SAVE OUR LEATHER SOLES

  • Emerald elegance
    Emerald elegance
    Attract attention of the good kind in these metallic La Paire beauties. The black and white print adds to the bold look without appearing garish.
  • Simple starfish
    Simple starfish
    Channel the seaside in these simple gold Aspiga slides, with beaded starfish appliqué.
  • Tassel tease
    Tassel tease
    Chunky colourful beads and tassels provide strong contrast against slim black straps on these Sam Edelman toe-post sandals.
  • Garnished Greek
    Garnished Greek
    Iris make sleek leather styles with pretty embellishments. The footwear is made in the sunny island of Crete. Here, grey and tan combine unexpectedly.
  • Tomato touch
    Tomato touch
    Fancy trying a splash of colour, without losing your beloved black completely? LK Bennett let you do just that with these contrast sandals.
  • Silver school
    Silver school
    Bring out your inner child without looking juvenile, in these Hudson T-bars. Silver makes for an easy day-to-night option.
  • Oh orange
    Oh orange
    Classic French styling comes from Isabel Marant, in the form of these adjustable cross strap flats. Delicious with Navy, or Breton stripes.
  • Strappy studs
    Strappy studs
    Ash know how to make a woman's feet look rock-chick fabulous. Do the band T-shirt thing, or pair with tailoring for just a hint of rebellion.

 

Have you ever wondered whether leather soles on shoes are better than rubber?

The answer is yes, and also no.

Yes

Leather soles look great. They can give a rustic natural, hand-crafted look, or be beautifully finished to give a refined aesthetic.

They are more breathable than other sole materials. This makes them great in warmer weather, on sandals or shoes.

If your bare foot sits on the leather sole, the moisture from your skin will be absorbed into the sole. This stops your feet from feeling clammy, and will make them more comfortable.

Leather soles on sandals form to your unique foot shape, making them extra comfortable.

No

Leather soles and rain are a bad combination. The sole will absorb some moisture, and become softer. This means that walking on wet leather soles wears them down more quickly.

You are also more likely to slip whilst wearing wet leather-soled shoes than rubber equivalents.

Just as shoes with leather uppers cost more than those made from synthetic alternatives, you can expect to pay more for leather soles.

Should you buy them?

An easy way to try out leather soles for the first time, is to pick a style which you would only wear in warm, dry weather anyway.

Have a look at the slide show of leather-soled sandals above to find your pair.

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SHOULD YOU SLING BACK SLINGBACKS?

  • Dotty kitten
    Dotty kitten
    Black and white don't have to be boring. Fun without being childish; these Hobbs slingbacks complement block colours at work or play.
  • Gold strap
    Gold strap
    These gold Topshop slingbacks with 2" heels are a comfortable option for day to night. With a rounded shape, they have plenty of room for your toes.
  • Sleek snake
    Sleek snake
    This pale nude and natural snake combination from Jones Bootmaker looks fresh for spring. Great with a tailored look in the office, or at a wedding.
  • Flat fuchsia
    Flat fuchsia
    These flat cross strap sandals from & Other Stories are made from beautifully shining brocade fabric. Everyone will be asking where you got your shoes.
  • Wood weave
    Wood weave
    The woven upper against the chunky wood-effect heel of these Mango sandals creates a desirable textural contrast. Black without looking too heavy.
  • Summer print
    Summer print
    The classic pointed toed slingback court shape is updated in this modern floral print. Try wearing an item of clothing in one of the colours of the print.
  • Pearl loafer
    Pearl loafer
    These 1960s-inspired loafer slingbacks are from Clarks' Victoria and Albert Museum collaboration. Who can resist pearl-encrusted pumps?

 

Footwear styles with a slingback strap can be a practical and attractive option for this time of year. Click through the slide show for a selection of my favourites on the high street right now.

To make sure you pick the right slingbacks for your feet, follow these pointers when shopping:

Strap height

It’s important for the strap to sit at the right place on your foot.

Too low, and it easily falls off when you’re walking.

Too high, and it scrapes against your Achilles tendon.

At the back of your heel, there’s a subtle natural dip where the strap should sit, and the strap should pass just under your ankle bone.

As you can see, it will look a little different on flat and heeled styles.

Fastenings

You should find that straps with adjustable buckles or Velcro and no elastic create a more secure and comfortable fit. Elastic allows for quite a lot of movement of your feet in relation to the shoe or sandal.

The more the shoe moves, the more likely it is that there’ll be points of friction which result in blisters. If the shoe clings properly to your foot, the chances of there being areas of abrasion are reduced.

Secure straps with no elastic also help your foot not to fall off the side of the shoe: especially important when your slingbacks have high heels.

Watch out for hidden elastic attached to the buckle itself.

More shoe tips

To discover more essential tips for finding comfortable, beautiful shoes, download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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OPEN YOUR IRISES

As the weather starts to look distinctly perkier, our toes are beginning to think about emerging from their boot burrows.

There’s no better way to embrace the oncoming summer sunshine, than to pay a visit to the Iris SS16 collection launch and workshops.

The founder and designer Anastasia designs her beautiful sandals and jewellery in London, and the sandals are made in the delightful Greek island of Crete.

Anastasia has taken the classic look of Greek leather sandals, and adorned them with all kinds of beads and embellishments.

She even makes custom orders for brides, bridesmaids, or anyone who fancies a bespoke pair.

Pop along to see the SS16 collection between 10am-6pm every day until Sunday 10th April at:

Craft Central

33-35 St Johns Square

London

EM1M 4DS

You can request a unique design…

…or fall in love with one of the fabulous new season styles.

Check out the highly wearable statement jewellery pieces…

…and the luxurious leather backpacks.

Look out for Iris sandals on Kickstarter soon.

To discover top tips on how to shop for sandals, download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

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SHOE STORAGE TIPS – VIDEO

This time of year can make us itch to reorganise, clean, or have a clear-out.

Watch my short film, to discover clever ways to reorganise and store your shoe collection.

 

Download The Shoe Shopping Kit for an entertaining guide on how to shop for shoes like a pro.

If you now have shoe storage envy, you can buy the shoe rack featured in this film.

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THE SHOE SHOPPING KIT

It’s with great excitement that I can announce the launch of my new book The Shoe Shopping Kit.

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes and regretted it? Perhaps they turned out to be uncomfortable, or just didn’t suit your wardrobe or lifestyle.

If you have even one lonely unworn pair sitting in your wardrobe, then this book is just what you need.

 

The Shoe Shopping Kit is packed full of revelations based on my 18 years of experience in the footwear industry.

Learn tips and tricks to:
Know whether a shoe will be comfortable before trying it on
Work out whether you’re getting value for money
Think outside the shoe box – try different styles and colours

You’ll learn to:
Save money on unworn shoes
Save time by planning your shopping trips
Save your feet from pain
Navigate the treacherous waters of the seasonal sales, and bag yourself a real bargain this time.

Download it now to discover what to look for online and in the shops, so you’ll never make a mistake again.

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10 SHADES OF GREY

  • Teal grey loafer
    Teal grey loafer
    An easy suede penny loafer from iconic jacket makers Barbour. Great with straight-legged jeans for a laid-back weekend look.
  • Warm grey gibson
    Warm grey gibson
    Sleek and smart, masters of comfort Gabor have introduced this delectable lace-up for Spring. Leather linings keep you cool and comfortable.
  • Light grey court
    Light grey court
    A court shoe for those who want to explore a lighter colour palette. This snake print leather Gabor court is perfect with summer pastels.
  • Charcoal grey loafer
    Charcoal grey loafer
    Serious but fashion focused, this easy loafer makes for a smart and speedy work option for when you need to look the business in a hurry.
  • Pale grey point
    Pale grey point
    For work, weekend, and even a wedding. Try this versatile pointed flat with a skirt, skinny jeans, or slim-legged trousers.
  • Cool grey brogue
    Cool grey brogue
    Suede gives a softer look to masculine styling for Spring. Try working the mod look with wide-legged jeans and a cute blouse.
  • Pure grey bootie
    Pure grey bootie
    Shoe boots or booties are a really useful style for early Spring and late Autumn. Keep your feet warm and comfortable with this block-heeled style.
  • Taupe ankle boot
    Taupe ankle boot
    With its inside zip, this ventilated ankle boot is an easy style for bolting out of the door. Great with a knee-length A-line skirt or skinny jeans.
  • Dark taupe western boot
    Dark taupe western boot
    Cowgirl-inspired styles are creeping back on to the shoe shop shelves. Get in on this trend early before Autumn comes.
  • Ice grey zip boot
    Ice grey zip boot
    A pretty pale grey option to complement dresses and skirts in muted tones. The perforated back part keeps your feet cool when the weather hots up.

 

Grey is a useful neutral when black is just too boring and dark for Spring. It comes in many shades (50 if E.L. James is to be believed).

Pure greys (black mixed with white) coordinate well with black.

Blue tinged greys look great with cool blues.

Taupey greys complement brown.

Jones Bootmaker are offering 10% discount off the new Spring Summer 2016 styles in the slide show above with voucher code NEW10.

This offer expires at 11:59pm on Sunday 6th March 2016 so click through now to avoid missing out.*

 

*Code can only be redeemed online for home delivery only. Applies to full price lines only. Excludes lines in the ‘Sale’ and ‘Outlet’ categories. Code expires 11:59pm on Sunday 6th March 2016.
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FRESH AND BRIGHT

The mornings may still be frrrrreezing, but spring is showing its colours in gardens across the Northern hemisphere…

…and also indoors.

Do you love an imaginative shop window display as much as I do? Aldo caught my eye with this bright arrangement.

Their styles this season seem to dare you to wear dull black on your feet.

Try the flat point in blue with black tailored trousers.

Relax (and outdo the teens) in a blinged up red trainer.

Dress like a fashionista in these grey gibsons with a lime flash

Feeling inspired? Tweet me a photo of your brightest foot coverings @ShoeConsultant

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

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HAPPY PANCAKE DAY!

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SKIP THROUGH FEBRUARY

  • Open space
    Open space
    A cool smart casual option for dry days. The lightweight white sole gives a sporty look to contrast against the menswear-inspired upper.
  • Floral feet
    Floral feet
    This unusual 60s print is the product of a collaboration between Clarks and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Complementary to a sleek black work outfit.
  • Barbie pump
    Barbie pump
    This sweet block-heeled court is extra girly in fuchsia suede. A cheerful weekend style, versatile enough to take you to weddings and the races too.
  • Nautical navy
    Nautical navy
    A laid-back take on a classic men's style, with contrasting white laces and sole. Great with rolled-up jeans and a white shirt. Also available in E fit.
  • High T
    High T
    T Bars aren't just for little kids. This off white version has grown-up geometric laser-cutting and an elegant tapered toe shape. Also available in E fit.
  • Natural mocc
    Natural mocc
    This style has a moccasin construction which wraps under the foot, giving optimum comfort. Peach veg-tan leather is flattering to most skin-tones.

 

It’s usually around this time of year that I get impatient for Spring to arrive. This tends to make February feel long and cold.

crocuses border

One positive thing about this month is that shops and web pages fill with new and exciting closed-toed shoe styles. As there are only a small number of days per year in the UK when you can be truly comfortable in sandals, closed shoes are a sensible investment.

Sensible doesn’t have to mean boring, so click through the slide show above for my pick of the loveliest new Clarks shoes. As always, only shoes which are comfortable and beautiful have made the selection.

Which is your favourite style? Let me know in the comments or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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