Comfort Meets Fashion in the Return of Flat Footwear

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High heels – the cherry on the sartorial cake – used to polish off any outfit when wanting to make a statement. For years, models have been clicking down runways all over the world like gaunt gazelles, teetering in some of the highest heels known to fashionistas. But things have changed – and, we think, for the better. The past couple of seasons have revealed a shift in footwear, and the fashion world just shrunk three to five inches. It is the return of the flat! Yes, flat footwear is all the rage,  and  they look better than ever. With an array of embellishments, patterns and shapes, we can really get on board this stiletto-free bandwagon. Our Look of the Day contributor, Roslyn Griffith Hall, captured some of fashion’s finest trendsetters recently at the Spring/Summer 2014 shows in Paris, and below we take a closer look at what’s on their feet.

Simple black flats are no longer reserved for cropped dark jeans and Saturday mornings. We think she looks just as chic in her suit sans stiletto.

Just a simple detail like a buckle can really bring an outfit together. Pairing these masculine-style monkstrap shoes with socks gives the finished look cool character.

A suit and spectators, why not? Take notes from this blond in all brown. She’s successfully added a quirky twist to a traditional look without looking frumpy or out of touch.

Of course, Grace Coddington Vogue veteran creative director, knows what she’s doing ­– not all tuxedo pants require a high heel. In fact, the thick white sole on these black sneaks do just the trick of balancing pulled together and playful.

The ornate detail on these loafers is truly the bee’s knees. Sure, the green coat is also stunning, but even if she paired them with a plain T-shirt and jeans, her look would be polished.

This woman happily trades in her stilettos for these patterned sneakers. The graphic print completes her funky look. Comfort meets style – who knew?

This gem was actually photographed on Bloor Street West in Toronto, but we couldn’t ignore her metallic cutout oxfords. Don’t let the silver deceive you – it can almost serve as a neutral, making the outfit options endless.