I Almost Never Wear Flats, But I Can't Stop Reaching for These Trendy Styles


(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Until about a month ago, catching me in anything without a heel (apart from the occasional sneaker) shared a probability rate with me breaking my Zara habit—that is about 0%. Whenever anyone would suggest I prioritize comfort over an extra inch or two of height, I'd scoff in response, never even considering a trade-in for something flatter and closer to the ground. But it appears that I'm not as stubborn as my loved ones would like you to believe because, in the last few weeks, something clicked in my brain. All of a sudden, I can't stop shopping online and subsequently reaching for flats

If I'm being completely honest, I know the exact reason for this unforeseen change of heart. Simply put, the heel-less styles on the market right now are chicer and more enticing than any I've seen. From Alaïa's netted and studded Mary Janes to Margiela's Tabi ballets to The Row's and Dear Frances's mesh slip-ons, every pair of flats making headlines right now is a 10/10, and what kind of fashion lover would I be if I denied myself the pleasure of great shoes just because I've always said I hated flats? 

Below, see the stylish flats that managed to change my mind about exclusively wearing heels forever. 

Mary-Jane Flats


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

I know Mary Janes aren't new. But the styles that have recently been released—from the likes of The Row and Massimo Dutti—are far more tempting than those of the past. 

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Mesh Flats


(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

If I had to pinpoint one shoe style that's gotten the most buzz in 2023, it'd easily have to be mesh flats, which, thanks to The Row and Dear Frances, are quite nearly inescapable right now. Cool, casual, and perfect for walking around the Mediterranean coast on your next vacation, these see-through shoes are responsible for 99% of my flats comeback tour. 

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Satin Flats


(Image credit: @allypayer)

What's prettier than a bow-clad pair of satin ballet flats? That's right—nothing. Whether they're paired with slouchy jeans or a ultra-feminine skirt, this particular style will turn heads and bring forth compliments like you wouldn't believe. 

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Fishnet Flats


(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Toes are out for summer, but no, you don't have to suffer in a pair of flip-flops. Rather, fishnet flats are the chic, fashion girl–approved way to show off your pedicure this season. Made famous by Alaïa's nearly impossible-to-find Mary Janes, this isn't a shoe trend I expected to make it big, but boy, am I glad it did. 

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Studded Flats


(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

Hey, stud. And no, I'm not looking at you. I'm looking at your gorgeous, studded ballet flats. Thus far in 2023, rhinestones, strasses, etc. have taken over the world of flat footwear, with viral pairs by Tory Burch and Alaïa having already sold out. Luckily, there are still plenty of alternatives to go around, from Reformation, Khaite, Magda Butrym, Zara, and more.

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Slingback Flats


(Image credit: @hoskelsa)

If you, too, are smitten with slingback heels right now, you'll adore the flat, far-more-comfortable options on the market. For proof, just eye the below Blade pair from Saint Laurent (and a few other more affordable alts while you're at it). 

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Next: I've Never Been a J.Crew or Madewell Girl—These 33 Summer Finds Changed My Mind

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.