I have finally found shoes that satisfy all of my footwear wants and needs. They are stylish, high quality and, most of all, COMFORTABLE. In my experience, many luxury brands make beautiful shoes that look almost like art, but do not feel so good on the feet. The cost of these shoes usually does not match up with their usefulness.
I recently sold a pair of Valentino Garavani pumps, that originally sold for $945, and I had worn only once. They were a fabulous red with gold spike details, about 4 inches high, with a pitch that made me feel like I was going to fall forward at any moment. These shoes required valet parking, and sit-down dinner. No walking, no dancing, no standing. I never felt as good wearing them as they looked.
It is interesting to me that the top luxury brands for women’s shoes are mostly designed by men. These shoes are beautiful, but are often not practical. Only a woman really understands the compromises and sacrifices that women make to wear certain shoes. That understanding comes from experiences that begin in our adolescent years, with that first pair of pumps or pointy toed flats. It seems like there is always a trade-off.
We can have a fabulously cute shoe but, often, it won’t be comfortable. Amazingly, we buy that shoe anyway because it’s going to look fantastic with the new dress we plan to wear to our friend’s wedding. At this point we begin to calculate how much standing, dancing, or just walking we’ll be able to do for the day. The calculation rarely works out. Our feet are done long before the end of the event, and our party mood is killed.
On the other hand, are those shoes that are incredibly comfortable, but look like something your orthopedist or podiatrist might prescribe. You feel neither attractive, nor stylish while wearing them. As a matter of fact, we pair these shoes with a big hat and dark shades, while out in public, so as not to be recognized while making that run to the market.
It is the rare shoe brand that delivers high style, premium construction, and comfort on a consistent basis. I’m talking about shoes that make you look and feel like a million bucks while wearing them. The kind of shoes that are built to last for years, and are worth the investment because you can wear them without making compromises with your feet or your style.
I have found three such brands, and they are all women-owned and designed brands. These shoes made by women who understand what we really want from our footwear.
TOAS designs shoes for “Women Who Mean Business” and prioritizes using their platform to empower women and girls, donating a percentage of each sale to causes that do the same.
My husband gifted me my first pair of TOAS shoes in 2015, and I’ve been a fan ever since. All TOAS shoes are hand-crafted in Portugal, with traditional Goodyear Welt construction. Their loafers, oxfords, mid-heel shoes, and elevated combat-style boots will last for years, and can be re-soled. The cork footbeds mold to your feet as you wear them. I like to describe TOAS shoes as classic menswear-inspired styling with a distinctly feminine twist. Honestly, I feel like a badass every time I’m in a pair of TOAS shoes.
I was recently introduced to Sarah Flint shoes through Instagram. These shoes are regularly worn by famous starlets and Meghan Markle. After receiving my first pair, I now understand how the Duchess can do so much walking and standing in a pair of heels.
Sarah Flint shoes are handcrafted in Italy, with details that amp up the style and, more importantly, the comfort. The cushioning throughout these shoes is unmatched by any pair of heels I’ve ever owned. Sarah Flint produces pumps of various heights and heel styles, sandals, and boots. Each pair of heels has 6mm of foam cushioning, a wider toe box, anatomical arch support, and rubber outsole for no-slip grip when walking.
I believe in these shoes so much that I have become an Ambassador for the brand. This role gives me an opportunity to provide you with a $50 discount off your very own pair of Sarah Flint shoes. Just use code: SARAHFLINT-BASABRA at checkout.
Suzanne Rae is a self-described feminist, and even has a “Feminist Pump” and “Feminist Loafer” in the line-up. These shoes are incredibly stylish and creatively styled. The full line-up includes everything from sandals to boots. Personally, I am partial to the heeled loafers and low-heeled pumps. I haven’t received my first pair yet, but am excited to try this emerging brand.
With these brands on the scene, I am no longer compromising comfort for style. You really can have it all.