Since shoes are a favorite topic here, we saved the best for last in wrapping up our Five Fashion Investments series. In case you missed them, check out If the shoe fits: Part 1 and 2 before delving into this article.
Woman today are cleverly buying less cheap, disposable type items, investing instead, in higher quality items, knowing they’ll cost less over time by lasting longer which means both less waste, less replacement and less trips to the store.
Quality investment is a fascinating concept, so after much thought and research we’re happy to present Five Fashion Investments. May they save you from the wasted time and money of quick-&-dirty fashion solutions.
Shoes for Every Occasion
As we covered in our last two articles, those of us who live along the Wasatch Front and experience the possible extremes in temperature that occur here (low hundreds to below zero) know that it’s important to have the right type of shoes for any given circumstance.
In examining our own shoe wardrobes some of us may find that not all shoes are created equal when it comes to being both lovely as well as comfortable and functional. Many have asked the question, “Are designer shoes really better, or do they simply have a heftier price tag?” After extensive research the answer to that question comes down to three points.
- Designer shoes, in general are made with finer materials and better craftsmanship so because real leather is not as stiff as man-made materials, such shoes can truly prove to be more comfortable than their generic counterparts. Though it also appears that most European made shoes, though amazing in craftsmanship, tend to run small and/or narrow.
- Some brands have a better reputation for comfort than others, though it appears largely to still depend upon style. So, this means that while Christian Louboutin may have made a pair of truly comfortable pumps, he also has a reputation for shoes with a very high and uncomfortable arch. He himself has said, “High heels are pleasure with pain . . . If you can’t walk in them, don’t wear them” So you might just have to accept the reality that no matter how much you love these 6 inch heels, that they are more useful as an art piece than an actual shoe. However, we have found reviews of women who claim that certain high heels of his are comfortable so it clearly depends on who you are and what your feet can handle. The real solution then, is to find out for yourself what works for you and your feet.
- Shoes vary considerably between brands, sizes and styles, just as feet vary in size,shape and width. So what it truly comes down to is, what might be perfect for your tooties may be a torture chamber for someone else’s regardless of brand, style or materials. As one fashionable lady suggests; your best bet is to find the store that carries the brand you want and make friends with a salesclerk there. This way you have an inside helper who can contact you whenever your favorite brand/style/size are available and may even be able to give you the first chance at purchasing something you want before it appears on the sales floor. This can save you hours of shopping sales on your own, and save you money in the long run. Make it a rule for yourself that you will not buy shoes that do not fit or are not comfortable not matter how lovely or discounted they are. Promise yourself (and your feet) this and you will never regret it.
Of course, if you have never invested in high end shoes of any kind, we realize that among thousands of styles and brands it can be difficult to know where to start. So we here at the examiner have taken the time to research which quality brands can be found locally (because trying the shoes on before buying is super important and less hassle in the long run) and which of these locally available brands have the best reviews for comfort.
The good news is, that all of the comfortable brands we have discovered differ widely in price range so you can have more budgeting options when it comes to this particular investment. We present to you the list. Our top ten most comfortable brands; their general price range, which types of shoe they especially excel in, and where you can find them locally.
Jimmy Choo: $150-$1,600 at Nordstrom. We saw this brand mentioned again and again when looking to find the best of comfortable designer shoes. We love all the fun, unique designs as well as the more classy ones. Plus they have some awesome boots.
Mui Mui: $150-$1,400 at Nordstrom. A go-to shoe for fashionable women who need to be on their feet all day. Best if you’re looking for bold heels or statement shoes that will really turn heads.
Nicolas Kirkwood: $200-$1,400 at Nordstrom. These designer shoes have a high reputation for comfort and offer lots of very edgy artistic styles. Best for formal occasions or a night out when you want to look extra sexy.
Naturalizer: $60-$190 at Macy’s. This brand carries incredibly diverse options, a shoe for almost every occasion or purpose. Plus they are one of the most praised for comfort. We are especially impressed with their huge selection of boots.
Nine West: $40-$170 at Nordstrom. This brand makes fun, dressy pumps and dressy to casual sandals. Also mentioned frequently as a comfortable option.
Me Too: $25-$100 at Nordstrom: Great for super cute, dressy-casual flats and low heels.
Sofft: $17-$55 at JC Penny. This brand has rave reviews for comfort and the prices are awesomely affordable as well. A good brand to turn to when you need casual to dressy sandals.
Ecco: $99-$175 at Nordstrom. Mostly specializing in athletic styles, this brand carries lots of fun stylish options for casual footwear whether you need boots, running shoes, office appropriate flats or sassy sandals.
Born: $18-$1,200 at Macy’s. or $45-$260 at Nordstrom. This brand makes really fun cute casual shoes, from wedge sandals to leather oxfords and boots! All their styles get rave reviews on comfort.
Cole Haan: $80-$450 at Nordstrom. Cole Haan is a superhero in the world of comfort shoes. Featured on Oprah, Cole Haan teamed up with Nike to create stylish shoes for women that are truly comfortable. With Nike Air Technology and such a wide selection of styles it’s hard to go wrong.
There are actually a lot of other great brands out their that could also have made this list, so don’t be afraid to check out the other brands available at these stores.(Nordstrom is located at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Macy’s is located at nearly every mall in the Salt Lake area and JC Penny has six locations in the Salt Lake area.)
Remember, it is extremely important to try on the shoes before you invest, at least until you become very familiar with a particular brand and how it works for you.
Some of you may be thinking, “but shoes always cost less online!” This is often true. We know that Zooshoe, Shoebuy, 6pm, Endless, and Amazon.com among many other online retailers usually offer big discounts. What we suggest is that you shop for the shoe you want locally and know that it works for you before you purchase it online. Even if you can’t find the exact shoe you hope to buy while you’re in the store, find the closest match you can as far as brand, size and general style goes. This will help you know how the online shoes will feel. (also be sure to look up reviews on the shoe you want, to give you a better idea of what you’re buying) This may seem like a bit of a hassle for some, but making sure your feet are happy is very important (This is an investment after all). If shopping online is simply not your thing just purchase locally and support the local economy.
Either way, your feet will thank you!