stilettos

Vegan Leather

So regular readers will know I have a major obsession with leather shoes, to the point that that I have avoided anything except pure leather shoes. My reasoning being that natural leather breathes and absorbs sweat, therefore improving the health of my feet. Now after some research I have learnt more about artificial leathers, and having come across a very keenly priced pair of Stella McCartney vegan leather shoes, I thought it would be worth a try to see how good high end synthetics perform.

These slingbacks by Stella McCartney are really quite something, I’ve seen high end luxury leather with worse finishes than this, I think Sergio Rossi have some of the best patent leathers and these are as good!

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Mythbusting: Toe tape

This is a post from one my archives, I hope you will it’s an interesting technique that is worth exploring.

The term foot binding, will always be associated with the horrific and tortuous procedure historically performed on Chinese women prior to the 20th Century. You might argue we put ourselves through similar tortures forcing our feet to shape of a heeled shoe, it’s true but we do it through choice, and we can liberate our feet whenever we choose. Now ironically it’s a form of foot binding that is supposed to help.

According to Marie Helvin, taping together toes three and four (counted from your big toe) will stop you from suffering in your heels. I can report having tried it, it does indeed seem to work. Why I’m not totally sure, but my weight seems to be more evenly spread, without the tape I feel my feet rolling outwards, instead when taped the weight is more towards the ball of my big toe.


My Elbas are really easy to wear, but the tape means I can stand in one spot a lot longer. It does only make sense with closed toe shoes, but still works even when the vamp is really low cut.

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Designer Intro: Stuart Weitzman

Recently I purchased my first pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes, I’ve always steered away in the past feeling his designs were a little too conservative for my tastes. Furthermore all his shoes are Made in Spain, as opposed to Italy and at the price they retail at I expected a little gnomish Italian man nailing together pieces of leather in the traditional manner.

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Designer Intro: Schutz

This is a brand that I have only recently come across in one of my forays in TK Maxx. I first saw them about half a year ago, and now are popping up more regularly there. Immediately, the quality of the shoes impressed me, add to that the designs are always really hot and bang on trend.


I picked these up in TK Maxx for £50, they’ve got the rock chic look, but also as tall black boots quite versatile and timeless

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My heart is red, not my sole

It might come as a shock to most of you, while being a prolific shoe collector, I own zero pairs of Louboutins. It seems strange, why wouldn’t I have at least one pair penned by the designer du jour in the shoe world. I admire the man, I adore what comes from his pen, but I’ve always had a mental block from buying them. Those red soles seem so unnecessary, they don’t add anything to the shoes design or craftsmanship, if anything it devalues the work that went into the shoe as most people simply gawp at the red soles, and cannot see past the real joy and pleasure of owning and wearing luxury shoes.

We live in the perfect time for luxury shoes, with money tight since the 2008 global recession, fashion has become about strategically deploying luxury investment pieces rather than filling ones wardrobe with high end purchases. There are so many hot designers all over the world, and you’ve already seen a number of my favourite pieces. Most of these are British, but interestingly they’re all made in Italy.


Even Louboutins bear the Made in Italy mark.
Modified and used under Creative Commons License from work by Arroser

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Mythbusting: Gel Insoles

So I’m sure you’ve all heard about Gel insoles, theres a lot of info flying about about them and I’ve definitely heard conflicting information, and sometimes you might wonder if a reviewer has been paid, or influenced in some way to write this. I shall try to approach this as objectively as possible, bringing in various points of view.

First of all lets see how these things work, the idea is the gel moulds to your feet and reduces the pressure on your feet, the gel is also meant to absorb the impact of walking. Now these things are do genuinely reduce pressure while standing, and do give you an extra half hour of so of standing, but if you walk properly most of the impact is taken by your heel and straight up your body so it doesn’t make much of a difference, on the other hand if the shoe is loose it really messes your balance up while walking, especially if the insole doesn’t fit properly.


You may have seen this advert on the TV recently (if you still watch TV), it claims to give your heels “the sneaker feel” but lets be honest, you’re still putting all your weight through the balls of your feet, and theres no way you’ll want to stand for a full day in these.

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Cinderella syndrome

I’ve noticed in recent years there have been a number of articles about how shoes aren’t fitting properly and perhaps average shoe sizes are going up, and doing a lot of vintage shopping perhaps I’ve noticed a third observation. So with this too-big-too-small trend in modern day, it seems apt to call it Cinderella syndrome.

Now first I’ll start by saying I’ve always believed I took an UK 8, and always been under the impression that translated to a European 41 and a 10.5 in the US. Apparently that isn’t totally correct, and according to the Society of Shoefitters actually, UK7=EU41, now this was in an article in the Daily Mail which means one should take this information with a good shovel of salt, the one thing I can take from this article is to forget UK sizes and know my European size which is 40.5 (give or take ½ a size each way).


These are an example of how oversized shoes come. These Ted Bakers were labelled as 41/8 but I challenge someone who is actually fits this shoe. It’s a good 2cm too long, which is why there is that patch to improve fit.

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Hope you get the point

So with the weather warming up and more importantly drying out, it’s finally time to dust off your courts, pull out those leather soles, and show off your feet. Big surprise here, I’m a massive fan of pointy shoes, it never goes out of Vogue, and I think is a very flattering style, so I’m going through a selection of similarly cut shoes in a few different styles.


We have six shoes for you today, from high street to luxe by YSL, Rupert Sanderson, Dune, Charlotte Olympia and Chinese Laundry, can you tell which is which? Hint: followers of my blog will have seen all of these shoes featured here and there

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Bonus Post: Pretty Shoes Are Back!!!

Since the arrival of the Ugg we have seen a number of shoes gain favour, we have had Crocs, Birkenstocks, and even when talking about heeled shoes it has been chunky block heels and clogs. Celine’s chunky heel has become somewhat iconic of this era, and while appearing comfy have ultimately received mixed reviews. As a hardcore stiletto junkie I have tried to cling onto the my spiky shoes, well if you read the Standard pretty shoes are having their resurgence, with fashion show front rows being lined (quite rightly) with stiletto toting editors.

With flares seeing their return from the cold the whole appeal for a more delicate shoe is quite the natural direction, the weight of these massive bell bottoms when paired with a clunky design makes you look like a bottom heavy hangover from a 70’s disco. On the other hand stilettos are a perfect counter to all that fabric of the trouser, pick a intricate design or a print that you can flash a little with each step.


Wolford Gent Trousers (These are a few years old, Wolford tend to ignore trends and just do what they do best), and YSL Classic Paris 105 in Leopard Print Suede

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It’s All In The Mind

Do you ever wonder why we wear heels, despite the pain it causes some of us? It seems a obvious solution to simply avoid wearing them, however the raison d’etre behind our choice stems from our more evolved social part of our mind (Freud calls this the super-ego) wanting to conform to social or peer pressure to wear what is expected. As adults these norms are set out by the media, social or otherwise.

Some people seem to live in heels, they never suffer pain and it’s as if its perfectly normal to wear them all the time. It comes from starting the right way, building positively with the right frame of mind. Through good experiences, all of a sudden hurdles seem lower and bridges easier to cross, you will be more likely to succeed. That’s a great ideal, but many of people already have strong negative impressions of heels. The more primitive (Freudian id) part of our mind is the instinctive part, it seeks pleasure and avoids suffering. As such the id strongly remembers negative experiences and will try to avoid such situations again. This puts the id and super-ego in conflict, with the stronger determining the choice of footwear.

Essentially your id and super-ego are your consciences which are managed by the ego. The balance of requirements between the id and ego will determine your endurance of heels. The goal is to maximise the super-ego side and minimise the id
Translated from Original Image by Rainer Zenz

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