Shoe trends come and go, but I’m forever convinced that ballet flats are a wardrobe staple that never go out of style. While the polished and oh-so-flattering shoe was definitely a mainstay of early aughts style (often paired with a cut-off skirt, cigarette jeans or any form of those business casual, going out ensembles that, for some reason, absolutely dominated nighttime looks for far too long), the right ballet flat transcends fashion fads. The onset of the balletcore trend, however, has resulted in a renewed appreciation for the humble ballet flat.
Ballet flats are elegant and minimalist, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. A classic leather ballet flat is a must-have component of any capsule wardrobe, but there are also plenty of elevated and creative takes on the shoe, whether it’s an unexpected colorway, embellished detailing or unique fabric.
Ballet flats can be dressed up or down; you can wear a traditional black leather or perhaps a cream-colored or tan pair every day, and opt for a pair with sparkling crystals or a satiny finish for a more formal occasion. Ballet flats are a lovely alternative to sandals in the summer, but they’re also a great transition season shoe, especially in the time inching towards fall, when you might want to stow away those open-toed shoes but aren’t quite ready to pull out the boots just yet. Below, see the best ballet flats for every style preference, that you’ll find yourself turning to time and time again.
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Rothy's The Mary Jane
The black bow adds a feminine touch to these ultra-comfy, pointy-toe Mary Jane ballet flats. Not only are they so easy to walk in, but they’re also made of recycled plastic water bottles, and they’re machine-washable.
M. Gemi The Danza
If you want the look of a ballet flat but worry that the entirely flat sole won’t be the most supportive, you must consider M. Gemi’s Danza shoes, which have a hidden wedge for a more comfortable (and height-giving!) fit. These particular black-trimmed, nude flats are giving serious #balletcore vibes.
Jimmy Choo Black Ade Ballet Flats
These glamorous, black suede shoes have a pearl-embellished band and are perfect for any occasion when you want to add a little something extra to your outfit.
Margaux The Demi
Margaux’s cult-favorite ballet flats are an immediate wardrobe staple, and while they come in an array of colorways, the metallic gold is neutral but still feels special.
Loeffler Randall Leonie Ochre Ballet Flat
Yes, velvet does feel a little wintery, but what better way to get in the mood for the coziest time of year than with these ochre Mary Jane flats?
Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Flat
Swap out your usual uncomfortable heels for these sophisticated, embellished satin flats.
Vivaia Pointed-Toe Ballet Flats
If you want a ballet flat in a color other than black or nude that’s still versatile and somewhat neutral, consider these comfy blue shoes, which have a subtly pointed toe and are up there with the most supportive ballet flats.
Sarah Flint Sacchetto Ballet Flat
The mixed textures of suede and patent leather give these sophisticated brown ballet flats an elevated edge.
The Row Ava Mary Jane Ballet Flats
The Row’s elegant, cream-colored Mary Jane flats have a soft square toe, for a modern take on the shoe.
Malone Souliers Colette Nude Pointed Flats
The leg-lengthening nude shade of these leather ballet flats is so flattering.
Aeyde Rose Leather Point-Toe Flats
Add a pop of color to your outfit with these ruby red shoes.
Chanel Lambskin & Patent Calfskin Black Ballerina Flat
No one does ballet flats quite like Chanel, and you simply cannot go wrong with any of the fashion house’s iconic ballerina shoes. Yes, they’re an investment, but you’ll wear these shoes forever.
Aquazzura Amal Flats
These suede and mesh flats are anything but basic.
Birdies The Goldfinch
This Meghan Markle-approved brand just debuted new ballet flats, including these chic gold shoes that have special cushioning, for true comfort.