I walk a lot in Paris so flat comfortable shoes are absolutely necessary. Often I wear sneakers when running around doing the grocery shopping, which entails visiting local farmers’ markets, or making trips to the butcher, fishmonger, charcuterie (for cured meats), fruit and vegetable stand, boulangerie for bread and fromagerie for cheese. But there are days when I want to look a bit more elegant, especially if I have to go to a lunch or dinner at a nice restaurant.
Here’s where Repetto comes in. Repetto is a French company that began in 1947 making ballet slippers. It still makes footwear for ballet dancers, but it has branched out to make shoes for the rest of us who need comfortable footwear in our daily lives. In a big city with an underground metro, daily life entails walking several kilometers (especially if you have to change metro lines at the dreaded Chatelet/Les Halles interchange here in Paris) and climbing stairs, lots and lots of stairs.
Repetto’s signature product is the “ballerine” (or ballet flat), a round-toe shoe with a little bowstring in the front. It comes in different colors and materials (leather, patent leather, python, and more). After the ballet flat, Repetto began making shoes with heels for those who, like me, are vertically challenged. The shoes with heels are not as comfortable as the ballerina flats but they are better for walking than stilettos.
Repetto’s ballerines are great for walking around Paris when it’s not raining. The shoes are dainty and refined, so they will get ruined very easily in the rain. Wear boots instead (of course, Repetto makes those, too).
Repetto has boutiques in Paris and you can buy them in large department stores and independent shops. They even have an e-boutique if you want to order ballerines in different colors.