I Finally Tried This Internet-Famous Shoe Brand—and It’s Worth the Hype

My new Birdies loafers are incredibly comfortable, even with my high arches.

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Birdies Suede Loafer Flat
Photo:

Real Simple / Tamara Staples

Beyond finding a pair of jeans I love or a swimsuit that makes me feel comfortable and confident, my biggest shopping struggle always comes down to shoes. I have high arches that make almost all ballet flats slip off of my feet. If I do find a pair I love, the shoes seemingly can’t help but rub against the back of the heels. Alas, my battle against shoes typically leaves me feeling as though I can only hope my one trusty pair of flats never wears out, or that my sneakers are my only best friends. But then I discovered Birdies.

Ever since I first heard about Birdies a few years ago, I have wanted to give a pair a try. My fear that yet another pair of shoes wouldn’t work and would land in my pile of returns to make held me back. But a few weeks ago, I was talking to a fellow Nordstrom shopper about Birdies, and she said they were the most comfortable pair of shoes she’s ever owned. With such a glowing review, I vowed it was high time for me to finally give them a try. 

Birdies Suede Loafer Flat

Real Simple / Tamara Staples

To buy: $130; birdies.com.

I lucked out when the brand offered to send me a sample of The Vesper loafers, which I got in my usual size 6 (the shoes are available in sizes 5 to 12). When my Birdies arrived, the first thing that struck me was the shape of the shoes. I’ve found that the arches of my feet stay in loafers better without slipping, and this pair checked that box right away. I was also intrigued by the beautiful soft rose colored suede that looks like a cross between pink and mauve in person and does, in fact, feel “buttery soft,” as the brand promises. Then there’s the sole of the shoe, which has a 10-millimeter heel and a no-rubber sole to prevent slipping for both indoor and outdoor wear. 

From the first look, everything seemed like it was a go. But I also had my high stakes shoe rule in mind: If from the moment I put a pair of shoes on, it doesn’t feel doable at its worst or ready to take on the streets of New York City at its best, I have to pass. Birdies had quite a lot to deliver on, and the brand’s “7-layers of cloud-like comfort in every footbed” absolutely lived up to its proposed hype. I was truly surprised by how much support the inner sole offered, and I immediately started walking around my house. 

After reading reviews and chatting with a few more people who have and love Birdies, I’ve learned the shoes mold to your feet over time. But Birdies also offers a 30-day fit guarantee, which means the brand encourages you to wear your shoes out and about to make sure they’re perfect. If they’re not, you can return or exchange them, “no questions asked” within 30 days of the purchase date (with the exception of custom monogrammed items, of course).

To circle back to my “high stakes shoe rule,” my Birdies fall right in the middle. They’re absolutely comfortable and supportive, but I do think they require a bit of a break-in period (perhaps they won’t for you if your feet are not prone to drama). I think they’re well-made, very cute and versatile, and absolutely in line with the $130 price tag. Most importantly for me, Birdies stay on—and for that, they’re worth the hype

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