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Help! Returning to work. I am looking for a flat or wedge shoe - smart enough for work, comfortable enough for walking

(15 Posts)
BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 12:47:41

Hello, I am about to return to work and am suddenly realising that I have very little in my work wardrobe. The place I am going to is smart casual and I am going to take a look at what people wear on my first few days, then go for a personal shopping appointment the following weekend.

However, I have virtually nothing I can wear on my feet between lace-up casuals, sandals or winter boots. So ideally I need a pair of shoes or two before I start!

I am looking for a flat-ish shoe, as I need to be able to do 2 x 15 minute walks per day. A low wedge would be fine. Maybe a pair to wear with trousers and a pair to wear with skirts?

Does anyone use those 'fold up' shoes or city slips? Wondering if that might be the solution to the nursery run.

I prefer brown to black, but might get one black pair of shoes. I have always been a bit hesitant about ballerinas - are there any out there that don't fall off your feet?

Thanks for any suggestions.

I am happy to spend £60 - £120 (more at a push) and don't really want to buy anything that will fall apart in a few months. I want to have something that I can bring out for several more years.

What do you think of these?


hobbs 1

I am intrigued by the heel bit on these Gabor pumps

red gabor pumps

has anyone tried the french sole 'square' toes or is the 'sturdy' better?

are pretty ballerinas better?

anyone tried DUO pumps?

for skirts

What about brogues and loafers? Are they too 'mannish'?


MAROON-40 hobbs loafers

has anyone tried duo?

like these from LK B

Apologies - I can't seem to get the Hobbs links to work, but the shoes are called Willow, Guildford and Marcel.

Feedback much appreciated, especially from anyone who has tried these or similar. Particularly appreciate feedback on the quality/value of brands such as Hobbs, French Sole, Pretty Ballerinas and LK Bennett. Are they worth the money in terms of durability?

BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 14:25:59


BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 15:16:19


spooktrain Mon 10-Oct-11 16:03:31

I like the gabor ones and the duo ones, the others look a bit frumpy (and I'm a frump)
I didn't look at the brogues, it's not something I would go for... (again I am a frump, so don't take it from me)

warmandwooly Mon 10-Oct-11 16:26:59

I got some brogues from Office today in the sales for 25 quid. They are blck and white patent but they had black and also black and calf hair animal print combo. I also saw in Dune today a slight wedge show. The grey felt like ones were in the sale for less than forty quid. As for doin the nursery run what about a cheap pair of plimsols that are easily replaceable and that you can stash a pair in your desk draw.

BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 17:24:26

So some mixed views about brogues. I always seem to be out of pace on this kind of thing - I was wearing heeled loafers when everyone else was wearing something else, now I am finally catching up with the brogue

However, I have not heard great things about Office's customer service, so have always vowed to avoid them. What do you think, warm and wooly?

Mmm, so maybe changing into plimsolls or something else for the walking bit.
Forgot that I would have a desk drawer - have been out of 'offices' for a while!

BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 18:40:35

Which gabor ones spooktrain?

Anyone else?

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Oct-11 18:43:58

Have a look at White Stuff too, they do nice wedges, quite high, but very comfy (and I don't normally do heels).

Pinkflipflop Mon 10-Oct-11 18:57:28

I love those Hobbs ones! Very nice with dresses/skirts - tempting!!

BranchingOut Mon 10-Oct-11 21:08:33

Do you mean the first ones, the 'marcel' ballerinas?

spooktrain Tue 11-Oct-11 08:40:34

I like the black gabor ones with the heel bit

beachyhead Tue 11-Oct-11 11:06:49

I'm in the same position, back to work after three years off! Aaaaahhhhg.... I need help with the wardrobe thing too. Like you, I'm waiting until the first day to check out what others are wearing.. I like the black gabor shoes too, with the heel bit...

BranchingOut Tue 11-Oct-11 12:04:50

OK - so black gabors with the heel bit are a strong choice. They have them in another colour too, I think.

Any other views?

BranchingOut Sat 15-Oct-11 19:12:27


Went to John Lewis, House of Fraser and Hobbs to try on a few of these in person.

Gabor pumps with the heel bit - did not look good on the shelf. Didn't even bother.

There was a comfy pair of Gabor pumps with elastic back, but they only seemed to come in Navy. Can't seem to find them online.

these gabor pumps in red weren't bad, but I wasn't convinced about the fit. Possibly a bit frumpy.

I liked these gabor wedges, though they didn't have my size/preferred colour.

Hobbs Willow brogue - LOGANBERRY-38 looked a bit strange on, just too much shiny-ness. WOuld prefer a bit of detail.

Hobbs Marcel pump - OK, but not that comfy.

Having not shopped for shoes for several years, I actually found it all a bit exhausting/frustrating. Low stock levels, things that don't fit and scepticism about the quality of some shoes that you are paying £70 - £90 for. hmm

I did head into Clarks after that and was pleasantly surprised by some practical, wearable shoes. I didn't have much time but I am going to order a few styles online. I am also going to try out Duo.

Today I went back to Hobbs and bought these LOGANBERRY-36&refpage=1145. They are called 'Admirals Bow Court' and, although I am not totally sure about the fit, they look great and I am hoping they are a keeper!

cakeoholic Sat 15-Oct-11 21:38:34

I have recently bought these bargain wedges from next they are far shinier than I'd normally wear and look way better on than in the picture, if I do say so myself! The small catalogue pic at the bottom is slightly better. These Aldo flats are also fab, they have other nice ones too, just seen these

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