Posts Tagged ‘comfortable cute shoes series’

Comfortable Cute Shoes Series: Farylrobin

The Brand: Farylrobin was founded in 2002, because the owner/founder (conveniently named Faryl! Who’d've thought?!) saw that womens’ attitudes and needs were changing but she didn’t feel that shoe companies were responding to those changing needs. (from the blog) The resulting shoes “blend fresh design and comfort with unexpected colors that let you express yourself…getting you to the places you want to be.” (from the website) The website doesn’t explicitly say that they’re designed for comfort (aside from “We design our footwear for women who work hard, play hard, and who love to be out and about…with style.” ) but I’d heard from several people/reviews that they are comfortable, so here’s a feature! Another brand that I haven’t worn myself (not yet, anyways) but I think they deserve a post.

The Price Range: Farylrobin is the priciest of the brands I’ve featured in the series so far, original retail is $150-250 a pair. If you watch eBay, 6pm, and Amazon sales, it seems like it would be relatively easy to snag a pair at under $100, though.

The Comfort: Again, haven’t personally tried out Farylrobin. They seem to have positive reviews; but there are also some pretty high heels (as well as flats). So probably like a 7-8?

The Look: Farylrobin shoes are generally gorgeous, classic cuts with whimsical accents (colored platforms, snakeskin, etc.). Lots of favorites, here’s a few picks!

Farylrobin Yuki

Farylrobin Yuki

I love the metallic color combined with the looping accents, it makes for one beautiful summer wedge!

Farylrobin Elina

Farylrobin Elina

The combination of textures, the small platform, the bow and the small metal accent on the side…LOVE IT.

Farylrobin Arch

Farylrobin Arch

I wish the metal accents were on both sides of the opening, but that’s really the only improvement I can think of!

Farylrobin Poppet Island

Farylrobin Poppet Island

These make me think of Miss Elle’s Seeking Loud Sandals post, even if she’s not a huge fan of purple. So pretty!

Any readers tried Farylrobin? What do you think? When I finally pick up one of the many many pairs I have my eyes on, I’ll be sure to post an update!

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Comfortable Cute Shoes Series: Privo

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried these out myself (yet!). But there are rave reviews on almost every pair and an employee at the store I used to work at said they were awesome and had amazing padding; so I’m going ahead!

The Brand: Privo is owned by Clarks, who also makes comfortable shoes (some are cute, some are very schoolmarm-ish). Privo “represents a fashionable alternative to sneakers with a unique mixture of athletic personality, style and of course comfort.”.

The Price Range: As far as I can tell, all of the shoes are under $120; pretty reasonable. Most are in the $70-80 range. Of course, if you look at the sales on Amazon and look on eBay, you can find a pair for a cool $20-40. Not bad!

The Comfort: Although, as stated, I haven’t actually WORN any, judging by the reviews on Zappo I’m going to go with an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

The Look: A lot of the shoes seem to be really going for the sporty look, which isn’t my thing. But there are several winners, too!

Privo Stretch Boots

Privo Stretch Boots

Privo League Mary Janes

Privo League Mary Janes

(a very similar style is available in red/burgundy as well!)

Privo Kristie Flat

Privo Kristie Flat

I LOVE these. Gray or silver and purple is always a winning combination. There’s also some adorable peep-toe flats too!

What do you think about Privo? Yay or nay? I’m sure they won’t be taking up the majority of my shoe stash any time soon, but they seem like a good place to pick up some basics.

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Cute Comfortable Shoes Series: Dansko

First ACTUAL post in the Cute Comfortable Shoes Series! And it is, probably of little surprise to anyone, Dansko shoes.

The Brand: Dansko was founded by a husband and wife team in 1990. One one of their trips back to Peter’s hometown in Denmark, they found a small shop with a type of clog they had never seen before – closed back clogs! They loved them so much they bought a few pairs and brought them back. After buying pairs for family and friends, they starting buying them wholesale to save some money, and then selling them at horse shows (they actually met through horseback riding!). Eventually, demand outweighed their supply, so they did the sensible thing and started a shoe business! They (obviously) named their budding business Dansko, which literally translates into “Danish shoe”. They started 18 years ago with one employee and now have 150 or so. The main goal with the shoes is comfort above all else. They definitely go for a community and environmentally friendly company set up – they give employees paid time off so that they can volunteer, and when an employee does volunteering, the company matches their salary for the hours volunteered and donates it to the organization being volunteered at!! Pretty neat, huh?

The Price Range: Most of Dansko’s shoes are within the $100-175 range, with boots retailing at $175-200. Looking on eBay or at 6pm.com usually results in much lower prices (but of course, beware of individual seller return policies on eBay!), as they’re usually pretty abundant on both sites.

The Comfort: 8/10.

When I worked at Target and was in cosmetology school, a lot of the time I would go straight from school to work and then work until close. This resulted in 12-14 hour days and VERY SORE FEET. I was at a total loss for what to do (seriously – unless you’ve worked similar days when not wearing good shoes, the continuous foot pain is hard to comprehend!) until someone recommended Danskos to me. I snagged a pair of the Professional clogs off eBay, and while they weren’t really my thing as far as looks go, they made my foot pain virtually disappear. When I got a retail job again and was spending my whole shift on my feet, Dansko was the first place I looked for new shoes. Unfortunately, the cuter shoes aren’t quite as insanely comfortable as the clogs, thus resulting in a slightly lower comfort score.

The Look: It seems to me that the look aimed for with most of the shoe models is a sleek modernity. Sometimes the mark gets missed and the shoes end up looking a little bit more on the clunky side. Thus, if you hate wedge or chunky heels, Dansko will not be your shoe brand of choice! Most of the heels are pretty modest as well, usually clocking in at under 3″. Here’s the two pairs I have:

Dansko Ryan in Black

Dansko Ryan in Black

Dansko Ryan in Black

Dansko Ryan in Black

Dansko 2-Strap Mary Janes

Dansko 2-Strap Mary Janes

Dansko 2-Strap Mary Janes

Dansko 2-Strap Mary Janes

I pretty much love the way the Ryan boot looks, although I wish there was a little bit more room in the toe box – the “roof” of the shoe is kind of low and rubs on my big toe sometimes. The double-strapped Mary Janes (sorry – don’t know the name of the make) I really have no complaints about, except that they’re just barely loose enough that they gave me blisters when I walked in them all day in Austin!

Here’s my favorites out of their current wares at Zappos.com:

Tara Mary Janes by Dansko

Tara Mary Janes by Dansko

Tillie Peep-Toe Pump by Dansko

Tillie Peep-Toe Pump by Dansko

I might actually end up watching for that second pair on eBay. Hm.

Here endeth the lesson – stay tuned for further updates in the series!

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Comfortable Cute Shoes Series

I know I can’t be the only one with this problem, at least out of people who work retail or other jobs where 8+ hours of the day is spend standing. I, though, seem to have particularly wussy feet – I have super-high arches and it also seems that unless I have a ridiculous amount of padding under my heel, my heels will be KILLING me at the end of the day. So if I say a shoe is comfortable for standing in all day, you know I mean it! I’m going to try and post weekly or biweekly, featuring a different brand of shoes (ideally, brands that I’ve worn at least two pairs of shoes from) each time. I’ll talk about the look, the price range, pros and cons, etc. I also might try and find some guest bloggers for this, as I don’t think I can afford to try a pair in every single comfortable shoe brand! The goal of this exercise, obviously, is to find cute – not meh, not ok, but actually, honest-to-god cute!  – shoes that can be stood or worked in all day.

I’m not featuring anything this week, because I’ll be covering…my shoe shopping strategy! I know you’ve been absoltuely dying to hear that. The thing is, comfort often comes at a very literal cost. Understandable, as the very thing that makes these shoes comfortable tends to make them more expensive, but that puts those of us who have the problem of being, oh say, broke as hell, at kind of a disadvantage. This is where the place you buy the shoes comes in to play!

Zappos.com – Probably the first place most people think of when online shoe shopping comes to mind. The return policy is fabulous, the customer service is great (I always get free shipping and the two or three times I’ve shipped there it’s been upgraded to overnight free of charge). BUT you are paying full retail prices most of the time. In my experience, the prices have been about the same or maybe slightly (we’re talking five dollars or less) higher than other e-tailers.\\

eBay – I’m kind of an eBay fiend. The prices are usually MUCH lower than retail (50%-90% off, on a rough estimate). The main downside is the return policies seriously vary from seller to seller, and are usually either nonexistent or “ship back at your own cost”. So it’s important to know the correct size! I usually either order a pair of shoes from someplace with an excellent return policy (Zappos or 6pm, for example) to figure out my size in a specific brand. Or, you can just ask the seller for a measurement of toe-to-heel inside the shoe and compare it to my foot measurement, it’s a LITTLE iffy but usually a good gauge. A tip: If you’re a registered eBay user, it’s possible to save a search and have it sent to you every day with new items. This is great, I have several searches for brands of shoes in my size and get notified when new items are listed!

6pm.com – I’m not 100% for sure, but I think it’s owned by the same people as Zappos. This is really the best of both worlds, there’s still a return policy that seems to be pretty good, and the prices are seriously slashed. Not as low as eBay, but still significantly lower than retail. Usually around half off.

Amazon.com – I’m not sure when exactly this happened, but lately Amazon has had some pretty badass shoe sales! Some of it isn’t a great deal, but some of it is ($150+ off Fluevog shoes, for example). It’s a trusted online shop, the shipping isn’t super expensive, reasonably fast, although I gather from the customer reviews that returns are of the “pay for shipping back” variety.

DSW.com – I’ve never ordered from them, but the prices are really pretty good. They don’t have a lot in what I’d consider comfortable brands, but it might be worth checking.

Shoes on a Shoestring – I haven’t ordered from them, and I only just found them a few days ago, but the prices are pretty phenomenal in most cases.

Endless – Free shipping, free returns, lots of retail price stuff but sometimes they have good sales.

I think that about covers it as far as online options go – if anyone else has anything to add, definitely leave a comment! And there’s always checking local and thrift stores. That’s totally going to depend on where you’re at though, so results may vary.

Now…the main things to look for when trying on shoes that you’re planning on wearing for long periods of time, when shopping at home or when trying on shoes you ordered. Contrary to popular belief, flats are NOT automatically comfortable!

Good arch support

This is hard to describe (I tried to take pictures, but it didn’t come out very well in pictures either!), but you know it when you feel it. The shoe should either be formed so that where it attaches to the side of the shoe it’s at more of a 45 degree angle than a 90 degree angle, or have arch support actually molded into the sole. Shoes that have the 90 degree angle thing going on tend to be REALLY uncomfortable.

Good padding along the sole

Much easier to recognize! The sole of the shoe shouldn’t be flat and hard, it should have some squishiness to it. Not too much, because if it’s squishy but not springy, your feet will end up almost as sore as if it was just flat and hard. This is especially important at the heel and the ball of the foot, which seems to me is where the most pressure gets put.

Heels

Now, unfortunately, unless you have feet of steel or know something I don’t, stiletto heels are probably out for wearing eight hours while standing and not being in serious pain the next day. Chunky heels or wedges are a much better bet, but unless you pay a good chunk of change, actual heels are probably out of the question. Wedges or chunky, low heels are more likely, with brands like Dansko easy to pick up on eBay for $30-50 a pair.

There’s all kinds of information to come, so stay tuned for upcoming posts!

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