I recently ordered these lovely shoes from Zappos, but based on mixed reviews was unable to decide which size to get. During a recent trip to New York, I decided to seek out the actual French Sole store to be properly fitted. I was very surprised to have more than one associate at the stores (there are 3 stores in NY) insist that I buy my normal size and NOT to size up as others have recommended. They say that all the time they see people go up half a size because that's what feels comfortable in the store, but that they are back within a month saying that the shoes are falling off their feet. That is because they are meant to STRETCH to accommodate your own foot, which is ultimately what leads to these shoes being the softest, most comfortable shoes in your closet. It does, however, take some break in time. I took them at their word and purchased my normal size 8. To be honest, these shoes were killing me for the first 3 days. The first day they dug into my heels necessitating moleskin. The second day my big toe still felt jammed into the toe box. By the end of the third day, however, I was able to slip them on comfortably and could finally envision these becoming my favorite pair of shoes. Personally, I preferred the wedge heel on the Zeppa to the flat sole of the Sloop, but that is a personal preference and does not reflect the comfort or quality of the Sloop. The Zeppa is actually the same shoe as the Sloop, but they've just added a small wedge heel for more support. If you love ballet flats, these will be your favorites, hands down. The beauty of Zappos is that you don't have to take a trip to New York to get them!
I am a dancer and hope to clarify some fitting questions about these lovely shoes. They are built like a literal ballet slipper, meant to wear like a little leather sock, but in this case the sole is rubber instead of suede, and the whole shoe is made to withstand more than a few rehearsals. The stretching and toe bumps are the result of the shoe's ability to conform precisely to your foot and the way you move, very like a dancer's shoe. The break-in time happens quickly in these shoes because a dance shoe needs to be usable right away, and the less it keeps its shape and takes on yours, the better. If you are narrow-footed, get your true size. I have long, narrow slippers that run between a 9½ and 10½ (with a half-size difference from one foot to the other), and am frankly astounded by the perfect fit of size 10 after only a day or so of wear. I have three pairs and wear them everywhere, including onstage. It is hard to choose, but my white naplaks are my favorites and I like patent leather that feels like it has been broken-in better than your favorite sneakers. They can take a little more wet weather, too. I live in my Sloops and now suffer less from awful foot cramps because my foot is not fighting a shoe when I walk. These are made to become uniquely yours as you wear them. I would not trade mine for anything!
I am a true size 7 (medium). My right foot is slightly bigger than my left foot. I was not sure what size to order for this flat. When I finally finish reading all the reviews and also find out the return policy of this product (return unworn item within 365 days/no extra shipping cost, thanks to Zappos' generosity), I decided to order one pair of Black Napa Leather in Size 7 and one pair of Bronze Metallic Suede in 7 1/2 at the same time. Black Napa Leather in Size 7 fits me perfectly. It was snug the first couples of days when I wore it, but felt incredibly soft on my feet. There is no heel and no arch support , but I do not mind at all. This pair gradually stretched out within a week. I have been wearing it every day for the past 25 days, and it is now a little loose. Bronze Metallic Suede in 7 1/2, however, was too big for me (what a surprise!). I keep the Size 7 Black Napa, and will re-order the Bronze Metallic Suede in Size 7. My past experiences (with other shoes/other brands) have told me that: even the company may use the exact same size measurements to make the shoes; however, not every pair (or model) turns out to be exactly the same. But thanks to Zappos' generous return policy, I got to try both sizes and found what worked for me.
I ordered the Black Napa in my regular size and I am very happy with the shoe! I read tons of reviews on these shoes before buying, and though almost all said to buy a half size larger (and even the company recommends this), I got my regular size because many people who upsized complained that once the shoe stretched out it lost its shape and got floppy on the sides. My shoes were snug at first, but after 2 wears they are like gloves for my feet and super comfy! Now, I do have relatively narrow feet, so this might not be the case for wide-footed ladies, but I think that when you size up in these, when they stretch (which they definitely seem to do) you end up with too much fabric, whereas if you had your normal size they start off small but stretch to fit perfectly. The shoe is like a dance shoe and does not have a stiff upper, so it really does mold to your feet. You can see the outline of my big toe through the shoe, which doesn't bother me at all, but might not be what some are looking for. I am really happy with them and will no doubt buy another pair in a different color!
I ordered these ballet flats to wear with leggings and tunics, and they are really cute. I have other shoes in this brand, and it is one of the most reasonably priced brand of shoes made in Italy. The only problem with these shoes is that there is no arch support, and they could use more cushioning. I put an insole pad in them, and they're fine. They also tend to run about a half-size smaller than I normally wear.