By Richelle Szypulski
June 12, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Courtesy of Born Shoes

While shopping together before my very first trip abroad in college, my mother insisted it was also time to experience my very first pair of sensible shoes. 20-year-old me was far more concerned with curating perfectly coordinated outfits for each day of the three-week trip (without repeats) than she was thrilled by the offerings of Macy's "comfort shoes" section. But Mom was adamant.

We compromised on a pair of low-heeled leather sandals (a style similar to these) by Born, which I packed alongside the fast-fashion flats and heels that I intended on actually wearing once I was free from her ergonomic-encouraging chains. Lo and behold, Mom was right: as soon as I realized how much walking was included in our itinerary, those barely-even-shoes ballerina flats never left my suitcase. Almost a decade later, I still have the Born pair — the soles are now fully molded to the shape of my feet — and they're still my go-to for a one-shoe-only type of trip. 

My circa-2010 pair was not not-cute, but Born, like many of its comfort-first cohorts, has come quite a ways in designing shoe styles that are conscious of both looking and feeling good. Exhibit A: the woven Cameo Mule, a popular style from last spring's collection that was brought back this season in more colorways. It’s available in your standard neutrals: black, beige, and a subtly metallic gold; and also comes in a pretty blue and blush pink. I tried out a pair and was hesitant at first — mules tend to be more trouble than they're worth aesthetically, in my opinion — but was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to walk in them.

Courtesy of Born Shoes

The upper is made of a breathable, woven fabric with just enough stretch, which also makes them super packable. Born's soles are attached by hand and lined with leather and a touch of suede at the top of the shoe to keep your toes from crunching up. True to Born’s form, there’s a lot of cushioning, right where you need it. I've walked full days in my pair without complaint; though, I can attest that they are not ideal for a surprise summer rainstorm (but they did dry out relatively quickly!)

They’re only available in full sizes, and though Zappos recommends sizing up if you're in between, I’d actually propose you size down. I usually wear an 8.5 and went for the 8 and it fits perfectly. Perhaps this is what contributes to how well they stay secure on my feet.

I also love how versatile the style is. The silhouette is structured, while the texture is casual, meaning you can wear them with just about anything — floaty maxi dresses, linen jumpsuits, rolled-cuff denim, and beyond. Might I add that the closed toe also comes in handy when your pedicure is a few days (OK, weeks) past its expiration date? See: triply sensible. Mom would be proud.

Born Cameo Mule in Natural

Courtesy of Zappos

To buy: zappos.com, $63 (originally $90)

Born Cameo Mule in Black

Courtesy of Zappos

To buy: zappos.com, $63 (originally $90)

Born Cameo Mule in Blush

Courtesy of Zappos

To buy: zappos.com, $63 (originally $90)

Born Cameo Mule in Blue

Courtesy of Zappos

To buy: zappos.com, $63 (originally $90)

Born Cameo Mule in Gold

Courtesy of Zappos

To buy: zappos.com, $63 (originally $90)

Advertisement