Sneakers For DIY’ers

Confession: I spend more time thinking about these…

…than these:

Those are the shoes I wear every day, all day, and will continue to until those faux leather straps are no longer attached to the sole. Or it gets too cold outside to wear them. Whichever comes first. (Considering the amount of money I paid for the shoes- A new pair of shoes may actually come first.)

And before it was those, it was these:

I wore those suckers for, like, three years before my foot finally busted out the side of one of ‘em.

That was a very sad day, and visions of fixing them with super glue may or may not have been dancing in my head when the incident occurred. If they hadn’t been so stinky worn out, I definitely would have tried it. Definitely.

I went through a couple of pairs of flips flops after my skull sneakers bit the dust. Flip flops, by the way, are my favorite type of shoe to wear…but why do they all seem to break so quickly? Am I just too hardcore? Or is it because I refuse to pay over $30 (okay, $20) for a pair of shoes that I know I’m going to be DIY’ing in every day? Hmmmm…

Anywho…after a lengthy phone call with the gal who’s “styling” us for our pilot episode experience, I discovered that a “nice pair of sneakers” that “weren’t atheletic-looking” are in order. So yesterday, I picked up these little navy numbers at Target for $9:

I ran in and out of 4 stores before deciding to get them. I tried on approximately 14 pairs of shoes before deciding to get them. I licked my hand and used it to moisturize my leg before deciding to take that picture.

I like them, but oh how I wish they were a little more….uh….open-footed. And I just know I’m going to get a blister on the ol’ achilles if I don’t walk all Cindy Lou Who-style. (I can’t remember exactly how she actually walks, but I’m sure there are tip toes involved.)

Also in the Target bag yesterday: Band-aids.

So, my question to you, shoe-buyin’ DIY’er: Where can a girl get a nice pair of sneakers that are a little more Mary Jane-ish and a LOT more Layla Palmer-ish? (And by that, I mean: better arch support and that aren’t so tight around the achilles.)

Do they even make a shoe like that? Help!

PS- I realize I’ll have to spend more than twenty bucks this time…but I’m getting reimbursed for them, so it’s all good.


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    • Sue says

      I just got a pair of Keen shoes (not sneakers) at Cabela’s – Love, love, love them! Maybe it’s a Colorado thing, I’m from there too. Never heard of Keen till I saw a super cute pair of Keen boots on a girl in Starbucks a few months ago. Check them out, Layla!

    • PattiN says

      Keen is the best! I love their socks, who would have ever thought that making a left and right footed sock would make such a HUGE difference.

    • Lynne says

      I totally LOVE my Keen’s!!! I live in them all year long. They are super supportive and comfy without feeling “all closed in”. I even add sox to wear them in the winter. They are a little prices, but well worth it!

  1. says

    One word: Rainbows.

    Now, they’re a $40 pair of flip flops, but I’ve had my double-stacked (for better arch support and skinny feet) flops for 4 years, and they’re abused daily. I wear NOTHING else all summer and that’s been the case since purchased. I’m considering a new pair, but I’m not sure I’m ready to part with these bad boys just yet…:)

  2. Maaike says

    I’ve had good luck with Mary Jane-like Sketchers – you can get them for a decent price at Shoe Carnival or even Payless (at least in Birmingham), and I’ve worn several pairs of them for more than a year before either busting out seams or smelliness overload causing them to be given up. I ususally have 2 pairs (1 brown, 1 black) so I can alternate them every day – plus at least one of them will match whatever you’re wearing…

  3. MyFrogs says

    Look for anything Rocket Dog, not gonna be $9. But I have a pair and they are THE MOST comfortable shoe EVER!

    • Tina Youngblood says

      I think you will like these too. I checked it out. Look at all they have to offer. I am sure you will find a cute pair. Then get you a pair of yello box flip flops to check out when you are not DIY ing..

  4. says

    I hate losing a fafourite pair like that… Maybe try looking for the “Gisele” model from vans, similar shape to your skull ones and all kinds of funny / interesting/ pretty fabrics…
    Good luck!

    • says

      Toms (they also donate a pair of shoes for each pair bought) – very chic right now.
      Privo, Clarks brand comfort, cuter casual styles
      Chuck Taylors – they come in all different colors (although I can’t wear them b/c they bite my ankles)
      Sketchers – can be hit or miss
      Keen – THE most comfortable shoes and boots I’ve ever owned
      Born – super comfy, often in large supply at DSW
      Docksiders (or knock-offs) – people rave about them, and you can find lots of different color combos
      Crocs apparently come in non-holey maryjane styles now

  5. Jenni says

    Toms have a lot of cute styles — and donate a pair to a child in need for every pair purchased!

  6. says

    I live in the pacific northwest and all I wear are Keens, Chacos and Danskos…. I know you can get a mary jane look in Keens or Danskos…. Good luck with the shoe hunt!


    • Kat says

      I bought a pair of the Simple Satires in gray hemp last fall and love them! No blisters on my heels and still comfy after lots of walking. My pair came with purple ribbon laces, which I think are pretty cute too. :)

  7. says

    I’ll second or third the Keens. We all love them here….I snap them up at good prices when I can. We just splurged on a pair for my hubby who needs a good Achilles relief and doesn’t like the standard “tennis shoe look” for work, but likes comfy and casual. My kids play hard and their Keens still look good that we pass them on to friends when they outgrow them. They last a long time!

  8. says

    Oh Layla! Getcha some Rocket Dogs! I love ‘em! Cute and stylish and really remind me of your skull sneakers, which BTW are adorable! I’m like you, I LOVE flip flops and wear shoes till they are dead! Heehee! :)

  9. Molly Faircloth says

    How about going on-line to Zappos (free return shipping) and looking at the Clark’s Privo line…i bought a pair to walk around on vacation, put them on the day I left for vacation and walked everywhere and no blisters, lots of comfort, sort of skimmer style. stylish and sneaker support and traction. and still going strong.

  10. Sarah says

    One word. Keen. Really Do it. You will not regret it.

    Fyi, you can find keen’s discounted on sites like 6pm and ebay.

    Rock ‘em!

  11. Megan says

    So I got a really comfy pair of shoes by Columbia a few years ago. I did a little researchand on their website under “Outlet” (,default,sc.html) and found a few pairs that might fit your liking. I suggest looking at:
    Teagan $32.90 (3 colors)
    Avery $29.95 (3 colors)
    Joely $34.90 (4 colors)
    There are some others that you might like so you’ll have to look. Also, because it’s the Outlet, they may not have your size or color choice so you’ll have to look around.
    Hope that helps. Good luck!

  12. Lori says

    I feel your feet pain. I recently had to find a pair of shoes appropriate enough for lots of walking,,I think I have ped..claustrophobia…. can’t stand the thought of my foot being tied up into a shoe, for a trip out west. Found a cute pair of converse without laces and a pair of skechers. Both are slip on and I’m thinking I might get some of those dr.scholl’s insoles for more cushioning in the bottom of the shoe. Give me a flip flop any ole day.

  13. Stacy says

    Take a look at Lands’ End( – I have a couple of pairs of their sandels and Trekkers and really like them. Very comfortable and durable. They have some cute Mary Jane styles too! Sears stores also carry (and can return) them.

  14. KK says

    For flip flops, I’ve worn the same style of Clarks for over 3 years now. I just keeping buying a new pair whenever they wear out. I’d say I wear a pair daily for a year before needing to replace them. I have them in black & brown. At $35/pair, they are most definitely worth it. I bought my last pairs at Rack Room Shoes in the East Chase Shopping area. They are currently having a Buy One, Get One 50% Off Sale.

  15. Leslie says

    Airwalk! They have slip on shoes and flip flops that support your insoles and they aren’t too expensive. I have a pair of flip flops from last year that are still holding together very well even now! I purchased them at our local Pamida.

  16. Nicole says

    I also need arch support and I find I wear almost exclusively privo’s by Clarks. They last FOREVER and are super comfortable. I get the mary janes and wear them with skirts, jeans, and everything in between. They have sneakers, but I’d recommend going with one of the sporty mary janes. They sound like they’d be more you, and they are just as comfy as sneakers.

  17. says

    TRETORNs! I wore them all thru high school and into college. They aren’t too athletic looking but they have great support, and the back of them won’t kill your heel (I have the same problem). Not sure if they make them anymore…lol…but do a google and see if they sell them. Not usually too expensive…and the LAST a looong time! :)

  18. Taryn says

    Toms!!! Super comfy. I just bought my third pair of the year…I’m hooked! Wear them every single day :)

  19. Deb T. says

    Toms are comfortable and cute, but they won’t last long if you are hard on your shoes. Sketchers makes cute mary jane sneakers and they have arch support. What I love are my gray Converse sneakers! My feet are super picky so it takes me forever to find the right shoe too! Happy shoe hunting!

  20. Em Saunders says

    Try Toms! I got a pair and wear them WAAAAY more than I thought. Mine are a charcoal and white thin strip and they go with everything. The newer models have arch support which I need. Super comfy and not one blister, I have the same problem with my heels. They usually get rubbed raw. I know they are a bit more pricey, but when you buy a pair, a child in Africa gets a pair too! They also make styles that have a lace up look to them as well.

  21. Amanda says

    My hubby just bought a pair of Toms and loves them… I’ve had Sketchers Mary Janes and they are pretty good, but have been looking into the Mary Jane Crocs – good luck!

  22. says

    Land’s End makes a cute Maryjane. I think they’re still on sale. I love the orange ones ( I bought the green ones too!). ones

  23. Jackie says

    “I licked my hand and used it to moisturize my leg before deciding to take that picture.” I laughed out loud at my desk reading that. You crack me up!

  24. Carly Carlson says

    You absolutely MUST get a pair of TOMS shoes!! They feel like slippers they are THAT comfy. And the best part? When you buy a pair of TOMS, a pair is donated to children in need of shoes!
    And they are really cute shoes. Once you try a pair you won’t want any other kind of shoe! (Make sure to get it in the right size, I would try them on first vs order online- my first pair was a little too small and I was like “What is all this TOMS hype?!” but once I got a pair in the correct size, wowzers amazing)

  25. Paulina J! says

    These are a little pricey, but they will last FOREVER and are designed specifically for a woman’s foot. I’ve had a pair for 3 years and they are my go to shoe. If tehre is a Belk near you they always have great sales and coupons so you wouldn’t pay full price. The Merells come in all styles and colors too.

  26. Brea says

    Hands down, Dansko brand. They have a Mary Jane style. I wear them all the time. Great arch and no blister on the back because your heel is not even supposed to touch the back of the shoe. you could even drop a hammer on the toe and you won’t feel it. The best part is that the leather looks better as it gets older!

  27. Heidi says

    I have a pair of comfy Rocket Dog Mary Jane-ishs (criss-cross straps-velcro) from DSW a couple yrs ago. Or was it Shoe Locker? Whichever one was having a sale. I liked them because they are multi-colored and go with tons of Tshirt/jean capri type outfits…no, I found that out after the purchase. Truth is, I just like a funky shoe. :)

  28. says

    You’re too funny. I live in my flip flops, weather permitting, too. When I’m forced to put on something else, it’s all about the Converse. And the only reason I own those is because my sister bought them for me as a gift. The $9 Target sneakers are right up my alley. Good luck! I know there will be hundreds of suggestions from people waaaaay more shoe savvy than I! :o)

  29. says

    I have no idea – I just popped over to see what other commenters said, lol! I’m just like you. One pair of sandals until my toenails turn blue – um, naturally ?!? – and a pair of workout shoes by Danskin – $20 @ Walmart. I will, however, check out some of the brands everyone mentioned . . . just in case you & Kev make it all the way to North. Calif!

    (Hey, wait a minute . . . I did an episode of Yard Crashers last year that airs this Christmas. What in the world did I have on my feet? And my legs? And my . . . too late now.)

  30. says

    ahhh shoes…♥

    I am a SpEd Teacher. I am on my feet all day every day during the school year-and then we do the DIY thing all summer :)

    I just bought a pair of Jambu sneakery type things and a pair of heeled clogs from Sofft via Zappos.

    I also bought a pair of the BEST flip flops I have ever walked in this summer-great arch support…

    PS-For my DIY stuff I have a pair of hot pink clogs that are totally plastic! Really a garden shoe buy hey, it doesn’t care about paint/plaster/yukky stuff. It all washes off!

  31. PattiN says

    I actually spend most of my DIY time in Crocs and I just discovered that there are some really nice looking ones that don’t look like “Crocs” but more like “real” shoes/sneakers/sandals and flip flops! They fit my very hard to fit wide feet and when I get stuff on them, they just wash right off…now that’s what I call a DIYers’ shoe.

  32. robelyn says

    Converse! I know… no arch support – but you can buy the insert!!! I have ‘em in every color… 99% of ‘em are paint stained…

    And they have some CUTE ones on their website!!! AND! You can even design your own!!!

    I’m such a sucker for Chuck!!!


  33. Leslie Maddox says

    I love Skechers. They have sneakers without laces, which are great, but they also have plenty of cute shoes that don’t look like sneakers but are just as comfortable.

  34. says

    Air on the tootsies=happiness. But when you need your toes covered, my go to this summer is Old Navy’s snazzy take on the classic topsider; the knotted ties are a nice touch – nothing to fiddle with – they just slip on an off, and the sole is rubber so they’re cushy on the foot bones. The web site has them in 4 colors, but my local Old Navy had them in red, orange, and a few additional colors. I’ve got them in red, and I highly recommend them:

  35. says

    I haven’t read all of the comments, so I apologize if this is redundant, but I think would be perfect. I haven’t worn them yet, but I love that they provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Good luck!

  36. says

    TOMS! There super cute, comfy and eco – friendly. Look good with skirts, shorts, capris, anything. There more than $9, but: With every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One.

  37. Erin says

    How do you feel about boat shoes? they have the same idea as non-athletic-y sneakers, are nicely closed toed, but usually more padded and a ton more relaxed that the shoes in your pic. Check Marshalls or TJ Maxx for a good price now.

  38. Tricia says

    TOMS! The most comfortable, ugly shoes I’ve ever put on my feet. Seriously, I don’t know how they do it, but they are SOOO comfortable! My daughter, who has arch problems, wears them to waitress in, and swears by them.

    Best of luck.

  39. Michelle says

    Hi Layla,

    I’m a long time stalker, first time poster :)

    You are so adorable! Love the new tennies. I’ve been looking for some for my daughter to go w/her school uniform, these are perfect. I’m heading to Target for school supplies today, so we’ll be sure to pick up a pair of those cute $9 shoes a la Layla :)

    Love your work, and your blog. You and your husband are very talented and do amazing work. Your e-zines are fantatstic! You guys are a great source of inspiration for me!

  40. says

    Skechers. I am wearing a pair right now. I have walked through Disneyland for 3 days in a row in my Skechers and my feet were just fine. Wore a pair of “comfy sneakers” for a morning and got blisters all over.

  41. Sarah says

    I LOVE Reef Flip Flops, I live in them from spring through fall (and I live in New England). I find that I do have to replace them annually, but we live in a walking city and, as I say, I wear them EVERY DAY 3/4 of the year. I have also had good luck with Privos they’re usually cute and comfortable — though the pair I loved most aren’t made anymore. . .Finally, for those times when you have to wear shoes you know will rub (dress shoes etc.) I totally recommend body glide. Marathon runners use it to prevent chafing, and it totally works on the heels (and in my case baby toes) to prevent blisters! You can buy it on amazon or in sports stores:

  42. Michelle says

    Oops! I didn’t read far enough to see your cute shoes gave you blisters! So sorry! I guess my daughter won’t be getting a pair after all! Try Payless, they have cute casual styles that are pretty reasonable! :)

  43. says

    You sound like me when it comes to criteria for shoes: Nice styling for very little money AND they outta be comfortable. Yeah…not gonna happen. LOL! So I end up getting uncomfortable but cute shoes to wear for the shortest time possible and go barefoot indoors (and outdoors) whenever I can. (Or flip-flops for summer outside or slippers for inside in winter.) You know what they say “Gotta suffer for beauty!” LOL! Good luck with your shoe hunt. BTW, the blue Target sneakers look really cute on you!

  44. says

    Sketchers has some really cute shoes. Especially mary janes. I agree with the others, Toms would also be a good pick. I personally don’t have a pair b/c I am shoe thrifty like you but have heard from others they are really comfortable.

  45. SuzyMcQ says

    I love my Tom’s too! And mine are the burlapy looking ones so they fit into the DIY-look sort of thing. Van’s makes great sneakers and Keds allows you to custom construct your own sneaks.

  46. says

    TOMS are by far the most comfortable shoes ever! Start with a simple canvas pair… and you will wonder why you waited so long.
    And here’s the cool part, someone, somewhere in a 3rd world country will be given a pair to wear, because of your purchase. Love that!

  47. Jane Crawford says

    Skechers store, but they will set you back a little unless they are haveing a great sale. They are so comfortable and have so many styles–open and closed toed. I think I would die without my yoga mat flip flops. This Florida girl lives in sandals and flip flops most of the year.

  48. Amanda says

    You might consider Privo by Clark. they are comfy and not too sneakerish. I have a pair that are 3 years old that look like an athletic mary jane that I adore!

  49. says

    I love Merrell’s. They have good arch support and when I find a pair I love I usually will buy two pairs!! I have arthritis and these give me the support and comfort I need. Love them!!

  50. Donna Bettencourt says

    I agree with everyone who said try the Keen’s very comfy and some styles are light, I like the Whisper ones, in a lot of colors, check on Zappos, they have everything and free shipping in a couple of days and a 365 day return policy, you will find something good there. enjoy!

  51. Gina says

    I love my Privo shoes. Similar to keen comfort, but a little more “preppy” style and seem to have a bit more to choose from for flats. I have two pair and they feel like they’re massaging your feet when you wear them. They are incredibly comfortable and durable. I have had mine for two years and they still look like new!

  52. amy says

    I second all those Keen lovers out there. Very cute styles, very comfy shoes. Go to a place like REI (do they have those in Georgia? If not they’re online). They have some surprisingly cute shoes that are super durable — brands like Keen, Merril, Teva. Also Simple makes some very cute shoes. I’m a mary jane girl myself. I also recently found some really cute mary janes by Patagonia.

    If you can’t stomach the prices of those brands then check out lands end. Some cute mary janes, but they probably won’t be as comfortable. You really do get what you pay for.

    By the way, I bought a pair of Reef flip flops last year on sale at the REI website for $11. LOOOOVE THEMMMM! So comfy. I have foot issues so comfort and support are key (I can’t go barefoot anymore). These are great.

  53. says

    Try Lands End or LL Bean for Mary Janeish sneakers. I’ve got several pairs from there. Sketcher Brands at many department stores also sell a style you might like. Can’t wait to watch your new show! Break a leg! I mean that in the best theatrical sense of course!

  54. says

    $40 Mary-Jane style sneakers in “natural”… they’re closed-toed but have a very open and airy feel. Very feminine. I think these are perfect! By Sketchers, Fanfare Mary Jane Sneakers. Also come in black and white, but natural are my favorite. :) Link below:

  55. Dee says

    I second Sketchers and Privo for closed toe shoes. You have to spend a little more and be kind to your feet. If you don’t you will mucho sorry down the road. And more than one pair so you can trade off each day. I’m going to check out those Keens that so many suggested.

  56. Laura says

    Puma has some cute “non-athletic” Mary Jane style shoes and they are usually reasonably priced. But for me I LIVE in my Chacos in the summer. Im also saving my money to get me a pair for this winter since they made a slide in style. The Toms shoes are also very popular right now and oh, so cute!! They have a burlap shoe that is my fav!

  57. says

    I’ve got the same exact pair of Earth sandals and I wear them as much as you do! :o) I have a pair of TOMS that I absolutely love. Mine are without laces, but I know they sell ones with if that’s what you’d rather.

  58. says

    You post immediately made me think of Simple Sneakers. They are cute, stylish and SOOOO comfortable. I had a pair in college that I literally wore until they fell apart. (Your comment about superglue made me LOL. My first thought for my shoes was the same thing.) You can search for them on Amazon.

  59. Lisa Cole says

    Ah, I long for the days back when I could wear cheap shoes or flip flops all day, but now that I’m mid-40s, my feet have gotten fussier. Anyhow, I’d highly recommend Teva Mush flip flops – they have a thicker, squashy sole (ergo, “mush”) and a thicker band. They’re practically indestructable, and they come in fun colors/designs. If you buy them on Zappos, they come in a two pack with two different designs.

    For a tennis shoe/mary jane, Merrell makes great ones (link below), but they’re an investment. You can probably find a cheaper version, like the LL Bean ones, but I don’t know how long they last. Merrells are also practically indestructable.

    DEFINITELY CHECK OUT If you don’t like something, it’s free return shipping! : )

  60. Shauna says

    I DIY’d my whole wedding in Vibram Five Fingers ( Yes those weird toe-shoes that make you feel barefoot, and give you proper support and walking techniques for your spine.

    But those Target sneakers are awfully cute. Did you know band-aid brand sells a little stick to rub on the back of your heel to avoid blisters? It’s basically just anti-perspirant, cause the moisture of your skin is really what causes the friction to turn into blisters. I think after a week or so of wearing those guys, they’d be worn in enough to be comfy?

  61. says

    Another vote for Keens! I love them. So comfortable, and they’re fun to look at too! I have two pair now. My first I’ve had for four years, and they’re still going strong. My newest pair, that I bought last year, are the Waimea H2 Ricebag. There are several Mary Jane styles. A little on the pricey side, but they’ll last forever! :)

  62. Katie says

    I just bought these Vans from zappos (in the Frost Gray/Yellow):

    And in a word? Amazing. The tops don’t come up as far as the sneaks you’re currently sporting, so for me they felt more summery. Love them with shorts, capris, jeans and even some skirts. Plus, I have to do a lot of field work for my job so they’re comfortable to stand in and walk around in for long periods of time.

  63. says

    Ok, Miss Layla. My husband and I own a shoe store in Starkville, MS (sorta neighborish to Prattville – we’ve played golf there!). As others have mentioned, Keen is fabulous and Merrell is good too. You’ll get good arch support from them. Check out these cool Merrell MJ’s – Circuit MJ Breeze, Mimosa Emme, Encore Strap. OR if you wanna hop on the barefoot train, check out the Pure Glove! If you ever want great personalized service, just let me know. We’ll fit ya if you’re in the area or ship ya if you’re not! We post new stuff on facebook regularly too so you can find us there as well! Happy shoe shopping!!

    • Shar Yates says

      I have two pair of the Merrell MJ’s and love them. They are comfy, durable, and cute as can be, with or without socks. Get some!

  64. says

    Of all the time I’ve been following your blog, I think this may be the first time I’ve left a comment. Shoes. Shoes is what motivated me to leave a comment… too funny. I’m totally a flip flop girl too, and Rainbows are my brand of choice. They are pricey, but they last for years.

    Anyway, I would recommend DSW Shoe Warehouse. They have tons of styles in the mary jane/sneaker department and the two brands that I always find work for me are Rocket Dogs or Sketchers. Both have an understated version of the sneaker/femininity of the mary jane. Good Luck!

  65. Alisa says

    Try Toms! A few posters have mentioned them (comfy AND they donate a pair to charity when you buy a pair)…but they are also easily ‘personalized’. Checkout their facebook page for lots of inspiration.

  66. Dianne says

    Layla buy TOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are perfectly perfect! Especially if they are paying for them. I like the red canvas ones but there are sooo many to choose from….go now and DO IT!!!!

  67. says

    I’m gonna echo the Keen love. They are the best! I don’t personally have a pair but I recently bought my 2.5 year old a pair and he LIVES in them! Flip flops were making his feet get blisters and sneakers aren’t possible right now in 100 degree California so he needed some ventilation. Keens were the perfect choice! You can also find them at Nordstrom’s rack!!! His were about 25.00..although I’m sure they would be more for adult ones. I’d check there first though! Good luck!

  68. says

    Buy Rainbow flip flop sandals…you can literally do anything in them (even run!) and they won’t break or cause damage to the foot! =-) They have great arch support and will last a lifetime (really, they have a lifetime warranty!). Plus, i feel like they are so versatile…that’s all I wear in the summer. Reef sandals are also nice and come in more “stylish” styles than the basic Rainbow sandals.

  69. says

    I love Merrell Encore MJ’s. I have five pairs in all different colors. They are cool when worn barefoot and warm with socks. I have never had a hint of a blister when wearing these. Best of all, the insoles are washable and they dry quickly if you get them wet. They run about $70.00 but are worth the price.

  70. says

    check out land’s end…they have exactly what you need and you can try them on and buy them at sears stores and even order them while in the store if they dont have your size. good luck

  71. Gayle says

    You need Tretorn’s. You can get them at Land’s End, sometimes you can snag a pair at Sears if your Sears has a nice Land’s End department. They were my faves in high school and now they’ve made a come back!

  72. says

    I love TOMS! I have three pairs and I wear them everywhere plus you can totally personalize them, I have a pair that I put yellow butterfly buttons on recently. Not to mention, it is a company with a great mission which makes me feel better about buying shoes! :-)

  73. says

    TOMS!! Go out and get a pair for you and your hubster. They are a little pricey, but the company gives a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase. One for One is their deal. I love my TOMS and wear them almost every day. You can get them online, but the s&h is $10. You can also pick them up at Nordstroms (the same one for one deal applies) and then you don’t have to pay the s&h. Hope you try them out!

  74. says

    Ok, I’m sorry, I didn’t read through all the other comments, but rocket dog has some cute styles and are so comfy! And then there are always Toms! Can’t wait to see the pilot!!!

  75. Cindy says

    I can’t live without my MaryJane Crocs! Or my MaryJane Skechers – (I think they call them Bikers). They have ventilation holes and everything! But the best thing about them is they’ll cover up the toes I chipped the day before while wearing fil flops! But now that I’ve read tons of the comments, I can hardly wait to try the Keens.

  76. Lisa W. says

    Oh Layla….I have to say this tickled me pink. I love the shoes story. Ok rule number ONE you get what you pay for in shoes. Now thats not to say that I don’t LOVE a good deal when I see one. I LOVE love love shoes so I have WAY to many. Does not sound like you do. So on that note when you think about the hours those dogs of yours spend in them. Then why not buy a good quality pair. Kohls is a excellent store for all shoes. I too love girly not so sporty looking shoes. Exspecially the Mary Jane style…mmmm love those:) I actually found a pair that are SO comfortable with wonderful arch support two years ago. So maybee even check the Nike site. I paid like $30.00ish and that was on sale of course with my 20% 0r 30% coupon:) And on the flip flop note (FAVES all the way) I also have to buy nike, as I cannot wear all those oh so cute little cheap ones. REMEMBER you are so worth it. Buy a good pair of shoes:) Hope that helps. Keep this yummy blog coming:) It just makes my day!!!!!

  77. says

    Dear Layla:

    I’m from Brazil so… I’ll be a little help (or nothing at all) with your snikers questions… but I wish you luck on finding them!!!! ;)

    On the other hand, I’d like to say that I discover your blog today and I COULDNT STOP READING IT!!!! IT’S ADDICTING!!! Please, please, please stop writing about interesting things and beautiful ideas and clever way outs for homes… and let me work! I spent all afternoon here, at the internet, cheking about everything on your blog! It isnt fair!!!….

    PS: I also saw the video about your in laws porche. You are not just a talented woman but a loving person too! Congrats!!!

    Kisses and blessings.
    (from Brazil)

  78. says

    You said the word sneakers, my cue to say…..BiddyBrain!
    See my custom BiddyBrain brand art sneakers here
    If you want to put your own image on a pair, like that sweet pic of you and Kevin at the top of your blog, that would be nice too. has those sweet girlie sneaks too like your beloved pirate shoes. Good luck!

  79. Ahbra says

    Landsend is having there 70 off sale. Just ordered water and hiking Mary janes for $11 each with free shipping. I love these shoes!!!!

  80. says

    I love converse but I don’t love the price AND how they always blister the back of my ankles (too high?). So I bought these look a like ones at Payless instead ( Love them, love the price, love the classic appeal. Plan to get a new pair this year!

    They look good with jeans and skirts. So cute!

  81. says

    As some others have mentioned, TOMS are so so great. Very comfortable – I never had to use any band-aids, and that’s very rare! They’re not ‘Mary-Jane’-ish though. But highly recommended for comfort and cuteness! (and their One for One policy)

  82. Janita says

    Layla, you’re getting great suggestions here so I’ll echo Keens, Simple, Rocket Dogs…I have a cute pair of Sketcher Mary Janes that my teenage daughter is loathe to see me in but they look a lot like your former black MJs and I love em. As a faithful reader though, I say with all the DIYing you do, you best protect your feet with something a little more, wel… protective than a flip flop! We need you! And your toes.

  83. Kary Ross says

    Hey Layla! I have a few suggestions for ya! I am a skinny footed girl so I have very particular feet! But, if you need a arch support and you’ll be on your feet alot more than usual, then I’d say you most likely need that arch support. I’m a firm believer (for me) in Merrell shoes. You can Google that and see what they have. I love their “Siren Sport” shoes for their support and I can even jog in them and hike too!
    Sorry in advance for all the links!!! Enjoy!
    But, here’s 3 links for some shoes that are also “good for your feet”. Like the Earth Baby Jane AND

    Privo Ballet Style


    then there’s these cute Dansko’s that my sister swears by

    And, my favorite “sneakers” are the Merrell Siren Sport:

    BUT then, the good ‘ol Keds could be your best friend too and we are back to just what you bought!***5********WF34100*M120&productId=5-130610&catId=cat610203

    Good luck!!

  84. Ami says

    May seem a little old school (but then again – I am) but try Keds. They are a little pricier – but will last you FOREVER! And arch support galore – I took 3 pair on a recent trip to New York City and that’s all I wore (even to the theater!) And there are lots of fun colors & styles to choose from.

  85. Sherri Langford-Farrell says

    DSW or
    I swear by them and you get rewards on every purchase if you join their rewards club for free. I live in flip- flops, but I have some super comfies by Privo. I can walk for hours (like I do!!!) and not rub blisters. Here’s to us open toed shoe girls!!!!!!

  86. Sallie coons says

    Lands’ end may be a good choice for what you need. They have some Mary Jane-ish style canvas shoes which are actually quite comfortable and come in several different colors. Good Luck !!

  87. Christina says

    I had the same problem until I found these…

    From firSt wear they never have given me any discomfort. They also have really cute colors, I like the brown and black. They look more beachy and not so “brand new.”
    Good Luck! Can’t wait to see your show, just started reading your blog a week ago and my whole apartment has changed from your inspiration! Thank you!

  88. says

    I don’t really know about sneakers, but I got a pair of airwalk flipflops at Payless (I think they were 12.95) at the end of last summer and I LOVE THEM! They are comfy and they look like the much much pricier flip flops.

    They may have sneakers there too! I love Payless!

  89. says


    :o) stef

  90. Christy says

    My go to flip flops are Reef & Havianna’s (love these & have way too many pairs, if there is such a thing as too many flip flops).

    For sneakers, I heart Converse – have the basic balck, or Target’s One Star Converse – in these I have a few colors, they are inexpensive. I also really like SIMPLE. I have a couple pair & love these.

  91. Sarah Teske says

    Check out Privos — my mom has them and I always covet her medium width foot – ha!
    Unfortunately, I have long narrow foot, so medium width doesn’t work for me. I think my mom’s shoes are so cute. For me? I LOVE my Chaco sandals. They have great arch support. They might not be the “look” you’re going for. But excellent fit, foot doctor approved, wear forever, sporty sandal.^jxGender%2CWomen%27s

  92. kim says

    Keens! Keens! Keens! They are my favorite shoes ever! Zappos has a great selection. There are dozens of styles and many fun colors. Every member of my family has at least one pair. They are pricey, but they last forever!

  93. Melanie Messer Chiang says

    Love the reflection on shoes. And if your show is successful, please come to Boston! So many houses here could use your magical touch. I wish you and your husband much peace and success during this wonderful time.

  94. Shawn says

    Try Merrell’s. Comfortable support, sneaker style to ballet style slip on. All the best with the show!

  95. says

    I think its about time you got yourself a pair of TOMS! They prob have just as much support as those $9 target shoes but are super cute, confortable and mold to your feet. They are my go to flats.

  96. Larissa says

    if you want some support but love an open toed sandal try a pair of spencos or orthaheels- they are great for your feet and cute too.

  97. Bethanie says

    You crack me up!! I definitely think you’re a TOMS kind of girl…not to mention when you buy a pair they send a pair to a child in need…yellow box are the most comfortable flip flops on the planet! They’re at the top end of my price range at $20, but they’re the bombdiggity!!

  98. Kim Meagher says

    Check out Keens. They have a bunch of styles and colors and the mary jane style that you are looking for. Love your blog!

  99. Patricia Hardin says

    I KNOW it’s hard to spend money on flip flops but TRUST me, living in TEXAS, I wear them EVERY day of the year! I buy the cloth REEFS and they last over two years (and never stink!!). I buy mine at Whole Earth!! in Austin, but you can get them online. Good Luck friend :)

  100. says

    I always have good shoe luck at — just type in “Mary Jane” in the search box and dozens of styles will pop up. Free shipping and returns, too.

  101. alison says

    yeah keens are awesome, but i don’t wear mine everyday. i do wear my teva flip flops every day!!! evvveeerrryyy daaayyyy. they are the best, i got mine for about 22 bucks at fred meyer, they are solid black and i got them last summer, or maybe the summer before. still goin strong.

  102. Kristine says


    And while you’re at it but Kevin a pair of the Reef flip-flops that have the bottle opener in the sole. My husband says they’re super comfy and practical, once you get over opening a bottle with the sole of your shoe!

  103. says

    Do a google search for Privo Kosmo Flat. has free shipping. They are a mary jane type sneaker. Cute, cute, cute and soooo comfortable. I have 3 different colors!

  104. Holly says

    I love my Sanuks – they are super comfy, come in many styles/patterns/textures, and don’t look sneaker-ish at all.. As for regular flip-flops, try the yellow box brand (I get mine at Belk Dept. Store) they are seriously the most comfortable flip-flop I’ve ever owned. I’ve kicked my rainbows to the side – I definitely choose yellow box over rainbows (plus, yellow box are about $30 cheaper). Good luck, and let us know what you end up with!!

  105. Jen Gilday says is a great shoe resource. Free shipping BOTH ways. And you get them send in 24 hrs. So you can buy a ton, try them out, then ship them back for free before it even shows up on a visa bill!! Love it!! Here are a few of my favorites, which I’ve personally owned.!/keen-women-sneakers-athletic-shoes/CK_XARC81wFSAqsDwAEB4gIEGAEKAg.zso
    (Favs are the Keen Coronado. I own in black and wear most of the time. With shorts, capris. Jeans….can’t go wrong).
    (I own the Simple Satire-Hemp with polka dot laces. So fun!!)

    Hope that’s helpful!!!! They are worth the money and will really last you. Great arch support too!!!

    As far as flip flops, I love my havaianas. Only $18!!

  106. Leah says

    You need to come to Auburn and go to Kinnucans-they have just about every shoe mentioned here in your comments, you could try them on and decide!!

  107. says

    BLISTER BLOCK! Ok, that’s not a shoe (I throw my vote with Tom’s and Merrill’s, though I don’t often wear sneakers.) But I DO regularly wear blister-inducing shoes, and you shouldn’t bother with bandaids at all, but get yourself some blister block, which is a bit like a mini-deodorant for your feet. It’s fantastic stuff and can be found either right next to the bandaids, or over with insoles depending on your store. Good luck!
    : ) Meg

  108. Melanie says

    im loving ur new canvas shoes! ur legs look tan, my saliva doesnt self tan my skin, i just tried it, lol!

  109. Nancy says

    TOMSK I just bought my first pair and I don’t know why I waited so long to get some. They are casual and super comfortable!

  110. Jessica says

    Check out Simple Shoes. They are sooooo comfortable… they are a little bit more than $20 but totally worth it, especially if you are going to be on your feet most of the day.

  111. Peggy says

    With all this great advice I have a feeling you’re going to have to get more than one pair……have fun shopping!

  112. Cara says

    I love my Converse low-tops. Lots of colors and personality!
    Good luck on your pilot, can’t wait to see it. :)

  113. Cheryl F says

    “I licked my hand and used it to moisturize my leg before deciding to take that picture.” Layla, you rock. I love your honesty and humour!

    Sperry Topsiders have been a fave of mine for years. You should also check out anything made by Rockport. Yes, they cost a little more but you will have them for years! I bought a pair of their leather flip flops ($60 in Canada) and I’ve had them for 6 years and they’re still going strong. That’s only $10/year. Don’t think I’m all stinky feet, I rotate amongst my other shoes, I would hate to leave a pair out and hurt their feelings but the quality really is there.
    Have a great Thursday!

  114. Sue S says

    Merrills makes really good quality casual shoes. Some Mary Janeish, some clog style (my faves) and some others. Great for outdoor or indoor wear! And they are COMFORTABLE!

  115. Beverly Palmer says

    Try Crocs! I live in central Florida and we practically LIVE in them! Also, they’re washable time and time again. Gotta love that.

  116. Dawn says

    Try sperry’s. They are like deck shoes (worn for sailing). Kind of a slip on that can be broken in and worn comfortably for hours without socks! :)
    Good luck!

  117. Amy Ann says

    If you want flip flip, rainbows are the only way to go – They are leather and come in different colors and strap widths. I have had my pairs for 6+ years and they only get better with time. They have arch support and are SO comfortable. They even guarantee the sole for life (or if the strap comes off-view it on the website). They are a bit more pricey, but it is totally worth every penny. I do all of my DIY projects in them. They have paint on the soles. :)

  118. kelly says

    sometimes skechers has some cute slip on ones?!
    i have a hard time with shoes! living in hawaii makes it much easier we wear slippers (flip flops) all year, and as far as flip flops i love fit flops and sanuk brands!

  119. says

    Love, love, love my Keens. Going on year four. They do house projects, hike in Glacier, go to tag sales, and take a trip through the wash machine every now and then. Great prices if you subscribe and watch when they come up on the daily sale at 6 p.m.

  120. DoodlePeas says

    Good ‘ole KEDS has cute Mary Jane style sneaks! Can NEVER go wrong with Keds…they’re inexpensive too!

  121. says

    have to ask.. what brand are your super cute faux leather sandals in the second photo… and where did you get them? i’ve been looking for a faux strap sandal that doesn’t have the big toe loop and it doesn’t like yours have that, i would love to get a pair!! thanks for sharing and fun post!

  122. Jenni says

    My go to brands are Privo, Chacos, and Ahnu. I have a cute pair of rugged Ahnu mary janes that are super comfy. I’ve had my Chacos sandals for over seven years, worn most every day in the summer, and they are in amazing condition. They are also the most comfortable shoes I own.

  123. Leesha says

    Ugh. I’m still rockin’ those skull sneakers from Target! They are, quite possibly, my all time favorites. I fear the day they bite the dust. When I bought them I figured they’d last til the end of summer, and here I am years later, still wearing them.

    Can’t wait to see what you end up going with – perhaps that will make finding my replacement pair a little easier. :)

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