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Shoppers say these foldable flats saved their feet on multiple occasions — and they start at $17

Never get caught without a pair of comfortable shoes again!
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY ; Courtesy Mercedes Woods

Heels always seem like a good idea at the start of the work day or an evening out. But more often than not, after a few hours, your feet start to ache and you end up wishing that you just wore those comfortable sneakers in your closet.

But you shouldn't have to sacrifice style for comfort. And we have a simple solution for those days when you want to wear heels but are worried about the state of your feet: Keep a backup pair of foldable flats in your bag. Then, when you feel that familiar pain start to creep in, you can swap your shoes for a more foot-friendly, yet still chic option.

And if you haven't ventured into the world of foldable shoes, you may be surprised to discover that there are plenty of cute, comfortable and easily portable versions. And they're not just perfect for sticking in your bag as a backup for your less-than-comfortable footwear, they're also great for travel and for any last-minute plans that require a change of shoes.

Here, we sharing five foldable shoes that are worth keeping in your bag.

Foldable flats for women

Silky Toes Women's Foldable Portable Ballet Flat

Not only are these affordable ballet flats less than $20, but they're also an Amazon bestseller with nearly 9,000 perfect five-star ratings from shoppers. Customers say that they have "saved" their feet during long nights out, weddings and more. There are more than 30 colors to choose from, including nudes, reds and sequined options (which are perfect for those special occasions).

Babudog Women's Mesh Flats

One Shop TODAY writer who tried these stylish, foldable flats said that as soon as she put them on, it was "love at first step." "The first thing I noticed was how unbelievably comfortable and lightweight they were," she wrote. "The inner sole is made of memory foam, which molds to my foot and helps with shock absorption. Basically, it feels like I'm walking on a cloud. The uppers are also made of woven knitted mesh, which makes them super breathable — meaning, no more sweaty feet."

LM Women's Ballet Flats

These ballet flats are said to be soft, durable, flexible and, of course, foldable. Stick them in your bag, so you're never without a pair of comfortable shoes when you need them most.

Journee Collection Jersie Foldable Ballet Flat

"You can’t put a price on comfort, but if you could these ballet flats would be a bargain," one shopper wrote. "They are true to size and extremely comfortable. A must have for travel and my pair came in a convenient drawstring pouch! They are just the right choice to give your tired feet a break."

Vivaia Pointed-Toe Ballet Flats

If you're willing to spend a little more, you can't go wrong with these shopper-loved shoes. According to the brand, the ballet flats are designed to be "sneaker-like," with a shock-absorbing midsole, arch support and heel padding to prevent blisters. Plus, they're not just stretchy and foldable, but they're also designed to be machine-washable for easy cleaning.