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Review: Plae Adult Shoes

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Many of us know and love Plae shoes for kids. The brand was founded in 2012 and sold their first pair of shoes a year later. My daughter’s been wearing their Ty style in Metallic Silver for a few years now and loves them. Literally, once she outgrows them, I just order the same shoe in her current size. The color goes with absolutely everything.

One of her favorite features of the shoe is that the Velcro tabs that close the shoes can be swapped so she can mix up her look. (And the tabs are cheap, so the temptation to have a collection of them is hard to resist!) I’ve been jealous of her sneakers since she got her first pair. So you can imagine my absolute delight when Plae introduced adult sneakers last year! After a year of drooling over a gorgeous grey pair, I finally got my own. Here’s my review of Plae shoes for adults.

plae logo

You may be wondering why it took me so long to get a pair of Plaes for myself. Can I let you in on a little secret? I have wide feet (thanks, Mom!). Finding on-trend shoes that come in widths is impossible, and sadly, Plae is no exception. For Christmas this year, though, my husband and daughter gave me shoes. That is, they gave me the gift of shopping for shoes. Yay! Since I was being treated, I figured: what could it hurt to order the Plaes I wanted and see if they worked. I’d be no worse off if they didn’t and I could stop obsessing over how cute they’d be with various outfits in my closet. Interestingly, Plae must hear a lot from potential customers with wide feet because the first question in their website’s Help section is about whether their shoes come in widths. It turned out that the pair I wanted—the Prospect—runs wide! Into the cart went the shoes, and that was that. Shipping to the continental US is free (always awesome) and it was actually really fast, even though it’s economy shipping.

Plae shoes in the box

When I got my shoes, I tried them on and I ended up having to do an exchange to get the right size. I ordered using European sizing, which I usually find more consistent, but I ended up in my regular American size. I guess that means they run true-to-size. However, while the length was fine, as expected I ran into some trouble with the width. So, I turned to the instruction booklet that came with the shoes. Yes, I said the instruction booklet. Plae isn’t just about fun; their adult line is about tech, too. In this case, it’s the modular INNERSPACE™ fit system that matters.

There’s a foam pad that cups the heel that sits under the insole, and it’s removable. Once it’s out, there’s a ton more room in the shoe. Removing that and adjusting the laces got me a perfect fit. I also contacted customer service to see if the shoe could be worn without the insole and was told that the whole shoe was lined, so yes, it could, but the fit would be “minimalist.” I tried it and got even more room in the shoe, but there’s no support at all—it’s like wearing hard-soled flip-flops. So, got wide feet?

Remove the heel cup and loosen the laces. I didn’t see my foot hanging over the foot bed like us wide-footed people so often do in medium-width shoes, and that’s the biggest challenge. If you have medium-width feet, adjust the laces as needed, and there’s a special elastic lace catcher that runs across the shoe’s tongue where you can tuck the bow if you find it’s long and floppy.

Plae shoes in the box

As for comfort, it’s been snowy and icy here, so I haven’t been able to take these on a long stroll, but I have worn them around all day for a few days and they’ve been great! They are stiff right out of the box, and I’m looking forward to breaking them in a bit more, but it’s not painful or uncomfortable—just “new shoes stiff.” If you read the customer reviews, some people complain about the height of the tab on the back of the heel, but I haven’t had any problems at all with it rubbing. Seeing the shoes in person, it also strikes me as something you can break in by walking, or by literally bending it back and forth with your hands to soften it up and take the stiffness out of it.

Oh! One more thing: these shoes are machine washable! While I’m not my seven-year-old and can’t imagine what I’ll be doing that will necessitate washing my shoes, it’s good to know. Also, the Prospect comes in lighter colors like Blush and Canary, which may be more likely to show dirt, so there’s that.

Plae shoes on feet

If you can’t tell, I’m really excited I bought these shoes! So far, I love everything about them. And I’m thrilled to have found a shoe that fits wide feet, even if though doesn’t come in widths. (If you have wide feet and want to try Plae adult shoes, but don’t like the look of the Prospect, they also suggest the Larkin, which is a Velcro-closure shoe. It’s super-cute!) Have you tried Plae adult shoes? Which ones do you have? What do you think? Tell us in the comments. Better yet—show us your shoes!

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Abigail Clough

Monday 20th of May 2019

Hey Christine - Thanks for the review. You didn't mention arch support and it's the one thing I was wondering about. I've just started running again and I'm trying to ward off planters fasciitis. What are your thoughts? Is there a noticeable arch in there or is it a pretty flat insole?

Thanks, Abby

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