Fancy Footwear

Holy cow did I get schooled yesterday! LOL!

I had never even heard of most of the shoes that were recommended, but I’m so glad to have Merrell, Rocket Dog, Sperry, Keen, Tom’s, Clark and Simple (among others) on my radar now! Thank you!

Now I just have to narrow down my top 10 favs…

Converse $44.95:

DKNY $59:

BC Footwear $40.50:

Skechers $39.99:

Rocket Dogs $44.95:

Sperry: $74.95:

Keds $50:

Tom’s $44:

Columbia $29.90:

Simple $55:

And get one of these:

Ya know…just in case.

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  1. Jess M. says

    Personally, I would go for Tom’s. They donate a pair of shoes to those in need with every single pair purchased. And they only run about $40-$50, so it’s not a huge deal if a little (or a lot of) paint gets on them.

  2. says

    My vote is for Sperry’s! I reluctantly bought mine at Off-Broadway (like a DSW, if you have those) for less than full price and I don’t think I’ve taken them off since. They never gave me a blister (but they did give my husband some) and they are the most comfortable, versatile shoe I’ve ever had. They’re like preppy sneakers. Good luck with your decision!

  3. says

    Layla all of those shoes are really cute! I have a pair of Tom’s on the way and I am so excited about them! I don’t know what size shoe you wear but if you have a small-er-ish foot you might be able to get a youth size and they are cheaper. Also, those sketchers are really cute and comfy but, contrary to the million holes in them, they don’t breathe very well and seemed to make my feet a little stinky! :)

    • Heather S says

      Very true on the sketchers! My 6 year old has some that are going in the wash today because they smell so horrible, but they are one of her favorites so I can’t get rid of them. :)

  4. Jennifer says

    I would highly recommend the Toms. And I can pretty much guarantee you will not need the blister blockers. They are very soft and comfortable. I have a pair, but I want more!

  5. says

    Chuck Taylor’s all the away….comfy from the very first step….choose the expensive ones from Nordstrom, not the lower brand at T. Love Target but they just aren’t as comfortable.

    I recommend grey.
    xo Jana

    • Melissa says

      I had a pair from college that I loved, Recently purchased another pair and I second this opinion. Love the chucks but just got a ordered and tried them on a pair from T and they are NOT comfy. Returned them! Now to order a pair from Nordies….☺

  6. says

    SPERRY hands down. I have those exact shoes and they are so comfortable. I am on my feet all day and they don’t hurt when I wear these. They never gave me a blister and they wipe off really easily. Seriously.

  7. Terri Driggers says

    okay…. I know you won’t believe me… since you don’t know me… LOL…. but I sure did say yesterday that I figured you for a Converse kind a girl !!!! the top ten are all tooo cute !! Terri

  8. Cheryl F says

    Here’s a little trick to help prevent blisters. I use this whenever I’m wearing strappy dressy sandals but it works regardless of the style of shoe. Apply deodorant to your feet, that’s right. Rub your stick of deodorant on the areas of your feet where your shoes rub. The deodorant will help lesson the friction that causes blisters. I swear by this trick, it has gotten me through many wedding receptions.
    I was late to comment on yesterday’s post but my recommendations are Sperrys and anything by Rockport. The quality is totally worth the price and they’ll last multiple summers.

  9. Karen says

    I have a pair of the Converse (Target) cheeper than your showing but they are exactly like those. Ouch! Better get two bandaids. I also have a pair purple Simple’s. LOVE LOVE LOVE! No bandaids thank you. My daughter has the cutest pair of Tom’s and she loves them as well. And you can’t beat that they donate a pair to charity. Now you just have to pick what fits you best. Good luck.

  10. says

    I travel nationally to teach quilt classes to guilds. I am on my feet all day into the evening at times and would not be able to do it without my.Merrells. They give great support and come in great funky styles.

  11. says

    Like you, I had no idea there were so many alternatives to my fave Chucks! I am going to check out the Tom’s fer sure.

  12. Allison A says

    OMG YES!! Tom’s are my favorite! They are so comfy. I have them in grey and wear them A LOT! Foot note (pun intended. Get it? hehehe) get a size a half smaller. So if you wear an 8 get a 7.5. Reason is the fabric gives a bit after awhile and it’ll be loose. Plus, Toms donates a pair of shoes to the needy, so how could you go wrong?

    • Layla says

      WHOA. Killer thing to know, Allison! I will definitely order a 7 if I decide to go that route…thanks so much for the tip!

      • says

        I tried on two different pairs of TOMS a half size smaller than my size — one was a bit too snug and the other fit perfectly, even though they were 9.5s. I think they’re good ones to order more than one of and return the ones that don’t fit because the sizing isn’t all that precise. Or try them on in a store. I agree with the “go smaller” advice, though. They definitely conform to your foot over time.

  13. says

    Go for the TOMS!!! My daughter and I share our shoes and between the both of us we have 20 pair… or so…. ;o) And if you need a cute shoe to wear when you aren’t DIYing, check out TOMS wedges!!! WE LOVE THEM AND THEY DO GOOD FOR OTHERS!!!
    cheers ~ stef

  14. says

    Well, I like the Toms or the DKNY (and really the darker DKNY is my first pick), BUT the thing that I think is funny is how INTERESTED I am in all this. Good grief. What does that say about me? =D

  15. Gina says

    Choosing just one is not enough! Mood influences my choice so I’d need at least 5 out of the 10 pair :)

  16. Ann R. says

    You might want to think about what they will look like with paint splattered on them! LOL! Or what your feet and socks will look like when paints goes thru the holes in the mesh ones.

    • Layla says

      LOL- good point! I did think the Converse’s would look all paint splattery though….but may have to save the holey ones for reveal day! :-D

  17. says

    Go for the TOMS! They give a pair away, always good to help those in need, They also are extremely comfortable and they are hugely popular right now, you will be such the fashion queen on your show if you are in TOMS! :) (mostly with the college kids, but who doesn’t wanna be back in college cool days!) HA

  18. says

    no toes.. is this for REAL? as far as toe open season goes.. consider Birkenstock… they are the best! My podiatrist even says so :) fun fun..

    and I don’t know how comfy they are but… the SIMPLE ones sure look darling!

  19. says

    I know you have enough opinions to last a lifetime already, but I have to say, my Skechers are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had! I wore them day in and day out until they died. :)

  20. says

    TOMS are amazing!! I wear them all day to shoot weddings – soooo comfy and no ouchies. Plus they donate a pair to a person in need – win win!

  21. says

    Oh boy! I am loving Toms right now and my friends that have them tell me they are AMAZINGLY comfortable! Those Rocket Dog dealios are SUPER cute though, too!!! :) Happy shopping!

  22. Bethanie says

    They’re all adorable, and you will rock whichever ones you pick!!! I carry one of those blister sticks in my school bag, (cuz what’s cute in the morning is usually painful in the afternoon!) and it works great!! Have fun!

  23. Deidra Dunbar says

    I like the Converse, Keds, BC Footwear or Toms. It would be really hard to narrow it down. I have a pair of the white Converse (but mine have laces) and I am not sure how comfortable they would be if you were on your feet all day.

  24. Juli P says

    I don’t know about others, but I have had back surgery in the past and if I’m going to be on my feet for long periods of time, I need a really supportive shoe.
    Unfortuntaely, Tom’s did NOT fit that bill for me. While I love that they donate a pair to the needy, I didn’t find them comfortable at all. Not to mention, I thought they were sort of ugly. But that’s just me!
    I love Borm, Merrells and Dansko’s for shoes that I wear for long periods of time! they’re more $$, but you really get what you pay for.

  25. Tricia says

    You’ve picked some cute shoes! But for all around amazing comfort, I vote you give the Tom’s a try.
    BTW – I <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 that blister block stuff, I carry it in my purse for those long days at church or other social functions when I actually have to wear high heels.
    Why am I so facinated with your shoe selection? You must be a facinating gal.
    Blessing to you and your cute husband.

  26. says

    I appreciated the post/comments:) We are headed to Savannah in October and I need some comfy, non-blistering shoes, so your post got me thinking. I went to DSW and REI yesterday with the resolve of being ruthless on the shoes – not ‘giving a pair a chance’ just because they are cute, but not totally abandoning looks for comfort. There had to be a middle ground. I have a tendency to get blisters on my heels and/or pinky toes when I go on walking-intensive vacays. I also think I have a higher than normal arch that may be a little forward than most shoes place the arch. I was sold when I tried on the Jambu Cascade. So comfy, supportive, and did not seem to rub anywhere! $99 is way more than I am used to paying, but I started to think about all the $20 shoes I’ve bought only to wear a couple of times and give up on because they are too painful:(

  27. Lori says

    I love ‘em all. You can’t go wrong with any of your choices. I bought my Converse at DSW and they were a whole lot cheaper than $44. They have an online store too.

  28. Terri Driggers says

    ummm. Kayla .. I kind of take you for a Converse girl!!!! you would look really really cute in a pretty pink camo pair!!!! :) but whatever your decision is….. You guys are going to rock!!! i just know it!!!!!!! So excited…. Terri

  29. Jan says

    As you know, the eye is drawn to light colors and also light shoes will appear larger. (Do any of the 10 pounds that tv adds go to the feet? lol)
    Of course this depends on the contrast between the shoes and whatever color clothing is near them.

    I guess what I’m saying is, get what will give you the desired effect of your overall outfit as it appears on the screen.

    Love your shoe choices, and I am enjoying following your amazing tv adventure!

  30. Beverly Palmer says

    Too funny with the blisters! Also try Crocs. I live in central Florida and we live in them all year round. The soft, flexible, and washable! Love them!!!!!!

  31. says

    Oh I’ve got THE answer! All these shoes are cute and certainly functional. But hey, you’re getting them for the photo shoot, right? Just tell them to let you know when your feet will be in the photo and go barefoot the rest of the time! Whoo hooo! But in case they say…”What? Are you nuts?!??!” the blister bandaids are a lifesaver …..just in case :-)

  32. Christie says

    I own 6 pairs of Toms, so they are clearly my favorites. One bonus, you can recover them or paint your own design on them. Not that you have time to add to your designing, but, we would LOVE to see what you would do to them.

  33. Mia says

    I would say DON’T go for the Converse. Try them on and you’ll see that they’re actually pretty heavy and clunky. They only get comfy if you break them in… which takes a long time! I’ve had some Converse for about 6 years now, and I still feel like they’re not worn in enough.

  34. says

    Do the Tom’s you won’t regret it (or need the bandaid). Plus, for every shoe bought they give away a pair of shoes to a kid who needs it. Win win! Oh, you might become addicted. So comfortable and so many patterns!

  35. Robin J says

    I LIVE in my Toms. Buy one half size tighter than you normally wear. They should feel a bit uncomfy at the store. Then wear them around your house with a pair of socks for one day. They conform to your feet so fast. They are the comfiest shoes I own and feel like slippers. However, I have a toddler and bought cream ones… my toes get stepped on more than I thought! The grey is a great choice!!!

  36. Caroline says

    Hold the press! I don’t know if anyone suggested these, but there are backless sneaks available now. Try searching “sneaker mules”. My daughter is hyper sensitive about hot feet and has a lot of trouble with the heels digging into her so we found these for her.

    I ended up liking them so much in purple! Love, love, love these shoes. Easy on, easy off, comfy and pretty cute too. And, they stay on even when running. Can’t recommend them enough. (neutral links, I don’t make money off those….)

  37. Karen Ehlers says

    Be careful with the Converse. I have four pairs and there is something hidden in the heel that after an hour or so starts to wear away at your heel. I have friends that have the same problem.

    Otherwise, cute shoes!

  38. Teri says

    I have those exact Sperry’s and Tom’s. Same color! Love them both but Tom’s are comfortable right away, I didn’t have to worry about blisters. The Sperry’s wore in fast though so it wasn’t a big deal.
    Good luck choosing!

  39. Xdm says

    Hey! I know this lame as a first time comment, but I bought those Simple sneaks in cream a few months ago and wear them with EVERYTHING. Seriously, From shorts, to crops, to Khakis to little summer dresses. Do it….It’s SO worth it.

  40. Bethany says

    TOMS all the way! Just got my first pair and thought I would get blisters, but nope, they are super comfy, cute with shorts and capris and will last a long time, plus you might even be able to wash them! And yes they donate a pair when you buy them!

  41. Jenny says

    Classic Converse or Keds…seem to go with everything while still being cute…because ya’ know, it’s always about being cute.

  42. Amanda says

    Def go for the toms!!! These are the most comfortable and lightest shoe ever (and quite stylish in my opinion) I agree to get 1/2 size down because they will stretch with wear.

  43. Jan says

    Oh man, a million opinions, but they sure make me want to try Toms! I’m going on vacation in Oct. which will involve much walking. Thanks for getting me busy thinking about shoes for that!

  44. says

    Who could pass up a pair of Toms and there for a good cause.
    I LOVE the burlap Toms soooo comfy and they look good w/EVERYTHING!

  45. melisa says

    So blister block doesn’t work great, I’ve tried it. Frankly it didn’t work at all. You should get some shoes liners at target which are basically tiny little ped socks that stay on your feet but you don’t see them. I wore them traveling recently with toms and they were great!

    Good luck,

  46. says

    Layla ~ just take the laces out of the ones you just bought and you’ll be fine. Laces are so ‘yesterday’ you know! ha.

  47. jeannine520 says


    I don’t know if they were mentioned yesterday but check out the Jack Purcell Converse. They’ve got more padding and are more comfy than the All-Stars (also a bit more cool I think). They come in some great colors but if you like you can go to the Converse website and custom build them how you like them and they’ll be shipped to you.

  48. Gail says

    I’ve had my rocket dogs for like 5 years now (used to wear them every day to work in a floral shop) and they are still going strong! Great brand! Also, Sperry’s will last a lifetime. They’re extremely durable. I like what the Toms company does as far as donating a pair when you buy a pair, but I think they wear out more easily. Thats just my 2 cents!

    Happy sole shopping!


  49. says

    My vote would be for Toms. They are extremely comfortable and look good with nearly everything. Plus they help out someone in need and that’s always a huge plus, and if you look at it your really paying for 2 pairs of shoes when you get Toms: yours and the person your helping:)

  50. Treva says

    I have the skechers in black. I mostly wear Clarks and Sofft shoes, but got the Skechers cheap for $20 at Marshall’s to wear in the hospital after having a baby. They are so comfy. I didn’t think they would be since they weren’t a fancy brand. I like that they have some Mary Jane style. You will look cute whatever you choose:-)

  51. Colleen says

    Love your blog and I am SUPER impressed with your design skills. Please don’t think I’m a buzz kill….but, maybe you can make your decision easier by seeing if any of your options are made in the USA. Lately, my husband and I have been trying to pay attention and it’s crazy how little is actually made here. Seems like our economy would improve if we all purchased more items that were made in the USA. Check out this article regarding Converse…

    Check it out. Thanks for all the home improvement inspiration!!

  52. Colleen says

    Nevermind. I just did some quick research and it looks like all of those shoes are manufactured in China, Ethiopia…
    I’m sure the sandles on my feet right now were too.
    Crazy. I guess New Balance has one “line” of shoes made in the USA.
    Makes ya think.

  53. says

    Also the heel stick is awesome. Made from Dr. Schols..eeeek it is really late here and I am tired so sorry for spelling. But hope you know what brand I am talking about. It comes in a tube, it is purple. It makes the show glide off your heel…so no blisters.

    Great sites for cheap shoes are and dsw. com…just to name two out like ten I use often.

  54. Carrie says

    Get the TOMS! They are SO comfortable. And I LIVE in flip flops or sandals, so I know exactly what you mean!

  55. says

    I’ve had various pairs of most of those. I like the Skechers because they breathe. IT’s really nice in hot summers in the South. Check and Famous Footwear for better prices on most of those brands. have fun!

  56. says

    Shoes, shoes, shoes! I love my shoes!
    Fashion over function and comfort for me. That being said, I think Toms are some of the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen, and i have four pair. Sometimes, just sometimes, comfort and charity win!

  57. Tina Youngblood says

    I have had a pair of Merrils before… Ahhhh They were my favs.. Wore them completely out.. Never got another pair because I had bought that pair at a second hand store. But one of these days… Until then… Nike for tennis shoes and Yellow box for flipping flopping… Good Luck to ya…

  58. Lisa W. says

    OH I SO see you in Sperry’s and those oh so cute Columbia’s:) Get them both…remember your worth it!!!!

  59. Melanie says

    Nice line up! I say the converse ones or the dkny’s. I really like the darker shade of the dkny shoes! With all the diy’n it might be better to chose a style that wont show the wear as fast. Sperry’s are cute too tho! My bff has the black suede and cream soled Sperrys AND a co-worker wears gold faux leather with a white soled pair that are very different for boat shoes! And they soo coordinate with your home(Sperry’s)! You hava big, fun decision to make! I love wearing new kicks-just wish the fresh new shoe smell lasted longer(; ENJOY!!

  60. Amy says

    Cute shoes or comfortable, supportive shoes? Can one have it all?! You will have to try them all on and let us know which ones are the best for that, Layla. Can’t wait to hear which ones you choose.

  61. Shellie Hanley says

    Also, check into Sanuks, they make “sneaker” type shoes and flip flops made from yoga mats. Oh so comfy!! I live in Florida and wear them a lot. My hubby wears the shoe type ones and my girls and I stick to the flips, but both options are nice. :)

  62. Heather says

    I have had a few pairs of Rocket Dogs. They last a good amount of time, but are definitely lacking in the comfort department once broken in. If you go with those, I suggest a good set of inserts. As far as the Toms, I’ve heard they’re very comfortable (and are VERY popular here at AU); however, I heard they SMELL very bad. You decide if the footwear is worth the funk :) They’re not the cutest things in the world, but Walmart has this brand called “Earth Soles,” or something along those lines that are also very comfortable!

  63. Stacey Thomas says

    Toms! They are comfy from the get go, they wear well, they come in loads of colors and prints and styles, (I have never had a problem with smell and have never heard of any problems), they are cute as a button, and, as everyone has said, for every pair you buy they give one away to children who need them. They have given away thousands of pairs of shoes! Just amazing…
    One heads up…don’t buy Tom’s that fit a little big…they stretch! My choice is always a little big or a little snug (9.5 or 9) and the 9 is the way to go in my case.

  64. Naomi says

    Buy the TOMS. They are comfortable. They are stylish in a funky sort of way. People watching the show will like the fact that you bought shoes from a company that makes it their mission to help those without shoes all around the world. In California we buy them at the surf shops. Or at Nordstrom. I can’t wait to see your show! !

  65. kelly says

    i love those simple ones but i think you would love tom’s. they have some really cute styles and are comfy. you have to break them in a little they stretch as you wear them and they are a great company!

  66. says

    you HAVE to go with the Toms!!!! I love love love what they do. We listened to the founder, Blake, speak a few months ago and the work they’re doing is amazing. They are so intentional. They are not just putting a quick-make-you-feel-good-in-the-moment fix on something. They are working to solve a problem. And they make sure to go back and give shoes the next year and the next year. It’s awesome. Plus they are stinkin cute and so comfortable. When my husband’s ash gray pair got funky looking, i just dyed them and they look new again.
    can’t wait for your show!!!

  67. Jamin says

    Ok I’ll admit I’m no expert on shoes, but I work with teenagers, (I’m a student minister) so I get exposed to all kind of shoes. My simple and short advice is don’t get Toms. Those things stink to high heaven. They have good intentions with donating a pair for everyone that is bought, but I’d rather just donate some extra money to Compassion International. Just my thoughts.

  68. Lindsay says

    Layla, I love the Simple shoes…so much so that I had to find a pair! Piperlime has them for 29.99 with free shipping, yay! I love my converse but they pinch my toes every time I wear them, as for Tom’s I own one of their originals and it’s far too boxy for me. I also love the BC espidrilles, they’re next on my list ;)

  69. Katie says

    I’m gonna have to be a naysayer here, but I think all but the Converse and the Simple are ugly as sin. :/ But I guess that’s where different styles in taste come into play. :D

  70. Dana says

    No one is going to quit watching the show because you have a toe sticking out. Get a pedicure and wear whatever you want!

  71. says

    Looks like you’ve got lots of comments but I personally love my chucks and my privo’s. They are both super comfy, fun and I have owned them both for ages! The privo’s that i have are more mary jane-ish and depending on the color could work with most any type of outfit…happy shopping!

  72. says

    Layla, aren’t you just darling! I have Sperrys and LOVE DIY-ing in them… but I totally see you in the Simple ones. I mean, you are, afterall, a simple kinda gal.

  73. AmyK says

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I think the Tom’s look old-ladyish! SIMPLE, baby, all the way!! I wore mine forEVER. They never died. The dog got mad at me and chewed them up one day. I cried. Loved those shoes. Sniff.

  74. Suvi says

    My 16 yr old was begging for a pair of Tom’s and I was so against buying them just because they are SO TRENDY (at least here in CA). But I agreed to go shopping for her B-day, and fell in LOVE! I can’t believe I’m recommending them…but they are so cute, come in so many colors and are so comfortable! I’m often trying to sneak out wearing hers…so today she bought the pink sparkly Toms w/ her precious baby-sitting $!!!

  75. bertamac says

    Toms are super comfy, but they don’t last long. I had mine for less than a month – didn’t even wear them every day – and they started to get a hole in them. Cute, comfy, good cause, but I’d go with something different.

  76. Amber says

    Hi Layla,
    Wow, that’s a tuff choice! My daughter bought the little Rocket Dog loafers you pictured (hers are navy) and I have to say they are sooo cute! Plus, she says they are super comfy. I’m a big fan of Chuck Taylor’s (they look great with just about everything) but the Columbia kicks you pictured are adorable and what a steal! Happy shopping!

  77. Kristi says

    Toms are very soft but don’t offer much in the way of arch support. Clarks are fabulous on both accounts, but I don’t know that they carry tennies. The Rocket Dogs are super cute. I have a similar pair (different brand) that pinches pretty badly in the heel. In other words, good call on the band aids :) Good luck!

  78. Christy says

    Who knew so many people had opinions on shoes!
    I recommended Simple on the other post (i love mine, have lavender & navy). I also love my Chucks, Famous usually has a BOGO sale for back to school so you can get 1 pair 1/2 off & they sell Converse. I don’t mind my Target One Star Converse, they are cute, lighter weight & comfy, however I wouldn’t use either for a jog. Just casual around town/shopping, etc. they are fine. Sketcher’s has a new line called BOB’s that also donate a pair to those in need like Tom’s, as does Payless. The Payless shoes are not as cute as the Tom’s though, imo. Layla, I think you have entered a whole new world! You just might end up w/several new kicks. :)

  79. shanda says

    I cannot believe you have lived life without a pair of Merrell’s! Or Sketchers, for that matter. You should also try a pair of Earth Shoes. If you are ever up in Muscle Shoals you should go to Austin’s. Unfortunately, they just closed their outlet store, but my MIL says that when Austin’s built their new store they put the outlet store in the back. They carry all these brands and if they do indeed have the outlet store in the back you can get them for less than half.

  80. Mee-Jin says

    I love Converse. One of the headquarters is right across the street from my house and they have a store down the road. You should look into the “slims” . The rubber is slimmer and gives a smaller look. I have larger feet, the smaller the illusion the better.

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