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Designer Shoes

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Many women go crazy for the perfect pair of shoes, and designer shoes are enough to make you weak with desire. The only problem is the price tag! We take a look at some of the big names to find out if comfort and fashion can work in harmony.

The Basics

  • Designer shoes serve one basic purpose: to look hot!

  • Shoe designers like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Sigerson & Morrison, Vera Wang, and Michael Kors constantly come up with unique designs to tickle the shoe lover’s fancy.

  • Designer shoes are most often hand-crafted using the finest materials, hence the high price tag.

  • Comfort isn’t usually a consideration, but there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort factor:

    • Add a rubber sole to give you a little more cushion in your step.

    • Look for shoes with more padding in the heel.

    • Opt for a square toe instead of really pointy toes to reduce pressure on the toes and help prevent calluses and corns.

    • Heels with straps and buckles around the ankle can provide more support than a slip-on by taking some of the pressure off the toes to keep the shoe in place.

    • Get the right fit. It’s best to try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are likely swollen and at their biggest.

  • Different heel types work better on some body shapes than on others. Here are some general guidelines:

    • Stilettos accentuate the shape and thickness of the calf. Avoid them if you have a thicker calf.

    • Stacked heels are thicker and sturdier than stilettos and are a good option for women with thicker calves.

    • The shorter curve of the Sabrina heel can lengthen the leg, but can also accentuate the calves.

    • Try to have a wide variety of heel heights. This keeps your calf muscles working better than if all your shoes are the same height.

Other Considerations

  • Whether you’re trying to find a shoe to match an outfit or vice versa, if a shoe is calling your name, answer it! Worry about what to wear with it later.

  • Regular leather polishes up and wears really well.

  • Patent leather isn’t as easy to care for as regular leather. It requires frequent cleaning and shows scuffs easily.

  • Brand new suede is quite luxurious, but as the shoe ages the suede can look like it has taken a beating.

  • Synthetics aren’t as durable as leather and they make your feet sweat, hold moisture and bacteria, and then eventually disintegrate.

  • Shoes made from fabric can look great, but if they’re not made well, they can fray.

TEST CRITERIA

Though they’re not made for everyday wear, we chose four different pairs of high heels and searched for a little comfort to go with the beauty.

  • Marc Jacobs (blue, beaded fabric): $430
  • Sigerson & Morrison (suede): $450
  • Manolo Blahnik (leather): $600
  • Jimmy Choo (patent leather): $650

Comfort Test

Though they’re not made for working out, we decided to test these shoes for comfort by hitting stair climbers and treadmills at the gym.

  • After a pretty limited workout in our heels, the Manolo’s won for comfort.

  • We noticed that the Marc Jacobs had a wider cut, perfect for broader feet.

OUR TOP PICK

We love shoes, and these babies are no exception. But with price tags between $300 – $650, they’re not for everyone…how unfair!

 

 

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