Site I Like: Bunions Over Beauty:

When I was in college I thought I was going to be a politician and I took, as every future politician does, the first step on my path to the White House- I interned for a summer in DC.

It was a very unstylish step.

Style became a distance second to comfort after my first week of walking the carpetless, long, underground corridors that connect our nation’s capital and after the first month, my budding bunions begged for relief. In 1996,  there was really only one place to go for comfy shoes, Naturalizer. On any given Saturday, the Naturalizer store in Tysons Corner would be filled to the brim with interns, staffers, lobbyists, and the occasional Congresswoman, all trying to score a new pair of sensible pumps.  We didn’t ask for style-  just comfort and the ability to help us wade through the pile of **bleep** that’s everywhere in DC.

Bunions over Beauty

Naturalizer stores continue to be the spot for comfy, borderline stylish, shoes that would make your grandma proud and your bunions sigh. However, the store’s website features updated styles that successfully mix comfort and style, in sizes 5-12M (also includes wides and narrows)- like the boots featured above (on sale for $129.95) or the red platform pumps shown to the right (on sale for $39.95) .

The site also features updated (read: more expensive) pricing, which is why I suggest heading to the sale section first. Like it’s comfort-style competitor, Aerosoles, everything eventually ends up on sale for a substantially reduced price within 6 to 8 weeks. Plus, offers free shipping.

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    Naturalizer’s been a surprise to me too recently – I’ve bought 2 pairs of shoes there this year…  Super cute?  YES.  Comfortable?  Not so much.
    The 2nd pair I bought was actually identical to a pair of Carlos Santanas that I had been drooling over – except the Naturalizers were $20 less.  The first time I wore them, it felt like my feet were bleeding after an hour.  They are now reserved for “sitting outings.” 🙂


    I know they’ve struggle a bit in combining style and comfort (the shoes featured above are a bit comfortable) but I think no matter how you slice it.. it’s near impossible to make a 4 inch heel comfortable

    I’m wearing my sensible Naturalizer pumps as I type right now.  Even they start to rub the edges of my feet after walking a block or two on the street (in D.C.)

    The only brand I can actually walk in are Aerosoles, but most styles look like grandma picked them out.  Cole Haan has adorable “Nike Air Pumps”  my guess is that the heel and sole of the pump will be cushioned well, but probably sensitive feet will still be squeezed in at the toe, resulting in uncomfortable rubbing.  I’ll have to try them and let you know!

    Also, always make sure you are buying the right size.  Most women buy too small and sizes vary by brand.  You can always go up a half size and use mole skin padding in the slightly loose areas.

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