Looking to get into the Mary Jane shoes trend? Here’s a breakdown of my favorite picks and what I wound up getting.

I’ve always liked ballet flats and Mary Jane shoes. As a millennial, I owned about a million pairs of flats with varying degrees of support and quality all through my teen years. And while I’ve always liked the idea of Mary Janes, I found a lot of the styles from back them to be too boxy or girlish.

Anyway, this time around, the style has gotten a sort of minimalist makeover and are a lot less precious than they were in the past! I’ve found myself saving pictures on Pinterest and watching way too many Tiktoks with people styling their Mary Jane shoes, so naturally I had to buy some.

As with anything, I’ve been researching like crazy for the perfect quality pair, and I thought – why not bring you guys into the fold? After all, what’s the sense of keeping notes only just for myself?

Happy shopping!

8 Chic Mary Jane Shoes

Aeyde Uma $$

  • Materials: Interior – 100% cross breed lamb leather, outside 100% nappa or patent calf leather
  • Made in: Italy
  • Heel Height: 0.8cm/0.3in
  • Sizes: EU 36 – 42 / US 6 – 12
  • ALSO: SSENSE sometimes has a sale and Vestirare gets them in once in a while!

Back when I was looking for a more delicate shoe, my friend, Sher, recommended the Aeyde Uma flats. When I looked, I saw they had that nice, simple design I was looking for with a singular strap and square toe. She said hers were super comfy and six months later are still holding up nicely, so I had the red pair mentally saved!

Aeyde was founded in Berlin by Luisa Dames, and the idea was to create minimalistic products while also implementing more sustainable practices.

What I really like is their commitment to production, which they layout on their Responsibility page. Material is sourced through local suppliers in Europe and all tanneries operate in accordance to European REACH and are part of the Leather Working Group. They even focus on using upcycled metals and will try to source from the European food industry to minimize waste. All their products are handmade at family-run factories in Tuscany, Italy due to the region’s long history of shoemaking.

I’d definitely want to try these on in person since it’s a $12 return fee and I just never know with having wider feet. They’re not in a ton of places in the US just yet, so I’m waiting for a future Euro trip to see if I can find a store!

Carel Paris – Kina

So whenever I want a specific product, I’ll start a Pinterest board to look for style inspiration. It takes me months to commit, so in the meantime I’ll see if it’s actually something I want or a flash in the pan. (IE white ankle boots). When I started my “mary jane shoes” board, I found myself pinning the same red heeled Mary Janes over and over again without realizing it. Turns out they were from Carel Paris and the style I was pinning was a long time favorite of eternal fashion it girl, Alexa Chung. Great minds think alike? :p

From what I understand Carel is one of those Parisian must-have brands. It’s been around since 1952 and was started by the couple Georges and Rosa Carel who came to Paris from Grenoble. They opened their first shoe store along Boulevard Saint-Michel which was close to the Sorbonne, a university known for its youthful, carefree vibe. From the brand’s about page, it feels like it’s managed to keep a similar energy through 70+ years of business.

Anyway, the Kina style in red is the most sought after, and I will not lie, even though it has a heel, I did find myself considering it for a while.

Carel Paris – Ariana

I feel like the Ariana style is the flatter sister to the Kina, so I’ve added that here too. There’s definitely something that draws you to the Kina but practically speaking, I’d get more wears out of the Arianas.

Everlane – The Day Mary Jane

  • Materials: Napa leather
  • Made in: Brazil
  • Heel Height: unsure (flat)
  • Sizes: 5-11 (half sizes)

Funny enough, I’ve been shopping at Everlane for almost a decade! I remember first learning about them from a Facebook ad back in 2014 before I moved to Korea, and I bought a few tanks and a backpack to take with me. My mom actually still uses my backpack and the tanks were this nice, thick cotton material that I’d still own if I didn’t outgrow them.

I’ve definitely witnessed them have some major growing pains, and I do think they’ve gone off their original unique selling point. However, I will say most items I’ve purchased from them over the years have stood the test of time.

When I first saw The Day Mary Jane shoes online, I immediately wrote them off because I didn’t like the look and thought they’d look as clunky as some of their other shoes. However, Everlane has a physical location in the KOP mall, so when I was Christmas shopping I tried them on for shits and giggles. I was surprised at how cute they actually looked in person than they do on the website, hence them making this list.

Madewell – The Greta

  • Materials: leather & elastic strap
  • Made in: unsure
  • Heel Height: unsure
  • Sizes: US 5 – 12
  • ALSO: Check Shopbop or Zappos

I hardly ever shop at Madewell but I stopped into see what kind of purses they have since we were trying to find a specific style for my mom. While I was looking, I noticed they too had a cute pair of minimalistic Mary Janes, known as the Greta. Tried them on and found myself buying them almost immediately!

The leather is softer, so it can accommodate wider feet. When I sent a photo of these and the Everlane style to friends, they agreed these fit my foot better. I was also surprised by the cushion, and it turns out they have something called MWL Cloudlift padding. Win all around!

I’ve actually worn them a ton now, especially in London where I walked all over that city in both the original black pair I got and the red pair I later purchased. I’m kind of obsessed with them and absolutely shocked at how comfortable they are. Like I cannot recommend them enough especially for wider, flatter feet like mine.

Read my full review of the Madewell Gretas here

Repetto – Lio

I got these! While I was still working on this post, I got a notification that someone listed a pair of the Repetto Lio flats on Vestiaire, and I put in an offer for $100 and the seller accepted. Eep! Will also update when I actually have them and can try them out. I have the Repetto Cendrillon flats and love how cute they are. Definitely not meant to be worn for hours and miles but perfect to dress up an outfit for a lil lunch date.

Brand wise, it doesn’t get much more French than Repetto (ironic since its founder is from Milan!). The company began in 1947 when Rose Repetto designed ballet shoes for her son, Roland Petit, then a ballet choreographer and dancer. A few short years later in 1956, she created a ballet flat, known as the Cendrillon, for Brigitte Bardot to wear in her movie And God Created Women (Et Dieu créa la femme), and really the rest is history. Through the decades they’ve partnered with respected names in fashion and to this day still make traditional ballet shoes.

If you want a bit of a heel, the Rose style is also gorgeous. I’m so excited to see how the Lio style fits!

Rothy’s Mary Jane

  • Materials: recycled plastic bottles
  • Made in: China
  • Heel Height: unsure/flat
  • Sizes: 5 -13

The only non-leather pick on this list! I remember when Rothy’s first started getting buzz, it was known as the shoe company that used recycled plastic bottles to make a sort of knitted fabric. Their shoes are supposed to be incredibly comfortable, and the company eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable. Plus – you can throw in your shoes in the wash.

I will say I did briefly consider Rothy’s but I haven’t actually seen the knitted fabric style in person, and I wasn’t about to spend $159 on a shoe I hadn’t seen in real life! The little blue edge on the heel does annoy me but apparently in person it’s barely recognizable.

Vagabond – Delia

If I hadn’t had seen the Mary Jane shoes in Madewell, I would’ve probably gone for the Vagabond Delias. The brand was founded back in 1973 in Sweden (really perfect since I feel like this iteration of the Mary Jane is very Scandi-influenced) and has always focused on creating gorgeous shoes. They also seem to have a pretty extensive sustainability profile and go as far as to share their annual reports.

I also like that they have that little tab on the heel to make it easier to slide in and out!

Chic Mary Jane Shoes: Overall Comparison

Below is a quick chart to see all my research in one place and to compare more easily!

The Mary JanesHeel HeightSmallest SizeLargest SizeFull Price
Aeyde Uma0.8cm/0.3in612$295
Carel Ariana2cm/0.8in410$525
Carel Kina4cm/1.5in410$535
Everlane – Dayunsure511$155
Madewell – Gretaunsure512$98
Repetto – Lio1cm/0.4in411$440
Repetto – Rose3cm/1.2in411$455

And there you have it – a look into my absurdly extensive research to figure out which Mary Jane shoes I wanted to buy. Any brands you love? Let me know!

For more shopping posts, read these next:


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