Striding in Style
We are hard on our feet yet we count on walking briskly through life. Podiatrists are treating increasing numbers of injuries and foot issues and begging the public to stop abusing their feet. It used to be that comfortable shoes = ugly geriatric shoes. That is no longer the case. Shoe designers have met the demand for attractive, hip, stylish casual/comfortable shoes for men and women. There is now an abundance of choices that will satisfy all foot comfort demands. Here are some we’ve tried or have been recommended to us.
M.Gemi are Italian leather shoes for men and women. They make both dress shoes and casual shoes. Their great looking suede sneaker for men that comes in three colors is called the Volpe. $278.00.
M.Gemi also makes a sleek suede driving moccasin for women that comes in 10 colors. $198.00.
For men, their popular Lucente Due is an ‘elevated’ leather sneaker.. It is hand-painted and can withstand winter weather.
Men’s comes in six colors and is $278.00.
Bernie Mev, an American women’s shoe company from the 1970s, was bought in 2008 and transformed into a global modern footwear company. Their primary consumers are still women, but their relatively new men’s and children’s divisions have grown to be 15% of their business. They are known for their hand-woven shoes. The shoes are flexible, comfortable and nice-looking. The uppers are hand woven with some stretch and memory foam insoles. The Catwalk flats are the best looking of their styles and our reader Janet W swears by them. $59.00.
Allbirds are so popular I wanted to mention them again even though they appear in our earlier article. They are made from wool and are for men, women and kids. The founders of this company extol the virtues of wool because it will conform to your foot, be cool in heat and warm in cold, wick moisture, minimize odor, is machine washable, minimizes your carbon footprint and is so soft you can go sockless. They are kind of a sneaker but not really. These are comfortable enough to be slippers. I believe the new term is ‘athleisure’. For men and women there are wool runners and wool loungers for $95.00 a pair. The runners come in twelve colors and the loungers come in eight colors.
For kids Allbirds has the Smallbirds Wool Runners. They are $55.00 and come in five colors. The sizes are 5T – 10T.
Sabah shoes began in 2013 when the founder created a pair of shoes with a family of craftsmen in southeast Turkey. My husband discovered them early and we’ve been happily wearing them ever since. They are available for men, women and kids. They are made from amazingly soft leather, have rubber soles and feel like butter on your feet. There are 24 adult colors to choose from, and 4 kid colors. There are three Sabah Houses (stores) – in Dallas, in New York City and in Los Angeles where you can buy them in person. Otherwise you can buy them online. In our experience they run true to size. The price for adult Sabahs is $195.00 and $65 for kids.
TOMS launched its global One for One Program in 2006 and began a trend among many Internet companies of donating a percentage of profits to a worthy cause. Espadrilles were their first product and for every pair of shoes they sold they gave away a pair of shoes to someone without shoes around the world. They make espadrilles for men, women and children. For women they have expanded to selling ankle boots, felt and leather sneakers, and leather and suede sandals in addition to the espadrilles. Prices are under $100.00 except for the taller boots and dressier women’s suede high-heeled shoes. The espadrille-style shoes are the ones I know best, and they are very comfortable.
Rothy’s continues to be one of my favorite shoe brands. (See our earlier article to get more details). If they are the right fit for your feet, they are wonderful. I can wear the same pair all day as it’s dressy enough to go from daytime to casual evening. They are sturdy and chic all at the same time. There are many colors and patterns to choose from, two styles, and they don’t break the bank. They are made from recycled water bottles. $125.00 – $145.00.
Greats shoes are for men and women. The company was launched in 2013 to make a high quality product and sell directly to the consumer – a better sneaker for less. The Royale is the classic Greats shoe for men. Each pair is handmade in Italy in full grain leather. The inside is lined with tan calf leather. It is $169.00 and comes in six colors. For women, the Royale comes in leather or perforated leather. In leather there are five colors and $225.00. In perforated leather they are $179.00 and come in three colors.
Patara Shoes are for both men and women. The company is based in California and designs lightweight, versatile, packable shoes inspired by the tropics. Over half of the fabrics are hand woven in collectives in Asia, India and South America. The shoes are worn sockless and shape to your foot. Prices range from $85.00 – $105.00 and there are many colors and styles to choose from.
Austin Heller designs a European driving loafer for men. The loafers are casual but have enough style to be worn for work, traveling, going out for dinner, or hanging around the house. There are loafer styles and tie-up shoes. Prices range from $195.00 – $225.00 and there are many colors.
Zero Grand, Cole Haan Suede Oxfords have a Nike sole and come in nine colors. They are very comfortable and lightweight. Styles are for both men and women. Solid leather is available. $200.
If you have arches that need support, or aching feet talk to your podiatrist and consider Superfeet Orthotics. Ginny highly recommends them and reports that doctors, chiropractors and our local sportswear store have all recommended them as well. $19.99.
Do you have a brand of comfortable shoes we missed? Please tell us if you do.
See our earlier article on comfortable shoes.