Flats refers to footwear that has no heel, or a negligible heel. Since “Flat” is a heel characteristic, there are many different functional styles that can also be classified as flats. Thus, when searching for flats, you can come across various styles including sandals, slippers, sneakers, and others all grouped by their absence of a heel. For those who like to walk barefoot, flats make a great option as walking in flats feels more like walking barefoot. If you are looking for flats, the majority of major footwear brands make at least one style as a flat, though there are some brands that focus on the style more than others. Discussed in this article are the brands available online that make the most different styles of flats.The term loafer has evolved considerably over the years. The formal definition is a leather moccasin like look with a low flat heel. Men’s loafers often include more than just the moccasin look but also low heel slip on dress shoes. The women’s loafers category remains more true to the classic definition, but with at least 350 different styles of women’s loafers choosing the right brand for you can be quite a challenge. Discussed in this article are the top brands in the women’s loafer category.
AK Anne Klein – AK Anne Klein is the biggest contributor to the Flats category both on our own website as well as other sites we searched online. With over 300 different styles of women’s footwear, they are a diverse women’s shoe supplier. The bulk of their flats were either sandals (Thong) or a casual loafer styled flat. Thong flat sandals started around $20 a pair while Casual loafer flats priced around $70 on average.
Delman – Delman is a designer brand where you can expect to pay $160 for a pair of ballet flats and as much as $540 for a pair of boots. The Delman collection of flats includes ballet flats, open toe sandals with backs as well as loafer styled flats ranging from $160 to $355 a pair.
Barefoot Tess – One would think, based on the brand name, that Barefoot Tess would be mostly focused on flats and other lightweight footwear that feels like walking barefoot, but a large part of their collection is actually heels. However, a substantial portion of their portfolio includes flats, including calf length flats. One thing that sets Barefoot Tess apart from other brands is their selection of open toe flats. While they would technically be sandals, they have the form and function of a traditional flat, but leave the shoes exposed. Basic flats (open and closed toe) start around $60 a pair and end around $130 a pair, thong flat sandals run between $70 and $85 while Flat heeled boots range between $110 and $160 a pair.
Lucky Brand – While probably best known for their jeans, Lucky has a reasonably large collection of footwear. Flat sandals start at $26 a pair and traditional flats start around $40 a pair. While the entire collection tops out over $200 a pair, flat heel styles don’t cost more than $60 a pair.
Walking Cradles – Walking Cradles are best known for their comfort system. The pillow cushioned footbed provides a comfort walking experience. About 1/3 of the Walking Cradles collection has little to no heel with styles including a traditional ballet flat, slingback, and loafers.
Nicole – Nicole Footwear makes over 200 styles of womens footwear of which about 30 styles are flats. Flats include ballet flats, sandals, as well as traditional casual and dress flats. One thing that sets their flats apart from other brands is the greater color options available. Nearly all flats price around $70 a pair.
We can’t even begin to discuss every brand that makes flats, and while these 5 brands are the biggest contributors to the category, other big contributors include: Adi Designs, Vince Camuto, Enzo Angiolini, Wild Diva, Jessica Simpson, Aerosoles, Journee collection, Joan & David, Rockport, BCBGirls, Nomad, BCBG Max Azria, and Naturalizer.
Because there is little to no heel or cushioning system, there is virtually no technical differences between brands when it comes to flats. Nearly all wear and feel the same making look the primary feature that distinguishes brands, thus, it is best to find a site that allows you to browse flats from multiple brands at once and filter by size, color, pattern, etc.