I transitioned from a 90% heels shoe collection to “mostly flats” about 4 years ago. Ever since, I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of dress oxfords. I wanted something with a pointed toe, but also super comfortable. It’s an elusive combo.
I’ve kept my eyes open, though, and found these oxfords at a steep discount during a post-holiday sale. I obsessed over a pair of Marsell sandals a couple of years ago. It was bad – I saved 3 or 4 links and checked them on a regular basis, waiting for the shoes to go on sale. The sandals were eventually marked down by 50%, but none were available in my (estimated) size.
During this period I did a ton of research on the brand, and all sources said they run big. Some reviewers recommended going down an entire size. (There are no retailers in my city who carry Marsell, so I had to rely on reviews and retailers’ notes.)
The oxfords are patent, with a rubbed finish at the toe. I like how they already looked worn in and loved before I ever tried them on. I typically wear a US7, 37-37.5 in IT or FR sizes. According to my previous research, I should be looking for a 36.5. Of course, that size was not available. There was a 37, though, and I was so excited by the prospect of finding the Perfect Oxford – I was willing to take a chance. I promised myself, if they aren’t a perfect fit, I would return them immediately. (I have a history of keeping clothes and shoes that aren’t exactly what I was looking for, to avoid the hassle of returns. Stupid, stupid!)
Long story short, the 37s arrived, I tried them on and they felt amazing. My toes rest where the pointed toe narrows, kind of where a square toed shoe would end. So, there’s roughly an inch of “point” ahead of my foot. I’m not sure if that’s the intended fit? It definitely slims the profile of my foot (which is a silly thing to notice, I know). Despite that extra room, the shoe itself is a nice snug fit in the foot and ankle, so there is no slippage. I found the shoes very comfortable. I like the snug fit, and the thick sole is supportive but has some give so my stride felt very natural walking around the house. HOWEVER, in a rare display of self-awareness, I worried that I might be willing the shoes to fit. I’ve been looking for so long; I wondered if my judgment may be clouded by excitement? I set them aside in a box and decided to come back to them in a week (I had 10 days to initiate a return).
I tried the shoes again last weekend and they felt so good, like a favorite broken-in pair. I tried them on in bare feet, with tights, and again with thin trouser socks. Fit, fit, fit! I got up the nerve to cut the security tag, and they were officially mine.
Against all good judgment, I decided to wear the oxfords to my conference this past week. I was on my feet for 10+ hours three days in a row, and most of Friday. It was foolish for me to test new shoes like this. I lucked out. The oxfords are keepers (I guess they kind of have to be, now). Each day, all day: they were both supportive and comfortable, even after so much standing/walking around. I have another week-long conference at the end of the month and I’ll definitely wear them for that event, too.
The soles look really sturdy so I’m hopeful these will last a few years before they need any repairs. I’m genuinely excited to have found such beautiful shoes that fit. They look good with casual jeans, but I’m most excited to have a “dressy” flat I can pair with dresses and skirts year-round.
The Marsell oxfords are off to a promising start. The brand is expensive, but looking around on Farfetch and Yoox I’ve found a lot of 50-70% off deals… it’s just hit or miss on sizes. And, once shoes are heavily discounted, you have to be careful about whether or not the retailer will accept returns or consider the transaction a Final Sale. After some pretty terrible consignment results in 2017, I am determined not to waste money “trying” shoes this year. Shoes are worse than cars for depreciation.