What Is it: Ballasox stretch flats.
Price and Where to Buy: $60 on Amazon.
Pros: The very first time I wore the Ballasox, I walked 1.5 miles in them, and didn't experience any discomfort. No blisters, no irritation—none of the pain that usually comes along with breaking in new shoes.
True to their name, the flats can be balled up and stored in the included bag for easy storage—these are small enough to fit in a clutch bag.
Unlike most portable flats, these shoes actually have a sturdy sole, meaning you can walk for long distances in them. The Ballasox also have a soft sock sewn into the lining, making for a comfortable fit that feels like you're wearing socks.
Cons: There's no real arch support, but that's to be expected from this type of fold-able shoe.
How it Rates:
- Usefulness: 10/10. Wear these on the plane and slip them on and off easily in the security line, toss them in your handbag in case your high heels become too painful, or wear them walking around.
- Portability: 10/10. The Ballasox are lighter than typical flats, and fold up to save space.
- Value: 8/10. If you can get the sale price, these are a great value, but the full-price is a little steep.
- Durability: 10/10. The sturdy rubber sole and built-in sock liner are details that make these portable flats much more durable than the drug store variety.
- Cool Factor: 9/10. In black, the shoes are inoffensive and unobtrusive, but you can get them in fun colors and designs too.
Final Verdict: If the paper-thin drugstore "fast flats" just don't cut it for you, splurge a little and upgrade to the Ballasox—they're worth it.
Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.