Long-winded post ahead. The Perfect Pumps pictured here are the navy patent ones that I tweeted about a few weeks ago. The Perfect Covered Platform Pumps in black patent are on sale here. I haven’t had a chance to try the Perfect Pointy Pumps or the Perfect Kitten Heels so please share your experience in the comments if you own them.
I occasionally get emails inquiring about the Ann Taylor perfect pumps that I wear a lot at work so I decided to dedicate a post (or two) to discussing some of my likes and dislikes about the shoes.
Again, please bear in mind that everyone’s feet are shaped differently (thus the shoe may not be comfortable for everyone) and I may have a higher or lower tolerance for pain than you, so please read this review with a grain of salt.
A few facts about my lifestyle and “experience” as a heel-wearer: I work a relatively sedentary office job and occasionally have out of town meetings. I live in the suburbs so I commute by car to work. I started wearing heels at a pretty early age and now have an affinity for tall heels (a habit I am trying to quit).
First, let’s discuss fit. My feet (again, I am sorry if I always seem to repeat myself for shoe posts but I don’t want to make people who randomly stumbled upon this post to have to dig in my archives for measurements) are “medium” (but a bit on the wide side) and I normally wear a 6.5 or 7 in pumps and 7 in flats. The size that fits me best at Ann Taylor is 6.5 but I have on occasion purchased size 7’s when I can’t find 6.5 on sale (and I rarely buy Ann Taylor at full price).
I would say Ann Taylor pumps tend to run about a half size bigger than pumps made by comparable retailers and about a size bigger than European shoemakers. However, I would urge you to try the shoes on yourself in stores to find the best fit. If you normally wear stockings at work, try these shoes on with stockings on. If you are normally barelegged, then try the shoes on without stockings on. I’ve noticed that shoes that I find uncomfortable barelegged tend to fit much better with tights.
As with all leather shoes, these pumps will start to stretch and loosen with wear. If the shoe slips on your feet when you buy them initially, they won’t get better and will probably get worse over time. Go for a size that stays securely on your feet.
Next, let’s discuss comfort. Ann Taylor perfect pumps have a 3.5 inch heel which actually feel shorter than that for seasoned heel wearers. I typically wear them all day around the office and they feel light on the feet for me. I consider them to be above average comfortable because the shoes don’t pinch my feet and the leather is soft.
I would say if you are a regular heel wearer with neither extra narrow or extra wide feet the perfect pumps should cause no discomfort and should be easy to “master” (for lack of a better word).
As far as maintenance, I try to wipe down the shoes every month or so (I know I am lazy) and the leather has held up pretty well on my older pairs that receive significant wear. Shoes are meant to be worn and replaced so I am ready to dispose of them once they get worn down after a few years.
Lastly, pricing. The non-exotic leather versions are currently $155 and the more unique seasonal styles go up to $200. Since Ann Taylor is always running some kind of sale, buying at full price is not the best bang for your buck. The 40% off storewide sale is a pretty good time to buy a pair and happens about once a month or once every other month. Or, if you are extra patient, the seasonal styles can probably be had during final sale time for 60% or more off the original price. Of course, by that time sizes will be incomplete but popbacks are fairly regular.
The Perfect Covered Platform Pump is not as popular a choice as the Perfect Pump. It is less “comfortable” by virtue of the fact that the heel is relatively taller.
The heel height is 4.5 inches, which may seem daunting at first but the small platform takes away some of the stress on your feet. I think for ladies with small feet, this particular style may not work very well because the arch will be too steep for comfort. For someone with average feet (the 6, 7, 8, and 9’s), the Covered Platform Pump can be a nice option for some additional height.
The Covered Platform Pump is about a degree more uncomfortable than the Perfect Pump so if you find the Perfect Pump intolerable then chances are good that you won’t like the Platform Pump either.
Fit for the Platform Pump is consistent with fit for the Perfect Pump so you can take the same size in both shoes.
As for pricing, the Platform Pump is slightly more expensive than the Perfect Pump ($178 for the Platform and $155 for the Perfect). As always, wait for a sale because there are too many options out there to justify paying full price for Ann Taylor shoes.