Help me Satisfice

My black strappy Dansko sandals have started to shred.  I bought them used, and wore them nonstop last summer and on our vacation.  I'm really not looking forward to living without them, and would like a replacement.

MaryK's thread made me realize that I've been "maximizing" over something that I should really "satisfice".  I need to wear these sandals this summer, not wait years for the perfect pair for $3.

My requirements are:

- under $100 (I'd like under $50, but I'm trying to be realistic)
- comfortable enough to walk all day long in (a tall order, and the most important)
- a back heel strap.  My toes complain if they have to work to keep a shoe on.
- able to dress up or down.  They need to be okay with shorts or jeans and a dress or skirt.  My 'dressed up' is about on the lines of smart casual, so they don't need to dress up to 'evening' status or anything.  I'd like them to elevate a pair of boyfriend jeans, and not really dress down a summer dress significantly (if I ever wear one).  I think I want something more refined than my Dansko's were.

I think I want black, but I'm open to looking at a metallic neutral or nude also, if the color will be versatile.  I also think I want them to be slightly edgy without being overly casual. 

I'm also not sure about a heel - I know I can't handle much of one (my big toe must have a touch of arthritis or something - it complains if my weight is up on my toes).  But I do like the looks of a small heel.

I'm attaching my obsessive finds from the past few days.  All of these have a chance to be passable, I think - depending on how they fit and feel.

What do you suggest?  Should I just close my eyes and pick one?  Have you tried any of these and found them supremely comfortable?  Currently my only pair of all-day-walking shoes are Danskos - I know my foot likes that shape. 

And thoughts on whether a metallic or nude would be as versatile as black?  I'm kind of looking for the one summer shoe to rule them all, I guess.

What are your suggestions for stopping the obsessing and getting to actually finding a wearable shoe?

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  • torontogirl replied 6 years ago

    Hi there, I really like the Sam Edelman ones with the cork (?) heel - they look very versatile to me and dressy enough for what you described.

    I am currently looking at a pair of Clark (high fashion ha!) metallic sandals - I am thinking they would be as versatile as black especially for warm weather.

    Good luck and let us know what you choose!

  • Glory replied 6 years ago

    ackkk way too many fabulous choices. I like 1, the Ecco the best for comfort and versatility. I think it can work with most clothing choices and I know a few ladies here have worn them on trips with loads of walking. 

  • texstyle replied 6 years ago

    I am a stickler for comfort in shoes. I mean the "walk a mile in them" kind of comfort though so I may be more extreme, but I'm not sure. If you are truly looking for comfort I'd stick with the shoes that have more of a cushioned sole as opposed to the Sam Edelman or Munros which do not. I have two pair of Munros and LOVE the way they look, but I wouldn't want to walk too far in either pair so they are saved for less strenuous events.

    Ecco is usually comfortable but I've tried several over the past year or so and have passed on them. The Born Negrils look like they might be comfortable. I'm not familiar with the Vionic ones.

    I don't like a really flat sandal as I want more cushioning. And I can't stand a strap in between my toes so many are ruled out for that too.

    I'm kind of on a shoe quest lately myself if you can't tell. I found one pair of tan Clarks sandals that were JFE (just flattering enough) and I'm wearing them a lot because they are better than my gearish Tevas from last year. I'd still like a more stylish pair that are equally as comfortable.

  • rabbit replied 6 years ago

    Hmm, for me it really is all in the way they feel (and secondly look wrapped around your foot) with strappy sandals, especially when the look is fairly consistent on the shelf.    Since there are a lot of these kinds of sandals out there right now, I'd probably do either:

    1) Buy several off one site - Amazon or Zappos with free shipping and free returns and do a try on.   Send everything back but possibly one pair.

    2)  Go do the rounds of the retailers in the area which are chock full of these shoes right now,  it will be easy to eliminate certain styles and have a short list of contenders.  For myself I'd look at off-price retailers first where I have seen several Born sandals for under 40$. 

    I think metallic is versatile, but not the same as black.  For me if I didn't already have other options I'd try to eventually get two for the same price as one, probably slightly different styles, one metallic and one black and that would pretty much cover all clothing colors. 

  • JAileen replied 6 years ago

    If they're all from Nordstrom, can you order them all, try them on, keep the best one, return the rest?

    Regarding color, if you had black hair I would say get black sandals. But since your hair is more brown, I think a brown or metallic might actually be better for summer.

  • carter replied 6 years ago

    Have you tried the Anne Klein Sport sandals? I live in these from March-November. I find them extremely comfortable, both for my arthritic toe and my back. I have 2 pair in black, one in taupe and one in light tan. I wear the heck out of all of them. I will take a couple of these as my primary walking shoes for Europe in a couple weeks.

    ETA: Amazon didn't do a good job sorting the AK Sport from the regular AK, so if you give them a shot, be sure to focus on the AK Sport for all-day wear.

  • dustt replied 6 years ago

    AMi - I like the Baretraps from Amazon - but I think I'd go with the nude color it's called Auburn??!! - I think it would be the most versatile for a workhorse summer sandal. Sometimes I feel like black can read too harsh with some summer outfits - I always end up reaching for the nude!!

  • dustt replied 6 years ago

    plus the nude is really light for us fairskinned (read that milky white - blue skinned) girls!!

  • Sal replied 6 years ago

    I think you need to try them for comfort.  I definitely prefer going into a store for shoes rather than online but you may not be able to do this.

    I have a tan/neutral pair of sandals that fit that space in my wardrobe and also a blue/cork pair.  I think it comes down to what other colours you wear, hair colour, and general preference.

    I think the Sam Edelman ones are the most on trend but I like the Timberland ones, I think they are a lovely classic style, they look super comfortable and flattering.

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    Thank you all!

    You are right.  I need to order a few (or several) and try them on.

    I do want them to be walking comfortable - I often walk 3-10 miles in a day, and my feet must tolerate them for that long.  

    Most of the links to Amazon aren't offering free returns (the Anne Klein Sport ones are though - thank you Carter - I'm checking them out).  But I know Nordstrom is great with returns, so I suspect I'll be making my first order from them in the next day or two.

    And good thoughts on the color too.  I'll give a nude or metallic a try, and see if they can go with the black that I have as well as other colors.

  • pil replied 6 years ago

    Maybe a bronze metallic to bookend your hair?
    You might check out Taos as well. I tried these on last summer and my feet just went "ahhh". Not the most fashion forward and this link isn't in your price range but perhaps there is something out there. I'm just putting these out because they felt so good.

  • shedev replied 6 years ago

    I just comfort tested the Softwalk Torinos. I'm kepping them so I'm a little biased. I think metallics are a neutral.

  • Laurinda replied 6 years ago

    I just bought the BareTraps Reeta Gladiator sandal in 'Auburn' - really a tan. I have high volume, high arch, wide, fussy feet with a side order of PF -- and they are very comfy. On a scale of 1-10 with New Balance chunky cross-trainers being 10 I would give them an 8. One pleasant extra for me is that the side strap nicely covers the ankle bursae I tend to get in hot weather (the joys of aging). I have not worn them for any extended periods of walking yet.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I am still thinking about these:

    The carnivale leather is really cute! I too like to get things cheap but sandals you wear every day and walk in a lot are worth their weight in good if you have fussy feet!

  • abc replied 6 years ago

    Ok. I know these are over the budget but I just got the tan pair bc once I put them on my feet didn't want them to come off. Super comfy. And I walk a ton too. At Nordies so good return policy. Might be worth the splurge? Black with a hint of metallic. Did I mention comfy ? Enabler. Sorry.

  • Aquamarine replied 6 years ago

    Gotta say I think a bronze metallic is so much more versatile than black, especially in the summer. No help on which sandal is most comfortable, but I will be curious what you get since I am on a perpetual quest for comfy sandals.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Jambu sandals for you if they are comfortable.

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    Jambu sandals?  Do I know about those?

    Just thought of another criteria:  Free shipping and returns somewhere.  I'll order shoes that do here in the next couple of days.  Then we'll see what fits and feels good.

    The Gentle Souls ones are out of my range, but I hadn't seen the Dansko ones yet - thanks!

    And I'm mostly sold on looking for a nude or metallic -- now more to look for!

  • Adelfa replied 6 years ago

    I have the SE Trinas.  I find them extremely comfortable and my colleagues can't get over how fab they are. However they probably wouldn't be my choice for walking 10 miles. Not enough cush or support.

  • anne replied 6 years ago

    Amy, I so sympathize. I hemmed and hawed over flat sandals last summer and ended up purchasing none. And I haven't bought any since 2012 (and they are falling apart) so next Australian summer, like you, I'll have to "satisfice".

    That said - the pair that just leapt out to me personally from the array above was the SE Trina's. Provided they fit etc, that's the ones I'd be getting!!

  • cjh replied 6 years ago

    Of course comfort should trump all, but the ones that look most like you, to me, are the Softwalk Torinos.  See how Shedev styles them in her latest thread.

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