Is fashionable AND comfortable footwear ever possible?

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They say London’s streets are paved with gold.  More like diamond – the hardest substance known to man.  An hour or two of walking around the city (or any paved street) in the wrong shoes will leave you in pain, blisters, sweaty feet and other such pedi-problems.

The solution is comfortable shoes…y’know like those ecco ones or hush puppies.  Terribly stylish for those over 50 but for those of us who would rather wear a sexy Louboutin court or strappy sandals it’s no go territory.  It’s okay for those who work there – hopping off a tube and 10 mins walk to work or nipping out at lunchtime to the shops – wearing slick heels then isn’t too much of a problem.  Walking round London, on and off tubes and hanging around shops and queues for 5 or 6 hours cannot be done in heels.

Beach/holiday type sandals are out too as they generally don’t work with a “city” outfit – maybe a long gypsy skirt by the beach – but just imagine running for that tube or getting caught in a crowd and your slip-on slips-off!

So what’s the criteria for a good city shoe?

No plastic or synthetic material – your foot needs to breath

A back.  Slip ons just aren’t practical

A Wedge or platform – a good distance/cushioning between you and the pavement just makes for comfier walking around

Moderate/medium heel height.  Anything too tall can be tough on the balls – although platforms/wedged platforms do allow for a slightly higher heel.

Ballet pumps are flippin’ hopeless unless you are 7st nothing  – otherwise they are excruciatingly uncomfortable – no support and like walking in your bare feet.

We like;

Gabor Cheri £85

Gabor Cheri

We love Gabor for many reasons – firstly their shoes are more feminine than the general “comfort” style shoe but also they do half sizes, excellent for getting a good fit.  Too big and you’ll get chafing and blisters, too small and you’d get the same!  Cheri are amazing – look at the squishy, cushiony sole lining, smart patent straps and the heel height balanced with the platform to cradle your feet while traipsing from Soho to Covent Garden.

Jones the Bootmaker Jenni – £69


These are perfect for wearing to the office on a sunny day or if you were going for lunch in London and a look round the shops.  They are dressy enough to stop your mother complaining about you being scruffy but low enough heel with platform to support and balance your feet.  The extra straps round the ankle hold your feet in place and allow you to feel secure. The only thing we are not sure about with this shoe is the plasticky looking sole lining – this can be uncomfortable when your feet get too warm.

Jones the Bootmaker Irena £35


With an ankle strap for security and comfort, a practically flat shape with a large cork platform – these will feel like walking on air (or certainly something a lot more comfortable than the pavement)

If you are after a pair of pretty but practical shoes check out Jones the Bootmaker as there are loads of other styles.

If you are determined to wear highly unsuitable shoes while in London or stomping around on holiday – you could do worse than to get  Carnation’s Anti Blister Stick.  Rub it on (it’s like a Vaseline consistency) the bits where you usually chafe and rub and this will keep blisters at bay a little longer.  I can’t say you won’t be in pain by the end of the day but you should hopefully be blister free.  I found it for sale at

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