Shopping: Boden’s Alice Flats

I’m not really a shoe person. You know, some people are shoe people and they seem to always have a great pair or at least an interesting looking pair of shoes on? They somehow make walking or even just wearing 6 inch heels look easy.That’s not me. I have large-ish feet, it’s hard to find shoes that fit them, I’m tall, so people comment when I wear heels, and I work at home and spend most of the day either barefoot or in stocking feet.

When I do go out, I tend to put on either same pair of¬† boots (in the winter) or the same pair of flats (the rest of the year), because I know I will be walking or biking and will need to be wearing something that won’t pinch my toes or scrape my heels or do whatever it is most shoes do to my feet. My big anti-shoe rant is actually just intended to serve as an introduction to what might my new favorite pair of shoes: Boden’s Alice Flats.


Boden brought out the Alice line of shoes this past spring, with a high heel (3.25 inches) and mid-heel (2.25 inches). The shoes come in a range of colors, from the basic black and gray combo above to a color blocked amethyst and teal. There’s also a few polka dot options and a hot pink. I almost got the mid-heel, thinking it would be good to actually have a grown-up pair of dressy¬† heels on hand, for you know, things I have to do as a grown-up.

Then they introduced the flat version and I thought to myself, Cannes be damned, I’ll never wear heels, so I might as well get the flats.

When the shoes arrived, I have to admit, I wasn’t that into them. The toe’s a bit pointy and I wasn’t sure about the look. But, I think that’s just how dress shoes are supposed to look and maybe I’d know that if I actually wore them from time to time.

Looks aside, what’s really important about these shoes is the fit. Boden has weird shoe sizing, which actually works for me, because I have weirdly sized feet. It’s a bit of bastardized European sizing system (not UK sizing, interestingly enough). I think I technically wear a 10 in US sizes, but the Alice flats were only offered in half sizes, so I went with the 10.5. It might be a bit big, but I’ve worn them out without any rubbing or other issues.

Back to the Euro sizing thing: Although Boden lists US sizes on their site, when you get the shoes, they have the Euro size printed on them, not the US size. A 10.5 in Boden land translates to a 42 in Euro sizes, which is actually a bit smaller than other brands I’ve seen. For example, my size 10 Doc Martens claim to be the equivalent of a size 42 Euro. It’s also bigger than other brands: a pair of Superga sneakers I have claim to be a size 10/size 41.5. All these shoes fit, which I guess just means there’s no standard when it comes to converting sizes.

The Alice flats are surprisingly comfortable. I actually wore them while working the day they arrived, then wore them to the grocery store for the heck of it a few days later. I’m not sure if they’ll be great for walking miles and miles in, but I can totally see myself riding a bike in them or walking to and from the subway or bus.

Most importantly, they are really well made. I’ve only recently come around to the value of a really well made pair of shoes, ones that are not only leather on the outside, but lined in leather and that feature a leather sole. The quality difference is amazing.

I might not be a shoe person, but I’m definitely into these shoes.