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We Tried The Washable Flats You're Seeing All Over Pinterest

How legit are they? We wanted to find out.

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Hi! We're Jessica and Natalie, two editors here at BuzzFeed — and we both firmly believe that flats > high heels.

Jessica Misener / BuzzFeed, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Heels are cute and all, but who has time for sore feet? NOT us.

That's why when a certain brand of flats started popping up all over our Pinterest and Facebook, we were intrigued.

So we started digging and found out the brand is called Rothy's. The good? The flats are machine washable (!) and made from recycled materials. They claim to be comfy like sneakers — oh, and also? They are really CUTE.

rothys.com

We had our doubts on the comfy factor (every flat blisters SOME, right?). But their cuteness factor is 💯 — and so is the ability to toss them in a washing machine and make 'em look brand new.

BUT! In the name of ~shoe science~, we decided to put three pairs to the test to see if they were actually worth the $$$.

Sheera Frenkel / BuzzFeed, Jessica Misener / BuzzFeed, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

We also asked our friend Sheera to join:

• Natalie wore the round-toe flat (in a discontinued color, $125)

• Jessica wore the point-style flat (in a discontinued color, $145)

• Sheera wore the black pointed-toe flat ($145)

We wore the flats for several months — because as any flats-lover knows, one of the most important things to figure out about a new pair is how they hold up ~over time~.

Some flats feel amazing at first, but fall apart in a month or two. Others kill your feet when you first break them in, but then turn out to be great. It's so hard to know!

After a few months of regular wear, here's what we thought...

1. Simple but cute? Office work, fancy party, and walks around the neighborhood? DEFINITELY.

Sheera Frenkel / BuzzFeed

Jessica: The pointed toe is stylish, and the fabric part is stretchy but also durable. I like the contrasting orange sole, too.

Sheera: They dress up and down nicely. I found myself wearing these to a friend's wedding when I needed an escape from my heels, and with jeans on the weekend.

2. But blister-free? Nope! At least not for the first few wears.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Natalie: They rubbed my heels badly in the first week (so I took a break from wearing them for a few days), but after that, I haven't noticed any blistering on the back of my heels — a first for flats. Three months in, while they're not ~as comfortable~ as sneakers, they're pretty darn close.

Jessica: Like most other flats I've tried, they murdered my feet the first time I wore them, in that back-of-the-heel spot that all flats are blood-hungry for. Even with Band-Aids, I had to walk on the backs of the shoe heels instead of putting my foot inside them just to make it home. Eventually they stretched out a bit, and now I can wear them sans Band-Aid intervention. But they still pinch a little at the end the day.

3. Washing them DOES actually work!

Sheera Frenkel / BuzzFeed

Sheera: They wash really well and maintain their shape even after multiple rounds in the washing machine. I was so worried they would lose their shape after hearing them clang around in the machine for 30 minutes. But they keep coming out as good as new!

Natalie: As a sweaty-footed person, being able to wash the stench away saves me so much stinky-foot embarrassment. Although I hand-wash mine with Woolite and air-dry overnight, because I'm self-conscious about taking shoes to the laundromat. Some nights I'll just run them under hot water from the tub's tap, and buy myself another day or two without stench.

4. There's not much built-in arch or ankle support. (Though you can supplement with insoles.)

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Sheera: It took me a while to get used to the stretchy sides and lack of support. I have terrible ankles that sprain at the slightest hint of a curb or uneven sidewalk. These are great for short city walks, but I wouldn't wear them on any surface that threatened to roll my ankles.

Natalie: I wish they'd found a way to incorporate more support too. I always have to wear my cork orthopedic insoles with them (essential, because at the wise old age of 27, I need support in my shoes, dammit), but I do like that the insoles fit snugly in the shoes without making my feet bulge out the top.

5. But they're GREAT for bike commuters who don't like carrying tennis shoes.

Jessica Misener / BuzzFeed

Jessica: I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to bike in Rothy's — the rubber sole gripped the pedals well, and I wasn't worried the flat was going to fall off my foot. I used to have to wear sneakers to work on the days I bike in, because you need a sole with good grip on it to pedal safely. (I mean, I could bring other shoes to change into, but...laziness.)

6. The recycled-plastic-bottle fabric covering the top of your foot is breathable and flexible, but shows your toes a little.

Jessica Misener / BuzzFeed

Sheera: I wore them out on a muggy, hot night in New York and my feet didn't get that gross sweaty/sticky feeling I usually get in closed-toed shoes in the summer.

Jessica: Because the actual shoe part was a stretch fabric, you could see the outline of my toes through the shoe. Does that make sense? It's a weird aesthetic!

7. They can take a lot of wear, at least compared with other flats.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Natalie: As a commuting New Yorker, I destroy leather and pleather flats in about three months, no matter how nice they are, because I walk so much. After three months of consistent medium to hard wear (including gardening, playing with my friend's dog in the dirt patch that's my backyard, and running through the mud on accident), these flats still look new.

8. But they're still pretty pricey — even for a flat that lasts a long time.

rothys.com

Sheera: These are a little on the pricey side. A few friends admired them, but were unsure about spending the $145 on the pointy-version of the flats.

Natalie: Thinking strictly in cost per wear, if you wore these 20 days a month all summer, your cost-per-wear for a pair of the pointed toe flats is $2.42. (In comparison, a $30 flat's cost per wear is about 50 cents.)

To sum up? If you're thinking about getting a pair of Rothy's, here's who we think would benefit most from them:

1) People who are looking for durable, washable flats that can handle wear and tear. These totally lived up to that.

2) People who need air circulation in their shoes or whose feet sweat more than usual. The breathable fabric allows for air circulation around your toes that some other (pleather and leather) flats don't. And if they start to smell bad, you can wash them.

3) People who don't mind the price tag. These are expensive, and even though they're pricier for a reason, you can still find plenty of cute, comfortable flat options at a more affordable price point.

Think they're right for you, or just curious? Browse or order a pair (with free shipping and returns) from their website.

Sheera and Jessica received their shoes from Rothy's at no cost; BuzzFeed purchased Natalie's flats for testing.

  1. Would you try a pair of Rothy's?

    I already have some! Love them.
    Totally, these seem great.
    I'm thinking about it, TBH.
    Nope, too much $$$/not my style.
    I have another go-to pair of flats; I'll leave them in the comments

We Tried The Washable Flats You're Seeing All Over Pinterest

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Would you try a pair of Rothy's?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I already have some! Love them.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Totally, these seem great.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I'm thinking about it, TBH.
  4.  
    vote votes
    Nope, too much $$$/not my style.
  5.  
    vote votes
    I have another go-to pair of flats; I'll leave them in the comments

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