So, I got my shoes. Thanks for all of the advice. I ended up going with two pairs, both purchased through Zappos, which I love love love. Love because they offer free shipping both ways, should you decide to return. Love because I heart reading reviews from people before I decide what to buy. Love because they have about seventy billions options that I can whittle down to 15 shoes that meet all the criteria I am looking for. And love because they upgraded my shipping for free and got me my new shoes in less than two days.
The first pair I picked where these white and blue J-41s. I found them after stumbling upon an ad in a magazine. Yes, I am that person who actually sees an ad in a magazine and then buys a product because of it. The thing that caught my eye was reading that this company makes its products out of 100 percent recycled materials. The company is a licensed product of Chrysler, which makes Jeep, which I believe is where the "J" originated. So I am not only saving the planet by buying these, I'm helping prop up the fledgling auto industry here in Detroit. It would almost be wrong NOT to buy them.
Still, I wasn't sure I would love these. My fear was they would be too clunky. And even now that they're here, I'm not positive they aren't a little clunky. But I love them anyway. First of all, you put your foot inside, and it feels like it is wrapped in a pillow. So cushiony. So comfy. And I love the color scheme, which will go with just about everything I own. And the Mary Jane look dresses them up just a tiny bit so that they're not just an ordinary sneaker.
The next pair I bought were Rocketdogs, recommended to me in the comments by Beth! At first when I looked at their stuff, I thought it was all a little to skate-boardery for me. But then I saw these...
Aren't they sweet? They're kind of simple black skimmers. Sort of standard with some white stitching details and a bit of a fuzzy finish. But that is OK. They're just interesting enough that I like them, and again, they should meet my main criteria, which is to go with pretty much everything.
And I think they make my size nines look small. That's always a bonus.
The way I really know I love both of these shoes is that I wore them all day yesterday. In my house. While I folded laundry and unloaded the dishwasher and watched my babe. That is a true test of whether I really spent my money well, because when I truly like something, I wear it immediately.
So yeah. I will from hence forth be a stylin' "mom around town" instead of a frump-bucket. Thanks again for the advice!