Where Have All The Black Flats Gone? 20+ Stylish Black Flats for Spring

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stylish black flats for women over 40

I hope you read the title, “Where have all the black flats gone?” to the tune of the iconic song by Peter, Paul, and Mary. That is what I sang in my head when I received an email from a member of the Wardrobe Oxygen Community asking where to find black flats in 2024. But after writing this post about stylish black flats, I had Paula Cole's song in my head! Oh being a Gen X woman raised by the Silent Generation…

Where Have All the Black Flats Gone?

This individual was looking for plain black ballet flats but was struggling to do so because in 2024, shopping is hella weird. There are scam sites trying to steal your money and identity, fast fashion offering the weirdest and most complicated styles, a push for so-called timeless style, and purchasing classics, but said “classics” are mostly quiet luxury and at prices we mere mortals cannot stomach.

But not to worry, this is why I am here with Wardrobe Oxygen, offering real-life style for us grown-ass women. And this individual is not the only one who will benefit from a nice pair of black leather flats for this season and beyond. I got you!

Stylish Black Flats for Grown-Ass Women

The individual who emailed me was looking for ballet flats, but I know we grown-ass women like our options so I am sharing below my picks for stylish black flats that are ballet style, but some other options that will prove versatile and remain stylish for more than a single season.

Stylish Ballet Flats

A classic ballet flat works with a range of looks. In 2024, seek out more structured of ballet flats with a proper sole and hint of a heel. While you can still wear your foldable second-skin flats, you will find a ballet flat with more structure fit better with current styles of apparel.

a collage of the best black ballet flats featuring seven different styles
  1. Margaux, IMO makes stylish, comfortable, and quality footwear. I own several pairs of Margaux shoes and am very happy with them. Margaux ballet flats are classic, quality, and come in three widths and women's sizes 3-14.
  2. Repetto is the O.G. when it comes to ballet flats. The Cendrillon ballerina by Repetto was created for Brigitte Bardot and remains a classic staple in the wardrobes of stylish women across the globe. Designed by a dance shoe company, these ballet flats are flexible and comfortable.
  3. Rothys is a favorite with travelers, teachers, and anyone looking for sustainable comfort and practicality (machine washable!). Rothys ballet flats are knit from a thread crafted from recycled water bottles.
  4. Madewell does footwear well, and the Madewell Anelise ballet flat is classic with a modern twist. Classic leather with grosgrain trim and bow detail, these flats have a chic square toe and padded insoles.
  5. Dolce Vita is a great brand for on-trend shoes with good quality and good prices. I often shop Dolce Vita because they carry wide widths. The Dolce Vita Anisa ballet flat is elegant and modern, with classic details and a square toe. Available in sizes 5-13 in regular and wide widths.
  6. Aerosoles has stepped up its game recently, offering its iconic comfort but with modern styles and chic classics. The Aerosoles Catalina ballet flat features a diamond flex outsole, ortho-lite insole, and other features for increased comfort.
  7. Everlane is a place I go to when I'm looking for simple, minimalist shoes. Everlane's ballet flat is made from thin Napa leather so it molds to your foot for additional comfort.

Ballet flats are a great choice with floaty midi- and ankle-length dresses and skirts, ankle pants, and retro-inspired ensembles. Easy to mold to your feet, ballet flats are a favorite with many travelers due to their small size (easy to pack) and versatility.

Stylish Pointed Toe Flats

A pointed toe flat is a great choice for those who like wider-leg and bootcut trousers as the elongated toebox ensures they don't get swallowed up by the hem. Structured leather flats with a pointed toe look at home in the workplace as well as the grocery store or a restaurant.

a collage of seven styles of pointed toe black flats
  1. Ally Shoes makes some of the most comfortable quality footwear. The Ally Forever Flat is a personal favorite (read my Ally Shoes Forever Flats review). Sizes 4-12 and four different widths, Ally Shoes are designed with a podiatrist to ensure chic comfort. Use code WO2FLATS for 10% off at checkout!
  2. Trotters is a brand known for comfort and width options, but not always known for current trends. However, the Trotters Estee Flat is known for being both chic and comfortable with a roomy pointed toe and classic styling. Four widths available.
  3. Birdies makes flats that feel as plush as your favorite slippers. The Birdies Goldfinch Flat has a soft suede exterior and buttery leather interior for quality comfort.
  4. Rothys is again recommended because this brand of shoes is popular for sustainable comfort. The Rothys Point Flat is the original Rothys shoe and continues to be a bestseller. Check out my original Rothys flats review.
  5. Naturalizer has been one of my favorite shoe brands for years not only for providing widths, but also keeping up with the trends. The Naturalizer Havana Flat has been a bestseller for the brand for years, offering an elegant pointed toe, subtle design, and three widths.
  6. Vivaia is a popular footwear brand for stretchy knit shoes with plenty of style. The Aria 5° Pointed Toe Ballet Flat from Vivaia is a classic style with a higher vamp than many other flats (no chance of “toe cleavage”) and offers all-day comfort.
  7. Poppy Barley is a sustainable leather brand offering shoes, bags, and more. Check out this Poppy Barley sandal review and Poppy Barley boot review for details on this unique company. The Poppy Barley On-The-Go Ballet Flat has elastic in the back of the heel to keep the shoe on, an antimicrobial insole, an anti-blister lining, and more details for comfort with style.

I find I wear my pointed toe flats more than any others because they look a bit more structured, polished, and professional than other styles. I also find they have worked with changing fashion trends longer than flats with snub toeboxes. If you're looking for a flat that will keep up with the trends without becoming passe, you may wish to consider a flat with a pointed or almond toe.

Stylish Mary Jane Flats

If there is one premier style of flat on trend for 2024, it's the Mary Jane flat. Pointed, rounded, or square; skinny strap or thick, you'll see these shoes everywhere this season. I even got a pair (they're in the collage below!). Style with or without socks, with dresses, pants, and jeans of most any cut and style.

the best black mary jane flats
  1. M. Gemi is known for bags, but the brand also makes highly-rated footwear. The Viviana Flat from M. Gemi has a grippy rubber sole and an elastic strap that invokes the Balletcore trend while also being more comfortable for those with high volume feet and high arches.
  2. Schutz is known for embracing the latest trends for less, and without trying to create a “dupe” of a designer shoe. The Calita Nappa Flat mixes buttery soft leather with bold punk-inspired grommets on the strap, making a unique shoe that will be comfortable but also add a bold statement to wardrobe staples.
  3. Vionic is a favorite brand for arch support and comfort. The Vionic Alameda Flat updates the classic Mary Jane with a square toebox and patented foot support. Available in three widths and sizes 5-13.
  4. Stuart Weitzman makes beautiful shoes that are both on trend and timeless. The elegant Emelia Mary Jane flat could be styled with jeans or a cocktail dress.
  5. Franco Sarto makes stylish shoes at sensible prices. The Tinsley Mary Jane in black patent looks refined, not juvenile and would be at home in the boardroom or the ballroom.
  6. Madewell again. They just do the trends in such. aclean and simple manner. The Greta Ballet Flat is free of frills, has a modern square toe, and would be a great choice with everything from jeans to midi-length dresses.
  7. Margaux again. The Mary Jane from Margaux is one I have personally tried. I found it runs a bit narrow in silver mirror, but true to size in black. It is an elegant, well-crafted shoe that will look chic even after the Mary Jane trend dies down.

I am surprised how much I enjoy this trend. I am not one who wears especially girly or “twee” fashion, but the Mary Jane flat feels fresh this year, and updates cropped wide-leg and tapered pants, looks cool with drapey lightweight pants for spring and summer, and I like them with dresses and skirts of all lengths.

Do you have a favorite pair of black flats that isn't mentioned? Share in the comments below and it may be exactly the shoe another member of the Wardrobe Oxygen community has been searching for!

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  1. Yes, I did immediately think of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”, childhood memory unlocked. I have been wearing a pair of FitFlop black flats which have better arch support than many brands, but not at the level of my gold-standard ABEO. ABEO is a brand that always gives me enough support for my plantar fasciitis–although they have enough room for my orthotics I don’t need them. I am looking at the Cadence, which has a hidden 1″ wedge https://www.abeofootwear.com/products/abeo-cadence-ballet-black, and the Promenade, which is truly a flat https://www.abeofootwear.com/products/abeo-promenade-flat-black.

  2. I have a pair of Naturalizer ballet flats that are above 15 years old, leather, with arch support and a bit of a heel, and they are my go-to shoe at times! For a pointed toe, I found some knit black ballet flats on Amazon that are surprisingly comfortable for my finicky feet. They look dressier than they are, and they are easy to clean.

  3. I have and love the Vivaia Margot Square Toe Mary Jane. I have wide, finicky feet (and hallux limitus). These were incredibly comfortable right out of the box, no break-in time needed. Highly recommend!

  4. I swear by Ecco Felicia fabric or fabric and leather wedges, which are fairly dressy in black and look similar to ballet slippers from the top. They look good, feel great, and clean up easily. I’m on my 2nd pair in the last 25 years and I love the fact that the rubber(?) soles provide much more cushioning than an insole over leather can. And speaking of insoles, they work with my orthotics.

    My current 12yo pair have been halfway around the world with me, tripling as bedroom slippers, stylish dress flats, and walking shoes (forgot to change my shoes before going out on a tour. We both came thru just fine.). I only donated my first 13yo pair after Ecco made a change to the heel design which improved stability. The footbed is reused in several other formats like sandals and booties but I haven’t tried those.

  5. I have been lucky that black ballet flats have been easy for me to find in Australia. My two-year odyssey was finding a pair of navy ballet flats that I could try on in real life. It was like searching for a unicorn.

  6. My favorite were believe it or not, Tommy Hilfiger brand, pointed toe black flats. They were extremely comfortable. I had them in brown and black, and multiples of the black. My dog chewed my final pair though. This was back during the Zappos heyday.

  7. It’s still cold here in Colorado. I have several black flats, as well as some chunkier loafers, but keep sliding into my Vionic smoking slippers with a thin shearling footbed. They’re a few years old, but my favorite!
    That little extra top of the foot coverage feels more appropriate for our cold winter days.

  8. The Naturalizer Florencia I’d ordered arrived just before a trip I was taking and I broke the rule and packed them. They looked great and my feet survived an unexpected city walk on the first day I wore them. The slight heel feels good to me. I’ve got the pizza feet–wide front, narrow heel, and the strap keeps them stable.

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