ISO: Mom Shoes.

Sometimes I wonder when it is, the moment when someone who birthed a child actually becomes a mother. Was it when I realized that I always had a Tide pen ready to blot out the latest stain that Henry had produced? Or maybe it was when I noticed that I regularly had half-eaten bananas sitting on the counter by mid-morning, the peel folded over to protect the fruit for Henry’s late morning Second Breakfast. Perhaps it was when I had all the words memorized to Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You, so that I could get them out as Henry speedily turned the pages, or when I just instinctively knew he had jammed something large and unswallowable into his mouth while my back was turned, a suspicion confirmed when his tightly clenched lips were pried back.

But most likely, it will be when I acquire some Mom Shoes.

You know the ones I’m talking about, don’t you? They are the ubiquitous sneaker sported by every mother at the park, the sneakers that bear all the markers of being actual athletic wear… other than the wear and tear that comes from sports. They are the shiny black Nike’s, the pristine Superga’s, the classic New Balance kicks. They are the practical, yet stylish, footwear of women who pound the pavement chasing, hauling, and carting around tiny people engaged in increasingly mobile explorations of the world.

And I want some.

I mean, I have tennis shoes, running shoes, shoes that I actually use to work out. But those are not Mom Shoes. I need a pair of durable, comfortable, and supportive shoes for all the schlepping around town I do with Henry, but they also need to look acceptable with normal clothes. I have amazingly comfortable sandals for summer and great boots for winter, but I need some trusty kicks for everyday and in-between. My go-to investment for intense walking when I don’t want to sacrifice [too much] style has always been a supportive flat like these (and I’m intrigued by these or especially these  ), but I think it is time to submit to the Mom Shoe and revel in its practicality.

After much internet cruising, blog stalking, insta-clicking, and straight up creeping on other maternal feet at the park, here are some contenders to achieve the goal of “comfortable yet not entirely unattractive shoe to facilitate lengthy outings, active play, and obviously incessant feet-stagramming.”


  1. Allbirds. Love the wool-no-socks-needed-thing, but I really wish they had navy.
  2. Nike. I see everyone with this one (in black), and I usually don’t love the hardcore jogging shoe look, but it does look comfortable. Does the brown make it more shoe, less sport?
  3. Sperry. Never had a boat, always love those boat shoes. These are basically the ones I got a couple years ago, and I have been mostly happy with them. These look similar and I like them too.
  4. New Balance. Though to be fair, I doubt I could keep that pretty pale pink clean. Maybe these navy ones are better? Or red!
  5. Cole Haan. I am intrigued by this wine color… will it be versatile, or am I imagining that?
  6. Or do I just want a pair of slip-ons?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Gimme all those comfy shoes. Bonus points if I don’t have to wear socks with them.

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16 Responses to ISO: Mom Shoes.

  1. Kate Zickel says:

    I’ve been in love with Sanuks for years. Super comfy, last forever, and NO SOCKS REQUIRED!

  2. Jen says:

    I’m sure you know the SNL answer, when you become a mom!

  3. GET THE ALLBIRDS! I love them. They’re my go-to shoes now and I’m not even a sneakers person. So much so that I need to return my 9s for an 8 and I’ve put off sending them back so I can wear them just once more… they’re my new faves.

  4. Ellen Johnson says:

    Okay, maybe these are so two years ago, but I just got a grey pair of converse, the shoreline ones that are slip on and you don’t have to tie, and I LOVE them. So easy and they go with everything.

  5. kate says:

    I have a pair of navy/ligh tblue/white sole Keds that are super comfy; they have the cushiony stuff inside. They tie, but I’ve set them so that I can pretty much slide my foot into them-no socks required 🙂

  6. Bekah says:

    Literally was having this same conversation in my head about five minutes before I saw this post. I prefer to be barefoot and so I live in my falling apart 2-year-old flip flops just to get from point A to point B. But I’ve been doing a lot of walking with Harrison and my babysitting charges- and my running shoes, while practical, make me feel less stylish than I already am… I want a shoe I feel good in for day-to-day purposes and something that doesn’t make me feel like I need to wear athletic clothing to justify it. I’ve been curious about the Allbirds because I love everything wool, and thanks to the first comment on this post I may look in to the Sanuks. No socks for me, please.

  7. I am big into New Balance Classics… my mom uniform is skinny jeans or leggings + cute t-shirt + sneakers (with orthotic inserts, because I have pathetically flat feet). New Balance always fits me well and I love that they come in so many different colors. I have my eye on a copper metallic pair and am hoping they go on sale at some point this year…

  8. Jennette Warner says:

    I vote for the brown Nikes.

  9. laptop & lipsticks says:

    Dr. Scholls makes a slip-on sneaker that is SO comfy (and cute). I think the style name is “Madison.” I highly recommend those.

  10. Celine Kinneberg says:

    I vote New Balance! Thinking of getting a pair myself! Have been such a mom shoe stocker lately. Have observed that all the preppy mom’s at storytime and the park wear the classic old school new balances. Their kids are also the ones in smocked Sunday best clothing on normal days. 😂

  11. Jessica K says:

    Hi! I just found your blog recently when I was searching for a whole 30 shepherds pie recipe! I just ordered Allbirds (the gray pair you have pictured) and got them today, they feel like walking on clouds!! I think they will be the perfect stylish+ comfy shoe!

  12. CSL says:

    Converse Chuck Taylors…white, gray, navy and you’re SET.

  13. New Balance Classics for me. I have the same style in navy/pink and black/white, because #options.

  14. Jeanna says:

    I would def go with the slip ons! Comfort, no stopping to tie laces, etc. However, you can never go wrong with a slick colored pair of NB. Good luck!

  15. Pingback: This & That | The Art in Life

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