You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘sandals’ tag.

CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER anashct!!

WIN these Asher wedges by Matisse!

Remember these awesome shoes from last week’s blog about espadrille trends for Spring? Well, how would you like to win a pair of these wedges? Thanks to Matisse, who are donating a pair for the contest, you’ve got your wish!

We’re giving away 1 pair of the Asher style endless espadrille wedge sandals (in your size) to 1 lucky winner.

To enter to win, there are only 3 steps:

1. Follow NYShoeSpy on Twitter (see handy link in the upper left corner of the blog)
2. Tweet an random awesome thing you saw today (don’t forget to include @NYShoeSpy in your tweet)
3. Leave a comment here on this blog telling me which of the shoes you own is your absolute favorite pair and why.

Remember to leave your twitter name or a valid email when you comment so I can contact you if you win.

I will use a random number generator to pick the winner on Sunday, April 3 so you have until midnight Friday, April 1 to enter (not an April Fools prank, I promise).

Good Luck! And thanks again to Matisse and SnL Communications!

Advertisements

Let’s start off with Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide (March 2011) as an intro. They list these shoes to add to your warmer weather wardrobe: wood platforms, jeweled slingbacks, bold loafers (as in bold colors), platform pumps, flat espadrilles, sliver-wedge sandals, pointy-toe slingbacks and cork wedges, followed by 2 strap sandals (on strap around the ankle and one over the toes) as their shoe-of-the-month in the April 2011 issue.

My thoughts: The wood platforms, cork wedges and flat espadrilles are pretty standard, every-spring-they’re-for-sale shoes (although I realize there’s a 70s vibe going around which is making shoe stores a little extra wood heavy). And I’m going to skeptically say I’ll stay on the lookout for someone wearing jeweled slingbacks as daywear in NYC. I also doubt you’ll see many people in bright loafers this spring/summer, especially with wide-leg trousers and maxi skirts trending now (can’t really wear loafers with those). But, I think the pointy-toe slingbacks, sliver-wedge sandals and 2 strap sandals are all spot-on. The sliver-wedge sandals are a nice progression of winter’s version popularized by Loeffler Randall’s sliver-boots. And I think pointy-toes will become more and more plentiful as the year progresses.

But I’ve also spotted a few other (more?) interesting spring shoe trends popping up and they actually all involve espadrilles!

First, I’ve noticed espadrilles with frayed straps. These are definitely more for your casual days but hey, if you already have a pair of strappy canvas wedges, don’t be afraid to dip into D.I.Y and rough them up a bit ;). And if you prefer the new versions, below Steve Madden, Coconuts and others have done the distressing for you.

Second, I’m seeing a lot of espadrille heels that continue up the ankle to form the heel cup; I’m calling them endless espadrilles. These shoes are AMAZING because when they’re on, at first glance you look like you might be wearing impossibly tall heels.  They’re also especially nice because the style could hide a much lower heel like the 2.5 inch (I know!) version by Sam Edelman. And as a side note – yep, that brand in row 5 is Hunter of rainboot fame, apparently making some leather heels now.

Honorable mention goes to espadrilles that do not have covered ankles but instead feature an extra tall side portion or “cut-out” ankle strap that creates a similar illusion. Surprisingly, I found a nice example of these shoes at Old Navy which are a great option if you’re on a budget.

I still have one more trend for you further below, but for now, some picture proof!

FRAYED EDGES

Coconuts Avery

Bettye Muller Saffron

Steve Madden Fraid

ENDLESS ESPADRILLE HEELS

Matisse Asher

BCBGMAXAZRIA Malaga

Sam Edelman Leroy

Enzo Angiolini Ramie

Enzo Angiolini Romario

Hunter Anegada

HONORABLE MENTION

Old Navy Espadrille Wedges

Corso Como Decoy

Boutique 9 Illy

Not Too Coy Lydia

And last I’ve collected some irregular espadrille combos. Brands like Tory Burch and 3.1 Phillip Lim are marrying espadrille soles with a chukka or desert boot upper. This is probably best with a canvas boot and an excellent option when we’ve got those New York days where it’s warm for just a few hours in the afternoon sunshine and then you’ve got to put your jacket back on (like today!).

A few other brands, like Jeffrey Campbell and Prada, decided to add in an espadrille layer to a shoe that normally wouldn’t have it. This might technically shorten the seasonally appropriate lifespan of the shoes, but fashion rules are made to be broken. However, I’m not sure we should even call them espadrilles, and at the same time, I don’t think we can leave that out – it’s pretty distinctive. How about Espamaybelles? (I’ll break that down: espa-maybe-lles…? ok, well, I love it, haha).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Happy shopping all! And if you spot any other crazy espadrille hybrids, let me know.

Tory Burch Desert Bootie Espadrille

3.1 Phillip Lim lace up espadrille

Prada Lace-Up Cutout Wedge

Jeffrey Campbell Mary ESP

Mark & James Magnolia

Chinese Laundry Dragonfly

For over a decade, Pantone (the self-professed world-renowned authority on color) chooses a single color that they predict will be influential in the coming year. In case you missed it last year, their pick was 15-5519 Turquoise, because, as the official press release declared, “Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.” For 2011, Pantone selected 18-2120 Honeysuckle – a medium reddish pink, and  released this statement: “Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges.” Pretty heavy stuff. But if that isn’t a great reason to go shopping for a new pair of shoes, I don’t know what is 😉

So, the official color is Honeysuckle, but I think any pink or coral colored shoe will be in the spirit of things. And designers are knocking out tons of pink shoes for resort and spring collections, so finding a pair right now is easy. If you’re looking for something to start you off early and keep you cozy as the winter slowly ends, I recommend the Koolaburra ugg boots in a soft pink below or an enclosed pink suede pump like the pair pictured by Kelsi Dagger (with the cutest removable elastic bow!).

Pantone says that you can easily pair Honeysuckle with basic colors like black, navy, charcoal or light to mid gray. But, for something more exciting, they suggest mixing in complementary bronze greens or a pinkish Apricot Brandy brown hues into your wardrobe with it. I vote pairing these with a maxi dress or with jeans and a drapey cream-colored blouse. Just remember these shoes are made to be the focal point of a basic outfit.

For the start of warm weather, Manolo Blahnik flip flop sandals are actually an almost-affordable way to enjoy the brand. You should also take a look at jumping on two trends at once by going for a platform style (or a “flatform” – an essentially flat shoe as far as feel goes, with equal or near equally tall platforms front and back) or an espadrille (always a summer favorite). And of course, since I have a special place in my heart for Melissa shoes, I was happy to see they’re also making a few pink shoes this season so that I could feature one here.

You know, maybe there is something to what Pantone said; I already feel my spirits lifting just by imagining walking out of the house with these shoes. I’m sure we can rationalize a pair of two now, especially if our mental health is at stake 😉

Jeffrey Campbell The Turino Shoe

Koolaburra Savanitty

Kelsi Dagger Tiffany

Manolo Blahnik Suede-Flower Thong Sandal

Dolce Vita Strappy Platform Wedge

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge

Stella McCartney Raffia Crossover Sandals

Lanvin Ankle-Wrap Platform Wedge

seychelles harlow

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Anglomania

Converse are so cheap, so easily manipulated and so durable – you shouldn’t be surprised this second DIY feature brings back the classic Chucks again. This time, we’re cutting and pulling. 😉

 

Shredded Converse at FreePeople.com

Shredded Converse at FreePeople.com

 

The Converse to the left are featured at Free People for $128. Now, they are super cool, but it looked like a pretty simple operation (heck, I have scissors), so I decided to try it out myself. I also just happened to have an old pair of Converse in my closet which definitely helped (yay for being a pack-rat)!

I’ve numbered the pictures below along with the matching paragraph.

1. Ok, so first I took out the laces from my Converse and started cutting slightly angled slits in the shoes between each eyelet. Then I realized just slits were not enough and you need to cut out rectangles, not just straight lines, in order for some skin to peek through.

Make sure that you do NOT cut through the very back of the shoe at the ankle/heel (you’ll see a reinforced strip of canvas there). If you cut through it, you’ll end up with completely separated shoe pieces just held on by laces. Not the look we’re going for.

2. Cool. The cutting was super easy, thank you canvas. It literally took me about 15 minutes to finish both shoes!! You will notice part way through that there are two layers to your Converse shoes, the outer layer and the lining – don’t worry, they’ll stay connected since they’re attached below the insole and along the back of the high top. Now you have a choice: you can make these shoes super sandal-like or a little more sneaker-like… just decide whether to keep the shoe tongue or not. Free People’s website actually has pictures of both versions depending on the color of the shoe! I decided to remove the tongue even though I was a little nervous about how the laces would feel against my skin. Here’s a pic of the shoes with the tongue in for your reference.

 

 

#1 - not just single line cuts

#1 - not just single line cuts

 

 

#2 - the cuts are done on one side

#2 - the cuts are done on one side

 

 

#2 - pretty nice with the tongue left in

#2 - pretty nice with the tongue left in

3. To cut the tongue I re-laced the shoes up so I could see where it’d fall. I pulled the tongue straight up right before the first set of eyelets (the pair nearest the toe) which left a little of my toes covered. Remember, you can always cut more off later, but it’s really hard to put it back. 😉 Well, that ended up being too long for me and I was worried about it bunching up as I walked in the shoes (although you could sew the tongue to the first two flaps holding those eyelets if you want to keep the tongue a little longer). As you can see below, I cut the tongue out in a semi-circle leaving a little less than a half an inch of fabric (since it is sewn to those first flaps a little – I didn’t cut through those stitches which is why the line curved into a circle).

 

 

#3 - goodbye tongue!

#3 - goodbye tongue!

 

 

#4 - fray by rubbing the edges with your finger

#4 - fray by rubbing the edges with your finger

4. Next you’ll need to fray your shoes as pictured above. This part is also super easy and takes less than 5 minutes. Just hold each strap taught at the eyelet and rub down the cut side with your finger, up and down. You can also try holding each section with one hand and then use your other hand to pinch the cut side while pulling if you want even more intense frayed action. P.S.  I noticed that the creamy lining frays a lot easier than the outer canvas does, it’ll pretty much fray on its own just by wearing the shoes, so I personally just pulled a little at the outer canvas only.

5. They’re done (in 20-ish minutes!!),  fabulous and free (if you have an old pair of Converse lying around) – but even if you buy some new, Converse retail for about $40, so you’re saving over $80 off the ready-made version (sorry FreePeople, I do love you)!

Try this with high tops or even with low tops, I’d love to see your pictures if you try it!

And for some interesting reading on the history of Converse, check out this awesome article in the Boston Globe by cool girl Erin Ailworth.

 

 

#4 - the finished product!

#5 - the finished product!

Traditionally, the vast majority of couples in the US have their weddings in June, the first month of summer. But this June was super rainy (I think record-breaking) and I’ve noticed more late summer weddings planned for this year and next. But regardless of when exactly it happens, you can bet that at some point in your life you will be invited to a summer wedding, maybe even your own! (I’m realizing now that I actually crashed my own wedding, since I technically never got an invite ;)) Anyway, I think that’s a good reason to have a blog strictly about Summer wedding shoes! (P.S. if you’re still undecided, see my Winter wedding shoe blog too).

So, you may think anything goes when pairing shoes with summer toes, but you’d be wrong! Well, ok, maybe not wrong, but some shoe styles are far superior to others depending on the location of your ceremony:

1. All Outdoor Weddings – If you’re having a summer wedding, its safe to say you’ll probably be having your ceremony outdoors to enjoy the nice, warm weather. First of all, do yourself a favor and avoid cooping your feet up inside hot closed toe pumps (ew, foot sweat!). If temps top 90 where you are, even gladiator style sandals may start to rub and feel not-so-good, so just cross all those shoes off your list now.

Next, even if you opt for a location that can reserve an indoor area in case of rain, remember that you’ll have to have your shoes picked out long before you’ll know Mother Nature’s decision. Any shoe will work indoors, but not every shoe will work outside. So, the main thing to consider when choosing your summer wedding shoes is the ground you’ll be walking on: sand, grassy lawn, packed dirt path (garden), flagstones, loose gravel, etc.

2. Beach Weddings – Trust me when I tell you that you will get sand in your shoes. And I’ve had even those most comfy shoes turn evil at the beach. So now the question is, do you want to have to take your shoes off every 5 seconds to dump them out? Or will you stay strapped into your shoes all day to suffer while a few misplaced grains rub your foot raw? If your answer is “yikes!”, then when trying out shoes, think first about how easy they are to get on and off. Unfastening ankle straps, for example, can require some pretty awkward movements if you’re in, say, a long, straight, low-cut dress. But if your shoes are open to let the sand in and out freely, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about removing them. Here’s a good beach shoe philosophy: don’t fight the sand, go with it.

Also, thin heels are not going to work so well if you plan on walking in sand, so I’d take those out of consideration now too. Even if you could manage the walk, I’m sure you don’t want to have to focus all your attention all day on not falling. If you really have to have a heel, you could try a shoe with a wide sole like a wedge. But honestly, I suggest you embrace the beachy vibe and go for flat sandals! There are lots of dressy options now:

Flats are the best way to go

Guiseppe Zanotti – just beautiful, and in buttery soft leather

Rampage

Rampage – the jeweled flower on the toe is so cute!

Stuart Weitzman - gorgeous jewel detail, click to see larger

Stuart Weitzman – minimalistic glamour with just 2 tiny jewels and a snake chain

Office (UK)

Office (UK) – your shoe could be your something blue!

Colin Stuart

Colin Stuart – perfect for bridesmaids too

Nine West

Nine West – wear with your wedding gown now and all summer!

3. Lawn or Garden Wedding – Let’s say the weather has been super rainy (not a far stretch of the imagination if you’ve been on the east coast the last few weeks), but just as you’re beginning to panic, the forecaster says it will all end right before your wedding is scheduled, phew! – the clouds part and the sun shines beautifully down just in time. But when you get to the botanical garden you reserved years in advance, you find that all that rain left a lot of mud that couldn’t possibly dry out fast enough! No problem, right? Right! Because you read this blog and you were prepared ;).

Ok, if mud is a possibility (and it probably will be in any garden or lawn location), thin stiletto heels could sink or get stuck and cause you to fall. But, you can avoid all that trouble by choosing a wide heel like a wedge (I’ve got some great picks for you below). Also, if you hate having your wet toes slide around after coming in contact with dewy grass (it’s one of my silly pet peeves) or if there’s a possibility for loose rocks to get into your shoes, you may also want a platform front style to keep those tootsies out of the danger zone. Last, don’t forget about the possibility of grass or mud stains (especially if you’re trying out your footwear during the rehearsal) – it’s a great impetus to try a metallic or colored shoe!

Jill Stuart

Jill Stuart – sweet wedges for a fairy tale wedding

matiko - nude shoes look great with white dresses

Matiko – nude shoes look great with white dresses

Alexandra Anouket - yes, you can do suede in the summer, when it's like this!

Alexandra Anouket – a delicate shade of summer suede

Nine West - classic, elegant and on sale for $30 as of 8/1!!

Nine West – classic and elegant

Oh! Deer - the delicate scalloping offset the chunky wedge heel

Oh Deer! – light scalloping offsets the chunky wedge heel

Mark Fisher - amazing with a yellow sunflower or tulip bouquet

Mark Fisher – these platforms would look amazing with a yellow bouquet

Unfortunately, I’ve found that most wedges are designed as casual shoes (who knows why!), so if you can’t find a pair that work for you, try searching for a chunky heel instead – the wider the base of the heel (where it touches the ground), the less likely it’ll sink in wet soil. But, if you’ve already found your dream shoe and they happen to be a stiletto, don’t worry! SoleMates could be your solution. I got a pair at a wedding expo in NYC last year and they’re pretty fantastic. Basically, the SoleMates High Heeler (in black and clear) slides onto most thin heels to make the base of the heel wider (and as above, that’s key for not sinking). They also don’t damage your heels at all and are totally reusable so, besides maneuvering muddy obstacles, you may find yourself using them all the time to walk fearlessly over sidewalk grates and cracks too.

expert sand walkers only

Christian Louboutin – totally risk worthy

L.A.M.B - muted enough to not steal the spotlight... unless you want them too

L.A.M.B – muted enough to not steal the spotlight… unless you want them too

Pollini - I did python with my creamy vintage dress last summer

Pollini – I did python with my creamy vintage dress last summer

Cole Haan Air -

Cole Haan Air – a romantic style for the traditionalists

A Few Words on Color – If you’ve read my other wedding blogs and as you can see from above, I am not a traditionalist that believes you can only wear white shoes with your wedding dress. But, I admit there is something about the crispness of the color white and the heat of summer that just seem to match. Maybe it’s also because summer shoes are less solid, and their openness is both warranted for the heat and breaks up the color.

But, I will say quickly that there are some nice benefits to not going with white shoes. Since many of today’s wedding dresses have colored accents or, at the very least, silver or gold detailing, you can bring some of those colors to your shoes to compliment to your whole outfit. Also, cute metallic shoes (and colorful shoes in general) are much easier to find in a wide variety of styles than plain white shoes are (In my experience, pretty much all “bridal shoes” look the same). And, since most of my picks are not technically “wedding shoes,” the prices are often much lower!

The End! – For one last side note, remember that it’s all the better for you if you’re a last minute shopper (or a super early one), because starting in July and through August, all the summer shoes go on sale! Happy shopping!

swamisz logo

You may have already met in my previous blog on crazy new flip-flop styles, but now I’d like to formally introduce you to Swamisz! Founded in 2006 in Australia, Swamisz were previously sold only in the land down under, but they are now shipping all over the world from their fun website to the delight of toes everywhere! Swamisz sandals are unique because of their disconnected toe plug (imagine a mushroom shape) that keeps the shoe on your foot without your having to grip them actively with your toes; your feet can actually relax while walking… and running at traffic lights, going down stairs, etc., things other flip-flops have problems with (yeah, personal experience talking here).

Swamisz are made with natural rubber (a renewable eco-friendly resource, of course) and their sandals are a lot sturdier than your basic rubber flip-flops. Not only are the straps and toe plug made a little thicker, the Swamisz strap is extra reinforced at the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about these plugs pulling out while you’re walking (the fate of so many old flip-flops). All that and they’re seriously comfortable!

IMG_0884

The shoe bag! (reverse has brand name & logo)

IMG_0886

Note the extra reinforced bottom - love that unique slightly pointed shape too.

My Swamisz (above) arrived in a standard brown shipping box, but inside the box, they were wrapped in a super cute (and hand-stenciled!) cotton shoe bag. A shoe bag coming with shoes that cost less than $300!!? I’m in heaven! (and, yes, a little ridiculously obsessed with shoe bags ). The tag booklet (printed on 100% recycled eco paper) was equally as cute, if not more so, so I have to share part of it below:

“Swamisz (swaa-meez) n. – 1. Designer footwear made with natural rubber and held securely on foot by distinctive toe plug and support strap. 2. Contemporary footwear; an evolution of design modeled on ancient Indian wooden shoes names ‘Paduka.’ Dating back over 5000 years.. ‘Padukas’ are said to be worn by the Gods. 3. Chosen footwear of India’s Swamis; respected, enlightened masters of self-realization* 4. Chosen footwear of those who know that mere ordinary flip-flops are “so passe.”

*wearing Swamisz may not lead to enlightenment…buy hey… at least you’re looking good.”

Swamisz colors 2

Now let’s get to the important part, Swamisz retail for $35 plus shipping!!! And you were getting worried, weren’t you ? They currently offers soles in 11 different color for you to choose from, all with a black strap and black toe plug, except for their signature orange version which is solid orange. I chose the not too girly-girly purple color which is dark enough to go with any outfit but still bright enough to be fun; but honestly, it took me hours to decide. You should also note that sizes are in AU (Australian) from 4-12 but their website does give you a nice size conversion chart complete with US, Canada, Euro, UK, Japanese sizes and centimeters to compare your foot to. I’ve found that women wearing US sizes should generally order one size down. If you wear a size 8, you’ll probably want to order a Swamisz size 7.  Now get out there and start being a flip-flop free thinker!

As they say, “Swamis and Yoga masters don’t wear them for nothing.”

my kitty stopped scratching to sneak a peek at these shoes

Even my kitty had to stop mid-scratch to take a look!

nyshoespyOk, no I’m not talking about some crazy 3-way, but there are shoes being debuted with touches from each of these icons. Elizabeth and James, the contemporary brand of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, has launched it’s first shoe collection; Marvel Comics is partnering with the Brown shoe company to create shoes linked to coming theatrical releases; and Metallica, along with other classic rock bands, is being honored by Converse with special edition Chucks. Yep, I’ve got all the details for you below.

Let me first say that I LOVE the Elizabeth and James clothing line, crazy awesome innovative stuff: cutaway blazers with faux attached vests, plain button up shirts transformed simply and beautifully, ridiculously flattering black pants, etc. But I was surprised by their first shoe collection; it was all so boring and basic! Many of the styles I’ve already seen before from other brands. For example, I’m pretty sure that one of the Olsen girls (or their designer helpers) owned a pair of these Givenchy laced wedge sandals pictured below and thought, hey, we can take elements of great shoes like these and make our own versions. And so from one, two were born: E & J’s ankle wrap wedge heel and their strappy huarache sandal (below in my nice little graphic).

Elizabeth and James ankle wrap wedge heel

Elizabeth and James 2009

plus sign alt

Elizabeth and James

Elizabeth and James 2009

equals sign

Givenchy ankle strap wedge sandals

Givenchy Spring/Summer 09

More similarities I found: the Elizabeth and James Edge huarache sliver wedges preceding them are only a few slanted straps away from Sigerson Morrison’s eel version below, and their leather button booties are so so basic, I just searched for 5 seconds to find this pair by Via Spiga. *sigh* I mean, they are great shoes and they are slightly different, but that’s just it. They’re only slightly different. The shoe line is almost completely devoid of the exciting new styles I was hoping for from the brand.

Elizabeth and James Edge

Elizabeth and James

Sigerson Morrison eelskin gladiators

Sigerson Morrison

ampersand

Elizabeth and James Leather Button bootie

Elizabeth and James

Via Spiga Niki Bootie

Via Spiga

But, I can say that one shoe did finally stand out, the Jazz pumps below, which remind me of early L.A.M.B. heels but with a tiny bit more sophistication. So I gave them a big picture. 😉

Elizabeth and James Jazz Pumps

Elizabeth and James Jazz Pumps

Next up, I’ve heard that the Brown shoe company, home to brands like Carlos Santana, Fergie, Via Spiga and Dr. Scholl’s, will be partnering with Marvel Comics in time for the release of Iron Man 2 (yipee!) scheduled for May 2010. As expected they’ll just be shoes for babies and young adults. But… there is a but, they plan on continuing to produce Marvel heroes shoe collaborations for future movies too: Thor coming May 2011, The First Avenger: Captain America in July of the same year, and “The Avengers” in May 2012. So who knows? Maybe some of those will be cool enough to work their way into adult shoe collections like the Wonder Woman flip flops below by Havaianas.

Wonder Woman Havanianas

Last, I hope you’re already found out (but I’m listing it anyway since I haven’t written about it yet – and if I’m your only source for shoe news, I can’t let you live without this knowledge) that classic rock bands, such as The Who, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd are being honored by Converse with special sneakers. New shoes featuring AC/DC and Metallica are already available as part of the Fall 2009 collection. And these specially decorated Chuck Taylor All Stars hi-tops retail for between $50-$80, reasonable enough for you to get one pair to wear and one pair to frame, if you happen to be their number one fan. Check ’em out at Journeys.com below and Converse.com.

converse metallica collection

I think the title is enough for this blog ;), so let’s jump right in to the examples and the pictures! My first pick, and I had to give you two angles so you could really see what’s going on this the toes on these shoes, are the eco-friendly and ethical Dopie sandals by Terra Plana. The Dopie was designed with the idea of finding the most minimal footwear possible (the philosophy being that barefoot is best for the body but not always practical). You can actually even wear the shoes without the strap!! There are also TONS of colors, so don’t worry if green isn’t your thing.

In the second row is a pair of sporty flip-flops, the Waimea H2 by Keen. You might need to take a second look at these shoes, they have a sole that turns up and attaches to an extended strap of the upper! I’ve spotted similar soles on running shoes and other shoes but never on flip-flops. I’m sure this sole makes these shoes great for dusty trails and hiking on pebbly paths, heck, even dirty New York sidewalks – and of course, protection against the dreaded stubbed toe! They also have a cute, eco-friendly version with a colorful upper of woven rice paper!

Next, I found a pair of Swamisz, which also come in tons of color combinations. These shoes are finally now available in the US (previously just in Australia), and like so many AU brands that have come before them, Swamisz are sure to be a big hit! They claim that you do not even need to actively grip with your toes to keep these shoes on (often the main reason people don’t like thong sandals); the toe portion is made in such a way to naturally stay on your feet.  My pair is on its way, so I’ll give you way more info as soon as I try them out!

Terra Plana Dopie Green 2 Terra Plana Dopie Green
Keen Waimea H2 Swanusz blue black

I have problems with so many flip-flops because some designers just don’t think about comfort when they’re choosing the material that goes between your toes! I can’t even count how many times a leather seam was positioned wrong and caused me crazy pain. That’s part of the reason why I love the gold Steve Madden flip-flops below; just two pieces of soft, stretch material crossed over the big toe.

But I can tell you that I’ve never had a problem with Havaianas, which have been around forever. This new version with a strap around the ankle is just different enough to really wow people. And the adjustable buckle is rare (and genius!) on a rubber shoe. There’s a great review here about the Havaianas below from Tasha Nita Adams’ (L.A. style expert) experience. And last, I’ve found a wacky pair of daytime thong sandals with a fuzzy insole (oh Uggs, you’ll put shearling on anything). I’m not too sure about taking these to the beach or the pool, but for daily flip-flops, they should be pretty cozy. Next to the Uggs are a pair of foot-hugging monkey thongs that are just plain fun (and float as a bonus)! Sugar brand shoes are always creative.

Steve Madden Showoff Havaianas Fit 2
Ugg Fluffie flip flop Sugar Go Ape thongs

Last of all, even though they’re not flip-flops, I wanted to include the two shoes below because they are crazy – so we’re still half topical. 😉 The very noticeable Vibram FiveFingers shoes below are the only outdoor shoes I know of that don’t clump your toes together in one space with the rest of your foot. The sole of the shoe actually covers the bottom of where each toe sits individually. Vibram claims that separating your toes creates improves balance, overall foot health & posture. These toe-tastic shoes even come in 3 other varieties that work for you in different ways based on the activities you plan on doing in them – such as running, yoga, boating, martial arts, surfing, climbing, travel, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t do any of those activities though (it’s not stopping me anyway), do you only wear sneakers for sporty activities, even if that’s what they’re technically designed for? P.S. FiveFingers are vegan friendly too!

In the same train of thought, I found these split toe Air Rift shoes by totally mainstream brand Nike (shaped like traditional Japanese tabi socks). It’s a little hard to see below (since almost everyone is sold out – I suggest eBay if you want a pair), but if you click on the shoes below, you can get a nice multi-view from Zappos including the bottom of the sole. Nike says the design was “inspired by barefoot runners of Kenya.”

I guess the message is, whether in flip flops or whatever, Neglect your toes no longer!

Vibram FiveFingers Classic Nike Air Rift

avatarSorry about being M.I.A. everyone! I wish I could say I was yachting in Capri or sightseeing in Paris, but it was something far far less glamourous that kept me away… Actually, I was working on crafting a baby mobile for an expecting friend. It had 7 cute little characters (dragon, princess, frog prince, etc) which I crocheted during every waking hour (thank you crocheting class at the community center!). Luckily I finished it one week before the baby is due and it turned out great! And now I’m back to the real world. 😉

One trend I noticed recently is multi-strap black sandals (ah recession, everyone chooses black) with various types and sizes of studs, grommets or other metal hardware covering just the straps. Popping up in innumerable variations (toe rings, flat slides, wedges, stiletto heels and more), this strappy studded look is everywhere from high end to super store. I found my first version at Kmart (!). Next to it is a version by BCBGirls, available at Macy’s, and the last top row selection is a pair of very affordable heels by Rampage. The three examples in the bottom row are by Frye (check out the pretty citron color too!), classic Calvin Klein and master craftsman, Giuseppe Zanotti.

Bolaro Stud Sandal BCBGirls Banny Rampage Madalyn
Frye Margot Studded Sandals Calvin Klein Devora Giuseppe Zanotti Ornamented Sandal

Last for today (but more coming soon), I finally I’ve found someone making a cheaper version of the Chanel Resort gun heel shoes which debuted like a year ago (I can’t believe it look this long)! Compare a couple thousand dollars to $49.95 at Shiekh! I’m sure I’ll find a reason to wear these heels at some point (even if it’s just Halloween – maybe a Rose McGowan in Planet Terror look-alike?); I just wish they were a bright lime green or something less actually lethal, more super-soaker looking. As I’ve heard other blog writers say, don’t even try to go through airport security in these heels.

Shiekh Mellina chanel runway gun heel

 

And here’s some shameless bragging 😉 :

Baby Mobile small

my crochet project being unwrapped by the lucky new dad

avatarHappy Earth Day! I just found out about some great eco-conscious brands and news, so I thought today would be a perfect day to share.

First off is a new (to me, at least) shoe brand named SoleRebels. Based in Ethiopia, SoleRebels is channeling the skills over 40 people from the village community of Zenabwork with full time jobs and over 100 people with part-time jobs. African entrepreneur and founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu said to WWD magazine, “We passionately believe that trade, not aid, is the key to upliftment.”

From materials (like recycled car tires for soles and organic, hand-loomed cotton uppers from Ethiopians paid fair wages) and talent almost exclusively sourced locally, SoleRebels are now selling in stores all over the US, like Whole Foods, and online! They sought to re-invent the traditional Ethiopian selate shoe which, since its not so traditional over here state side, looks like something all-together new. SoleRebels uses both bright and muted colors, that means something for everyone, and the line has created many different styles with closed-toe and open-toe options. Plus, price points range well in the affordable category at $30 to $65.

SoleRebels A Twist of Sole Sandal SoleRebels slipout light SoleRebels Fauna Flip-Flop Sandals

Second, I just found out that Payless Shoe Source has launched a plan to contribute a portion of sales this year from their new green Zoe&Zac line AND from purchases of their $1.99 reusable shopping tote (and trust me, even though you’ve seen a million of them, this one is cute!) towards planting one billion trees with The Nature Conservatory’s aptly named Plant A Billion Trees program. I’m down with that, if I may say so, and I’ve lined up some of my shopping list items below, not to mention the bag.

zoe&zac tigerlily wedge zoe&zac Ginger mary jane flat zoe&zac Snapdragon Ballet

Last, after being reminded by Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide how much I love canvas sneakers (and being as their now in fashion and all), I decided to go to the source and visit the Keds website directly to see their new offerings. I was happily surprised to find a whole new Green section which, while not too large, has the same appeal as the shoes I expect from the brand. In addition to the usual recycled rubber soles (not to say that isn’t a huge step), these Keds also feature non-toxic inks and dyes, shoelaces that are 100% recycled water bottles, nickle-free eyelets and recycled insoles!

Their two green shoe styles (each in a few different colors) are below and hopefully we’ll be able to watch this section continue to grow!

Keds Willow lace up in green Keds Meadow Moc in blue

P.S. I love this idea sponsored by Nickelodeon’s Big Green Help for everyone to turn off their lights tonight at 9 pm for one minute! (hopefully it doesn’t result in massive power overload induced outages when all the lights come back on, but let’s not let that ruin the fun).

Follow Us!

Enter your email address to be notified when we post new shoe articles.

Join 37 other followers

More of my Shoe Articles

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: