HELP ME FIND SHOES

I’m launching a new service and I need your help.

Many people ask me for help finding shoes, but don’t have the budget for my VIP Shoe Shopping services.

shoe silhouettes the shoe consultant

Please answer the four easy questions in the survey below, to help me plan my new Shoe Concierge service. Reading the questions will also let you in on my secret plans.

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I have one last favour to ask. Please please share this post on Facebook and Twitter, via email or WhatsApp with all of your friends. Just use the little Share button below the post.

Thank you so much!

Susannah x

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END OF SUMMER TREAT

Are you mourning the end of summer, or celebrating the end of the kids’ holidays? Whether you’re embracing the change in season or sadly watching the leaves change colour, this feature is for you. Everyone deserves an end of summer treat.

autumn leaves trees end of summer treat shoes

There is nothing which makes me look forward to the colder months more than new clothes. Cosy new jumpers, a coat you’ve been saving up for, or a fabulous pair of boots are all mood lifters. I’ve found that the milder London winters have meant my knee-high boots barely left the wardrobe. Instead ankle boots have been a solid investment for year-long wear. My well covered shoes such as brogues and lace-up sneakers have also received preferential treatment.

As I look at shoes day in/day out, I get fed up of seeing familar styles in classic colours repeated each season. I always get excited when I find a new brand making something a little different. Especially if their products are good value.

And/Or end of summer treat shoes

John Lewis have developed a new brand this year with Californian lifestyle company Calvin Rucker. Although the new brand named And/Or is based around denim, their footwear is rather fabulous. The styles are affordable and easy to match with denim or your other favourite clothing pieces.

Have a look through my Top 5 best And/Or shoe styles for this transitional time of year:

  • Really useful boots don't have to be black, brown or tan. Shine your way through autumn in these gold Western-style ankle boots.
  • For a sleek low-profile trainer without in your face branding, try these white leather lace-ups with their silver stars. Leather linings will keep you comfortable.
  • These highly embellished boots could easily pass as a product from a luxury brand. They're decorated with studs, beading and embroidery for a rich aesthetic.
  • Sneakers can look luxurious too. The textured gold leather has a vintage look which perfectly complements your dark denim.
  • Every woman needs a pair of mid or low-heeled Chelsea boots for rushing out of the door looking chic. I love the shaped elastic on this animal print version.

 

As well as browsing online, this is also a great time of year to hunt for new wardrobe pieces in the shops. Many of the new season styles will be arriving in daily deliveries now. Once the schools have gone back, why not take a half day off work and find your own shoe-shaped end of summer treat?

If you’re planning to shop for new footwear styles, make sure you’ve read my quick and easy guide The Shoe Shopping Kit. It’s packed with essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear.

Why not download this affordable ebook as your own end of summer treat? It will change the way you shop. One Amazon reviewer wrote “I just wish it had come out years ago, it would have saved me £££”.

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HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND!

I made a 1 minute video surprise for you to celebrate the bank holiday weekend. Enjoy!

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TOP 10 SHOES FOR COMMUTERS

This feature about shoes for commuters is the fourth in my new Top 10 Shoes for… series. Throughout the series, I’ll be interviewing inspiring women about their work shoes. You can also find my top 10 recommendations for fabulous shoes suitable for this profession in the slide show.

Shoes for commuters

  • A sophisticated Oxford lace-up from Hobbs. The suede panel has a houndstooth print. The "mulberry" colour gives a rich tone to any outfit.
  • Fancy a flat without the girliness of a rounded toe? This Jigsaw pointed pump has a pointed toe to give you an edge at work, whilst making your commute comfy.
  • For extra height without wobbling on stiletto heels, opt for this Kin by John Lewis platform gibson. Being a bit taller helps you rise above the sweaty train crowds.
  • Red shoes are guaranteed to lift your mood. These suede effect Wallis courts have textured faux leather 1.5" heels for a little elevation without discomfort.
  • These "nude" patent LK Bennett Oxfords remind me of jazz dance shoes. A sleek look which lightens your work look when worn with paler shades.
  • A deep "plum" colour ensures these Hobbs loafers coordinate well with navy, black or dark brown tailoring. The grosgrain bows add a touch of femininity.
  • This easy to style loafer from London-based brand House of Spring adds a hint of French chic to any look. The company's tagline is "When Paris meets London"
  • If you want a more boyish aesthetic, try these low-heeled John Lewis brogues. To feminise the look, try a pussy bow blouse or one with ruffles.
  • Dune make tassel loafers which work equally well at work, at the weekend, and on your commute. The suede and leather combination adds textural interest.
  • As the Lotus website states, these 5½cm heeled court shoes "will take you from desk to dinner". The high shine reptile effect upper is anything but dull.

What do commuters want from their shoes?

I asked a Head of PMO for a London-based insurance firm all about her footwear.

Meet Donna

Donna shoes for commuters

Q. What’s your job title?

A. Head of PMO (Project Management Office)

Q. Do you wear the same shoes to travel to work as you do at work?

A. No, I don’t – it’s all about the trainers for my commute. Even living a few minutes from the station means a dash there as a busy working mum, I need to be able to catch that train in the morning and walk to nursery of an evening.
Recently I’ve been wearing Skechers Air Cooled knits with memory foam – super comfy, light and not bulky looking (I hate ugly trainers!). On breezy days I can feel the wind through my shoes – crazy!

skechers flex appeal 2.0 black mint shoes for commuters

Q. What do you feel are the most important aspects of your work footwear?

A. They need to be practical, professional and comfortable – sounds boring! I just do not have time on a morning to select the perfect work shoe – so knowing I have just a few pairs that go with everything is a real help!

Q. Do you usually wear heels or flats at work?

A. Small heel – my office is over 4 floors, I am always zooming to meetings, dashing between floors and nipping out at lunchtime. Teetering on a pair of high heels around the office just doesn’t work for me. Heels feel more suitable for a night out!

Russell & Bromley Keeler black loafers shoes for commuters

Q. Where do you normally buy your work shoes?

A. Since returning to work after maternity leave I had to remind myself what I used to wear to work!
I threw out a rather large collection of shoes when I packed up to leave work, so rather than end up with another collection of rubbish shoes I decided to go for quality over quantity. Took myself off to Russell & Bromley and went for two pairs of brogues. One black, one nude – they are great! A solid shoe, good fit, no rubbing (even without tights). Think I will be back for replacements and this time I might get the matching bag!

Russell & Bromley Keeler loafers shoes for commuters

Q. Are you able to express your personal style at work? If so, how do you like to show it?

A. To be honest, juggling work and a toddler means I’m at the bottom of the list when it comes to time to maintain a style!
I work in a professional, corporate environment so I find it easier to keep to a simple style – a well fitting dress and jacket, maybe some colour in the form of a scarf, jewellery maybe – depends what I can get my hands on in the morning as I’m rushing out of the door! Some days I realise when I get to work I have forgotten my mascara!

Donna shoes for commuters

 

To help out all of you hard-working commuters, I’ve selected the very best shoes for you that you can just click through and buy. Find my top 10 shoes for commuters in the slide show at the top of the page.

You can also read about my top 10 shoe recommendations for teachers, PAs/Executive Assistants, and Nurses.

For loads of essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear, you can download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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TOP 7 WELL BALANCED COURT SHOES

Many of us need to wear smart shoes for work, and a classic court shoe style is always chic. You can wear a simple court (or pump if you speak American English) with trousers, a skirt, or a dress. When you’re shopping for this style, it’s important to look out for well balanced court shoes.

woman wobbling in red high heels and white socks well balanced court shoes

That’s what happens if you don’t select well balanced court shoes (I don’t mean the dreadful socks!).

So how do you tell whether a heel will help you to balance? Here’s one tried and tested way:

Heel position diagramwell balanced court shoes © The Shoe Consultant Ltd

When you’re shopping for high heeled shoes, boots or sandals, you need to look at how close the heel is to the back of the shoe. If the heel runs straight down from the back of the shoe, you’re more likely to wobble when walking (or standing!). When the heel is placed further forward, it should support your weight better. This is because it’s under your centre of gravity. So how do you find well balanced court shoes? Look for styles where the heels are positioned closer to the ball of your foot, like the diagram above.

Don’t know where to start? I’ve picked 7 of the best well balanced court shoes available to buy in the UK now. Have a look through, and simply click any image to head to the retailer’s website and get more info.

  • With rounded toes and curvaceous heels, these suede classics from Carvela will be your wardrobe staple for years to come.
  • A flexible-soled 3.5 inch court shoe from Michael Michael Kors. The slightly textured leather looks more interesting than classic flat leather or suede.
  • For a hint of 1980s styling with bags of comfort, try this high throated Hobbs style. The cut is also great if you'd rather your feet weren't too exposed.
  • This KG style contains no leather so is perfect for animal lovers, vegetarians and vegans. You might need to explain the snake-skin look of the uppers though...
  • If you like a 5cm/2 inch heel then this kitten heeled LK Bennett court is for you. In suede with a leather lining and sole, these will form to your feet over time.
  • Get plenty of height with this slender-heeled style. The heel is perfectly placed for balance. A beautifully made Fendi style with a price to match.
  • A budget-friendly option from Pink Paradox London. The mid-height heel makes you taller without that crippling ache in the balls of your feet.

 

For loads more essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear, join my mailing list, and download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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LUXURY SHOE REPAIR IN LONDON

Have you ever ruined a favourite pair of shoes? Perhaps you caught a heel on a paving slab or got mud on your suede pumps. You’ll be thrilled to know that there’s a place in London which works magic on wrecked footwear. What do you call somewhere which offers luxury shoe repair, and where you take your boots, shoes, sandals or trainers to be pampered and revamped? Shoe Spa!

luxury shoe repair shoe spa london renovation customisation

There’s no whale music, heated loungers or steam rooms, but you will receive top class customer service. The friendly staff take time to understand what you want, and you know your shoes will be well cared for.

luxury shoe repair shoe spa customisation renovation

I thought I would try out the service on some ruined boots of my own. I’d made the mistake of applying “neutral” coloured cream polish to my dark brown leather riding-style boots. The polish had left an unattractive light-coloured residue in all of the creases.

luxury shoe repair london shoe spa customise renovate

I wanted a high polish on the toe and heel, and to see whether I could have a different colour on the leg. After sending a few images to Shoe Spa, they miraculously transformed my boots.

luxury shoe repair shoe spa renovate restore customise

I love the ombre effect they have achieved on the leather. It’s so clever. There are no traces of the neutral polish residue, and the overall look is rich and luxurious.

Here I am opening the exciting package:

 

In addition to their luxury shoe repair services, Shoe Spa can also completely re-colour or customise your shoes in any way you choose. I thought I’d try out the dyeing service myself, so I asked Shoe Spa to dye this pair of taupe shoes.

luxury shoe repair renovation dyeing customisation

I was keen for these shoes to match my deep purple bridesmaid’s dress for a friend’s wedding. Look what a great job Shoe Spa have done! The leather and satin areas of the shoes have been dyed perfectly.

luxury shoe repair london renovate customise dye recolour

You can even have your sneakers customised by an artist. I love this example in Shoe Spa‘s window.

customised sneakers trainers artist luxury shoe repair renovation

Now have a look in your cupboards for your favourite pairs which need a new lease of life. Found some? Why don’t you take them along to Shoe Spa, and see what they can do for you?

They are located close to King’s Cross at:

80 Caledonian Road, N1 9DN London

luxury shoe repair london king's cross renovate revive customise

If you don’t live in London, you can post your shoes to Shoe Spa for their luxury shoe repair treatment.

Shoe Spa are offering 10% discount exclusively for readers of The Shoe Consultant. Simply quote “ShoeConsultant2017” when you take or send your shoes to Shoe Spa to receive your discount on any service.

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WOMENS LOAFERS LADIES SLIP ON SHOES

Summer isn’t over, but shoe shops have moved on. The last few sandals are sitting on sale racks. Next thing you know, the racks will be gone, and new autumn styles will take their place. There’s no need to start your boot search yet. Loafers are a key trend in flats this coming season, so why not plan your next purchase by having a look at one of my favourite womens loafers you can buy and wear now.

  • Black patent leather looks smart for daytime or evening looks. No need to carry evening shoes in your work bag.
  • Pink suede gives a feminine look to this easy-to-wear flat. Why not offset the masculinity of the loafer style with a bow and a girly colour?
  • Opt for this nude suede option for a light option which eases you into autumn, without going straight for dark colours.
  • Black suede gives a soft, sophisticated aesthetic. Try these with an all black outfit with different textures, e.g. wool jumper, leather jacket, tweed trousers.
  • A neutral with sophistication. This nude patent option will look lovely with a tailored skirt suit in pale shades.

 

This style has a tapered (not pointed) toe. This gives these loafers an elegant look whilst being more comfortable than pointed toe flats.

womens loafers office present bow nude suede

The over-sized bow sits quite flat, and tones in with each of the upper colours, so it’s not in-your-face cutesy. It adds a subtle feminine touch to these womens loafers.

womens loafers office present bow loafer nude suede

The synthetic sole helps to avoid slips on smooth or wet floors.

…and the best thing about these womens loafers? You can slip them on and run out of the door so you won’t be late for work, the school drop-off, or to run out to get ice-cream before the van plays its tune in someone else’s neighbourhood…or goes into the garage until next year.

womens loafers ice-cream van london england uk suburbs

Slip on shoes are an essential part of my mum wardrobe. I save my lace-ups for work days when I have time to concern myself with my own attire. Try working out the logistics of tying your shoe laces when you’re carrying a small person in a sling. I often say that mums are logistics experts, and companies would do well to employ them in this field. Parenting is so much about planning: from what to pack for a quick trip to the park, to working out how to schedule activities around your small person’s routine. Yes we do even carefully consider when the shoes go on.

For lots more essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear which suits your feet, style and life, you can download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

 

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TOP 10 SHOES FOR TEACHERS

This feature about shoes for teachers is the third in my new Top 10 Shoes for…  series. Throughout the series, I’ll be interviewing inspiring women in each of the featured professions about their work shoes. You can also find my top 10 recommendations for fabulous shoes suitable for this profession in the slide show.

  • If the dress code at your school allows, try this bright "sulphur" metallic. The point gives an assertive edge, while the strap keeps the shoes securely on your feet.
  • This patent lace-up with its tweed-look print is a twist on classic men's styling. The high shine effect gives this style a hint of femininity.
  • If you're a teacher who requires a wider fitting shoe, you can still look elegant. Try these black faux suede and rose gold flats for ladylike comfort.
  • Give your feet a hint of bling without compromising on practicality. These closed-in lace-ups feature jewels atop their shiny metallic uppers.
  • Struggle to find shoes in your size? This style is for you. The burgundy lace-up is available in half sizes. It also looks great with black and autumn's dark hues.
  • Always rushing to leave the house in the morning? Slip on these easy leopard print wedges for speed with style.
  • The colour of traditional British shoe styles. Play with androgynous looks in these wide fit brogues.
  • Give yourself an emotional and physical lift in these sparkly purple flatforms. Your students will be asking you where you got them. Don't let them steal your style!
  • These chunky-soled strap shoes look great with skirts, dresses. or cropped trousers. Great for warmer classrooms due to their open tops.
  • For fans of a paler shade of pink, you'll love these tassel loafers. These slip-ons are easy to get on and off in a hurry, and the chunky sole adds height.

 

What do teachers want from their shoes?

I asked a teacher with 6 years’ experience all about her footwear.

Meet Sarah Murray

shoes for teachers

Q. What’s your job title?

A. Teacher of Design and Technology

Q. Do you wear the same shoes to travel to work as you do at work?

A. I commute in London so it depends. I generally try to wear some form of trainer or a flip flop in the heat. But I have to change into a smarter shoe when I get to work.

shoes for teachers floral trousers black sandals

Q. What do you feel are the most important aspects of your work footwear?

A. I teach design and technology across all the subject areas: product design, textiles, food and graphics. The most important element is comfort closely followed by safety. None of the subjects I teach are based in a normal classroom environment, most are workshop based so I’m moving around constantly. Also due to the kitchen in our school being in a different building I have to run between buildings in a very short time frame. Safety wise I like to wear shoes that cover my feet – especially when I’m teaching Product Design. I constantly dread the day I drop a chisel on my foot! The day I dropped a brand new scalpel and it cut my leg and then embedded itself in my Dr Martens was an eye opener!

shoes for teachers Dr. Martens

Q. Do you usually wear heels or flats at work?

A. I nearly always wear flats. There are numerous reasons. High heels are banned in the workshop and the food room (but not textiles and graphics) but it’s mainly for comfort. I’m also very tall and wearing heels makes me scary – apparently. I also personally can’t be bothered with the extra distance I have to bend to reach the kids’ desks. When I do wear a heel it’s about 1 inch and I get lots of comments from the kids.

shoes for teachers black leather Vans

Q. Where do you normally buy your work shoes?

I try to buy a decent quality shoe. The most recent places I’ve bought work shoes are Office, River Island, Poetic Licence and ASOS.

shoes for teachers poetic license

Q. Are you able to express your personal style at work? If so, how do you like to show it?

A. I’m lucky that my school doesn’t insist on business wear. We do have some rules – including no trainers. Coming from a fashion background I found this change really difficult to work with. My personal style is an intrinsic part of my personality and having to dress sensibly made me lose a bit of my self identity. Now I’ve been teaching for a while I’ve found a way around lots of the rules. I wear black leather vans. My Dr Martens are black and glittery or bright blue metallic. I plan my footwear around what I’m teaching so if I’m not in the workshop I wear court shoes or a sandal. If I couldn’t wear cool shoes, the type the students always say “I like your shoes miss” I’d really struggle.

shoes for teachers poetic license leopard flowers

To help out all of you hard-working teachers, I’ve selected the very best shoes for your profession that you can just click through and buy. Find my top 10 shoes for teachers in the slide show at the top of the page.

For loads of essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear, you can download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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SLEEK TRAINERS FOR WOMEN

It’s socially acceptable to wear trainers in far more situations than it was 10 years ago. Now we don’t have to justify not being on the way to the gym/sports practice/a marathon, our feet are free to enjoy the comfort offered by the trusty trainer. I’m always on the look-out for sleek trainers for women. It’s rare to find a reasonably-priced style which doesn’t look too clunky.

  • The sleekest of the colourways, with a graphic monochrome strap and crisp white sole.
  • A light colour option which will still be relevant in future summers. The textile upper features an open weave to keep you cool.
  • This rare red and white version is well worth snapping up (if you can get your size). Great for all year round wear.
  • There's nothing like a pure white trainer. A staple of any fashion-savvy streetwear look.
  • For a slightly sportier look than the black toe-cap version, opt for this black + white classic.
  • Light grey is a useful shade for when you want a pale tone without opting for cute pastels.
  • Express your girly side in trainers (not high heels), with this baby pink colourway in mesh.

 

Adidas have recently made gains in the fashion arena, which has been dominated by Nike for some time. This Adidas Originals Superstar slip-on is a highly wearable example of what the brand are doing so right.

sleek trainers for women adidas originals superstar slip-on

The recognisable and well-loved shell toe is complemented by wide elastic cross straps rather than the standard Superstar laces. A functional feature which ensures a comfortable glove-like fit.

sleek trainers for women adidas originals superstar slip-on

The back strap helps the soft fabric back of the shoe to keep its shape. The strong black on white print incorporates the iconic Adidas trefoil.

sleek trainers for women adidas originals superstar slip-on

The trefoil also shines brightly from a tab on the top of the shoe. The printed lining is a nice touch too. It’s fun to have a secret that nobody else will see.

sleek trainers for women adidas originals superstar slip-on

This style comes in several colourways. Just click through the slide show at the top of the page to see many of the options available in these sleek trainers for women.

Good work Adidas. I can’t wait to see what’s next for us ladies who like sleek sporty style with our comfort.

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TOP 10 SHOES FOR PERSONAL ASSISTANTS EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS

This feature about shoes for personal assistants executive assistants is the second in my new Top 10 Shoes for…  series. Throughout the series, I’ll be interviewing inspiring women in each of the featured professions about their work shoes. You can also find my top 10 recommendations for fabulous shoes suitable for this profession in the slide show.

  • A sophisticated work look can be achieved by matching these shoes with a conservative navy suit and white shirt combo. Smart doesn't have to be plain.
  • This 3.8" block heel gives height with stability. Wear with off white, plum or (if you dare) yellow or mustard.
  • This bi-coloured mid-heeled court shoe is the perfect antidote to plain black. The navy and nude combination is classic without being drab.
  • White shoes can look brash in the work place. This subtle light pink shade with its black toe-cap looks sophisticated when you don’t want to wear dark shoes.
  • Did you ever think a T-bar could be this sexy? No neither did I. Librarian chic? This is more like librarian sexy, but still conservative enough for your work place.
  • Dark red shades like this plum work well for the autumn and winter months. An ideal complement to your black or charcoal grey tailored dress or skirt suit.
  • A warm pink which is not too neon for work. With a hint of white at the toe, this is a flattering colour mix for spring, summer and early autumn.
  • This brighter colour mix works for more laid-back office cultures. Try with cropped white trousers, or for a smarter look, opt for a knee-length white shirt dress.
  • This pale grey court shoe with contrasting black toe-cap is sophisticated and more fashion forward than plain black. It coordinates well with black, green, and grey.
  • This teal or "jade" colour is not too lurid, and neither is it tediously dark. It adds a pop of colour to any sophisticated outfit in cool tones of grey, blue or white.

What do personal assistants/executive assistants want from their shoes?

I asked a PA with 7 years of experience all about her footwear.

Meet Polly Pairman-Phillips

shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

Q. What’s your job title?

A. PA to the Principal of a large college

Q. Do you wear the same shoes to travel to work as you do at work?

A. Depends on the shoe. As long as I can drive safely in them I wear them for both.

tan pumps shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

Q. What do you feel are the most important aspects of your work footwear?

A. Comfort, durability and smartness.

tan lace up wedge sandals shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

Q. Do you usually wear heels or flats at work?

A. Usually heels. I like how feminine they make me feel & they work best with my work clothes.

Yull pointed court shoes royal blue shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

Q. Where do you normally buy your work shoes?

A. Office, but my newest heels are from Yull.

Yull Cheltenham Plum Black shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

Q. Are you able to express your personal style at work? If so, how do you like to show it?

A. I can express my style to a certain extent, but my workplace is quite casual so I can’t dress as smartly as I would like to. It is also in an old building and most of the year I end up wearing lots of layers just to keep warm!

black boots shoes for personal assistants executive assistants

 

To help out all of you hard-working personal assistants and executive assistants, I’ve selected the very best shoes for your profession that you can just click through and buy. Find my top 10 shoes for personal assistants executive assistants in the slide show at the top of the page. All of the shoes featured are from amazing British-made brand Yull. You can read my interview with founder Sarah Watkinson-Yull here.

For loads of essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear, you can download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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