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Oka B Georgia Matte Ballet Flat review: water-resistant flats




When it rains during the summer, there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to appropriate women’s footwear.

Sure, there are short rain boots, but at the end of the day, they’re still boots and not something you want to wear when it’s 90 degrees outside but also pouring.

In the past, I’ve worn old ballet flats that were still good enough for a commute, but those ended up getting soaked through a few seconds after leaving my building. I’ve also tried wearing flip-flops but I live in New York City, and commuting in the rain on the subway is gross. So when I found a water-resistant flat that didn’t fall apart in the rain, kept my feet protected from NYC grime, and looked cute enough to wear all day at work, I knew I had to try them.

Meet Oka-B Ballet Flats.

They come in 10 styles with shiny and matte finishes, many color options, and different embellishments. I have the Georgia Matte Ballet Flat ($44) in black — they’re simple, classic and would match much of my (mostly black) wardrobe easily. Though the shiny styles are cute — especially the Easton— I thought they looked a little too plastic-y and like an intentional rain shoe rather than a casual shoe you’d wear all day.

Unlike the jelly shoes of the ’90s that gave us all blisters and made everything smell like weirdly comforting plastic, the Oka-B ballet flats are actually comfortable. I was able to wear the Georgias right out of the box with no break-in period and was surprised throughout the day at how well they fit and how much they felt like slippers.

As someone with wide feet, I was concerned about these shoes being too narrow, but they actually fit perfectly. I usually wear a size 8.5, but the shoes are only available in full sizes, ranging from 6 to 11. Per the instructions on the Oka-B website, I went up a size and ordered a 9. This was completely the right call.

One of the issues I’ve had with flats in the past is that a lot of them — especially the cheaper ones — have no arch support. That’s not the case with these, which have arch support with massaging beads on top of it. The rest of the soles are made of a grippy light-blue, snakeskin-looking material that helps keep your feet in place all day.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Yuko / Business Insider

The first time I wore these shoes in the rain, it was drizzling. It felt great to have the confidence to just walk like a normal person and not do that thing where you only walk on the balls of your feet to try and avoid puddles. They also dried off quickly once I got to my destination and I went on with my day.

But what about a serious rainstorm? Good news — they’re effective then too. This is where the traction on the soles of the shoes really came in handy — again, I wasn’t sliding around. But I did accidentally step into a deceptively large puddle — one of New York City’s iconic sights. Yes, it was gross, but the shoes stayed on my feet and came out unscathed. Given that they were totally submerged though, water did get inside so after I crossed the street, I had to take a minute to stop and empty them out, but that’s definitely preferable to having your shoe soak up puddle water like a sponge and get ruined.

Like a lot of shoes from emerging footwear brands like Rothys and Allbirds, the Oka-B flats are made from recycled materials, and the brand offers a recycling program in which customers can send back their worn shoes for 15% off their next purchase.

Despite being durable, water-resistant, and non-slip, the shoes are still pretty flexible and can fold in half. They’re also super easy to clean. I just run mine under the faucet in the bathtub, but the Oka-B website says that you can wipe them clean, or throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher.

The biggest problem I’ve had with the shoes is that if I’m wearing them when it’s not raining and it’s hot outside, my feet get very sweaty inside. Like, so sweaty that they’ve flown off my feet mid-walk and I had to find a public restroom to get paper towels to wipe off the soles of my feet. This hasn’t been an issue when I’ve worn them during the rain or in cooler weather, like 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below.

The Oka-B flats are the ideal summer rain shoes as they’ll keep your feet dry and comfortable all day. I’ve already converted my sister to these flats — she now owns two pairs.

At $44, it’s a reasonable investment for a pair of shoes that’ll make it through the rainy days of spring and summer and take you right into fall. And considering that I’ve worn them several times when it wasn’t even raining — just because they were comfortable and matched an outfit — I do think they’re worth it.

I’m a fan of the simple Georgia style, but I’m also very tempted to order the Aspen next. They’re very similar but have a nice buckle embellishment at the front of the shoe. That also explains why they’re also a few dollars more than the the Georgia.

If you’re looking for alternatives though, the Blondo Becca is similar in style, but they’re nearly double the price. The Crocs Laura Flat is cheaper than the Oka-B ones, but lost their shape quickly when I wore them so they weren’t as durable or cute.

Pros: Water-resistant, classic and stylish ballet flat style, easy to clean comfortable, fit wide feet

Cons: Made my feet very sweaty in warm non-rainy weather, no half sizes so you need to size up

Buy the Oka-B Georgia Matte Ballet Flat for $44

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