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We had just about thrown in the towel on interesting closed-toe flats when we discovered Martiniano, footwear that reminds us of jazz shoes--and is equally as comfy. 

It?s no wonder these sleek almost-flats (most have half-inch heels) evoke the theater crowd--they were created by a performance artist. Designer Martiniano Lopez Crozet is part of Los Super Elegantes, a troupe of singers, dancers and actors that has performed at the Whitney Museum.

These shoes make even a plain-Jane outfit fashionable: The black slip-on glove shoe ($395) has an upper that?s cut from a single piece of leather, with a distinctive high vamp. (We like the idea of spicing up winter white jeans with the fun faux-iguana-stamped editions in blue or violet.) 

There?s a tan tie-front bootie ($295) that looks like a minimalist moccasin and an ankle boot ($450) that would be especially stylish with wide-legged cropped trousers.

Martinianos--available locally at Creatures of Comfort and Mohawk General--are our new go-to shoes for those times when we have to walk but don?t want to look anything less than performance-ready.

Mohawk General Store, 4011 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-669-1601 or

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