Meet the fancy flats you'll want to swap your heels for...
Festive party season is fast approaching and, with the hindsight of Christmases past, we know one thing to be true: your choice of footwear could make - or break - you. You don't want blisters and achy arches to send you tottering off to the taxi rank before your pumpkin shows up but, just as importantly, you don't want to feel like a frump in flats, am I right?
New research suggests that some women just weren't designed to wear flats - it's all in the shape of your feet. According to experts, everyone's 'ideal' heel height is different, and depends on the level of movement allowed by the shape of certain bones. Some women's range of movement is so limited that any kind of heel leaves them in agony. Sound like you? Don't despair. This year, you won't have to compromise on style or comfort. Flat shoes are big news, and, this season, they're just as pretty as their high-heeled counterparts.
Whether your style is classic or quirky, clean-cut or embellished to the hilt, there really is a pair out there to fit all sartorial preferences - and budgets. Go all out in gold glitter, or take a more understated approach in a sleek 'n' chic black style. This year's flats are so luxe, you can even get away with trainers!
You could pick up your perfect pair of party shoes with change from a £20 note, as Bonprix and Tu at Sainsbury's have some great budget options on offer. Zara, John Lewis and Kurt Geiger boast the best mid-range options, whilst Dune leads the pack in the £75+ category. And with just one of our selections clocking in over the £100 mark, it makes sense to invest in at least a couple of pairs, right?
Click through to take a peek at our top party flat picks. Race you to the checkout?
Metallic Pumps, £17.99, Bonprix
Thanks to their classic good looks, elegant pointed toes and subtle metallic sheen, these pretty pumps will make the perfect partner for almost any party outfit. They're also available in silver. Metallic Pumps, £17.99, Bonprix
Cocorose Clapham Loafer, £105
When it comes to comfort, these sassy rose gold loafers can't be beaten. Planning to start your evening in heels? These are your end-of-the-night secret weapon - they can be rolled up and stashed in your handbag. Cocorose Clapham Loafer, £105
Leather Slides With Bow Detail, £39.99, Zara
These quirky flat mules combine understated chic with a subtly quirky edge. Team with cropped trousers to show them off to their best advantage. Leather Slides With Bow Detail, £39.99, Zara
Pom Pom Trim Ballerina Shoes, £55, Miss KG at Kurt Geiger
For fun and elegance in one seriously stylish package, all you need is a pom pom. These will jzuzh up your failsafe black party dress a treat. Pom Pom Trim Ballerina Shoes, £55, Miss KG at Kurt Geiger
Tapestry Ghillie Flat, £75, Dune
Lace-up ghillie-style shoes have stalked the catwalks for several seasons now, but, with this tapestry-inspired pair, Dune have really upped the ante. Keep your outfit pared back and let your feet do the talking. Tapestry Ghillie Flat, £75, Dune
Faux Fur Slingback Ballerinas, £39.99, Zara
Thanks to Gucci, fur-lined shoes are on every fashionista's radar. Dip your toes into the trend in this patent pair - and stay snug and stylish while you're at it. Faux Fur Slingback Ballerinas, £39.99, Zara
Premium Velvet Ballerina, £18, Tu
Prefer a classic ballerina? If you find pointed flats uncomfortable, this pair could be the answer. Their velvet finish and embellishment put them strides ahead of your average ballet pump. Premium Velvet Ballerina, £18, Tu
Glittery Ballet Pumps, £14.99, Bonprix
If you're in the market for some serious sparkle, why not try these loafer-style pumps for size? They'll look stunning with a little black dress or blazer and jean combination. Glittery Ballet Pumps, £14.99, Bonprix
Two-Part Pumps, £59, John Lewis
If you prefer a slightly more understated sparkle, try these elegant two-tone pumps: just as pretty as a heeled sandal, but infinitely more wearable. Two-Part Pumps, £59, John Lewis
Frill Detail Ballerinas, £29.99, Zara
Not one for glitter or embellishment? Subtle frill detailing elevates these pumps from workaday to party-ready, making them the perfect day-to-night option. Frill Detail Ballerinas, £29.99, Zara
Embellished Strap Court Shoe, £85, Dune
These bejewelled beauties will have your heel-clad cronies green with envy... Possibly the prettiest - and most practical - party flats we've seen this year. Embellished Strap Court Shoe, £85, Dune
Geox New Club Slip-On Trainers, £75, John Lewis
Yes, you can get away with wearing trainers to a party! Who could argue with the standout metallic hue and sumptuous quilting of these skater-style pumps? Just add a blazer and tapered trousers. Geox New Club Slip-On Trainers, £75, John Lewis
Gold Square Toe Embellished Ballerina, £16, Tu
Luxe enough to pair with the prettiest party gown, but understated enough to wear to work, these deceptively affordable pumps will take you pretty much anywhere you'd care to go this party season. Gold Square Toe Embellished Ballerina, £16, Tu
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