I have a complicated relationship with shoes. Or more specifically, there’s a significant gap between what kind of shoes I am attracted to (tall, cute details like buckles or laces, with an easily stained but gorgeous material) and the kind of shoes that are actually appropriate for my lifestyle (slip-on, weather- and toddler-resistant, something between an athletic shoe and a slipper). I work from home and need to quickly transition between writing, running to child-related activities, working out, and even occasionally seeing people, which all necessitates the kind of practical footwear that doesn’t exactly inspire. 

But I like to feel cute. And like many people who work from home, I’ve learned that I feel more committed to my day and better about myself if I actually make an effort on my appearance. So even if I spend most days in soft pants and cozy layers, the thing that takes me from feeling like a homebody to a Writer At Work is sometimes as simple as putting on an actual pair of shoes. 

My go-tos? Mules and clogs. And these pairs from Beek’s fall collection have been helping me step up my WFH game every day.

About Beek

Beek’s mission is to make beautiful and comfortable shoes using sustainable, slow practices. Founders Birgit Klett and Kenna Florie are footwear and fashion veterans who saw a real gap in the market for women’s leather sandals: namely, gorgeous leather footwear that was instantly wearable and would age well. What they wanted was simply not available anywhere — so they decided to do it themselves. 

Designed in California but handmade in Mexico, each Beek shoe is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Every pair takes over 48 hours to make, using high-quality, super soft sustainable leather. All Beek leather is biodegradable and recyclable, and sheep and cow hide by-product from the meat industry. They have also achieved a Gold Certified by the Leather Working Group, one of only fourteen tanneries in all of Mexico to do so. The all-leather construction, which makes up about half of their collection, uses only vegetable-tanned leathers, the most sustainable tanning option out there. 

The company cares about its workers and employs artisans under fair and ethical conditions. They are currently working toward a Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification — according to their website, they are 75% of the way there and hope to be completed by 2024. One more cool fact? Beek is committed to eradicating child hunger in the United States. Since their launch in 2015, the brand has donated the equivalent of five meals per pair of shoes sold to Childhood Hunger Strategy with the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

Alright, here’s what I tried.

Sanderling Leather Mule in Saddle | $260

I was instantly drawn to these shoes as a simple, everyday flat that I could see pairing with jeans, skirts, or even the leggings I’m often actually wearing. This is Beek’s version of a ballerina flat for those of us who don’t actually want to wear ballerina flats. (I find them a little too precious, and the backs often dig into my heels.) The Sanderling Mule has the same sleek, elegant shape with all the effortless ease of a mule. 

I chose the “Saddle” color, which is a beautiful neutral brown that goes with absolutely everything. The leather is impossibly soft, buttery, and rich to the touch. It feels amazing to slip into, instantly elevating my look into something polished while still feeling oh-so-cozy. The little stud details on the side are the perfect amount of flair––not so much as to be blingy, but just enough to be noticed. 

The all-leather sole is padded with natural rubber, and there is a gentle molded arch support that, I’ll be honest, I don’t really feel. I wear these around the house mostly, but I also walk the dog in them and feel very put together and cute. 

The brand notes that if you are a half-size, go up. I got my usual size and they fit perfectly—and they required z-e-r-o breaking in, a real win for new leather shoes!

Mallard Shearling Clog in Stone | $340

At 5’1”, I have often turned to clogs over the years when I needed a comfortable, work-appropriate shoe that would also give me some height. But often, that height can come at a cost — particularly with clog mainstays like Danskos, which tend to be such a hard, unbendable shape that I end up with red marks all over my foot by the end of the day. These clogs looked like the height of cozy on the website, and I’m pleased to report they did not disappoint in person. 

The suede upper is extremely soft, and the shearling lining makes me feel like I’m wearing the coziest, fluffiest winter socks. With a Chilean pine base and a rubber sole, the shoe is substantial, and it definitely clops a bit around my 100-year-old house. (But that’s kind of the deal with clogs, imo!) The “stone” color is a beautiful neutral, and the height of the platform is the perfect boost. It feels about half the height of a traditional clog. 

I did end up sizing up on these—I have a vision of thick cozy socks and layered sweaters and soft pants with these babies for the winter so I wanted the room. The next size up fits me exactly right, and I’m not even a half size, so keep that in mind! 

All in all, I am a huge fan of these shoes. Instantly wearable, extremely comfortable, and so beautifully crafted, these are staple shoes I know I will be wearing for years to come. 

Key Takeaways

  • Beek shoes are handcrafted by fairly paid artisans using high quality leather.
  • All leather is sheep and cow hide byproduct from the meat industry, and Gold Certified by the Leather Working Group.
  • Beek shoes are designed to be supportive, beautiful, and instantly wearable—no painful break-in period at all. 
  • Go up a size, especially if you are a half-size!
  • I recommend mules for everyday casual looks and clogs if you’re also looking for height. (Note that the clogs are not quiet shoes!)
  • Use code THEGOODTRADE10 for 10% off your entire purchase!

Stephanie H. Fallon is a writer originally from Houston, Texas. She has an MFA from the Jackson Center of Creative Writing at Hollins University. She lives with her family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she writes about motherhood, artmaking, and work culture. You can find her on Instagram or learn more on her website.