bow Flat from Payless ($12) 2. Rebecca Minkoff Pointed Toe Flats – Isadora, from Bloomingdale’s ($225) 3. J. Renee ‘Blanche’ Flats from Zappos ($87) 4. Kate Spade New York ‘Niesha’ Flat, from Nordstrom ($350) 5. Loeffler Randall ‘Lou’ Flat from Zappos Couture ($149.99)

Color 1. Steven Ella Flats in Turquoise from Zappos ($62.99) 2. Color Block Ankle Cuff from Charlotte Russe ($17.50) 3. Michael Kors Jamelia Pointed-Toe Flat from Neiman Marcus ($112) 4. Steven by Steve Madden Suede Flats in Purple from Lord and Taylor ($79.99) 5. Kate Spade New York Pointed Toe Cap Toe Flats from Bloomingdale’s ($238)

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  • BD

    I wore flats! Flat sandals actually, with some bling. Let me tell ya, it was great not having to worry about balancing myself (I’m… not so good in heels) while walking down the aisle.

  • Laura C

    I have two pairs of flats for my wedding. I got these for Christmas: And probably the first thing I bought for the wedding was a pair of silver sequined Teva flip flops.

    • YES. Tieks! Crazy expensive….crazy worth it. I bought a pair in the tangerine color and love them dearly. They are the most expensive shoes that I own (by far) and are totally worth it. I get compliments every time I wear them, they conveniently fold up for purse stashing, are my go-to swing dancing shoes, and are very good quality. I can’t recommend them enough. Their only sale seems to be around Christmas every year, so that’s the only downer.

      • Laura C

        I’d read nothing but good things about them, so they were one of two things I really asked for for Christmas this year. I was going to ask for some of the solid colored ones because they’re cheaper, but my mom really liked the wild copper color and convinced me the extra was worth it as a gift/wedding expense/thing I’d wear in the future. Anyway, I’m glad to see so much praise for them in this thread — I’ve worn mine around the house a little but obviously have been saving them for the wedding so I don’t know how they’ll wear etc.

        • I have wide feet, so mine were a bit tight at first, but the more I wore them, the comfier they got. I bought a backup pair during their 2012 holiday sale, but they haven’t left the box because I’m still wearing my original pair, which I’ve had for a little over 3 years now. Depending upon the season, I wear them between 1-4 days per week. There’s a small spot where the leather meets the sole at the base of the heel that is starting to wear a bit, but otherwise they are in great condition. If I had all the monies, I would buy almost every single color! Forgot to mention that their beautiful packaging is an added bonus.

  • M.

    LOVE! Of course the Kate Spade are my favorites…typical. I’m wearing these gold glitter Steve Madden flats for my wedding #sparklez

  • Stephanie

    I wore flats, mostly because I hate being uncomfortable and I don’t know how to walk in heels. The ones I chose werel ike $60, Jessica Simpson brand. Can’t find them online right now but they were these:

    • Meg Keene

      Should we just abbreviate to GBJS?

  • Ellen

    I am pretty excited to wear these flats (in pale gold) for my wedding in July!

    • BreckW

      Plug for the J.Crew Factory flats: they are super duper comfy, come in a bunch of colors, and can usually be found on sale!

  • Kat Robertson

    Yay! I love this! Heels were always out of the question for me. I ended up choosing these, and I’m already in love!

    • BreckW

      These are SO cute!!

  • Lindsey d.

    This six foot bride with feet issues LIVES in flats, but I still have trouble finding comfy ones. For instance, I tried one the Blue by Betsey Johnson flats featured and wanted to cut my feet off after about two minutes. I finally found some metallic gold flats from Nine West that I need to start wearing around the house ASAP to break in and make sure they are comfortable.

    • Laura C

      Fist bump of tall with feet issues solidarity! I’m only 5’11”, though. My feet issues are such that the last podiatrist I went to basically looked at my feet for a minute and was like “yeah, you’re going to have problems and there’s not a lot we can do.”

      • Lindsey d.


    • Kayjayoh

      I’m not tall and I don’t usually have foot problems, and I still find many pairs of flats to be extremely uncomfortable. A lot of them are built to be super narrow, which looks adorable but doesn’t work with a lot of feet. Even my medium width ones. There is also often a combination of not much padding + non-flexible soles, so I can’t walk on the balls of my feet the way I would while barefoot, but am not getting any shock absorption in the heel.

      I’ve had a few pairs over the years that were super comfy, and those I wore until they fell apart or looked ridiculously dated. (I kind of wish I still had one of those dated pairs, silly bows and all, because they were the comfiest!)

      • Lindsey d.

        My problem is usually that the shoe’s heel digs in to my heel and make me bleed. Never a good thing. It’s not an issue of the shoes being too small; apparently it’s just how my feet are. I can look at a pair and tell whether it’s going to work for me or not. I have found in some cases (like the Hush Puppies I’m wearing now), that I can add an insert to add even just a quarter of an inch and bring my feet out of the shoes enough to wear comfortably.

    • Lindsey d.

      So this thread just made me check again for flats on Zappos and I found
      my favorite flats of all time (Leve by Jessica Simpson) in gold! And on sale! Even though I already bought gold flats, I think they will be my backup shoes in favor of the most comfortable flats I’ve ever put on that aren’t moccasins (my other go to).

      • Meg Keene

        I mean. It’s been said here before, but god bless Jessica Simpson.

        • Lindsey d.


    • Meg Keene

      Ok. These are not cheap (hence, not making the roundup), but they are SO COMFY and so practical and so cute. I’m trying to gin myself up to buy new ones in pink and silver. Anyway, have you tried Tieks? Might really be worth the investment, since there isn’t the heel dig in issue (or if there is, it goes away really quickly).

      • BD

        Nice to see such a good review of these, I’ve been thinking of taking the plunge and buying a pair myself!

      • Lindsey d.

        I’ve looked and drooled and looked some more… Maybe after the wedding and after my house sale goes through (Only paying one mortgage FTW!). I would love to know how they stand up to real wear, like walking outside and everything…

      • Gretchen

        Okay, I adore my Tieks. Like seriously, want all the pairs. Ever. I bought the plain black ones last August because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find flats that didn’t chew up my heels or toes. Even after a breaking period. My Tieks I wore for a month straight, my feet were so happy. And other than the rubber soles looking a little dirty, they look new. I’ve been picking out my next pair for months now. And I think they still have a giveaway going on. And I think that if you ‘like’ their Facebook page they send you a 20% coupon…

        • Lindsey d.

          Ooh, thanks for the review and the coupon tip!

        • Aine

          i’m also tempted by these, but I haven’t seen anywhere that I can try them on, and that’s just a deal breaker for me (feet issues, hello).

      • SLW

        Our wedding planner actually swears by these – she wears Tieks while on her feet for hours and hours for every wedding she does. personally I am having a hard time justifying the expense for myself though.

        • I think I commented below before my browser refreshed and I saw this part of the thread, but I’ve had a pair of Tieks for a little over 3 years and absolutely adore them. The only wear that they are showing now is where the leather meets the sole near the bottom of the heel, but it’s only noticeable if you are staring at the bottom of the shoe. I’ve been wearing them 1-4 days per week, year round, plus for swing dancing, for which they work well. At the time I purchased mine, they didn’t have built in arch support, but it appears they have added that into the design now…not that it bothered me, because I’ve always thought they were comfy. I totally understand having a hard time justifying the cost. When I bought my first pair, I got them during their annual holiday saie (20% off in the weeks before Christmas) for $90ish (sale price). Their prices have definitely gone up since then, but if you can hold out for the holiday sale, that might help. They are totally worth it (says the girl who normally won’t spend more than $50 on shoes).

          • Valerie

            Thanks! I am impressed they have sizes in the 12-13 range. Wedding shoes are the last outfit issue (I think…except the opals I have from both great grandmothers than I want turned in to something I can wear….). Buying shoes when I’m wearing a short dress, and am a size 12.5 is incredibly difficult. The question for me is if they would last. I wear through a pair of Toms in 3 months, so I am curious about how long others find these last.

      • Ariel

        I bought the metallic gold ones for my wedding… and I can’t wait to wear them all the time. I may or may not gaze longingly at them in my closet.

      • rys

        I broke down and bought silver tieks last summer. So worth it. I finally decided it was better to spend a lot of money on one well-constructed and comfortable pair of shoes than waste $20/year on crap ones. I recommend silver. They go with everything. (And no bleeding heel issue, which I often experience.)

  • KC

    White ballet flats: totally where it’s at. So comfy, and you can move however you want to without accidentally leaving your shoes behind. I wouldn’t wear them across, say, a lava field, but otherwise they’re really good at protecting your feet and not being slippy. (I’m a fan of the X elastic sew-on, personally, but the just-one-strap also works fine.)

  • Emily

    I am searching for Navy blue peep toe flats. I feel as though they MUST exist, but currently the ones I have found are not The Ones. Wedding planning is driving my rational brain crazy….

  • Ella

    I bought myself a pair of fabulously knock-off platform Chucks. I wanted real Chuck Taylor platforms (since I’m short and my dress was long….I needed some height) but they didn’t make them in yellow. Since I reasoned few people would see them and I probably wouldn’t wear them again, I went with the knock-offs for around $30. SO GLAD I got them — even though my heels were only 2 1/2″, my feet were pinching and it was way easier to walk about in sneakers. :)

  • scw

    thank you for this! I’m just not a heels girl so I’ll definitely be wearing flats no matter what length dress I get, and for some reason people are more outraged by that than the fact that I won’t be throwing a bouquet (and that says something. one of my male friends said to me “why are you even getting married if you don’t want to throw a bouquet?!”).

    • Sarah

      I got married in cowboy boots and had one person comment, “But if you found some cute shoes, wouldn’t you wear those?” Nope, I wouldn’t. And it ended up being great – it rained on our wedding day, and it was a lot easier to walk in the dirt in the boots than it would have been in heels. All this to say, stick to your guns and where whatever you’ll be happiest in!!

  • emilyg25

    Ha! I love this soundtrack song.

  • Diamond Solitaire

    I was always a high heeled type, but I’m trying to get used to flats. I’m a few inches taller than my guy–he doesn’t care about those few inches, and I’m still trying to learn not to care. I tend to wear flats when we go out because my extra three inches plus three inch heels makes me feel like a giant.

    • Lindsey d.

      I feel you… I’m pretty sure he secretly loves that I’m three inches taller than him, but I’m still struck by it too often for my taste. It took me about a year to say I didn’t care and two years to really feel like I didn’t care, but sometimes it hits me… Thankfully, my dumb feet already insisted I wear flats all the time by the time we met.

      • Amanda

        I’m with you on the not caring about height difference timeline. I will also being wearing flats for the wedding!

  • Pileofstix

    I would just like to say that for ladies like myself blessed with built-in water skis rather than feet, is a great resource with lots of sylish shoes in larger sizes.

    • Lindsey d.

      Ooh, thanks!

  • Fay

    Silver glitter flats from Payless for the win! We had an outdoor wedding and with the uneven ground, heels were not going to work. So flats it was. Even got them on sale for less than $10!

  • Anon

    I wore these gold Born flats at my reception and at $40 they were very affordable, and super comfortable!

  • Bsquillo

    I love all of these!!! Can we get a wedding wedge round-up too for those of use who want a little bit of a heel but need to walk on grass? I feel like pretty, non ridiculously tall wedges are the shoe unicorns of the wedding industry…

    • katiemckinnie

      YES!! SECONDED!! I have been scouring the interwebs for wedges for my wedding in October and coming up short. :( I have lacy Tom’s as a backup if I so choose but I’d like something a little more formal.

  • Here are the ones I wore! Sadly they’re out of stock/super hard to find in purple now.

  • I had blue Seychelles for the ceremony and portraits and changed in to orange Tom’s for dancing and gallivanting for photos under the willow tree. So glad I had these to change into. My toes were numb after a couple of hours in the heels. I have wimpy feet. ;)

  • Alison O

    Added benefit of ivory #2, if you get attacked on your wedding day, or any other day you wear these shoes, a well placed kick will be especially painful to your assailant.

  • sarah l

    At 5’3″ with a wedding party of everyone over 5’7″ (and all the guys over 6′), I asked my bridesmaids to wear flats. I kept a pinterest board of cute flats for them to pick from if they wanted to get new shoes (was looking mostly at metallic, neutral, or charcoal, since that was one of our colors).

    my favorites which would look awesome with a wedding dress were “pepper” by nina. Nina incidentally makes satin shoes in a bajillion colors – i work purple heels under my wedding dress.

    • Alyssa M

      I’m so in the same boat! 5’2″ and my FH is 6’3″. None of the wedding party is under 5’8″.

      • sarah l

        I think it worked well – with me in heels and them in flats I’m still the shortest but I don’t look out of place :)

  • Granola

    I am SO HAPPY that this roundup exists. I want to buy All The Shoes, just for, you know, life. Bonus if anyone has more resources for rounded toe flats? Slightly pointed is in but my feet are not OK with that.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Got these in gold for less than $20. They weren’t very comfortable (but I’m blessed to not be very particular about shoes), and the glitter started coming off at the second wear, as I predicted, but…less than $20 on sale. There are a couple photos where you can see my shoes out from under my long dress, both when I’m walking.

  • JSwen

    Hah! What a coincidence. I haven’t heard this song in years and was just singing it yesterday to my fiance.

  • Stella

    Great post! How I wish this had been here a year ago!

  • Audrey

    By the way, I know they aren’t flats but if you like the look of a heel but don’t want the height (or to reduce the chance of tripping, heh) I highly recommend kitten heels, which are relatively easy to find.

    • Alyssa M

      in addition to that, vintage style heels often have thicker lower heels (more stability, no digging into dirt) and look super cute!

  • Allison

    I wore Cole Haan Air Monica Ballet Flats in coral / red for my Catholic church / summer in a skating rink wedding. Didn’t even notice my feet all night… they were that comfy. I wore them like crazy for our three week honeymoon in Europe afterwards, including days where we did nothing but walk and eat. They’ve lasted like magic and I’m looking forward to wearing them regularly on maternity leave next summer! Highly recommend.

  • Kara Davies

    This is just what I need! I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid for this August and I need to find black flats that are nice enough for the day but ALSO will work with this crazy Aussie weather! YAY! And is it too much to ask that shoe designers make the insides COMFY!? So many cute shoes out there that have ZERO padding inside or any give in the sole.

  • Peekayla

    just bought some sparkly silver flats for my wedding shoes last
    weekend! $30 at Payless. I bought the silver, but am debating on going
    back and getting the gold since they were so comfortable!

  • Caitlin_DD

    Those Steve Madden flats are amazing! That purple!

  • Danielle Kelly

    I just ordered Ivory Shoe #5! I also ordered it with a heel, just to see if I can tolerate it long enough for the wedding ceremony. I need to convince myself that the dress won’t look wrong in flats, I think — but I have such a hard time walking in heels!

  • meleyna
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  • AEB

    BC has some great flats, wedges, and low heels. I just bought these for my outdoor wedding in June and I love ’em!