Rothy’s review: Here’s what the brand’s ultra-popular flats, Mary Janes, clogs, and loafers are like to wear

"Наилучший порядок вещей — тот, при котором мне предназначено быть, и к чёрту лучший из миров, если меня в нём нет!" Дени Дидро

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A side by side of someone wearing a pair of tan loafers next to someone wearing a pair of black Mary Janes.
Rothy’s flats come in all sorts of styles and colors, and felt surprisingly comfortable considering they’re made from recycled plastic water bottles.

Being a tall girl in middle school taught me to get acquainted with the best flats early on. Nowadays, I’m grateful for my height and even enjoy standing tall in heels. But flats like the ones from Rothy’s will always have a place in my closet, for the times when I want something that’s both feminine and walkable. 

Overall, we recommend Rothy’s to anyone looking to invest in versatile, reliable ballet flats and work bags. Our team favors other other flats in terms of perfect comfort, but Rothy’s offers a much more well-rounded collection of stylish shoes and totes. You can see how Rothy’s stacks up against another popular pair in our full Allbirds vs. Rothy’s flats review. 

For our collective Rothy’s review, we tried twelve different flats to see if recycled plastic could actually feel comfortable on foot. Then, we tried out their new collection of tote bags by stretching them to the bursting point with everything you might need for a weekend trip.

The 5 best Rothy’s shoes we tested:

The Point vs The Point II

Two different pairs of flats, one camouflage and the other emerald, on a hardwood floor.
The original Point in Camo versus the Point II in Emerald.

Our team’s first time testing Rothy’s best-selling style “The Point” was in 2021, and everyone received them with overall good impressions. Besides being cute enough to wear wherever, whenever, their lack of break-in period and extra stretch afforded by the knit upper were two features that resonated the most. A few drawbacks we noted were their steep price and only approaching the title of comfiest flats, claimed instead in our Everlane Day Glove flats review.

I directly compared the original Point (available in eight colors) to “The Point II,” a newly improved version (available in 25 colors, plus a cute new “Knot” style) that was indeed slightly more comfortable. The exterior is almost identical, but inside is Rothy’s new “In Love Insole,” which felt like an extra layer of cushioning that surrounded the perimeter of my foot. The toe box is also more spacious, making them a more suitable pointy-toed flat option for those with wider feet than the first. Finally, the outsoles are a bit more structured than its predecessor’s, but both still felt equally slippery stepping down stairs in.

Two people wearing different pairs of flats, one in camo and the other in emerald.
Wearing the original Points (left) and the newly improved Point II (right).

All in all, enough of my favorite features about the first Points carry over to The Point II that there’s no urgent need to upgrade. But if you have wider feet or you’re considering Rothy’s for the first time, The Point II is worth trying over the originals.  —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Ballet Flat

Right: A pair of silver flats on foot. Left: A pair of silver flats.
Rothy’s The Ballet Flat in Diamond Metallic.

The Ballet Flats are also outfitted with Rothy’s new “In Love Insole,” which adds a little more cushion than the older Rothy’s styles. On foot, the size 8 feels practically just as comfortable as the Point II, but instead these have the classic ballerina shape of a round toe box and a dainty bow detail. Because they’re so flexible, I folded them into my purse as a backup pair of comfortable shoes to change into for a wedding reception. My feet tend to swell after spending hours in pumps, so I was grateful how they stretched to accommodate the size of my feet from their swollen state until they were back to their usual size by the end of the night.

Although I prefer the silhouette of the pointy toe, I really loved the shimmer of the Diamond Metallic ballet flats. They’re a matte material woven with glittery undertones, which catches the light just enough for a subtle sparkle.  —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Loafer

A side by side of a loafer being folded in half next to someone wearing a pair of loafers.
Rothy’s The Loafer in Ecru.

The Loafer is the first pair from my Rothy’s review that I’ve started wearing on a regular basis. I don’t wear them around in my home since I’ve mostly worn them outdoors, but they could easily be an around-the-house shoe with how easily they slip on.

The first time I put them on, I already had blisters from wearing new boots with the wrong socks (my own fault). Rothy’s loafers were gentle on my tender heels, as my Band-Aided skin lay flush against the flexible mesh so there was no added friction. After I’d healed, the Loafers didn’t cause me any more blistering. As an 8, these fit me true to size, but they do have a relatively narrow toe box. For this reason I wouldn’t recommend them for wider feet, or else the outline of your toes will likely be visible through the stretchy knit material.

The Loafer comes in six colors. Their simple design and muted colorways go with just about everything in my closet. I’d had this green skirt for a while, but could never find the right shoe to match. Finally, Rothy’s to the rescue. —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Espadrille

Black and white Rothy's espadrilles on foot.

I’m not much of a sandal girl, so I typically wear sneakers all summer — whether I’m donning bike shorts or a sun dress. That is until I tried Rothy’s new flat espadrille, which is definitely becoming my go-to shoe this spring and summer. On my first wear, I found the kicks extremely comfortable, versatile, and stylish. I got my first compliment on them within minutes of stepping outside the house!

The lightweight, breathable shoe has a footbed crafted from soft, recycled microfiber, and on my foot, it wore more like a sneaker than a flat. I love that I can wear them with or without the ankle ties, so I get two looks in one shoe. I picked the Hemp-Boardwalk colorway, which is an adorable dupe for a Chanel flat with the contrast toe box. They’re easy to dress up or down as they can elevate a more casual outfit or bring comfort to a dressier one. 

 I usually wear either a size 9 or a 9.5 in shoes, but I went with a 9 since I wouldn’t be wearing socks with these. They’re a bit short and narrow in the toe box (even though I have fairly narrow feet to begin with), so I would size up to the 9.5 if I had to do it over. Still, the stretchy fabric made of hemp, organic cotton, and recycled plastic bottles, has enough give that I can still wear them despite them fitting a touch too small on me. — Talia Ergas, freelance writer, Insider Reviews

The Almond Loafer

Someone wearing a pair of loafers.
Rothy’s The Almond Loafer in Desert Cat.

As someone with feet on the wider side, I was a little nervous about these pointed-toe loafers. I decided to take a chance because they describe the “almond-toe profile” as a bit roomier than a true pointed toe, and I’m glad I did. They’re definitely more comfortable for my toes than most other flats I’ve worn and the knit fabric makes them even stretchier.

That said, I think I could have gone down half a size. I’m between a size 9 and an 8.5 but opted to go larger due to my concerns and while they fit, there’s some extra room that I worry will slip off my heel. Because of that, they also dug into the back of my heel a bit while walking a long distance and on my first wear, I did develop a blister. 

However, these loafers are chic while remaining relatively comfortable. I love wearing them with relaxed jeans and a T-shirt or dressing up with a pair of trousers. I’m confident that if I had the right size, they’d be an absolute staple in my wardrobe. —Maiya Pascouche, Style & Beauty Editor

The Lug Loafer

A side by side of a top-down view of The Lug Loafer and a front-facing view of The Lug Loafer.

As a loafer lover, particularly of Rothy’s Almond Loafer, I was excited to try these. When I got my first pair, I ordered a 9, the same size as my Almond Loafers, and they were so big that they could barely stay on my heel. After returning them for an 8.5, this size is certainly better but now is a bit narrow in the toe box. Thankfully, because of the knit fabric Rothy’s is known for, they have a bit of give.

I was also surprised by how sturdy the shoe feels with the addition of the lug sole, considering the knit isn’t as hearty as a leather loafer. These loafers are much heavier than their other styles because of the chunkier soles but are still comfortable to walk in all day.

In terms of style, these are really elegant and elevate even the most casual looks. The teak herringbone color, which is a warm caramel color interwoven with cream fabric made of merino wool and recycled plastic bottles, goes well with every outfit. All in all, I do enjoy these, and if you’re looking for an alternative to a leather loafer, these are a great option, but I prefer the lightweight Almond Loafer for everyday wear. —Maiya Pascouche, Style & Beauty Editor

The Almond Demi

A side by side of a pair of demi loafers next to someone wearing them.

On the website, these shoes are styled with jeans and workwear, but I found that the fit was a little too flimsy to wear out of the house. My foot didn’t feel secure in the slip-on style. However, it’s a little hard to tell whether this was because of the nature of the shoe or because it simply didn’t fit correctly. I’m a true size seven in shoes, but I could have gone a whole size down. The toe just didn’t grip the front of my foot enough. 

That being said, I have found a great use for these shoes as house slippers. The looseness makes them so easy to slip on and off that I’ve taken to just putting them by the door and using them for doing tiny errands around the building. I’ll put these on when I go to the lobby to pick up mail or take out the trash. They’re surprisingly perfect for that exact purpose, since they have a real sole that I can wear outside or on the dirty path to the recycling. I would never wear my fuzzy house slippers out of my apartment, so these definitely fill a niche. — Samantha Crozier, Style & Beauty Editor

The Casual Clog

Two side by side images of clogs on model
The Casual Clog in Dove.

Rothy’s Casual Clog have thick, rubberized soles for outdoor wear, but they also have a soft Merino blend upper that makes them feel just like cozy slippers. The insole has excellent arch support so they’re especially good for times when you’re on your feet a lot at home, like cooking dinner or doing chores.

Rothy’s makes these in two materials, one with Merino wool and one with hemp. Both are knitted along with the brand’s signature thread made from recycled water bottles, so these are definitely a more sustainable option than most. —Sally Kaplan, Executive Editor

The Driver

Someone wearing driving loafers next to a close up of someone's feet in driving loafers.
Rothy’s The Driver in Sesame.

Driving loafers are traditionally made of leather or suede, so it’s hard to find a good pair made from anything else. Rothy’s pair, which is constructed from a thread made of recycled water bottles, is a beautiful and sustainable alternative to popular drivers like M.Gemi’s suede Felize

I’ve been testing Rothy’s shoes for our reviews and buying guides since 2017 (just a year after they launched their first pair of flats), and the Driver loafers are my favorite pair so far. I’ve been wearing them for a week straight and they’re unbelievably comfortable! I have medium-wide feet and wear a true size 8, and the 8 fit me perfectly. I find Rothy’s insoles to be a little too flat, so I prefer to swap them for a more cushioned option. They’re super easy to remove from the shoes so it was a quick fix, and I found my own insoles made the shoes even comfier. 

One of the details I most appreciate is that the inside of the heel has a suede-like patch that protects your skin from blistering. The shape of my heel is highly prone to blisters, and admittedly the first time I wore these for a long walk, I experienced some rubbing and redness — but once I broke them in, that wasn’t an issue. I’d definitely wear these for travel, especially with my own insoles. — Sally Kaplan, Executive Editor

The Flat

Someone wearing a pair of red flats next to a close up of pair of red flats.
Rothy’s The Flat in Bright Red.

The Flat is the rounded-toe sister shoe to The Point. These have practically all the same features the team has loved about Rothy’s, in a total of 20 colorways. I chose the Bright Red to add a pop of color to all-black outfits. The round toe doesn’t elongate quite as much as the Point, but still has a dainty, light-stepping silhouette.

The sole didn’t provide much tread, so these are better for dry, mild weather days. I found them comfortable enough, but after a while they didn’t agree with my high arches. I’m reserving these for short distance walks until I either find slim insoles that fit inside, or Rothy’s ends up giving these  “The Point II” treatment. I wore the Flat in a size 8 and they fit me true to size. I felt no friction against my toes or heels, and I was able to wear them for a full day without any break in period. —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Square

A pair of leopard print flats on a hardwood floor next to someone wearing a pair of leopard print flats.
Rothy’s The Square in Desert Cat.

The Square has a silhouette that feels like a middle ground between the Point and the Flat, if you’re not ready to commit to either of those shapes. These are the best pair for people with wider feet out of all Rothy’s ballet flat styles, due to the spacious toe box that tapers to a generous square tip. My narrow foot slips right into these and they stay put, but the unique recycled plastic knit is perfectly capable of stretching. 

The Squares come in five colorways, of which I chose the Desert Cat. Before this Rothy’s review, my one surviving pair of flats were from Target (also leopard print). I lost those when I got caught in the rain and they were past salvaging. So while Rothy’s are much more of an investment, the durability and washability assures me I won’t have to ever suddenly trash them. —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Square Mary Jane

Someone wearing a pair of black Mary Jane flats next to someone wearing a pair of black Mary Jane flats over long socks.
The Square Mary Janes in black.

Rothy’s Mary Janes are a great addition to my wardrobe because I personally like a little feminine flair. But the thin band across the middle does seem like a design afterthought. It only transforms the silhouette from a regular flat to a Mary Jane on a very literal level. The tabs at each end would probably look better if they were stitched right into the upper so they don’t stick out. However, if you’re going for the twee look, I think the benefits of wearing Rothy’s greatly outweigh a more expensive, less sustainable, and ultimately less comfortable pair of leather Mary Janes.

You can pair these with ankle socks or even knee highs and they have more of a ballerina feel than a chunky platform will. They have a relatively narrow toe box, but having narrow feet, they contoured to my foot easily. I felt these fit me true to size, but if you plan to style these with thick socks, I’d go up half a size. —Gabrielle Chase, Associate Style Editor

The Lightweight Mega Tote

Left, a tote bag stuffed with shoes and sweaters. Right, a model wears a tote on shoulder.
Rothy’s The Lightweight Mega Tote in Navy Twill. I was able to fill mine with eight pairs of shoes and a bundle of sweaters.

This is one of the best oversized totes I’ve ever used. The design is so elegant and simple, but there are so many thoughtful details in the design that make it worth the investment. 

First, the straps are actually long enough to sling the whole bag over your shoulder and they have slightly rounded edges so they don’t dig in uncomfortably. Second, not that you’ll ever be putting this much weight in a tote, but Rothy’s claims this bag holds up to 150 lbs. I haven’t weight-tested it to quite that degree, but I can at least corroborate their claim that the bag is very sturdy after packing it with a picnic for four and lugging it onto a boat. Third, I wasn’t worried about it getting wet or dirty because it dries pretty quickly and can be thrown in the washing machine. (Yes, I said thrown in the washing machine!) And fourth, there are key straps on the inside of the tote along with a small patch attached to the interior wall so that small essentials won’t get lost at the bottom of the bag. All in all, it’s just an excellent large-capacity tote bag that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. — Sally Kaplan, Executive Editor

The Essential Tote

Left, A striped tote bag placed on a coffee table. Right, a striped tote bag on a model’s shoulder.
Rothy’s The Lightweight Tote in Ink and Ivory.

The Essential Tote is designed to be an everything tote. It’s casual enough that it doesn’t scream corporate if you want to use it on the weekends. But it’s also polished enough that you can bring it to work without anyone batting an eye. It’s big enough to fit a laptop — even one that’s 15-inches or larger — but it doesn’t have a special pocket to fit a computer. The only pocket it has is a small zippered compartment that’s large enough to fit a wallet and a few small essentials. 

Just by feel, you can tell that the bag is incredibly durable. In fact, the website says that it can hold up to 150 pounds! And while I definitely appreciate how sturdy it is, the extra reinforcement means that it does feel heavier than many of the work totes I’ve tested. As someone usually just carries my laptop and a notebook to work, this level of durability didn’t feel necessary for me. However, if you’re someone who regularly totes professional equipment to work — like cameras, microphones, or other specialized tools — this would be a fantastic choice. It’s got the space and the strength to really haul what you need it to. — Samantha Crozier, Style & Beauty Editor

The Lightweight Tote

A pink tote bag on a coffee table. Right, a top view of an open pink tote bag.
Rothy’s The Lightweight Tote in Dragon Fruit. This shade is sold out, but Rothy’s has since introduced new reversible colorways.

The Rothy’s Lightweight Tote is made of a material that looks and feels very similar to the material they use on their famous flats. The stretchy recycled plastic is not only durable, but also machine washable, which means you don’t have to worry about placing it on subway floors and dirty grocery carts. And when you do place it on the floor, you won’t have to worry about it slouching over. The structured floor of the tote was one of my favorite features. As someone who is used to grocery shopping with plain canvas bags, I was extremely impressed with how well this feature allows you to organize your tote. You can easily place a few rows of cans or other heavy items at the bottom and then neatly stack boxes of pasta, cartons of eggs, and bags of lettuce on top. Plus, there’s also an attached string with a clip on the end, so you won’t have to go digging through your whole haul for your keys. — Samantha Crozier, Style & Beauty Editor

Rothy’s shoe styles

A line of Rothy's flats.
Rothy’s flats come in a variety of styles, each with their own subtle differences.

Rothy’s offers several types of flats in pointed, square, and rounded toe shapes with seasonal style variations like Mary Janes, ballerina flats, and espadrilles. They also make some of our favorite loafers and clogs.

Rothy’s flats are designed with functional advantages that other flats don’t have. The seamless construction means there are no uncomfortably hard seams or edges (and is also less wasteful because this 3D process knits to the exact size of each pair and doesn’t require any cutting), and the shoes are very light and flexible. The fabric is breathable and moisture-wicking, so it’s better suited than other stuffy flats. They’re also easy to maintain since they’re machine-washable.

Here are more Rothy’s shoes we’ve tested:

How Rothy’s shoes are made

Rothy's Point Flats in yellow.

Stephen “Hawthy” Hawthornwaite and Roth Martin started Rothy’s in 2016 out of San Francisco after they noticed a gap in sustainable footwear for women that both look and feel good. Their eco-conscious appeal has since thrived in a multiple metropolitan areas, across a variety of paces of life and professional cultures.

The unique upper knits of the shoes are made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles, which are hot washed, sterilized, then fused into a fiber that is then knit into yarn. The company has repurposed 12 million water bottles (and counting) and joins the growing movement of brands also using recycled plastic to make sneakers, leggings, and even watch bands.

The use of sustainable materials doesn’t stop there. The insoles contain recycled foam, while the rubber soles are carbon-free. The adhesives used are non-toxic and vegan. Even the packaging the shoes come in is made from post-consumer recycled materials and is biodegradable.

The bottom line

Starting around $89 a pair, Rothy’s are a worthwhile step up from your average pair of flats. The recycled material speaks directly to the conscious consumer, who is more critical than ever about how personal style reflects their values. As long as you can nail down the right size, there’s no compromise on comfort. Overall, Rothy’s is a prime example of how a brand can meet a whole range of expectations.

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