The Best Ballet Flats for Men

I thought I might take some time to rank order some of the ballet flats that are out there and that I think make great options for men. If you are a guy who is considering trying out ballet flats for the first time or if you already wear flats but are looking for something different, hopefully this post will help. I own many of these flats and have at least tried on many others. This list includes a few that I think will also work but I have not yet had the chance to try them on.

My main criteria in developing this list, in order of priority, are as follows:

  1. Comfort – guys really are more about having shoes that are comfortable.
  2. Style – needs to have smooth, clean lines with a unisex look.
  3. Sizing – needs to be available in larger sizes for men.
  4. Price – when it comes to ballet flats, you usually get what you pay for, but it still needs to be reasonable.

1. Born Julianne

This is by far my favorite shoe, let alone ballet flat. This is the only pair of flats that I have been able to wear right out of the box with no blisters or undue pressure on my feet. The leather is very soft and supple and after a few wearings completely molded to my feet. The Julianne flat also has more cushioning and arch support than most any other flat, other than some of the “sporty” styles. Some colors of this flat are offered up to size 12 women’s (roughly 11 men’s) and wide widths. At $85-$90 per pair, they are great value and comfort for the money.

2. Tieks

Tieks flats are rapidly becoming another favorite of mine. They do not have the same amount of cushioning and arch support as the Julianne, but the soft leather makes up for that to some degree. I was initially disappointed when I tried my new pair on as they were uncomfortable around my toes, but after about a month of off and on wear they have become quite comfortable. Tieks are sized up to women’s 13 and the softness of the leather can easily handle wide widths. Beginning at $175 a pair, they are probably not the best value for the money, but they are worth it.

3. Skechers

Because Skechers changes their style offerings every year or every season, I am not going to point out a particular style. I got my start wearing flats by trying some of the mary-jane styles. Skechers shoes are very comfortable all around and are offered up to women’s size 11 (occasionally 12). This is a great way to start wearing flats because the “sportier” look of Skechers makes them look more unisex.

4. SoftStar Shoes Adult Ballerine Flat

I wanted to get this shoe close to the top of my list, even though I have not had the chance to try them yet, because I am impressed that they are marketing it is a unisex shoe. I think the company is trying to compete with Tieks to some degree as at $150 the pricing is nearly as high and some of the construction seems similar. They do offer this in unisex sizing (with men’s sizing as the primary sizes) up to men’s 12, but I think you can custom order larger sizes if necessary. You can also customize the colors and design.

5. Tory Burch

Tory offers a range of ballet flat designs with the “Minnie” being one of the more popular styles. I have tried these on several times but have not yet made the purchase as I am personally not a fan of the ornament on the toe (but that is just me). Several other male ballet flat lovers, such as ToryBri, think this is a great shoe.

6. Repetto

Repetto basically invented the ballet flat, so it only stands to reason that they would have a flat designed exclusively for men. I have not tried their shoes, mainly because the $500 price tag is a bit too much for me. I am encouraged though that they would continue to offer an alternative for men. 2020 UPDATE: It appears Repetto has discontinued their ballet flats for men.

7. Cole Haan

Cole Haan is another company that makes a wide range of flats, some of which I have tried on and found very comfortable. Unfortunately, their sizing usually only goes up to women’s 11.

8.  Bass Lexi

I am including the Bass Lexi ballet flat because it is probably the best value for the money. I have tried on this flat in the outlet stores and it can be purchased for as little as $20, depending on the sale at the time. For the money, they are quite comfortable. Unfortunately, the sizing tops out at women’s 11. 2020 Update: Bass doesn’t make this particular style anymore, but still has a selection of ballet flats.

9. Telfar

I need to include the designer Telfar because he has been showing ballet flats with his designs for several years now. I have never tried his shoes, but they have a good unisex look. 2020 UPDATE: I’m not sue if Telfar is commercially selling his flats anymore, or frankly if he ever did.

10. Any “Sporty” looking flat

My last pick is any “sporty” looking ballet flat. These are available from a number of companies, but they tend to change seasonally. I got a couple of great flats from Teva several years ago, but alas, they have been discontinued. This style of flat may pass off as unisex and Vibram has made a ballet flat-like shoe in its FiveFingers line for men for many years that makes a good unisex alternative for an open-vamp shoe.

Conclusion

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of possible ballet flat options for men. In fact, I have several others in my closet that I have not even mentioned here. I welcome others to post their favorites in the remarks to this blog page. In the future, I will start writing more extensive reviews of some of the flats that I own.

Afterthoughts

Occasionally I come across a new company that is making ballet flats for men. I’ll use this space to highlight those as I discover them.

Plae

Plae makes a ballet flat in many colors and has them sized for both men and women. Men’s sizing goes up to 14 US. Plae Crosby Ballet Flat

21 thoughts on “The Best Ballet Flats for Men

  1. Great list of flats that are good choices for guys. Comfort, style, sizing and price are all things to consider. I love how you’ve paired your Born flats with jeans. Great style! Tieks are popular with lots of women and work well for guys because they come in large sizes. Sadly Tieks don’t come in half sizes and don’t work well for me but I do love the iconic torquise soles. The Sketchers have a nice athletic look to them so I expect they are very comfy. As you meantioned I’m crazy for Tory Burch flats. The iconic medallion on the toe is a bit much for many women and men but they work for me. Regardless of which flats a guy chooses for himself, he should pick a pair that are comfortable to wear and a pair that works for his own personal style.

    Great post, thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depending on the lighting conditions the metallic medallion on my Tory flats can reflect light making them very eye catching and therefore recognizable. That said they are still somewhat unisex.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree that the Tory flats can pass as unisex… The men’s buckle brogue (more of a mary-jane style) has a big shiny buckle on the toe. I am just not a fan of things on the toe of my flats.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are not alone in not liking things on the toes of your flats. Many women or men feel the same. I’ve read comments where women can not stand the “in your face” Tory medallion and therefore won’t buy her flats. It’s all about personal likes and dislikes. Fortunately (for me) Tory does make basic flats without her iconic medallion on the toe for days I prefer to blend in with my choice of flats.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great review on the flats. We’re totally unisex with clothing in our family. I’m way more comfortable in skirts and my wife and I are the same size so 1 closet for all 🙂 As our teen boys were growing – we found it just as easy to shop on either side of the store to find clothes that fit well and looked good – and many times women’s style fit much better.

    Regarding shoes – My back does much better with a rise of about 2″ so flats don’t work for me. On the flip side through – my wife can’t wear a heel – at all. This is a great review as she’s tried lots of flats that just fall apart quickly. So many are made cheaply. We’ll definitely have to check out some of the names you listed.

    Kelly (Murray Taylor)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Look into Margauxny ballet flats as well. Very high quality construction, from Spain. I think they are the best. Quite supportive, unlike Plae.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I took a look at the website and these look like really well made flats and universally good reviews. Certainly worthy of adding to the list. Do you wear them and if so could you elaborate more on what you think is great about them? I created a separate section on the blog for people to tell “your story” in the comments. Would love to hear about your experiences.

      Like

  5. I want to thank you for this article. I have many pairs of flats that I bought over the years. Some are cheaper that I got from Payless when they were still open.
    I have a hard time finding larger sizes since I wear a 12. I do have a pair of Tory Burch Minnies that I love. They are all black with a black medallion so they don’t stand ot as much.
    I have worm in public many times as well. I usually do this when I travel and where I won’t see people that know me. I still get nervous every time but have never had a negative experience. Like you said, I think most people don’t even notice or care.
    I think my next step is to get a pair of Tieks. I’m just trying to rationalize the cost but hey you only live once right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the positive comments and great to see another ballet flats fan out there. I used to worry about who would see me wearing flats, but for the most part no one cares or notices. I have adopted the attitude, “it is my life, I’m gonna live it on my terms.”

      As for rationalizing the cost of Tieks, you have to base that on your own financial situation, but you can always set aside just a little with every paycheck and it adds up quickly. There are a bunch of us #Tieksboys out there, many are on the facebook group “Tieks Anonymous.”

      Have fun and stay safe and healthy!

      Like

  6. I have several pair or Borne, Jessica Simpson and Sam & Libby Flats. All 3 are good brands of flats and most have a good variety of colors to choose from. I wear flats all the time, they are very comfortable and look great with jeans, shorts, and a nice shirt. Most people notice my shirt before my flats. People who know me pretty much know I am going to show up wearing flats. I Like the soft texture inside of the Sam & Libby Flats.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have many pairs that I have bought as well. Borne, Jessica Simpson, and Sam & Libby are all good choices as well. All have a nice selection of colors to choose from as well if you enjoy colors like me. I also have some cheaper pairs as well which are good for wear around the house. When going out somewhere or to Church I usually try and wear one of the nicer pairs. Whatever the choice they are all comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Having a larger foot, size 14 women’s, I have found Long Tall Sally to be a place to shop for flats. I have at least 10 pairs, ranging from traditional ballet toe to almond to pointy toe. I love the wearing them and often venture out in public, going to malls and shopping in them. On my more timid days, I will will wear black hosiery with my black pairs, ranging from barely black to jet black. On my braver days, I will ear sheer nude hose. I always wear hosiery, because they allow my foot to “move” within the shoes and they keep my foot cooler. Really helps preserve the insoles of my shoes.
    Like most of the writers here, I get very few looks and even less comments. I shop at one women’s store in particular. in my flats and the gals there often compliment on my flats. I just purchased a pair of pink suede flats. They fit beautifully and I am looking forward to wearing them to the mall, when they reopen. I also like purses and have a nice collect of Coach shoulderbags, purses and wallets. I will often pair these with my flats when I venture out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LTS carries a ful assortment of womens shoes, up to size 15. While I have mostly flats in my closet, I will confess to having heels as well. Women;s shoes are s o more exciting than boring men’s styles.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi FlatsGuy,

    as nobody commented yet on the SoftStar shoes: I have several pairs, bought the first 4 years ago. I prefer the style with the elastic strap (“sport closure” as they call it), but they also fit very well without it. They are super comfortable shoes! I wear them so much in summer that the straps leave tanlines on my feet! 😉 It’s also worth mentioning that they come in standard and wide widths. My feet are very wide so having a wide width is important for me.

    Soft Star also has other shoes than the ballerine, but most other models have a very thin “barefoot”-like sole which I don’t like so much. I walk in the city on paved ground and prefer some cushioning – and the ballerine style actually has a softer sole than the other shoes. Yes, they are pricey (especially when you order from abroad and have to pay import duties and taxes), but also very well designed and crafted. The toe and heel have smooth lining inside to prevent wear. The upper has a bit of elastic but not too much – I often find such styles to be too tight after some time, but not the SoftStar ones. The elastic is just so much that they stay on the foot. As I said, I prefer the sport closure style as that elastic strap really makes the shoe fit securely. Without it they still fit good but with a bit more “freedom” and movement.

    So I can really recommend this shoe. I also like the way the company offers everything in unisex sizing (when you live in Europe the shoe sizing system in the US with men’s and women’s sizes can be quite confusing). And they seem to be a generelly ethical company too.

    Another great company I’d like to add is Sole Rebels from Ethiopia: https://www.solerebels.com/collections/womens-flats They offer everything up to US12 by default AND also have the option to make custom sizes. Some years ago they also had a unisex sizing based on foot length, unfortunately they dropped this for the standard sizes. Their shoes are also very good, great simple designs, soles from recycled car tires and sustainable other materials too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for posting this, but I have to say there is no way any of those shoes can pass as a unisex shoe. They are clearly women’s shoes and if they are noticed people will notice you are wearing women’s shoes. As a man who wear women’s shoes almost full time I have to add that getting noticed is part of the rush I get from wearing these shoes. I have been noticed many times and comments have been made mostly favorable. I have even been asked where I got those shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Recently I wore a low heeled ankle boot with Jean’s. I was getting coffee from a outdoor stand. A woman said “your shoes are adorable “. We were wearing the same ankle boot.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s