Worth it? My updated Reformation shoe and boot review

In the last four years, a lot has changed.

There’s the obvious stuff, like all of 2020/21.

… but then there’s the not-so-obvious stuff (to me at least).

Like, Reformation has expanded even more than before.

When their shoe line started in 2019 and it was like, “will this really work?”

… but then it did.

So, I was like what did I miss the first time around?

Here’s my updated review, along with thoughts from the first time this article was published…


Reformation Shoe sizing

For comparison, my other shoe sizes run:
-Adidas Stan Smiths, US 8
Chanel Shoes, FR 39
Christian Louboutin, IT/EU 39.5
Golden Goose, IT/EU 39
Hermès, FR 39
Isabel Marant, FR 39-40
-Nikes, US 8.5
Repetto, FR 39.5-40

Apollonia Ballet Flats

My Apollonia ballet flats, in dark denim, are a size 8.5.

Showing Reformation ballet flats sizing

The fit of these Reformation ballet flats can only be best described as “odd.”

My feet aren’t wide, yet they’re not narrow, somehow these flats fit wide and narrow at the same time.

Sizing down to an 8 wouldn’t solve the issue, because they fit perfectly-to-tight across the toe opening area.

Similarly, sizing up to a 9 wouldn’t solve it, since they already feel quite loose in the body and toe box of the shoe.

Due to the design and space in the body of the shoe, along with no functioning bow or elastic to pull the shoe in, these shoes don’t do a ton to complement your legs.

Compared to any ballet flats I’ve reviewed, these Reformation ballet flats are probably the worst fit in terms of fit and look.

Foster Moto Boot

For the block-heeled Reformation Foster moto boots, I chose a size 8.5.

Showing Reformation boots sizing

These run a pinch big, yet feel narrow in the toe box.

Again, my feet are somewhere between “normal” and “wide,” and I find the toe box could lead to blisters on my baby toes.

At the same time, they still feel big.

… but, you can adjust the buckle for a closer fit.

If you’re someone who refuses to wear socks, no matter the weather, you will likely end up with blisters on your toes and the insides of your foot near your heel.

If you prefer wearing socks, especially thicker ones, you should be in the clear with the Foster boots.

From their first shoe collection, and my initial review, in 2019…

I went ahead with the US8.5 (kinda surprising, but great that they do half sizes).

reformation shoes sizing

Reformation’s size 8.5 fits true to US shoe sizing.

According to Reformation’s shoe size chart, they recommend that a size 8.5 = 9.69 IN.

… but I wasn’t sure if that meant like your foot should measure 9.69 IN or the shoe measures 9.69 IN.

To clarify, this Belle flat measures 11.25 IN and my barefoot measures 9.25 IN.

So I have no idea where they got 9.69 IN from…

Basically, just take your true US shoe size and ignore the FR and EU/IT shoe sizing comparisons.


Reformation Shoe Quality

Let’s put these Reformation ballet flats to a “pseudo-scientific lab report” analysis!

For the sake of fun, this ballet flat quality series is called the “Ballet Flat Breakdown,” because I’m gonna breakdown everything you would wanna know about these ballet flats.

Note: These are my opinions, yours could differ.

1- Heel Height
Like, ~0.75 cm.

Looks like leather with rubber (?) on the middle and heel.

Showing the leather and maybe rubber soles on Reformation shoes

3-Adjustable Bow
No… and there is no elastic, or stretch, around the edges either.

4-Toe Cleavage
Absolutely none.

Showing how much toe cleavage there is in Reformation ballet flats

5- Are They Comfortable or Not?
All clear on the blister front.

The only thing to note is that on my feet (the area across the metatarsal bones or ball of your foot) the Apollonia flats feel tight.

… and that they are pretty loose all around.


Reformation Shoe Leather, FYI

Reformation’s main MO is to being climate positive.

Instead of vegan leather, they’ve opted to use animal leathers and instead reduce their emissions by using more sustainable tanning processes.

… or recycled denim for their denim shoe offerings.

The way they see it is that they’d rather make a durable shoe with “real” leather than craft a shoe out of vegan leather which you’d have to replace in a year’s time.

If the Ref uses real leather so that your shoes will last longer and you won’t have to replace them so quickly (really bad for the environment), that’s a good reason.

For vegans, it is frustrating though. I understand that… and so does the Reformation — apparently they’re monitoring suitable leather alternatives for the future.

… but, it’s been four years since they launched their shoe division.

Fingers crossed they figure it out soon though!


Pros & Cons

More Sustainable: Reformation will tell you exactly how much C02 emissions, water, and waste are saved for your new pair of shoes.
Half-Sizes: Perfect for those of us who are in between sizes.

Still no dust bag(s): It feels to me that they’re just cutting cost corners when brands charge over $200 for a pair of shoes, but don’t include a dust bag. Like, a simple bag to put my shoes in isn’t what’s ruining the environment — over production is.

Odd sizing: The flats are tighter across the toe box, yet loose everywhere else.

Glue/idk what on the side of the flats

Showing Reformation shoe quality with like loose glue

This won’t be good for my bottom line to say, but I have to get this off my desk…

I feel as though buying from Reformation, and their shoes in particular, is kinda like eating Baked Lays instead of Original Lays.

Just because Lays chips are “baked,” doesn’t mean that they’re good for you.

… similarly, Reformation using “sustainable” material/processes for their shoes, doesn’t mean it’s good for the environment.

Everything in life, from what you choose to eat to what you buy, should be done in moderation — those are practices that are actually better for the environment.

Ref’s items are still (somewhat) expensive, and as much as I want to love them, they still don’t feel worth it to me.

If there’s a pair you’re still obsessed with though, Reformation’s shoes are available from Reformation (duh), Matches, Net-A-Porter, and Shopbop

Note: newinspired uses affiliate links which costs you nothing… but means a lot to me. When you use these links, the money newinspired earns gets reinvested in blog content. Absolutely nothing on newinspired is “gifted,” I purchase each item with my own money. Affiliate commissions are used to purchase new items to honestly & thoroughly review. If you found this review helpful, consider using them to support newinspired.


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