Cuteness and Comfort to Cover My Toes

I have not had a truly comfortable pair of dress shoes since I was teaching.  For perspective, I last taught in 2006, prior to Big Sister's arrival.  Since then, I've purchased a few pairs of shoes, but have not been successful in finding cute shoes that were truly comfortable.

I'm one of those people who would rather wear ugly, comfortable shoes than cute shoes that make my feet ache.  That's just how I am.  Comfort trumps cute any day.

Until now.

Now I can have both comfort and cuteness. sent me a cute pair of ballet flats for review purposes.  I chose the Vionic Olivia Black ballet flats.   The arch support inside shocked me.

I have worn my new shoes on multiple occasions for a good test run, each for hours at a time.  I wore them around my house and then out to a friend's home for about eight straight hours. (My friend noticed them right away and even tried them on.  As one who likes style and comfort, she was impressed with them.) Then I wore them for a few hours to church twice.  I put them to test with a trip to our local Walmart.  My feet and back were just as comfortable (or close) as if I had been in sneakers.  Earlier this week I made a rare trip to the mall.  I wore them again.  This time my feet did feel the effects of walking so much, but I am also a person who typically wears sneakers for mall shopping.

Vionic Orthaheel Olivia Positives:
  • Comfortable.  Really.  I would not want to walk five miles in them (or anything but a sneaker), but if I lived in a city and needed a nice shoe to walk a mile every day to get to the subway, these comfortable shoes would work well.  (How do city folk dress professionally?)
  • Cute.  I like this style a lot.  They are a ballet flat, but they are also a real shoe with full support and a little heal.
  • Arch support.  The one thing I am really looking for these days is arch support to help my back.  These have noticeable support.  You see it and feel it.
  • Quality shoe.  This lightweight design shows its quality.
Vionic Orthaheel Olivia Drawbacks:
  • Visible lining.  The only negative thing I have noticed is that the pale blue lining shows a tiny bit when I wear my shoes.  Others may not notice.
If not for the quality and comfort of these shoes, the $89 price tag would scare me.  I am a frugal gal, but these are worth it.  I would definitely buy shoes on-line with Sole Provisions. Here's why: They always provide quick, free shipping and free return shipping, if needed. Too often I think a shoe fits in a store only to get it home and not like it.  I need to wear it for more than two minutes to really know.   

I bought some knee high stockings so I can wear my new shoes without socks during these cool spring days.  I also bought a pair of no-show "liners" to wear during the warmer months.  A friend suggested to get the sort that has the silicon non-slip grip, and I did.  I am not a fan of bare feet in close-toed shoes, even if the shoe is breathable.  (Am I the only one?)

(Did you notice the terms gal and folk in the same post?  We can pretend it was intentional just to make you chuckle.)

What's more important to you?  Fashion or comfort?  Would you be interested in a Sole Provisions giveaway?  They offered to have a giveaway in a couple weeks!  

These shoes were provided for review purposes.  As always, all opinions are my own.  

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Hey!

    That looks promising. I'm a comfort over cute gal myself. :) I look askance at all ballet flats because they just LOOK painful. One thing I find is that I'm always pinched in the heel. I have wider feet too which typically doesn't pair well with ballet flats. How do you think these shoes would measure up with those concerns?

    I love the look of ballet flats and regret that I can't normally wear them but you have stirred a hope within.

    1. I don't have any problems with the heal pinching. I don't *think* it would be a problem. Do you need a wide shoe, or do you find that certain brands just run too narrow for you? I ask because there is at least one brand that sells cute shoes, but I cannot consider wearing. This Olivia ballet flat does come in wide. With their return policy, you could give it a try...they will refund or exchange. Also, Vionic (maker of the Olivia) has a 30 day walk you CAN actually wear it out of the house and still return it. (Boy, I should be a salesman!)

  2. I'm so with you, comfort over cute any day.

  3. Cute! I'm a comfort gal, too. ;-) (Did you see what I did there?)

    1. Love it! I thought you would also be a comfort gal!

  4. Alrighty, I did it. I thought you might like to know that I ordered the Olivia in mustard.

    1. Let me know your thoughts. I know you have trouble shopping for shoes.

  5. Wearing flats can have the effect of making me feel "dumpy". Also, being of more of the cankle persuasion than some, exceptionally dainty flats don't work for me.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!