The Only Pairs of Flats That Won't Give You Blisters
Updated: Sep 12
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You may have heard differently, but we're here to tell you the truth about flats. Most flats aren't comfortable—at least not until you spend weeks breaking them in, suffering through blisters, calluses, and painful rubbing on your foot "hot-spots."
We've tried to find cheap, comfortable flats for traveling, but over the last 10-ish years of shoe research, we've come up empty-handed. Flats are the epitome of "you get what you pay for." If you go too inexpensive, they'll either immediately cause you pain, fall apart after a few wears, or give off an unpleasant odor after a few hours spent pounding the pavement. None of those situations are ideal—especially while you're traveling.
So when you're looking for a pair of flats to add to your travel uniform, remember one thing: It doesn't matter how cute, stylish, or amazing the flats are: do. not. buy. them. if. they're. going. to. be. uncomfortable. You'll end up regretting your purchase, and then being forced to spend more money down the line.
Because we don't want that to happen, we've tested and approved three brands of flats to travel in below. We don't recommend taking these out of the box and heading straight to the airport—it's always better to wear them around the house for a few days beforehand—but they also won't rip your feet up after a quick spin around the block.
Best Flats to Travel In: Editor-Tested Pairs That Won't Cause Rubbing or Blisters
Loeffler Randall is far from a cheap brand, but as a woman-owned, woman-designed business, they have our seal of approval. Like most flats, these don't offer much in the way of support, but the glove calf leather is extra soft and forgiving. Plus, the strap on the ballet flat is key to avoiding the foot-out-of-shoe moment when you're sprinting to your next destination.
Slightly more expensive than Loeffler Randall, Mansur Gavriel is a brand that also uses smooth leather for its flats. Remember: If your flats are made of a material that isn't flexible, your feet are bound to suffer some type of wear and tear. When buying a pair of Mansur Gavriel flats, however, be sure to read the size tips. Most styles, including the famed ballerina style, run slightly small. Look to buy a half or full size larger than your normal size.
Yes, this is an investment purchase. If you aren't absolutely in love with these, then wait to make the purchase. Think about it, do your research, figure out when you'd wear these and what you'd wear them with. If you decide the Gucci loafers are in your budget and you could benefit from adding them to your wardrobe, you won't regret it. They're a great way to dress up your airplane uniform or keep a work outfit clean and casual.
Anti-blister tip: If your toes are prone to sweating in your shoes (a real thing), try some sort of a loafer sock.