WHY I LOVE SEAGRASS FLIP-FLOPS

They’re comfortable, breathable, and have a more natural and high-end look than plastic equivalents.

Seagrass is a finely woven straw-like material. I like to think of these flip-flops as flat espadrilles. Very classy.

Collage my feet

 

The sole of these flip-flops will start life flat, but with wear, will curve a little around your feet. This creates a very comfortable bespoke footbed for your tootsies. The outsoles are made from lightweight EVA, which I have found to be more grippy than other harder sandal sole materials (I blush when I remember a particularly steep hill in Madeira).

Another great thing about seagrass is that this natural material ensures your flip-flops are never too hot to put back on your feet, no matter how scorching the sun is.

These fine flip-flops don’t last forever, so I was glad when I realised that Monsoon/Accessorize have a great selection at affordable prices every Spring/Summer season.

I tend to opt for fabric or polyester uppers, as the synthetic leather versions are more likely to rub.

These are a few of my favourites from Spring/Summer 2015:

A tropical print with little bead, parrot and leaf charms

For minimalists without being completely plain

Something more playful with neon animal print

Day to evening glam in navy with gold beads

Perfect with white linen trousers or a cotton cover-up

 

Let me know whether you share my love of seagrass in the comments or on Twitter @ShoeConsultant

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CHEER UP YOUR FEET

The sun may not be shining, but sandal days are near. Get prepared for summer with these adorable sandals from Paul Smith.

The colour combinations are unusual enough to stand out from the crowd, but easy enough to co-ordinate with your favourite sun dress, shorts, or cropped trousers.

 

Nude and black are surprisingly complementary. The sky blue in the sole gives a lighter look.

 

This combination of neutrals is anything but dull. The silver adds glamour, black and tan are sophisticated, and white keeps the look from being too dark.

The uppers of these sandals contrast matte leather with patent in a chic dark navy. The yellow through the sole gives a younger, more fashion-forward aesthetic.

This colourway gives a playful look, but these sandals are still really wearable with the supportive straps and moderate 6cm stacked block heel.

 

These styles are real investments: With their classic styling, they will last you season after season, and through some wonderful holidays too!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ULTIMATE SHOES FOR NURSES

  • Boyish brogue
    Boyish brogue
    Androgynous-style shoes can look very chic, especially in smaller sizes. Clarks offer these in half sizes and narrow, standard & wide fittings.
  • Grippy wedge
    Grippy wedge
    These high-quality Daniel pumps offer a good amount of slip-resistance due to the lugs on the sole. The leather upper and lining give breathability.
  • Classic Mary Jane
    Classic Mary Jane
    Although not completely silent, the heels on these strap shoes give a cute 1960s look. Duo offer three width fittings in this all leather classics.
  • Wedge loafer
    Wedge loafer
    Packed with comfort technology, these leather-lined FitFlop loafers are made feminine with a touch of patent, and a lower front.
  • Criss-cross Mary Jane
    Criss-cross Mary Jane
    If you're opting for a flat heel, add elegance with these slender elastic straps. Ecco describe the PU sole as flexible and hard-wearing.
  • Textured pump
    Textured pump
    With a comfortable 2.5cm heel, textured leather (not too textured to clean easily) and sexy V-notch, these Gabor pumps give a look of Parisian chic.
  • Faux lace-up
    Faux lace-up
    Elasticated laces give a lace-up look with the ease of a slip-on. Josef Seibel provides a leather upper and lining and a flexible, lightweight, durable sole.
  • Almond toe slip-on
    Almond toe slip-on
    A hint of textural glam is added to these Geox points, with subtle snake-effect panels. Available in half sizes, incorporating a grippy rubber sole.
  • Cut-away slip-on
    Cut-away slip-on
    Less quirky than some of Camper's styles, but still with an individual look and practical rubber sole. The open sides will keep you cool for summer.
  • Pretty pump
    Pretty pump
    This low wedge pump is given a pretty bow (albeit tricky to clean). Hotter "Pyramid foam cushioning" acts as "a cushion to the balls of your feet".
  • X-strap court
    X-strap court
    If you like a little more height, try this 4.5cm heel Mary Jane from Ecco. The sole is quiet PU, and the lining is leather and cushioned under foot.
  • Brogue slip-on
    Brogue slip-on
    A slightly louder option (in volume), but highly individual, this Rieker slip-on with its 4cm heel fully covers your feet without looking mannish.
  • Bow flatform
    Bow flatform
    This low platform adds height without putting weight on to the balls of your feet. The double bow adds femininity to these Gabor pumps.
  • Asymmetric T-bar
    Asymmetric T-bar
    These high quality all leather Tracey Neuls T-bars with rubber soles are quite an investment, but would certainly ensure your individual style shines out.
  • Moccasin wedge
    Moccasin wedge
    These Hotter slip-ons come in half sizes and standard or extra wide fit. Good foot coverage with a more feminine PU wedge and sleek design lines.

 

I was chatting to my friend (about shoes – what else?) at the weekend. She described the criteria nurses like herself have for the footwear they wear with their uniforms, and how she often buys her work footwear in the U.S.

 

✓ Comfort: On your feet for long shifts

✓ Low heel or flat: To move about quickly and comfortably

✓ Something different: When wearing a uniform, shoes let your personality shine

✓ Quiet: No clip-clopping around the ward like Barbara Windsor in Carry On Doctor

✓ Black

✓ Affordable

✓ Leather: To be wipe clean

 

It’s clearly massively impractical and bad for the British economy, for all nursing staff to cross the Atlantic every time they need new work shoes. With that in mind, I’ve scoured the brands available in the U.K. which meet the requirements of hard-working nurses (and waitresses, bar staff, care assistants…).

Not everyone is allowed or wants to wear Crocs or black trainers, and particularly when you wear a dress type uniform, other styles can look more professional.

Enjoy clicking through the slide show. I hope you find something special which helps you to stand out from the crowd.

Remember:

  • Leather linings are the most comfortable, as they wick away moisture from your feet.
  • Consider investing in a quality pair, which could last at least twice as long as a cheaper style.

 

Please write a comment if you like this feature, or if you would like to recommend any shoe styles or brands.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TOP 15 COMFY SANDALS

  • Woven wedge
    Woven wedge
    The dark tan of these leather APC sandals is beautifully warm against all skin tones. The light colour of the suede wedge wrap lightens the look.
  • Bright & simple
    Bright & simple
    Yellow is a more wearable colour than you might think. It perfectly sets off neutrals in your clothing like navy or beige. Thanks J. Crew.
  • Light wedge
    Light wedge
    These surprisingly lightweight black and pale pink & Other Stories wedges are great for those of you who love black, but need a less heavy look for summer.
  • Statement wedge
    Statement wedge
    This colour and print combination shouldn't work, but somehow does. The triangular cut-outs and all leather upper and lining add breathability.
  • Metallic fringe
    Metallic fringe
    Pale gold is a pretty summer neutral, which is great for day to evening wear. Think how much space you could save in your suitcase with these J.Crews.
  • Simply coral
    Simply coral
    These Sol Sana flats offer plenty of support (and no escaped toes). The colour gives a fashion aesthetic, as good with dresses as cropped tailored trousers.
  • Raffia flat
    Raffia flat
    J. Crew give us an unexpected combination of metallic with raffia texture, to add interest to your flats. The wraps around the ankles give a relaxed look.
  • Metallic flatform
    Metallic flatform
    From the quirky Taiwanese brand "All Black", these easy Bronze sandals show that the flatform trend is still hot.
  • Pale flat
    Pale flat
    Made in Portugal, these quality leather sandals are not only APC's finest minimalist chic, but are comfortable enough to wear all summer day long.
  • Iridescent snake
    Iridescent snake
    There's something very pretty about these strappy sandals from J. Crew. The multi-toned effect of the snake textured leather adds glamour.
  • X-strap flat
    X-strap flat
    Although they give a nod to the Birkenstock trend, these comfortable elasticated & Other Stories flats are thankfully too glam to be "ugly shoes".
  • Red wood
    Red wood
    The Scandi clog look is updated this season with these scarlet sandals from Cos. Comfort from a light wooden heel, platform, elastic straps & padding.
  • Gold bling
    Gold bling
    Fed up of only finding pale gold sandals? These brassy gold J. Crew ankle strap flats are great for matching with your jewellery for a dressier look.
  • Soft & silver
    Soft & silver
    The leather soles of Ancient Greek Sandals form to your feet over time for optimum comfort. The quality silver leather of the straps is pretty and comfy.
  • Airy slide
    Airy slide
    Although they're known for gladiator-style footwear, Ancient Greek Sandals have pared it back this season with these perforated slides.

 

I trawled the streets of London’s West End (it’s a tough job…) to bring you this selection of the most comfortable and beautiful sandals in the shops.

Are you looking for something blingy and flat for day to evening wear, or a minimal wedge to set off your work outfit? There’s a style for every occasion here. Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SHOE PERSONALITY QUIZ

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WIDE/NARROW/NORMAL SANDALS

  • 70s demi-wedge
    70s demi-wedge
    A suede upper on a wedge always reminds me of the 1970s. As that's the hot decade this summer, be on-trend by rocking these with flares or maxi skirts.
  • Librarian chic
    Librarian chic
    That slightly geeky look still looks great. Wear these with a knee-length skirt and rolled-up T-shirt to avoid the very serious buttoned-up look.
  • Work sandal
    Work sandal
    For work-places without closed-toe dress codes. Wear below-the-knee skirts to keep the look demure, and try tights or painting your nails a subtle colour.
  • Wedding guest
    Wedding guest
    With a 7½cm heel, these nubuck T-Bars are the perfect height for your friend/cousin/boyfriend's colleague's special day. All day.
  • Weekender
    Weekender
    These patent flats are so pale, they should flatter even the pastiest of winter feet and give the illusion of a slight tan.

Have you heard about the fantastic brand Duo? Maybe you already know about their boots, which are available in 11 different calf widths.

The great thing about this company is that they also offer three different width fittings for all of their sandals, including the fabulous options above.

Narrow (19.5-20.9cm)

Standard (21-22.4cm)

Wide (22.5-23.5cm)

The measurements detailed are the circumference of the widest part of your foot (around the sticking out bones at the base of the big and little toes). You can measure this with a fabric tape measure at home.

Find out which shoe, sandal and boot styles will flatter your shape, by downloading my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women, co-written by the fabulous Samantha Clarke.

This essential guide is packed full of tips and methods to help you look your best, without those moments of panic in front of the wardrobe.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PUBLIC SPEAKING: MY ADRENALIN SPORT

Some people love sky-diving or bungee jumping for getting their blood pumping and giving them a rush. For others, riding roller coasters or running a marathon makes them feel alive.

For me, it’s the feeling I get just before I give a talk that makes my heart beat faster. Yes, public speaking is my adrenalin sport.

Although I have been speaking in front of small and large groups of people for many years, I still get nervous. When I know it’s a tough crowd, or if I spot a hero of mine in the audience, those things add to the pressure.

Just as actors say they wouldn’t be at peak performance if they weren’t nervous, I have experienced the focusing effect that butterflies in the stomach have on me.

If you’re feeling anxious before a presentation, don’t fight it. Embrace the nerves. You know your subject inside out. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have been asked to present.

Imagine you’re at the top of a roller coaster, about to get the thrill of swooping down the steepest part. Now think about that exhilarated feeling at the end of the ride. If you think about public speaking in these terms, it seems exciting rather than terrifying.

You’ll find when you get into your presentation, it begins to feel easier and you get into your flow. If you rehearse your whole presentation, with particular focus on the first and last few minutes, it will help you to feel in control throughout.

 

Find out more about booking Susannah Davda a.k.a. The Shoe Consultant to speak at your event or conference on our Speaker page or email speaker@shoeconsultant.co.uk.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WILL POINTS RUIN YOUR FEET?

There was a generation of women for whom the 1980s could be seen as a regretful decade. Many wholeheartedly embraced the pointed stiletto trend of the time, and ended up with deformed feet and bunions.

You might be surprised to learn that in my mission to promote comfortable AND beautiful footwear, I don’t recommend avoiding pointed footwear completely.

Younger shoe-lovers can learn some lessons from our mothers’ generation.

My top tips for wearing shoes with pointed toes

1. Alternate round and pointed-toed footwear from one day to the next. One of the problems with those 80s stilettos was that ladies wore them to work day in, day out.

2. Wear flat points to decrease the pressure on your toes. If you wear heeled points, give your feet a couple of days to recover in more spacious toe-shapes.

3. Buy shoes with leather uppers and linings, as these will stand the best chance of giving a little to form around your feet. Fabric and synthetic materials don’t stretch.

4. Practice yoga or pilates. Both of these disciplines help you to stretch your toes back out.

5. Visit a chiropodist if you have any foot concerns. I know it’s not a sexy thing to spend your money on, but uncared-for feet aren’t pretty either.

 

With leather uppers and linings, these Office pumps with their small platform are flat without losing you too much height.

The silver works well for day-to-evening, white is great for a sporty but smart weekend look, and many of you can get away with the black for work.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CHIROPODIST-COMFY HEELS

  • Court in the act
    Court in the act
    This pretty coral suede court shoe is contrasted more conservatively with a black heel. This helps these beauties to take you from the office to the bar.
  • Simple sandal
    Simple sandal
    If your look is minimalist, elegant and pared-back, this is the heeled sandal for you. The simple straps ensure the black doesn't over-power.
  • Mule plus
    Mule plus
    Slides and mules are making a big come-back. This on-trend 10cm quirky-heeled sling-back gives the look of a slide with extra support from the straps.
  • Classic comfy court
    Classic comfy court
    With no hard edges and a wearable 8.5cm heel combined with a platform, this could be the most comfortable black court shoe you've ever worn.
  • Stand-out sandal
    Stand-out sandal
    Animal prints are a great way of spicing up easy-to-wear neutral colours. This stunning sandal has intriguing flat metal details.
  • Versatile Mary-Jane
    Versatile Mary-Jane
    The contrast of patent with matte snake gives this comfortable neutral Mary-Jane textural interest. This style would be ideal for all day and night.

 

Perhaps our cries for shoes that are comfortable AND beautiful are starting to be heard.

Clarks’ “Softwear” range incorporates bubble cushion beads to cushion under-foot.

As my chiropodist says, they also keep your feet from slipping forward. Her recommendation as an expert on foot comfort speaks volumes.

Now you have the tough choice of which of these comfortable heels fills the gap in your shoedrobe.

Posted in High Street | Leave a comment

WONDERFUL WEDGES

I recently heard about a shoe brand called Betsy. After I recovered from their theft of one of my top 10 names for future daughters, I realised how cute and wearable their sandals are.

There’s nothing like a white sole to scream “summer”, and give a sporty casual edge. The lightweight wedges are easy on the legs and back, and great for warm weather sightseeing.

Analpa, who own Betsy, J.Elisabeth, and Keddo brands, kindly sent me this pair of cross-strap beauties. Even against my pale, pasty Spring feet, this rich warm tan colour is very flattering.

The other colours in this style are also easy-to-wear too. The mint will suit darker skin-tones, and look fabulous with navy and white.

 

Try the yellow with denim of any shade, or make it pop with purple.

 

I love the simplicity of this ankle strap sandal. The wider straps make the perfect platform for colour blocking. Have some fun with one of these delightful options. I’m coveting the bone/blue combination for when my feet have seen the sun.

 

If you don’t fancy a wedge, or are lucky enough not to need the extra height, these T-bar flats are very much on-trend. The flash of metallic adds a little glamour to an easy-going style.

 

Are you a Betsy convert? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @ShoeConsultant.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment