J. Crew Shoes Review (Mona Pumps, Martina Wedges, Cece Flats, and Valentina Pumps)

July 26, 2012

****This post is very photo-heavy so I've created a jump break. If you are interested in shoes, click "read more" otherwise there's no sense loading all of these pictures on your phone****

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now - because even though I am currently not in the market for work pumps, I've always been fascinated by the J. Crew Mona Pumps and the Valentina Patent Pumps.

I've solicited my mom to model these shoes for me because my remote control is acting a little funky.

In all, I ordered four pairs of shoes to try: the Mona Pump in Black, the Cece Ballerina Flat in Burnt Sienna, the Martina Patent Wedge in Bronzed Clay, and the Valentina Patent Pumps in Apricot Mist.
From left to right: Mona Pump, Cece Ballerina Flats, Martina Patent Wedges, and Valentina Patent Pumps
I like that J. Crew's style is pretty straightforward - nothing funky and generally "safe" choices. All of these shoes have the qualities to stand the test of time. 

J. Crew shoes tend to run slightly narrow - I normally wear 6.5 or 7 - so in all four shoes I ordered size 7.
First up is the Mona Leather Pumps (also available in patent, suede, glitter-fied, colorblocked, tassled, tortoise printed, perforated and colorblocked, and woven). The size 7 fits me very well and while there isn't as much cushion on the bottom as my beloved Corso Como Delicious Pumps, these shoes are rather comfortable. I also like the almond shaped toe and manageable 3.75-in heel.

I chatted with J. Crew's online support team about the soles of the shoe and was told that "Both the inside of the shoe and the bottom sole that touches the ground are made from leather. The leather is treated differently on the bottom so that it's hard and then the inside is smooth supple leather." 

I thought $198 was slightly expensive for these straightforward shoes without a lot of bells and whistles. The comfort, while sufficient, didn't wow me at this price point. I also thought the outersole was a little too smooth, to the point where I feel that walking on extra smooth surfaces might put me in a precarious position. 

I returned these but will definitely re-consider them when I need to buy more work pumps.

I am not much of a flats wearer but have always been fascinated by the Cece (also available in suede, prints, two-tone bow, colorblocked, metallic colors, and with studs), another perennial favorite at J. Crew. When my friend Alexa and I were at a J. Crew store a few weeks ago she remarked that these flats had a hidden heel which immediately piqued my interest. One of the problems I had with many flats was how uncomfortable my feet with moderate arch felt in them and how my center of balance shifted in super flat flats (I hope I am making sense).

The Cece Ballerina Flats are very well padded and the slight interior wedge adds some height and comfort for people who are used to wearing high heels. The leather is supple and the fit is consistent with the Mona (if you are in between sizes, take the bigger size; however, since it is all leather, it will likely stretch with wear).

I really liked these flats and thought they were more comfortable than most flats I own. My mom liked them too and insisted that we keep them. I'll be ordering another color (and maybe wait for a promotion). 

An item on my wishlist that I've been unable to cross off is neutral-colored wedges with a 3-in heel (or something in that range). The Martina Patent Wedge (also available in suede, tortoise print, and leopard print) is a perfect match but I thought $228 was quite a bit more than what I am willing to spend on them (I would ideally like to spend about $100).

The Martina fits slightly smaller than the Cece and the Mona (not enough to go up a size); I suspect because of the stiffer patent leather. The height was perfect (for my purpose) at 3-in and I really liked the bronzed clay color.

I returned these but will repurchase them when they go on further sale.

Lastly, pictured here are the Valentina Patent Pumps (also available in calf leather, metallic colors, snakeskin, satin, and slingback). These shoes run a size big (so take a half size down if you have medium-wide feet or a full size down if you have very narrow feet) but are so sleek looking. The shoes have 2.75-in tall heels which are better than the Mona for women who stand or walk a lot at their place of work. As I didn't order them in the right size, I can't speak to their overall comfort but my first impressions of them were positive.

The Valentina is quite expensive at $238. I probably wouldn't order them again unless I can find them for $70 or less.

Do you own shoes from J. Crew? How do you like them? What is your favorite or least favorite?

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