img_0776How I love the fashion trend of flat shoes. And they are everywhere, on women of all ages. I started really paying attention, and I spotted some trends, at least among the fashionable women around here in the south of France.

Seen in a waiting room…patent leather lace-ups with a studded detail around the sole. Worn with an ankle bracelet and leather (pleather?) pants. She was well over 65 and pulled it off with panache.

Lace-up oxfords are popular. My podiatrist told me that lace-up shoes are good because they hold your foot and adjust to the width, whereas slip-ons can slide around. (The fact that I had a podiatrist explains my enthusiasm for flat shoes, eh?) Don’t you love the ones in the top photo? Not loud but not quiet either. Interesting. The woman told me they were extremely comfortable and advised looking for the handstitching around the sole as a sign of quality.img_0793That said, simple low Chelsea boots were ubiquitous. Also, note the cuffs. Slim pants or jeans, either cropped or cuffed.

Another waiting room shot, which doesn’t really capture how well-shined the boots were. I have to say the striped socks make me think of the Wicked Witch of the West, but I also like the fact that it’s a little rebellion mostly hidden.

Shoes should shine. No scuffs! When I lived in Africa, my students would shine their shoes daily; in fact they were always impeccable in their uniforms. People today are so sloppy. They have so much and take care of so little. I like how so many French iron their clothes and shine their shoes.img_0769Shiny shoes can mean patent leather. Not just for summer anymore. You can even wear them in the rain.

Note the little buttons at the bottom of her pants. Typically French detail–something small and discreet but not completely plain. And yes, we have marble sidewalks. Carcassonne has class!

Otherwise, black shoes don’t have to be plain Janes. I loved the black-on-black paisley on these.

Black-on-black with different textures, plus thick soles.

img_0777I spotted bows, especially at the back of the ankle, on several women. And lots of stud details.img_0786img_0789The athleisure look is everywhere, too. Plenty of women were wearing outright running shoes, but there were also lots of comfortable-but-not-great-for-sports Chuck Taylors and Stan Smiths. On the main pedestrian shopping street, a shoe store that used to sell dressy heels (escarpins) now is called La Toile (the Canvas–like canvas tennis shoes) and sells athleisure shoes for men and women. Not a heel in sight.

Almost sporty, but not really. Bet they’re comfy.

Even the models in the windows of dress shops are sporting flats.img_0802img_0799There also were lots of flat-heeled high boots, but I didn’t get good shots. img_0787I think I saw two women in all in relatively high heels, similar to the ones above. Certainly no stilettos. And as for heels, make them count.img_0788All that said, not everybody here is making an effort to live up to the French stereotype of high fashion. It’s quite typical to spy retirees going out to the boulangerie for their daily baguette wearing plaid flannel bedroom slippers. And sometimes they wear them other places, too.img_0639Are heels finally dead? I hope so.






37 thoughts on “Flat Footed

  1. They are for me! Although I have a fan pair of Jimmy Choo’s in
    tortoise patent leather with a 2 inch block heel that make an appearance 2-5 times a year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m currently restricted to my very comfy but supportive Asics, having just been to the radiographer to have my heel xrayed. Classic heel spur. Grrrr. Now I need to see the podiatrist and get an insert. The radiographer told me my feet are almost flat — I was somewhat put out to learn this. I expect it’s years of wearing ballet pumps.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes 😦 The radiologist reckons I should be fit enough in time if I get the insert. At the moment it feels like I’m walking like I’ve wet my pants.

        BTW, love some of those shoes. My faves are the black on black paisleys on the marble footpath.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Flats foreever! 🙂
    Playing catch up with your posts. I really enjoy reading such a variety of interesting subjects.
    Just recommended your apartments to a friend visiting France , but alas , she is not going to Carcasonne in the end. Anyway, they are in my bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post! I am all about flats, ballet flats, short boots, etc. In the winter my “uniform consists of ankle boots with a flat heel and pants that are cropped or cuffed. I will admit though that I do wear my moccasin slippers to yoga in the morning. I go to hot yoga early in the morning and because I am so sweaty when I get out of class I cannot get my trainers on. Not to mention that it is cold and I like my feet to be warm, that said I am only going from my car to class and class back to the car and home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I bought a pair of Mephisto oxfords very much like the first pair last year in Aix…so comfy.
    Actually I bought another pair also…very bling. The really make any outfit that I wear look stylish. I have a shoe fetish. Considering I mostly wear black and grey, or denim the shoes are always noticed. What a fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the thick soles for keeping feet farther from the cold ground in winter. And there’s such variety now in trainers — my new ones have little sparkly inserts, for bling.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have been wearing flats for years and round toes are a must, for me, I love them! Most of mine are utilitarian now, but I used to wear the most beautiful Mary Janes when I was teaching. And Oh, those buttons on the cuffs! Makes me want to go rooting through the button jars and grab my needle and thread. If I do it I will post it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, shoes!! Who doesn’t like shoes? It seems like it’s been a huge trend to wear flats in the last few years. Athletic shoes are reaching spectacular looks these days- even the latest Chanel fashion show had a mary-jane on display. Block heels are big also and are oh so comfy. So yeah, good times for shoes aficionados. I loved the patent oxford and I am a big fan of wing tip- it makes such a powerful style statement. I also adore Arche shoes- expensive but so worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love knowing what the women in the south of France are wearing. I love the oxfords!! Unfortunately Because I have an ultra narrow foot I haven’t found a pair that fits me, and that makes me sad! xoxo, Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been leading the attack on making flats a trend in France for nearly 30 years…how satisfying to see they have finally caught on! Of course, there have been other renegades like me over the years but with flats even in shop windows, perhaps we can speak of a ‘step change’? 😂Kudos to you for discreetly catching all those street pics of footwear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure you were one of the trendsetters responsible for the change!
      I did go up to a lot of women to ask for photos and they were all more than happy to talk. But a few were in deep conversation and I didn’t want to interrupt. And of course in the waiting room they would have thought I was nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love black low heel ankle boots. I’ve owned a pair since I was a teenager in stirrup pants.

    I actually really enjoy a pretty high heel – but – I am forever kicking them off under my desk, and switching to either a plain driving moc, cute slipper, that kind of thing, depending on what I’m wearing. I keep the heels I’ve got for “dress up”, but I haven’t bought a pair in years.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Look at you capturing all those French shoes! Did people wonder why you were taking photos of their feet? ; P

    I really love oxfords and own quite a few pairs but I often find them harder and more painful to wear than heels. I have flat feet and flat feet don’t care for flat shoes. I owned two pair of ballerina flats one was Oprah’s favourite most comfortable shoes, Tieks and still I couldn’t wear them. I finally had to sell both of them. At the age of 52 I’ve come to realize that I need a bit of a heel. Either that or runners.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally flat shoes like ballerinas have no support, but most of the shoes here have rather thick soles, which I think makes them more comfortable. Yes, people thought I was a little crazy taking photos of their shoes, but they let me and then told me why they liked them. It was quite fun. A few people were in conversation and I didn’t want to interrupt, so those were surreptitious shots.


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