By Wendy Donahue, Tribune Newspapers
8:40 PM EST, November 20, 2012
What they are: Packable ballet flats that fold in half and slide into a coordinating pouch that's compact enough to tuck inside a handbag or other small carry-on. The pouch unzips into a tote for whatever shoes you're transitioning out of while on the go.
The good: Fashionable finishes (metallics, snake and leopard print) can convert a tourist ensemble into dining attire or provide refuge from killer heels for the walk back to a hotel along cobblestone streets. A scrunchy back grips the heel. Rubber bottoms provide a modicum of shock-absorption. They're easy to slip on quickly in a cab, train or vestibule. As a more versatile, slightly hardier upgrade from flip-flops, these earn their place in the bags of busy women on the road.
The bad: Sizing is generic (a medium is 7-81/2, etc.), and I can't tell the left from the right. However I place them, the toe bed doesn't conform sleekly to feet. A bit of glue or something nudges both of my big toes at rest. Once I start walking, this isn't an issue. Typical of ballet flats, there is no arch support. The shoes aren't ergonomic enough to pound miles of pavement at a stretch, especially with sweat-inducing synthetic uppers.
Cost: $29.95 at cityslips.com; $40 to $58 for the Luxe collection in textures such as corduroy and cable-knit at neimanmarcus.com.
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