The Want: A pair of shoes to wear on the walk to work. They should go with any outfit, offer support, and fit into a handbag after the switch to a heel.
The Get: The Repetto BB Grey Patent Ballet Flats ($265 at Bergdorf Goodman). Their leather soles stand up to the daily commute, and the classic French shape is dressy enough for the office and whimsical enough for a night out. They're light, pack up nicely, and are made of shiny patent leather that won't stretch out or slide off of heels. Fashion before comfort? Forget it. Here's both.
Chicken Soup for the Sole
Tips for avoiding walking-related injuries from renowned yogi Amy Matthews, who teaches a workshop called "Grounding: Feet Are Fundamental"
1. Beef up: If you wear ultra-padded shoes, you'll need to build foot muscles before walking in flats. Strengthen by spending time in bare feet and switching first to a medium-weight sole.
2. Pay attention: Feel every step flowing through the foot. Hit the ground with the heel, then send your weight to the pinkie toe and across to the big toe. This alleviates pressure in the knees and lower back.
3. Massage: Place a tennis ball on the floor, put your foot on top, and roll your arch and sole around on the ball. You'll stretch muscles and become aware of tight areas—so you can adjust your stride accordingly.