There's no doubt that over the last year, many of us have spent more time walking than ever before. With nowhere to go and no one to see, the daily lap around the block or local park became an outing to look forward to and often the only opportunity we'd have to socialise (from a distance, of course). While this newfound obsession with getting in our 10,000 steps or adding to our kilometre count on Strava has of course been beneficial from a health perspective, it has also meant that we've spent much of the year in sneakers, and quite frankly, I'm ready for a change.
Therefore, Team Who What Wear set out to find some spring shoes that could work as an alternative to trainers, keeping in mind that many of our outings now continue to include a commute on foot. Each editor selected a shoe style and put it to the test walking to their local coffee shop, grocery store or park picnic to ensure optimum comfort.
From sandals to ballet pumps and loafers, we've found options so comfy you'll be able to retire your sneakers to the back of the closet (at least for now). Keep scrolling for three pairs of shoes our editors swear are just as comfy as trainers.
Hannah Almassi, Editor in Chief: Teva Hurricane
Hannah's verdict: "I spent last year's summer walking the streets of my neighbourhood in long dresses and Tevas. It was the easiest and most comfortable outfit to throw on, and I'll be replicating the two-piece formula throughout 2021. The style of Teva sandals I own (and that's two pairs in total of the Hurricane XLt2 style in black!) are genuinely sensible and useful walking shoes. They have a studier and more ergonomic sole than your average foam-soled versions and are a little bit more expensive for it, but I can walk in these for hours and hours, which I often did!"
Joy Montgomery, Shopping Editor: G.H. Bass & Co. Loafers
Joy's verdict: "As boring as it may sound, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to uncomfortable shoes. Perhaps it's because I spent my teens and early 20s hobbling around in ill-fitting ballet pumps and coaxing my reluctant feet into tottering heels. Nope, now I'm all about flats—blisters and aching arches need not apply. So for this story, I decided to put my relatively new G.H. Bass & Co. loafers to the test. In my experience, high-quality leather shoes can be a pain (literally) to break in. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the cushioned sole and the soft, toe-friendly upper. Admittedly, I wore them without socks after seven months of living in chunky boots, so I did experience a little rubbing. However, aside from this, I could happily walk a full day in these babies. My solution is to wear socks throughout spring to allow my feet to adjust before summer hits and I can go solo."
Zoe Anastasiou, Social Media and Fashion Editor: M&S Ballet Pumps
Zoe's verdict: "I first heard about these from our editor Emma Spedding, who absolutely swears by the style. In an article about the shoes, Emma confessed to wearing them at least nine days out of 10 and has said they are undoubtedly the comfiest shoes she owns. Of course, after that glowing review, I had to try them for myself.
"She wasn't wrong. The pumps have a cushiony inner sole so feel quite soft the minute you put them on—almost like wearing slippers. They hug your feet and feel quite supportive in comparison to other flats I've worn in the past. I finally understand why Emma has the shoes in several colours, as I could see myself pairing these alongside jeans, dresses and skirts through spring and beyond."