This year, I made the (seemingly obvious) resolution to stop wasting money on uncomfortable shoes.
Ever since I moved downtown, I had to make the switch from gorgeous but uncomfortable shoes, to heels that I am able to walk in for several blocks. My previous strategy was to buy an assortment of shoes and only keep the 1-2 that worked out in the end (ugh, so wasteful right?). Now, I’ve been making the concerted effort to buy fewer pairs of higher quality. My new rule: Don’t buy shoes unless they feel like buuuuuutter in store.
While browsing in Nordstrom, I absent-mindedly picked up the Robert Zur “Petra” driving shoe. I’m not joking when I say that my jaw actually dropped at the impeccable quality and craftsmanship. Soft and buttery leather? Check, check! At $295 CAD, I put them down, hoping that not trying them on would deter an impulsive purchase. But I couldn’t help myself–clearly–and thirty minutes after walking out, I turned around to see if they were really worth the price tag.
Photos: Nordstrom $245 USD / $295 CAD
I’ve now owned them for a couple of months and couldn’t be happier. And with a ton of 5-star reviews on the Nordstrom website, a lot of people have had a similar experience. Many claimed that they were comfortable right out of the box, but my irritatingly wide feet needed them to go through a short breaking-in period. A quick spritz of a shoe stretching spray, thick socks while at home for the afternoon and a gel heel liner to stretch out the back faster made them fit like a dream. I had originally planned on taking the heel pad out once it had molded to my foot, but now that it’s on I might just leave it be. After all, “these shoes are too comfy”⏤said no girl, ever.
Although not exactly cheap, I genuinely feel like they were well-priced for the level of craftsmanship. In my experience, more expensive shoes are not always more comfortable *shoots an annoyed glance at my 3 pairs of Tory Burch Caroline flats*. But, if you’re going to invest in a good pair of shoes, I think that putting your money towards well-made black flats is a safe bet.
One of the features I love most about the Robert Zur ‘Petra’ is that the split sole is made of full bars of rubber rather than the usual dimples/grommets. These allow your weight to be distributed across a larger area, ultimately extending the life of the shoe. This was a huge selling factor to me since most driving shoes can’t be resoled. Once worn down, neither the bars nor grommets can be replaced.
Another thing I love is that the leather design along the top reminds me of the woven pattern of Bottega Veneta (at less than half the price!). The ever helpful Nordstrom sales associates, assured me that unlike Bottega Veneta, they have not had any issues with this shoe fraying over time.
While I am mostly happy with this purchase, this wouldn’t be an honest review without some drawbacks. Firstly, I’ve noticed that the cognac leather lining stains my feet if I moisturize before putting these on. I’m not sure if this is because I sprayed the inside with a shoe stretcher spray (the main ingredient of which is alcohol), but thankfully this lessens with wear and I’m hoping that it fully stops over time. Until then, I could just wear no-show socks, which in truth, I should probably be doing anyway. Secondly, considering the price and how perfect they are for travelling, it would have been nice for them to include a dust bag.
Overall, I highly recommend getting these if you are looking for a timeless and chic driving shoe. Although not cheap, the quality is top notch and they feel sooo nice to slip on. This versatile style easily transitions from office to weekend casual and makes a great addition to any girl’s shoe collection.