Elevated Flat
A good cleaning probably wouldn't hurt either. But I feel like this is the season these ballet flats retire.

A good cleaning probably wouldn't hurt either. But I feel like this is the season these ballet flats retire.

Elevated flat sounds like an oxymoron, but after doing my shoe audit last week it's what I think I need in my closet. 

My current go-to flats are a worse-for-wear camel patent pair. There's big cuts in the leather of the heel from where the backs compressed down and rubbed through. This is an issue I have had with many flats in the past, which is why now I'm looking for something with a little more height as well as a bit higher quality. I'm not a fan of the patent either — it shows every scratch, every lump and bump.

I'd like something to replace these that are just a hair more refined. Features I'm looking for are leather upper and interior, neutral color, and a little bit of heel. I love the v-cut vamp look — bonus points there.

I know if it's a flat so it technically shouldn't have a heel, but I'm talking like, 1 inch or so. Just enough elevation that I'm not gonna be scraping the back of the heel on the ground like I have in the past. I did a roundup below of some potential options but would love to hear if you have any leads on a good contender!

At one point I thought the Nisolo ballet flat was for me, but after giving the 2-piece ballet flat the runaround last season and seeing how easily the heel wore down, I think this is out. Whatever this shoe ends up being, it's going to get plenty of wear and should be built accordingly.

Here are some options I'm looking at:

Poppy Barley is a newish Canadian brand specializing in small batch manufacturing. I've seen this brand around but don't know much about the actual fit and wear of their shoes. This flat looks promising though! Just a little bit of a heel, nice not-too-pointy point, and a little detail stitching on the toe. The taupe is a really nice neutral. I like these a lot! Price point is reasonable too, at about $175 USD. Who has experience with this brand? Worth it?

The description calls this color cream but it looks like it could work as a nude-tral (nude + neutral) for me. Is it TOO yellow-y though? A bit higher of a heel than the PB pair, plus, hard to see in this picture, but a square toe as well. Not a huge fan of the square, it feels a little clunky. I want to like these a lot but at $446.70 they are a little pricey for imperfection.

These shoes have many of the qualities I'm looking for, but they are patent! Ugh. Still — lovely color, nice heel height, and another not-too-pointy toe. The description calls these granny pumps which I find hilarious, but I'm embracing it! Give me all the granny pumps. Just don't google "granny pumps" without clarifying "shoes," I found out the hard way. NSFW!

Interesting! Nice block heel height, good neutral leather, and unique little notch on the vamp. Could be a contender? SAS is supposed to be really comfortable, right? Wish there were more angles shown in the photographs so I could get a better feel for the look. The rounder toe makes me feel like they could border into too-granny territory.



I feel like I don't know what good shoe designers there are out there. How do you find anything good?? It's hard when you are looking for a very specific thing. Zappos and the like tend to feature more brands with opaque values and lower quality construction, two things I want to avoid. The Garmentory is great but after you've looked through the selection a couple times it too feels limited. I know there are amazing designers out there, I just don't know who they are! My dream shoe must exist somewhere, right?