I Put Men’s Ballet Flats to the Test During Fashion Week

You can almost always hear me coming from just about any direction—mostly because I’m clomping my way through life in extra-chunky shoes. There’s something about a sturdy shoe that instantly grounds a look, and makes every and any proportion feel right. I wear my lug sole Gucci loafers, which weigh a ton, more than my sneakers—because they simply always complete my outfit. That being said, it’s currently New York Fashion Week, and what better time than now to experiment with style and try out new things? (Vogue’s street style gallery has plenty of outfit ideas.)

Feeling inspired by the idea of a wardrobe renewal, I tasked myself with venturing outside of my own signature shoes. What if I tried a more streamlined footwear style instead? I also began to notice a shoe taking over the menswear scene this season: Gents are now rocking ballet flats. Yes, those dainty little flats that count Olivia Rodrigo and Sofia Richie as fans. I was intrigued.

Sofia RichiePhoto: Getty Images

The idea of a men’s ballet flat scared me, though. Not because they’re a bold statement: Those flat, rounded-toe shoes are discreet enough, and they look pretty elegant. I love how designer Marc Jacobs recently wore a Balenciaga pair with a tuxedo blazer, white tee, and jeans. Stylish playwright Jeremy O. Harris also wore a pointed flat with a Canadian Tuxedo just earlier this week, too. No, ballet flats scared me less because of how they look, and more because of the comfort factor. As someone who’s used to a staggering platform, I was apprehensive about feeling the pavement that I’m walking on. This is New York City, after all—these streets are bumpy and uneven! Plus, as someone with high arches, taking on a flat-footed shoe sounded painful at best.

Still, I decided to try a pair or two out for fun. Perhaps they would affect the entire way I dress—or, perhaps they’re way more versatile than I think. Below, see my main takeaways as I test-drove ballet flats for the first two days of fashion week. (I found that running from show to show in them was surprisingly easy and comfy!).

Day one

I decided to be brave and kick off the first day of fashion week in my black ballet flats. I looked to Hereu’s ballet flat; I liked the slightly squared toe silhouette, which feels like a modern update to the shape. My first question was if I wear socks with them. I was perplexed, so I asked come of my co-workers. “That would be a tight fit,” said my colleague Elise. “A sock is too bulky to cram in there.” Still, my colleague Sarah said it could be a look. “Tibi made them into one piece for their show,” she said. The verdict? Go sockless. It felt slightly wrong to cram my bare feet into them, but off I went.



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