Luckily for us, flats are back in the most style-conscious way yet which makes navigating our way around London just that little bit more appealing (R.I.P 5-inch stilettos, you will now forever remain at the back of the wardrobe). From box-fresh trainers to delicate point-toe slip-ons, there’s a shape and style for every occasion. Here we look at some of the most essential of London diary entries and what to wear on your feet for each one.
Discover the shoes for a winter in London and where to buy them here.
The morning commute
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the classic Jordaan Gucci loafer is back in a big way and it’s the black leather version that we’re championing as the ultimate commuter shoe this season. Comfortable? Check. Versatile? Double-check. Slick and sophisticated? These Italian-made beauties are the pinnacle of timeless footwear design so yes, check. If the originals are a little out of budget (and at £520 a pair it would be fair to see why) there are plenty of suspiciously similar alternatives to be found on the high street.
The rooftop drinks
Anyone suspicious of the fact that flats can be ‘fashion’ need look no further than the Aquazzura Bliss ballet shoes with their delicately embroidered star design and striking wrap-around ankle ribbons. Ideally suited to a sophisticated cocktail spot, rooftop or otherwise, they’ll work to dress up understated outfits but maintain that all-important air of effortlessness that’s required of such an occasion. For something innately feminine, team them with a tulle or knife-pleat midi skirt and a slogan cashmere knit. And in the meantime, discover the best rooftop bars in London here.
The coffee and Columbia Road Sunday
Every Londoner has done it, even if just the once, because you can’t honestly call yourself a local unless you’ve paid a trip to Columbia Road flower market on a Sunday. Needless to say, comfort is key when trying to squeeze your way through the crowds at this easterly hotspot so it’s Puma’s suede trainers that we’ve pinpointed as the perfect pair for this pastime. Earthy hues are always in style but what makes this shoe especially right for now is the statement satin bow which tones down the sporty aesthetic in exchange for something slightly more feminine.
The gallery day
Imitate the artful aesthetic found behind gallery doors with a similarly creative pair of flats. Mango’s burnt-orange velvet shoes are the perfect way to test the waters if you’re not sure how you feel about a statement flat – they might look high-end but they cost just £49.99. Wear them with cropped denim and an oversized shirt for a look that says ‘borrowed from the boys’ but with a directional, trend-relevant slant, while making your London gallery bucket list here.
The Oxford Street shopping spree
If you’re serious about hitting the shops and you’re mad enough to brave Oxford Street and its surrounding area, be it on week day or weekend, then a pair of durable yet statement boots are the only viable option in our eyes. Givenchy’s iconic studded pair are our wishlist heroes, nodding to the label’s signature tough-luxe aesthetic and designed with silver-tone metal buckles and stud detailing that elevates the low-heel silhouette to make them a decorative addition to just about any daytime look.
The Soho night out
If you’re in it for the long game and you’re planning to stay on that dance floor until the small hours of the morning, then flat boots are the only way to go to avoid the age-old ‘my feet hurt’ hindrance that has seen us abandon ship earlier than planned on one too many an occasion. Thanks to Stuart Weizman, those excuses can be a thing of the past thanks to his flat, suede, over-the-knee boots. Insider tip: there’s ample similar styles at high street price points (like this suedette pair from New Look) so you won’t have to feel precious about keeping them in too much of a perfect condition if, say, you’re headed into the heart of Soho or Camden on a Saturday night.
The walk around Hampstead Heath
There’s no denying that all-weather footwear styles are a London wardrobe essential so we suggest keeping a pair of fleece-lined Sorel boots on rotation for times when you’re leaving behind the city streets for something more rural. The style set-approved label has garnered itself a cult following over the past few years and there was a season not so long ago when New York Fashion Week was awash with industry insiders traipsing the snow-lined streets in their favourite iterations. Today, it’s the Torino design that we favour thanks to its premium suede fabrication, waterproof construction, and cosy lining.
The gym class
Obviously anyone wearing heels to hit the treadmill would be considered completely ridiculous, but no London-based round-up would be complete without a fitness session, thanks to the caliber of gyms on offer across the city. This season, it’s the breathable Nike Flex trainers that we’re bumping to the top of our wishlist due to their adaptability to various kinds of movement and the cool-girl aesthetic that lends itself just as well to brunch post-workout as it does inside the studio. Want something a little more unique? Identify them as your very own using their personalisation service, and check out the best HIIT and circuits studios in London to wear them to here.