ARCH FRIENDS NOT ARCH ENEMIES

Do you wish you could find more supportive high heels?

When I’m not writing or taking women shoe shopping, I help designers to make comfortable, beautiful high heels. I often encourage them to include arch support in their designs. This helps to reduce pressure on the balls of the wearer’s feet.

Finding high heeled footwear with built in arch support is extremely difficult, but luckily there is a solution.

I heard about Instant Arches® a while ago, but only recently had a chance to try them out. They were created by Dr. Rosenberg, who is a podiatrist in the USA. The idea is that they provide support, without affecting the fit or look of your lovely high heels when they’re on your feet.

They’re made from a firm foam (try saying that when you’ve had a drink), and have a self-adhesive backing.

Instant Arches® are easy to insert. I’ve made this quick video so you can see how to do it.

 

I found my high heels much more comfortable and supportive with the Instant Arches® , and would certainly recommend giving them a go if you feel you need a little more support.

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HOW TO COVER SCUFFS ON YOUR SHOES

As I’m a footwear obsessive you might imagine that I have so many pairs of shoes, I don’t wear any of them long enough for them to need a polish. In actual fact, like most people, I wear some pairs more frequently than others. All of my shoes need a little TLC from time to time.

My parents instilled a fortnightly shoe polishing ritual into myself and my three siblings when we were growing up. As much as this felt like a chore, I quite liked the smell of the polish, and gained satisfaction from achieving a good shine. As I grew older, the cool kids at school had scuffed shoes, whereas the geeks like me had shiny shoes.

Whilst working in shoe shops, my performance would be judged on how many pairs I sold (naturally), and how many shoe care items I could persuade customers to purchase. I even got a higher commission rate on shoe trees and polishes. The Holy Grail for the staff was to sell a shoe care kit which came in a fancy wooden box. That meant a nice extra chunk of money in our pay packets. I still have some polishes and brushes from those days that I bought with my staff discount.

When I was at university studying footwear design, I experimented with different coloured polishes on an assortment of leathers, further adding to my collection.

This is how it looks today:

My shoe care collection has almost outgrown its cardboard shoe box. Perhaps it’s time for me to look for something fancy and wooden.

I’m not an expert in the fine art of shoe shining and patina work like this guy, but I have learnt enough on my shoe journey to impart some useful knowledge. So begins my shoe care series.

Scuff cover

People often ask me what they can do to repair scuffed shoes. Another common question is how to fix marks caused by salt used on pavements in winter time. The great news is that these shoes are not beyond repair.

Footwear can take some time to wear in and form to your feet, so it’s always worth trying to repair your favourite shoes. You’ll save money, and get to hold on to that much-loved pair.

A favourite pair of leather trainers had gone from pristine, to relaxed and artfully shabby, and were now just looking tired. I discovered a product which claimed to be able to spruce up the uppers, bringing them back to their gleaming white selves. It was even going to cover the dark crease marks and hide the scuffs. With rain coming down outside, I had time to give it a go.

Famaco Dye Cream comes in cute 15ml pots, which you would expect to find posh face cream in. The consistency is something between a shoe cream and a paint. I decided to apply the product with kitchen roll, as I do with all shoe creams and waxes. You could also use a lint-free cloth or a brush.

How to apply it

Step 1. 

Remove the laces, put them in a delicates bag, and on a cool machine wash (or buy new ones).

Step 2. 

Wipe the shoes with diluted washing up liquid to remove grease and general dirt. Let them dry completely.

 

Step 3. (optional)

If you want to keep the soles completely free of the Dye Cream, I would recommend applying masking tape around the soles where they meet the uppers.

Step 4.

Apply one coat of the Famaco Dye Cream quite liberally, working it into the creases and scuffs. Wipe off any excess to create a smooth finish and avoid lumps.

If your shoes or boots have a tongue, it might be easier to apply the product to this section separately, and leave it to dry before coating the rest of the upper. This would help to avoid getting the Dye Cream on the linings.

Step 5. 

Leave to dry for an hour or more

First coat

Step 6.

If you’re happy with the finish, then stop there. Otherwise, apply a further one or two coats, allowing time to dry in between.

Second coat

Second coat

Third coat

Third coat

After three coats, the trainers were now back to their bright white selves, so once they had dried, I put the washed laces back in, and off I went.

I still have a little of the dye left, that I can use if I scuff them again.

Footwear treated with Famaco Dye Cream can remain slightly tacky in texture, similar to the feel of patent leather.

 

Next time, I’ll show you how to completely recolour a pair of shoes.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

May your shoes be comfy and bright, and may all your Christmases be white!

I’m taking a short break from the blog, to relax over the festive period.

I hope Father Christmas brings you comfortable, beautiful shoes.

See you soon!

Susannah x

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TRANSFORM YOUR SHOE WORLD – EVENT

* Join me for a fun and informative crafternoon of shoes *

Discover how to shop for shoes like a pro with me, Susannah Davda, author of The Shoe Shopping Kit and Director of The Shoe Consultant Ltd. I’ll share my 10 secrets to finding comfortable, beautiful shoes with you. Find out how to tell if a high heel will be killer or comfy, how to buy quality without spending a fortune, and other essential tips and tricks.

After your talk, you’ll partake in a shoe customising workshop. You’ll learn the tricks of the trade from experienced shoe designer Nicky Rox, so that you can professionally customise your own shoes.

Your 2 hour workshop will cover shoe design ideas explained by Nicky, followed by top tips on how to master careful placing of crystals and choosing colour combinations to create your own crystal palette! You should bring along any pair of shoes you would like to be customised with extra sparkle. You can sparkle up heels, toes, straps, edges, wedges, etc. Drift away from the humdrum of everyday life and feast your eyes on a treasure trove of crystal and pearls for a colourful, inspiring workshop.

Susannah and Nicky will be available to answer all of your questions about shoes, whilst you customise your footwear.

We’re looking forward to meeting you.

£5 from every ticket sale will be donated to Smart Works: a UK charity offering high quality interview clothes and training to out of work women.

1pm – 2pm – Shoe Talk
2pm – 2.15pm – Group Break
2.15pm – 4.15pm – Shoe Workshop

Date: Saturday 4th March 1pm – 4.15pm

Location: London’s exclusive Mayfair district

Bring: A pair of shoes you’d like to bejewel

Ticket price includes:

  • Crystals for customising
  • Tea/coffee

Book your tickets now, to take advantage of the £10 discount for early birds!

Numbers are extremely limited for this exclusive event, so treat yourself or someone you love this Christmas.

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JOIN THE GLITTERATI

  • Your feet will look like a star-filled sky in these blue glitter Dune oxfords. The sole will keep you comfortable, whilst the oxford upper channels smart menswear.
  • This Chiara Ferragni style is called "Flirting". Let these sparkly pink shoes lead you into (safe) trouble at parties this season.
  • Silver glitter is complemented by delicate studding on the elastic of these Office beauties. An easy-to-wear 2" heel lifts the gently pointed Chelsea boots.
  • Don't fancy all over glitter? Try it just on the heel. These black suede pumps have a beautiful gros-grain bow for understated evening elegance.
  • What says Christmas better than bright red glitter? Dash from one party to the next in these dazzling trainers from ASOS White x Saucony.

 

Are you looking for some fancy new shoes for party season? This time of year why not go for an all-out glam look by donning some sparkly shoes?

Each of my Top 5 glitter styles has been selected for relative comfort, and because they look fabulous of course!

Share your party shoe style with me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO SHOE

  • Hopefully the bearded fella reads baubles as well as notes up the chimney.
  • For Converse lovers, an unofficial ode to the classic hi-top.
  • Got a super-girly Barbie lover in the family? This one's for her.
  • A fine piece of American Western-style kitsch for your tree.
  • A simple snowflake declaring your true love for all to see.
  • A rather elegant pair of blush-coloured metallic court shoes to hang anywhere.
  • Pretty polka dot red stilettos with a green bow will brighten your Christmas.
  • What's Christmas without copious amounts of glitter?
  • For historical shoe lovers, opt for this pair of Louis XIV style pumps.
  • This pretty pair glint delightfully, reminding us of Christmas favourite The Nutcracker.

 

If you’re like me and like to put the Christmas tree up on the first weekend in December, then this is a good time to order a few bits online so you’re prepared.

Make sure you have some mulled wine in stock too. Playing Christmas tunes and being slightly tipsy is sure to enhance your bedecking skills.

I like to add one special bauble every year. Do you do the same?

Click through the slide show for some of the best and most fabulous shoe-themed baubles available this season.

 

 

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HOW TO BREAK IN YOUR SHOES

Do you have shoes which are so hard around the heel that they’ve given you blisters? Maybe you have a new pair, and you want to avoid them shredding your feet on first wear.

Watch my video of 3 quick and easy methods for softening up your shoes without the pain.

 

Avoid buying hard, uncomfortable shoes in the first place, by Downloading my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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WHAT’S YOUR WINTER WEEKEND STYLE?

  • A sleek, elegant look which also keeps your legs toasty. The elastic on the back of these tan Dune boots ensures they fit many calf widths.
  • Is your style more relaxed? These rich chocolate Ugg boots look great with jeans and casual layers.
  • Biker looks don't have to include top to toe leathers and buckles galore. Office have this pared back lady-like version for you, to give a subtle nod to this trend.
  • Doc Martens aren't just for teens and mods. This furry-lined brown ankle boot gives a softer look, looks a tad rebellious, and is practical for freezing temps.
  • Rain wear doesn't have to look like something from your mum's wardrobe. These cute pink boots will bring out your inner kid, whilst displaying your love of heels.

 

Wondering what to wear this weekend? Take inspiration from my quick guide to dressing for your down time in chilly weather.

All of the boot styles are shoppable, so just click on each slide to nab a pair for yourself.

Which winter weekend style best represents your look? Let me know in the comments, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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WHAT’S NEW – NOVEMBER

Have you been considering a trip to the shops for some new Autumn shoes? I thought I’d check out what’s new this season to save you the hassle and legwork.

Wandering down Oxford Street in London, I was on the look out for quality comfortable, beautiful shoes. Amongst the sea of blah white trainers and same old black, tan and bordo boots were some gems.

Flats

These pretty T-bars from Gucci are an ultra feminine wardrobe classic. The dusky pink leather is complemented by gold and pearl flower adornments. Worth the investment if these are just so “you”.

If you’re looking for an easy everyday shoe with a luxury look (not at Gucci prices), these leather snake effect trainers by Selected Femme will work hard for you. The off white gives a crisp look, best accompanied by jeans and a white shirt.

Have you run last year’s chelsea boots into the ground? Try this wide-fitting brogue style from Dune for an update to your plain pair. Also available in standard width.

These beautiful ballet shoes are handmade in France. An elegant partner to any evening outfit, perfect for very light wear.

Robert Clergerie have collaborated with Disney to create this intricate brogue, inspired by the playing card symbols in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Stunning.

I couldn’t resist including this Comme des Garcons style which made me laugh. Not one for those with pets!

Heels

Are you planning to wear a trouser suit this party season? These lizard-print KG tassel loafers are the perfect accessory. The 6cm heel is a reasonable height for all evening wear.

Topshop have such a good range of mid-height block heeled boots, that I had to share all three styles with you.

Slouchy calf-height boots are back, as you can see from the number of colours available in this Dune style. Great over skinny jeans, or with tights and a below the knee skirt.

A sweet printed velvet style from LK Bennett. Ankle straps suit those with longer legs and slimmer ankles best.

Office have a strong offering of wearable ankle boots. Which is your favourite? High shine chelsea, soft brown leather cuban heel, or simple silver metallic?

Innovators Vetements are known for their unusual heels. This season’s quirky offering has a reflector as a heel.

This Kurt Geiger style is perfect for those who want to be noticed. A real statement boot in metallic woven fabric.

Do you remember the Patrick Cox Wannabe loafer from the 1990s? Well it’s back. Cox has partnered with queens of comfort Geox to launch this collaborative range.

..and finally, a lustrous golden boot from Dries Van Noten which comes with its own accessory: a pearl necklace.

Let me know which styles you love (or hate), and share photos of footwear you’ve already bought this season in the comments, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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ALL HAIL THE HIGH STREET

I’m a cheap-skate. There. It’s out there. If I can find a way to save money, I will. Discount codes, cashback sites, reward points. They all make me tick.

But how do you spot a bargain pair of shoes, and are designer shoes really worth the money? With some shoe brands you get what you pay for. Many high end designers use beautiful materials, and manufacture their products in small European factories packed with true craftspeople. Be careful though, as not all expensive shoes are well-made, and some use their brand name to charge more than the true value of their footwear.

So can you get well-made shoes on the High Street? Yes!

I was at a launch party on Wednesday for comfortable, beautiful brand Morena Morena. There was a live recording of a podcast with Dawn O’Porter interviewing Melanie C, Gok Wan, and Glamour mag editor Jo Elvin.

Melanie C was wearing these fabulous 5″ Jimmy Choo boots.

But savvy shopper and fashionista extraordinaire Jo Elvin selected this pointed pair from…

 

…Zara!

If they’re good enough for the long reigning Glamour magazine editor, affordable shoes are certainly good enough for us. You could even splurge the cash you’ve been saving for a pair of Louboutins on a holiday.

For more tips on how to spot great quality footwear on the High Street, download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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