Sensible shoes for the sole: 10 options to shop for all your lockdown activities

Suicoke sandals worn with Gucci socks. Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images
Suicoke sandals worn with Gucci socks. Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Yes, you're mostly dressing from the waist up, but don't you miss proper shoes sometimes? 

When last did you wear heels? Don't you miss the elevated posture, the way they instantly tone your legs and even the way the balls of your feet start cursing you out in Spanish when you've been wearing skyscrapers for an entire day? 

I do. 

And it's not just heels that I miss - I miss my 'dressing up' shoes a whole lot too, which is why I actually wear them when I go to the grocery store. I don't want them to feel neglected, you see. 

But I'll be honest; striking as my arsenal of footwear may be, 'comfortable' isn't the word I would jump at adding to the lexicon that describes them. 

In one of my past weekly shoe columns for Marie Claire (published in the Malaysian edition) - Sartorial Podiatrist - I wrote "shoes are my Achilles heel; but unfortunately they also hurt my Achilles tendons. And so begins the story of my love-hate relationship with trendy statement shoes." 

Essentially, the point of this was to make a case for half shoe sizes for footwear that isn't just sneakers. "A large majority of retail stores don’t make half-sizes anymore. However, biology doesn’t work that way, whether your feet are big or small. Half-sizes (one barleycorn if you prefer) therefore create that marginal allowance for our toes, bumps and bunions to wiggle and breathe," I explained. 

I suppose this can also be somewhat attributed to the gradual comeuppance of sensible shoes, as was also predicted in this W24 article forecasting 2019 trends. In this article, 'Orthopedic' sandals were listed among paper-bag bottoms, Studio 54 sequins, and larger-than-life ruffles as nostalgic trends that would be introduced to us in better, revised forms. 

READ MORE: Fashion industry unmasked: why trends are never really new  

The argument for sensible shoes was as folllows; "Velcro Teva sandals and Birkenstocks have been around for decades. Understandably so - they're incredibly comfortable and practical, but they have never peaked fashion-wise. However, ever since Balenciaga ushered in a wave of ugly shoes in 2017 (including platform Crocs), orthopedic-esque sandals were bound to have their moment sooner or later." 

And it's safe to say that since we're now embracing the comfort economy, 2020 is finally the year they've cemented their place in several shopping carts around the world. As people have realised they don't own enough knits, sweatpants, and loungewear during lockdown, comfort dressing has partially shifted our fashion gaze from aesthetics to sensibility. 

However, these two facets of fashion need not be mutually exclusive. As someone who'll always raise their hand on behalf of Birkenstocks, Crocs, Teva sandals, Salomon trainers, and Green Cross clogs in a polarising discussion about off-beat shoes, I can assure you that sensible shoes have more sole (yes, of the pretty kind) than they're sometimes given credit for. 

READ MORE: 20 Instagram-ready winter fashion items to shop during lockdown from all our favourite retail stores  

So even though my lockdown go-to has been Havaiana slip-slops, let's see what our work-from-home and lounging around shoe options are: 

Crocs and Jibbitz charms

Consumers can expect to see the classic clogs and slides they know and love in new, trend-right colourways like Cantaloupe, Neo Mint, Lemon and Electric Pink. Jibbitz charms will also be prevalent with new styles available constantly throughout the year based on consumer trends and seasonality, encouraging consumers to add a personalised touch to further express their own style. 

The women's Baya clogs are currently on sale for R299

*Crocs stores are open and their online store is now delivering.

sensible shoes

Or shop the Crocband Platform Metallic Clog for R799.

sensible shoes for lockdown


There's s a reason these shoes rhyme with socks - they were made for each other (in the cooler seasons, that is). 

Shop these Birkenstock Arizona Graceful Gemm sandals for R1499 on Takealot.

sensible shoes for lockdown

Ballerina flats 

Stay en-pointe even when you're at home with these soft leather ballerinas, R459 at Zara

lockdown shoes


Kick back and pick up essential items in dope sneakers. 


A pair of plain white sneakers is always relevant, so why not get these Ralph Sampson Lo trainers? R1300 from Puma

Note: All items on are now available for delivery.

lockdown shoes


Classic leopard Superga canvas sneakers, R899 on Superbalist

sensible shoes


Courtset navy/white sneakers, R749.95 at Totalsports.

lockdown shoes


Because loafing is what we're doing when we're not working from home. Shop these Country Road Katie soft leather loafers, R1099 at Woolworths

lockdown shoes

Something furry 

You've been cuddling your throw in front of the TV - your feet deserve to be cuddled too.  

Get the UGG fluffy 'yeah' slide, R1999 on Superbalist.

sensible lockdown shoes

Slip into some slippers

Of course, slippers are the backbone of home footwear. Shop these Women's Yeti Sheepskin Slippers, R999 from Cape Union Mart.

Note: These are included in the store's list of essential items. However, Delivery could take up to 3 weeks as [they] work through the backlog from lock-down. Orders which include non-essential items will be processed after lock-down.

lockdown shoes

Front Bow Moccasins Slippers, R199.95 from Edgars.

lockdown shoes

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