Millennials warn Gen-Z over foot odour as ballet pumps make comeback

Millennials warn Gen-Z over foot odour as ballet pumps make comeback

Millennials issue a stark warning to Gen Z after ballet pumps make a comeback – blaming the ‘flat-a**ed shoes’ for causing ‘bunions, busted knees and killer foot odour’

  • The High Street has plenty of covetable styles in leather and good-quality fabric 
  • READ MORE:  How Meghan Markle has proved that ballet shoes can be just as classy as heels

They may take their inspiration from one of the most elegant dance forms around, but ballet pumps – firmly back in fashion – come with a side portion of serious discomfort and foot odour, so say those who wore them the first time around. 

Millennials on social media have issued a stark warning to Gen-Z over the flat shoe once beloved by noughties fashionistas.

At New York Fashion Week earlier this year, the ballet pump featured via Tibi, who crafted a luxe leather version of the pump, and in Milan, Fendi showed off flats with gold bracelets around the ankle.

And, now, as the autumn finally ushers in, celebs are beginning to be spotted in them too. Kate Moss was seen wearing a sleek black pair with a trench coat while in NYC. Fellow fan Alexa Chung teamed hers with a striped shirt and blue denim recently while strolling in Notting Hill.

Still, celebrities aside, the advice ringing out on the social media tannoy from fashion elders is don’t touch them with a barge pole. 

She’s in fashion: Hailey Bieber snapped in ballet flats – the shoes, beloved by the noughties have made a comeback at this year’s fashion shows 

On X, millennial Julie S. Lalonde wrote: ‘Gen Z, please heed my warning: Ballet flats are coming back in style but do not go down this road. 

‘They might seem cute & practical, but you will stress about going to someone’s house because the smell of your feet once you take those shoes off is KILLER.’ 

After people began to respond saying ‘just wear socks’, Lalonde wrote back saying: ‘Sure, but that doesn’t change the planter fascitis, bunions, dropped arches and busted knees that those flat ass shoes with-no-arch-support will give you.’ 

One X user quipped: ‘If they’re going to bring back our stinky shoes, can they at least choose Ugg boots next? It’s the last time it was socially acceptable to leave your house in slippers.’ 

Another voiced their own personal experience of bunions, writing: ‘When I wear ballet flats or pumps without support for a walk, even a short 30 minute walk, the bunion starts to come back.’

One critic summed up the shoe with a no holds barred approach, saying: ‘No socks. Slip off every minute. No grip. Often ill fitting. No rain protection in this ENGLAND? We should have left these in the past.’

Back to the noughties! Kate Moss pictured wearing ballet flats in 2005…the supermodel has been spotted wearing them again in recent weeks in NYC

Late singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011, made flats part of her iconic look – and used to wear Gandolfi pink satin ballet shoes


The designer style has been relaunched this season with a new micro-wedge sole for extra comfort. Yours for a cool £550.

But you don’t need to spend a fortune to buy into the look, as the High Street has plenty of covetable styles. Just make sure you go for leather or good-quality fabric; anything plastic-y will make your feet feel sweaty.

French Sole, Flattered and Essen The Label are always reliable go-tos.

Marks & Spencer’s leather bow ballet pumps ring in at under £40 and come with a cushioned lining. The two-tone blush colourway is reminiscent of Chanel’s iconic toe-cap style.

Seeking a smart shoe for the office? Take a style note from the Princess of Wales and try a pointed‑toe pump with tailored trousers.

Kate favours Boden’s suede Pointed Ballet Flats, which are on sale for under £100. Look at Jigsaw and Cos, too.

For top fashion points, reach for ballet flats with a Mary Jane strap. The style set is wearing Miu Miu’s satin pumps, but you can head to & Other Stories and Mango for some budget-friendly alternatives.

Leopard, £45.99,; Patent croc, £140,

Black suede, £22,; Yellow, £45.99,

Purple, £63,; Blue patent, £40,

Suede, £169,; Lace-up, £29.99,

Gold, £49.99,; Boucle, £65,

Neon pink, £24.75,; Leather, £54.99,

Silver, £35,; Ankle-tie, £65,

Hot pink, £149,; Suede, £90,

Animal print, £98,; Velvet, £225,

Yellow jewel, £845,; White, £49.99,

Tapping into the Autumn/Winter 2023 trend for luxe basics, the way to wear ballet flats now is with your wardrobe staples: white T-shirt, straight jeans, crew-neck jumper, sharp blazer.

Keep the look low-key with black, navy or taupe styles, or add a statement pop with bright red and leopard-print.

Ballet shoes also work for the evening — in fact, they’ve been worn by A-listers on the red carpet. 

Switch high heels for comfy flats in velvet, satin or with a metallic finish and you’ll find yourself pirouetting — rather than hobbling — into the night.

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