Monday, April 28, 2008

Shoes: Comfort and Style do exist!

In case you don't already know, I have an obsession with shoes. Most women do. However, I also find comfort an important factor when buying shoes.

I have had all kinds of unpleasant situations (blisters, callouses, corns) with ill-fitting shoes. Most new shoes will create some kind of unpleasantry to my feet. Even cushiony athletic sneakers will cause blisters the first few times I wear them.

When I was a young fashionista, I did not give one thought to comfort when I bought shoes. It was all about style and looking good. I suffered a lot those days. I remember one winter walking to school in these very trendy "Peter Pan" boots with a wrinkled leather exterior and a pointy toe. The soles were very slippery with no treads at all. I wore them on icy streets and took many slips and falls as a result. But I still wore them because after all I rather break a leg in style than look like a nerd when I was 18 years old.

Nowadays, when looking at shoes, I have a tendency to examine the shoe from all angles to ensure that they meet my strict criteria before I purchase them. Salespeople in shoe stores probably think I'm a weird piece of fruit but who cares! I will be wearing the shoes not them.
I don't care for stilettos. Or pointy toes. I like rounded toes or squarish toes on the shoes. I like flats but I also like a bit of a heel like a chunky heel or a kitten heel.

Recently I found myself at the mall and I popped into a bunch of shoe stores to see what sort of selections were available. I looked for a walking shoe with some pizazz. I also looked at sandals since summer is just around the corner. I did not want orthopedic looking shoes. I did not want shoes that would fall apart after a month of wear. I was really disappointed with the crappy shoe selection out there. I came home that day mumbling to myself about how I wish I could design shoes one day.

I decided to conduct a search for shoes on-line. One of the shoe sites I looked at was the New Balance website. I thought that they might have some decent walking shoes that are also comfortable. They did!! I saw a few pairs that I liked. But one pair that I REALLY wanted! A sandal/shoe hybrid. I had to drop by New Balance soon.

This past weekend I went to the nearest New Balance shoe store and tried on the pair that I was smitten with. They are really nicely designed shoes. When I tried them on, they felt incredible on my feet. Apparently the sole has some kind of memory foam so when you step into the shoe your foot sinks into the foam*(see specs below) and it feels so comfortable. Sold!!!

I won't tell you how much I paid for these very comfortable, stylish shoes because I'm still reeling from the shock. I do intend to get my money's worth from these shoes because they will go nicely with jeans, capris, skirts and yes - even dresses. And although I was hoping for something with some vibrancy and colour (not black) these shoes are unfortunately black.

Here is where the designer in me begins to conjure up colourway swatches for subsequent pairs of these and red, tan and brown, silver and black, pink and brown, contrasting rubber sole/leather upper colours, contrast stitch colours...the possibilities are endless.

Shoe specs:

Stridarc™ heeled rocker sole
• Full-length layer of Abzorb® cushioning
• Primalux™ comfort cushion topcover
• Removable Velocor™ footbed with stability cradle
Soft-seam lining to avoid irritation
Ionact® antibacterial protection