I recently went to the Ruin Lust exhibition at Tate Britain. Perhaps it is rather a morbid fascination, but I love to see once-great buildings in a state of decay and reclaimed by nature.









If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you will love the photos on Derelict London.

Anyway, all of this made me think about the connection we have with old and battered things. Typically, my mind then wandered to footwear.

What is it about a well-loved pair of boots that makes them so…well…loved?









Most footwear requires some degree of wearing in. During that period, you may feel hate towards your boots for the blisters, pain, and maybe even bleeding they are causing.

Once the boots stop rubbing, you will wear them to many places. They may take you to a festival, out shopping, on a date, to work, or even a job interview. They may keep your feet dry in a rain deluge, or help you to climb a long hill.

Those boots will gradually, and obligingly, form to the shape of your feet.

The journeys you take with your boots will bond you to them. You will appreciate that they are your most hard-working item of clothing.

Does this help you to understand why you feel such pangs of regret when you finally have to say goodbye to old boots?

Tell me about your favourite pair of boots in the comments or tweet me @shoeconsultant.

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Exciting news for lovers of Dune‘s brand of affordable, wearable footwear: the new St. Pancras shop is now open.

Dune St Pancras

















Here is my pick of the best Dune has to offer this season:







In “nude” leather with a bejewelled suede toecap, this is a sleek loafer, with just enough detailing to display your fashion savvy. From the premium Dune Black range, sourced in Europe.










With neutral beige and black, and a soft pink T-bar, this leather wedge sandal is easy to wear for a summer day-to-evening look. Try with beige chinos and a pink top or belt.








I love silver as a summer neutral, especially on these gorgeous flatform sneakers. Croc is the texture of the season.












For a chic evening look in a seasonal fashion colour, you can’t go wrong with these suede sandals. They’re a great way of spicing up your LBD.

If you’re heading to the races, or a summer wedding or anywhere involving grass or uneven surfaces…










…go for a block heel like these bronze beauties…

…or pretty flats like these:






Don’t forget to pop in to the shiny new Dune next time you’re in the prettiest station in London.


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With spring being a time of weddings and proposals, (and the birth of extremely cute baby animals), it seemed apt to draw your attention to Devon’s best-kept secret.

Before your mind wanders to cream teas and childhood trips to Dawlish, I must tell you that a fabulous wedding shoe and accessories brand has its headquarters in that beautiful county.

Rainbow Club has been designing bridal footwear since the mid 80s, and now you can win a pair of your own to make you feel like the most beautiful bride.



Who wouldn’t look pretty in these 2-parts with their pointed toes, delicately shaped satin pieces, and glitter-wrapped bows? With 9cm heels and secure ankle straps, you will be comfortable all day and night.



For that chic Audrey Hepburn look, have you thought of flats? Not only will they carry you pain-free way beyond your first dance, but they’ll add an element of individuality to your look. The petal-shaped toes would look dainty peeping out from under a full-length gown, or would complement a ballerina-length 50s style.



Are you a girl who likes a heel? If so, these 3/4 cut courts with cross-over satin toes are for you. The glittery platform means you get the 11.5cm height, without being too much on your toes.

Enter below for your chance of winning a pair of gorgeous bridal shoes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and Conditions
There is no cash alternative.
Open to entrants in the UK and Ireland. One entry per person only.
This competition will end on May 23rd 2014 at Midnight.
The prize will be the choice of any pair of shoes (up to a value of £100) from the Rainbow Club collection. Rainbow Club will cover postage costs.
The winner will be chosen at random from those who enter and the decision final.
The winner will be contacted via email.
Prizes cannot be returned, refunded or exchanged
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If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I take footwear seriously. Of course I’m aware that many things matter more in life, but my obsession and my entire work life are focused on shoes.

You can therefore imagine the shock and horror I felt when during Christmas dinner, my dad told me this story:

He married my mother in the early 1970s, and as was the norm for grooms at that time, wore a velour suit with flared trousers. Rather than splash out on brand new shoes, Dad decided to wear his black patent boots. He had bought that pair to go with a dinner suit, and not yet had occasion to wear them. My father would wear them on his wedding day.

As was the wish of my mother’s traditional English parents, my mother and father were married in a Church of England church.

In the Church of Scotland (which my father was accustomed to), it was not required to kneel at any point in a church service or wedding.

The December wedding went smoothly to everyone’s joy, and later, in the room where Dad and my mum spent their first night as husband and wife, my father took his boots off. Such a relief after a long day on his feet.

It is hard now to know what made this man turn those boots over, but when he did, he blushed from his toes to his (even then balding) head.

There were labels on the soles of those boots. Those labels told a story all of their own. They were bright red, shouted out “sale”, and (as my father realised) let everybody know when he knelt down in the church, how much they had been full-price, and the discounted price my frugal father paid.

The moral of the story is of course: REMOVE THE LABELS FROM YOUR SHOES!

Do you have an embarrassing shoe-related story to tell? If so, please write it here in the comments, or tweet me @shoeconsultant

Photo courtesy of Photography Life
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Despite my frustrations at not being able to find the complete wonderful SS2014 Isa Tapia range for sale online, I thought I would share the best of what I could find to buy (and a couple that I couldn’t).

Isa Tapia









A beautiful embroidered court shoe, great for weddings as the bride’s something blue, or to complete a guest’s outfit.


Isa Tapia








In silver: a metallic neutral that will take you from beach to bar. If you only buy one sandal this year, make it this simple lizard-print leather style with scalloped edges.


Isa Tapia









For a dash of 1950s retro, pick this sweet almond-toed style with its flattering ankle strap and V-throat. I love the powerful combination of black, white and red.


Isa Tapia 4 sale









For a fun animal-print look, try these in tan hair-on with their two different spot sizes. The heel is well-positioned to prevent wobble.


Isa Tapia








Domed black studs give an edge to this sleek cut-out sandal. Wear these with playful tailoring from Cos to show your fashion credentials.


Isa Tapia









The key feature of these red suede sandals is the carved wooden heel, with its inverted comma-shaped cut-out. Great for adding height and impact without looking slutty.


Isa Tapia










These court shoes are covered in subtle details, such as tear-drop-shaped cut-outs, white lizard-print leather with leopard spots and black studs, and the red leather-covered studded heel. Wear with a white, black or even red suit for high impact.

Here are a couple of styles from www.isatapia.com. Let me know if you find them to buy!

Isa Tapia









Isa Tapia







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Do you like to be unique, or long to wear something made-to-measure? Have you ever wanted to make your own shoes? Perhaps you know someone who’d be thrilled if you paid for them to learn shoe-making.

I have compiled a list of shoe-making courses in the U.K. for you , so that you or your favourite person can make a very special and unique pair.





From their half-day Summer Sandal Making workshop to the 10 day intensive Mastering Footwear course, I Can Make Shoes offer a variety of tempting opportunities in their London studio.


Prescott Mackay





Prescott & Mackay are another big name in shoe-making workshops, and offer the largest variety of course options. The One Day Moccasin Course is run by the expert in this construction Rose Choules, and they not only offer courses in London, but also in San Francisco, U.S.A. and Melbourne, Australia.





For something outside the norm, go back in time with Sarah Juniper‘s Gloucestershire-based Historical Shoemaking Courses. You can make medieval turnshoes in three days, or Blücher boots in five. Primarily for reenactors, or perhaps anyone interested in historical footwear manufacturing methods.





UAL not only run the famous BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation, but also short courses in shoe-making, pattern cutting and design. Who wouldn’t want this famous institution on their C.V.?





De Montfort: another university famous for its heritage in footwear design tuition, also offers a short course in footwear design and making. You can opt for just the design day, the footwear fundamentals day, or days 3 and 4 when you learn pattern cutting and make a shoe.






Carréducker (run by bespoke shoemakers James Ducker and Deborah Carré) offer their London-based shoe making course in a traditional evening class format (be warned, a pair of shoes will take you three terms to complete). They also offer intensive pattern making and shoe making options, and if you so wish one-to-one tuition.

Green Shoes logo v. smallest



If you fancy travelling to peaceful Dartmoor to learn the craft, Green Shoes offer 1 day shoemaking and 2 day bootmaking options. Be warned: their courses are very popular so you will need to book well in advance.




Paul Thomas offers his expertise in another London-based course. This one caters for those who need to learn flexibly. My tip: ensure you are willing to put in the 80 hours it takes to make your pair before embarking on this shoe adventure.


Let me know how you get on with your shoe education.


If you run a non-web-based course in the U.K. that I haven’t featured, please e-mail the details and your logo to consultant@shoeconsultant.co.uk , and I will happily add them to this post.

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I do love it when a retailer surprises with me with their new season collection.

Can you guess where these are from?:










These sky blue suede sandals have perspex heels for a modern touch. They are also terribly comfortable because of the Insolia®, which “redistributes your weight away from the balls of your feet, reducing pressure and increasing ankle stability”.







Fancy a little animal print, but don’t feel quite feline enough to go for full-on leopard? These almond-toed pumps with their trendy set-back block heels, will act as a wardrobe neutral without being boring.








The metal plate detail on these royal blue suede wedge sandals, gives a fashion edge to an easy-to-wear style. The Insolia Flex® “makes walking in flats more comfortable by insuring your foot is correctly placed within your shoes, and improving the natural rotational movement of the ball of the foot.” That sounds good to me (and my feet).











This one is likely to throw you off your guessing path. A party sandal for the fashionista in you, in fun multi-coloured leopard print fabric, with an on-trend block heel and sexy ankle-strap. These also boast Insolia® technology, so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for your love of fashion.







Combining two of my favourite colours: grey and gold. These flat sandals will look chic with rolled up jeans, or cropped tailored trousers. They combine the comfort of that Insolia Flex® stuff with an on-trend look. How great would these look if you paint your toe-nails gold?







For a Missoni look on a sweet pump, look no further. Great for weekends out shopping or lunching, or even garden parties with a simple A-line shirt dress. Yes, yes they’ve got Insolia Flex® so you’ll be fine walking for long periods.

If you haven’t yet clicked on one of the images to discover where these pretties are from, here’s a hint: they’re from a great British stalwart.

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Whoever invented the wedge (according to Wiki, an Ancient Greek) was a wonderful, wonderful person.

Except on good old-fashioned English cobbles and other uneven surfaces, a wedge will comfortably elevate you through all seasons.

From knee-high lace-up wedge boots (my man’s favourite on me because they look hot, and I don’t whinge about foot pain), to those Ascot/barbeque/pub-garden summer sandals, this is by far my favourite heel type.

I only recently discovered the Italian shoe-maker Massimo Lonardo, and unfortunately there is very little information about him on the web. All I can glean is that he makes beautiful wedges in a factory in Massa, Tuscany (Italy).

These intricate and well-made creations are perfect for the warmer months to come.











In an Eastern antique-look silk with leather lining, you could pick out one or more of the colours from the fabric for your outfit.











This one reminds me of delicately hand-painted porcelain. Perfect with that white shift-dress, or even as your something blue…

This style comes in three colourways: all with unusual embroidery on the wedge which is sort of haphazard but it works.






























The red is my favourite, but the brown would look great for more of a relaxed, 70s vibe.

Which is your favourite Lonardo style?

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I haven’t seen any shoes so clearly historically inspired for a long time.

These Giuseppe Zanotti beauties are certainly modern day Chopines: the original platform shoes.

The ultimate in 15th century Spanish courtesan chic for 2014. Keep yourself out of the puddles in style.

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If you liked part 1 , you’ll be happy to see that it’s time for me to show you the other 5 of the top 10 catwalk trends as found on the high street.










An easy, comfortable summer sandal with a sporty white sole. Work this trend without going full-on sporty with trainers.











If you’re a heels girl, this quilted platform bootie is the way to look sporty without losing your height advantage.











Timberland boots are back on-trend, but perhaps you don’t think their classic wheat nubuck style is for you. This sneaker version in sleek black with a pink pop is the low-profile alternative.


River Island










Black and white combinations are a strong way to wear neutrals without looking dull. This open-waisted bootie has a lizard print rather than a scaly texture. Wear it with black opaque tights this spring, for an effortlessly stylish look.









This one cleverly combines the orange trend from part 1 with the lizard look. Chunky flatform sandals are a key look this season, seen everywhere from Marni to the high street. Oh and it is acceptable to wear socks or tights with sandals now.

H by Hudson










These ankle boots offer a more traditional textured snake look, and are perfect for the early Spring chill. The tan-coloured stacked heel prevents this style from appearing too heavy for warmer months.

Ankle Wraps

& Other Stories









This court shoe with added ankle strapping combines three trends in one: green, lizard, and ankle wraps. & Other Stories really know how to interpret catwalk looks and make them wearable and affordable.











The Studio Wrap Pack is suitable for dance and yoga, but can be worn in the street when combined with the leather flat (as pictured). This is the premium version, in a pretty silver and black combination. I’d be tempted to wear this as a fashion option, and sack off the exercise!

Dorothy Perkins











This summery coral suede heel from DP will be flattering with its multiple straps. Go casual with a denim dress, or dress up with something slinky.









People, Birkenstocks are making a big comeback this season. If you buy one pair of basic sandals, make them these. White sandals can make even the palest feet look a little tanned.

Poste Mistress











This T-Bar is geek-chic turned feminine, with its high block heel and cute bronze ankle strap. A trendy heeled style without the stiletto wobble.








A classic monk shoe with an open waist for a little ventilation, with a chunky sole to keep you out of the grime. This style would easily complement Scandinavian-style tailoring from the likes of Cos and & Other Stories: think black attire in interesting texture combinations.

Bronze Age







A classic silhouette, updated in bronze: this tassel loafer in a warm hue would be flattering with either bare legs or socks. The boyish look is going strong, but is made prettier in a metallic.

River Island








Is this the statement sandal of the season? All of that hardware creates an edgy, powerful look. Create serious, friendship altering shoe-envy with these nouveau gladiators.

Boo hoo








Ballet pumps are a classic chic look, and a peep toe version is just what you need for spring and summer. Be on-trend with this sweetly-detailed bronze crackle version.

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