Maria Benetos is the co-founder of Mini-Mode.com, a content and commerce destination for style-savvy moms.
What my days used to look like: wake up; head to work; come home; kick off my heels. And what heels they were! Open-toed, pumps, platforms, I didn't care, as long as they looked good.
What my days look like now with two kids: get woken up; drop off kid No. 1 at preschool, chase her in the school yard for good measure; take kid No. 2 to elementary school, climb on the jungle gym with her because, well, I chased kid No. 1, didn't I? Then head to work until it's time for gymnastics or ballet or karate. Those towering stilettos I so effortlessly wore before I was a mom are now relegated to the back of my closet, only coming out to play when the minis (as in tots, not the hemlines) are away. What's a fashion-focused mom to do?
Acclimate to your new footwear reality, but do it in true style because, thankfully, "comfortable shoes" no longer means boring. Below are five styles of flats that will take a mom on the go from point A to point B, and every stop in between, while still looking Instagram-ready (like me and my kiddo, above).
1. Minimal White Sneakers
If there is a must-have shoe right now, the minimalist white sneaker is it. They're so versatile, you can pair them with everything from jeans and a t-shirt on the weekends to a mini or maxi dress for an on-trend office ensemble.
2. Flat Espadrilles
It used to be the classic canvas style was the only game in town, but now there are a bevy of fresh takes on this beach-y staple. A basic black option can easily become your go-to shoe since it's equally impeccable for both day and night. Meanwhile, an espadrille platform is a family travel must, as it adds a feminine touch to your look while still maintaining comfort.
3. Lace-up Ballet Flats
These intricate flats are everywhere this spring, and it's no wonder: they seamlessly take you from reveling in the sun with the littles to an evening enjoying cocktails with the grown-ups.
4. Wear-Everywhere Booties
Up the cool ante with a pair of booties this spring, which lend a bohemian vibe to cropped jeans and a tee, and stand out even more against legs laid bare by a chic summer dress. If a totally flat boot is not for you, a sturdy stacked heel allows you to keep up with the kids in style.
5. Ankle-Wrap Sandals
If you want to go trendy with this shoe style, pom-poms are the thing to try—the brighter, the better! Just be sure the leather is a neutral color to balance out the vibrancy of the trim, like the ones pictured here. For a look that packs a more understated punch, opt for a gladiator or strappy sandal—both are feminine, fun, and look best without a heel, making them the perfect partner for skirts or shorts on an outdoor play date.