‘fess up (aka casual commuting)

Readers, I’ve been thinking that I should probably clarify something about my footwear. I’m guessing not a single reader has pondered my footwear in their spare time, but I nonetheless want to ‘fess up.

I live in downtown Chicago, and walk (when it’s not stifling hot) a few miles a day to get around via bus and subway. I don’t wear the following shoes during that walk:

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I generally wear these:

I either carry my heels with me or pick shoes out from my shoe stash at work. …oh yes, shoe stash.


That’s one of my shoes stashes. Yes, that sure is a pair of slippers, because sometimes I need those too.

Anyway, I’m glad we had this talk, readers. As you’ve probably guessed from reading my blog, I’m a very practical person at the end of the day. And while I am practical, I still like to have some semblance of fashion even while commuting around town…just not in my heels.

Here are two good articles about this very issue:

From Forbes magazine

And Refinery 29

Both of these have a bit more (okay, a lot more) fashionable picks than mine! It’s a bit tricky here in Chicago because it’s generally freezing cold or exceptionally hot, which I think limits us even more. Shockingly (not so shockingly?), they did not include Uggs in either article. I’ll be the first person to tell you that my waterproof Uggs are essential for my Chicago winter commuting!

Does anyone else also commute in different shoes than what they wear at work? What do you wear when commuting in extreme weather?

Happy Thursday, readers! Thanks for visiting!

55 replies to “‘fess up (aka casual commuting)

  1. Haha, I am also guilty of almost the same thing, when I wear heels to work I have a pair of flats that sit by my desk for walking around the office when I get sick of wearing heels which usually hits oh right around noon. :p

    1. Thanks!! I love shoes too! I find myself wearing one pair endlessly, and then moving on to another pair that I then wear endlessly! Though, having the blog, I think I do a better job now of more rotation 😉

  2. I wouldn’t expect anyone to walk in heels for crazy lengths. Its not practical and its not healthy. period. I did that when I was foolish enough to think I could carry it off. Boy was I wrong. You are smart, and this is what i do as well, especially, if its, raining or snowing.

    1. I completely agree. My feet literally ache if I wear my heels for too long. I really try and condense it solely to work and nights out. Otherwise, especially on weekends, I’m normally in flats and more supportive shoes. And, agree, once rain and snow come, forget it, I live in rain boots and my snow boots!

  3. LOL! I used to do the same thing when I lived in NYC, I had an entire shoe collection of heels under my desk at work and would commute in very similar moccasins, flip flops or uggs! You def aren’t alone in this one 🙂

    1. I hear this is especially popular in big cities like here in Chicago and NYC where public transportation is a big part of work culture! Some days, especially if I don’t have any specific meetings or have to be in a specific part of the hospital, I basically refuse to take off my uggs in wintner! I’m so glad I’m not alone in this!! 🙂

  4. completely agree with you, You have pretty collection! I used to walk for long distance on high heels but those time I was so young:) now I prefer comfort for my legs but I still in love with high heeled shoes:)

  5. You are so funny 🙂 I do tend to wear my crazy heels all around the city, but I’m not one that really enjoys public transportation…and thus avoid it as much as possible. I do remember once I was trying to catch a train or the L or something, and I was running down the street in my heels…and some guy calls out, “How are you running in those heels?!” hahaha…practice 😛

    BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask…which hospital do your work at? I’m a health care professional as well…and it’s a small world 🙂

    1. Haha! I totally appreciate that! Some people really can do it all day! More power to you! One time, oh the horror, I was at a conference and couldn’t fit a spare pair of shoes in my purse. So, I’m walking down State and Lake in cold February and I completely fell on my bum after hitting a patch of ice. I think it was the only time I ever wore heels in winter here and I totally kicked myself for doing it. I just have no sense of balance in bad weather!

      You work in healthcare too?! What a small world! I work at Rush. What about you??

      1. Really?! One of my good friends did a pharmacy residency there, and is now the transplant pharmacist at Rush! Do you Monika Gil? I’m seeing her tomorrow…I’ll have to ask if she knows you, or to look out for you! What do you do? I’m a consultant pharmacist for HCR ManorCare, which are rehab facilities all around the Chicagoland area.

      2. How funny! I don’t think I know her, as I generally don’t work with the pharmacy staff/transplant too frequently. I’m a social worker! I’m definitely familiar with ManorCare!! What a small world, right!?

  6. Love it! I had a little chuckle at this post! I really need to take some practical advise from you and carry the heels on the commute to work. Heels are dangerous weapons when on packed transport!

    1. Oh my goodness, I know!! I’ve actually had my foot stepped on a number of times on our subway, when women are wearing pointy heels. OUCH! I’m glad to say I have not smashed anyone’s foot myself, because I’ve got my trusty flip flops 😉 !

  7. Smart girl! Living in Sydney Australia, all the girls dump their high heels under their desks for lunch breaks and swap them for joggers (because they go for a run or the gym) or thongs/flip flops, especially in Summer. I am a rep and I walk all over town: I carry several pairs of shoes in my car, in different heel heights! You h ave a nice collection of shoes, great post! B x

    1. It’s funny how so many women seem to have shoes under their desk! Especially in summer, my feet can get way too hot in closed toed shoes while I’m walking around, so I generally wear flip-flops/thongs. I love that you keep your spare pairs in your car!! Fashionable ladies make it work, right? 😉 xo

  8. This a funny read! Everyone has little secrets and I can relate to your shoes dilemma. I’m on my feet all day and as much as I want to look fashionable and chic…comfort comes first when it comes to my feet. Thanks for sharing! =)

  9. Heels is a girl best friend but not when you have to walk a lot. In that case, I rather wear flats. I also like flat boots for the Winter. It is a great idea to bring your heels with you or leave some pairs at work. Have a great weekend!

  10. Wise strategy! I am on my feet a lot at work, but I don’t have to deal with public transportation. I’d be doing the same thing if I were in your, um, shoes! (Uggs and all!) I do take my heels off on the drive home – pretty sure that’s not legal.

    1. Haha! This made me laugh because I was driving yesterday and I had on my flip-flops, which didn’t seem very safe because they were slipping off the pedal. …so my other option was my 4 inch heels in my bag…that didn’t seem great either, so I went barefoot too! 😉 I have no idea whether or not that’s legal, so let’s not investigate it and plead ignorance!! xo

    1. Oh definitely, some of them, I can really wear for hours, but others, …not as much. I do have a general rule that I will not buy a pair of shoes that I can’t walk in, because that just seems silly! However, I definitely have some that are more comfortable than others! 🙂

  11. Haha, you make me laugh – a confession! Don’t worry, love, I think you are smart and savvy to wear comfortable footwear on your commute. I have seen too many stylish women with disfigured feet (and pained legs) because they wear heels non-stop. The proper thing to do is care for your feet first, then have fun dressing them up once in a while!! Great post 🙂 xoxo

  12. Ah! Glad I’m not the only one! I can’t even handle the trek from the parking lot to my office so I usually wear a pair of foldable flats that slip into my purse and I also keep a pair at work. Interesting links, glad to see so many of us are sensible. Our feet do have to last a while yet… 😉

    1. This is a real thing, it seems! I love it that women unite in commuting shoes. I need a pair of foldable flats, but have not yet found a pair that is supportive enough for commuting. Let me know if you have any recommendations. I love Tieks but they don’t come cheap!

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