Comfortable, Wear-With-Anything Lace-Up Sandals For Less Than $150!

The other day, we were all sitting around the office talking about how horrible it would be to have our apartments robbed. Natalie mentioned the psychological terror it causes: wide-eyed nights of never feeling safe, worrying the perp will come back. There was an aside on fine jewelry, and the proper place to hide it (hint: NOT the underwear drawer—everyone knows that trick); another over how the television and computer are the first things to go. I said my biggest concern was my shoe collection, because I could never ever afford to replace it. Yes, that's right. I would rather a burglar steal my flatscreen than make off with my extensive selection of Charlotte Olympia, Chanel, Chloé, Louis Vuitton and Burberry footwear. (And that's just one stack of boxes.)

The thing is, I've spend an embarrassingly large amount of money on mostly full-priced heels, flats and boots throughout the last several years. The rest of my wardrobe, while still nice, is mainly made up of sample sale finds and impulse orders during discount code promotions at J.Crew. But I never cut corners with footwear. Each pair requires a great deal of saving and deliberating before buying (and a long spending dry spell afterwards) and is purchased with the intent of resoling frequently and wearing forever. To lose even one beloved pair would be terrible. Even on the unlikely chance the style was still available, it's not like I could just skip on up to Barneys and drop another $600.

This predilection for luxury shoes—and my mother-hen-protective instinct toward the ones that I own—was completed challenged last week by a pair of lace-up stilettos from Zara. After coming up empty on my long online search for a higher-end version of this black lace-up style, I remained nervous about ordering them online. What if they looked terrible in person? What if they fell apart with a few hours? I decided to try them on at my nearest location. When I got there and slid my size on, a passing man in a suit said, "Those look nice." That was compliment number one.

Heartened by this encouragement, I decided to get them. The next day, as I took my new pumps out for a tentative spin, the women handing out newspapers by my subway entrance stopped screaming "A.M. NEW YORK!" just long enough to squeal, "Cute shoes!" While waiting for my café Americano, another lady paused to compliment my footwear, followed less than an hour later by three enthusiastic inquiries at the office. Heading home, I was stopped twice more and, when I finally arrived back at my apartment and said hello to my husband, his eyes trailed straight to my feet. "Well…hello there."

In addition to all the fawning attention they inspire, my new acquisitions are also abnormally comfortable for needle-heeled pumps. Throughout the entire day—walking to the train, down stairs, to my doctor's appointment and up to my fifth-floor walk-up—my feet did not hurt once. I SWEAR, I spent over eight hours in those four-and-a-quarter-inch heels and I probably could've gone longer! And, best of all, they only cost $129. So if somebody steals them, I actually can afford a new pair. Don't take that as an invitation, though! Just buy your own here.

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