I Retired Heels in 2023—These Under-$100 Flats Have Been Wardrobe Heroes



I'm going through a breakup. And no, it's not with my significant other—it's with my high heels. After living in New York City for a year, I've come to resent heels despite how elegant and chic they are. As a 5'9" editor who's always on the go meeting with designers, celebrities, and influencers at events all day, my idea of comfortable footwear has shifted massively since my college days. No longer can I spend an entire night in three-inch platform heels—I'm more than happy wearing my leather ballet flats everywhere I go.

Let's be real. Flats are your friend in 2023. I believe heels wreak havoc on your feet, and the rest of my fashion-editor friends agree. So if you don't have a solid pair of flat shoes, what are you doing? Whether they're ballet flats, riding boots, or clogs, the shorter the better.

There are so many amazingly chic and affordable flat options out there right now that I don't even miss my heels. If you're thinking, "This is all well and good, but there's no way a pair of flats can compare to my going-out heels," you should reconsider. I've found replacements for those, too, and they're all under $100. Win-win.

Happy scrolling!   

This butter yellow is quite literally the most unexpected yet beautiful pairing with these flats.

If you buy a pair of vintage-looking sneakers to commute, let it be these.

Ballet flats for under $20? Sign me up.

Can I interest you in my favorite shoe trend of the season?

These are the best flat sandals to wear to the beach, hands down.

The ballet-flats trend is here to stay.

The animal print on this pair is irresistible. 

This crushed velvet and chocolate hue work surprisingly well together

These pointed-toe flats look like a pair that costs four times as much.

I have to admit that I unironically love Tevas. Not only are they comfortable, but they also look surprisingly stylish under a pair of flowy beach pants.

I have these in red, and I'm already eyeing this timeless black pair.

The embossed croc pattern on this pair can be dressed up or down with ease.

These pointed-toe slingback flats are so chic.

Lug-sole loafers are still very much in, thank you!

Run, don't walk, to get these before they sell out.

I'm saying oui, oui to this pair.

You can never have too many pairs of ballet flats.

I wear riding boots all the time for my commutes, and I've yet to feel any real foot pain. A win is a win!

These flats are perfect for any special occasion.

Here's another butter-yellow pair. At this point, they have my heart.

I'm living for this pair of out-there mules.

I'm obsessed with fisherman shoes for the spring.

Feeling very nostalgic with this white patent pair of flat oxford shoes.

Cozy and comfortable—everything flat boots should be.

For a sophisticated corporate fashion lover.

Living my cool European-mom fantasy in this pair.