I Live in NYC But Hate Flats—Here's What I Wear Instead

As an L.A. transplant who has only been living in NYC for roughly three years, I can tell you that one of the first things I learned about dressing for city life upon moving here was that the name of the game is comfort. Sounds simple enough, until I tell you that I hate flats—the footwear choice of commuters everywhere.

I don’t know why, but I’ve never been particularly into them. Sure, I might wear loafers or flat mules here and there if I feel like the pair is really worth an exception, but in general, I find flats to be neither comfortable nor aesthetically appealing. Plus, at 5’2”, I’m also always game for a little extra height, so I’ve come up with a list of worthy alternatives to wear instead. To see, read about, and, of course, shop the five comfortable shoe styles I wear instead of flats, just keep scrolling.

1. Mules

Remember when mules were just a trend? Now, I wonder what I’d do without them. From closed-toe styles to sandals, there’s a mule for everyone—and every outfit. Plus, there are so many comfortable options.

2. Boots

All I can say about ankle boots is that I really, really love them. So much so that I own more pairs than I’m willing to admit and have a variety of styles for every season—even summer. Since I’m on the more petite side, I always opt for pairs that have even a one- or two-inch heel for a little extra height that’s still comfortable and easy to walk in all day.

3. Kitten Heels

Kitten heels are those perfect shoes between flats and heels. They're comfortable, they pair well with both long and short hemlines, and they allow you to look put-together without feeling like you’re over- or underdressed.

4. Sneakers

Gym days aside, I always prefer sneakers to flats. First, they’re much better for your feet and even feel more comfortable. Next, the sneakers I wear tend to have a little height, which always helps. Last, they just feel like they’re giving your outfit a cool factor rather than simply blending in. 

5. Block-Heel Sandals

The second summer hits, I live in block-heel sandals. They allow me to feel taller without feeling like I’m wearing heels and are available in so many colors, styles, and heel heights. Because of the way pressure gets distributed over a wide surface on the bottom, they are comfortable.