Acne Studios: Black Courts

Hello all and happy Monday my fair-footed friends!

Apologies for the slight hiatus recently, I’ve been busy strutting my stuff on stage and suchlike and almost ran out of time for shoe shopping. I am back on it now though and boy do I have some luxury for you.

Arrived today, I have the most comfortable, made-for-my-feet pair of black court shoes I have ever tried on. AND…and…they don’t even have any straps, they are NOT mary-janes!

They’re from Acne Studios and while they aren’t cheap, I’m definitely keeping them because I’m so happy and in love!

My pair look like this:

Mine were a total bargain from theoutnet.com; they’ve got loads of sizes of these in black suede and while still pricey, they’re hugely cheaper than usual at £148.50. I’d never be able to afford these at full price but at that price, I can stretch 🙂

If you want more options and have a bigger budget, they’re selling them in two other colours on the Acne Studios website right now. You can pick these gorgeous Babet shoes up for £370 usually:

All I can say is they are incredible! I can even jump, (carefully, so as not to snap the heel) in them. The elastic grips the foot wonderfully without digging in, the suede is super soft and the toe box is for me, the perfect shape and leaves no gaping above the toes. I’ve never been so excited about a pair of black court shoes. That’s the other thing though, they’re such a staple, classic shoe that you know you’ll wear them enough to get the price per wear down to something you can stomach.

If you have the money, I highly recommend checking these out for some go-to courts. Love, love, love! x

Big Budget vs. Little Budget: Leopard Loafers

Hello, hello!

Recently I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of leopard loafers and have bought two pairs which I think are both worthy of review, for different reasons.

First up, we have this stunning pair from Russell & Bromley:

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley, Casanova, £225

Now I don’t know about you but the combination of the leopard with the bow makes these just about the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen. And flat too, so they’re totally practical.

The great thing about increasing the budget to Russell & Bromley levels is that you can buy half sizes and I personally know I am slap bang on a 6.5, which is almost impossible to find! If you are buying them, their website says they fit big, I disagree and would say take your usual size. If like me you find one size too small and one to large in cheaper shops, pick the half size in the middle.

These beauties are great for narrow feet as they’re nice and snug around the toe box and the shoe comes high up the foot so you instantly feel safer. However, because they are so well made, the back of the shoe is quite firm. I have bony, annoyingly skinny heels (bony knees too – grrr…) which means that I get instant blisters from shoes that are so firm at the back.

With a cheaper pair, I’d take the gamble on breaking them in but at that price, for me they had to go back. I am still crying about that now! If you’re heels are less bony and you tend not to find heel rubbing an issue, please buy these and love them with all your heart.

So, on my search continued and my next stop was these beauts from Dune:

Dune Leopard

Dune, Gracious, £75

At a mere £75, these are a total bargain compared to the previous pair! You can see and feel that they’re not the same quality but equally, they aren’t Primark shoes that will fall apart as quickly as you fall in love with them.

These are plasticy on the inside, so the heel area is much softer. The shoe itself is wider but again, the front comes up high, and is relatively snug so your foot is held in place. I bought these in a 7. If Dune did 6.5, I reckon they’d fit as well as the previous pair but sadly they only deal in whole numbers. Sometimes a girl needs a half. (Carrie Bradshaw, anyone???)

I’ve gambled on these and added some heel snugs at the back. They push my feet forward so they’re right at the front of the shoe, but there was a little spare space anyway so that’s ok. I’ll let you know how I get on longer term but right now, I think these could be my winners.

Anyone else had any leopard loafer wins? x

Barefoot Monday, A Review

Hello, hello!

I am so far behind on narrow-shoe based posts, it’s unreal! I’ll start my catch up now with a review of a site that to me is newly discovered; Barefoot Monday. A couple of months ago I got a bit extreme with my Googling and came across this site. It sounds similar to Shoes of Prey or Upper Street, but slightly cheaper and less customisable. In essence, it seems to be a site where you can order fashionable shoes in a narrow width if you’re feet are that way inclined.

I umm-ed and aah-ed for a couple of weeks and then finally decided to take the plunge and order a pair of black suede court shoes. I spent £132 on my order and received a lovely email afterwards, telling me that my shoes would be made to order and would take a couple of weeks to arrive.

A couple of weeks later I received an email to say my shoes would be an extra week late. Then I heard nothing for a couple of weeks. A month had passed since I placed my order, my emails went un-responded and so did my Tweet. Then out of the blue one day, my shoes arrived and this is what I received:

The Outer Box Packaging - Shipped in from overseas, hence the delay

The Outer Box Packaging – Shipped in from overseas, hence the delay

Great Packaging - a lovely box for storing the shoes

Great Packaging – a lovely box for storing the shoes

The Shoes

The Shoes

The Soles

The Soles

As you can see, they’re going for the faux-Louboutin look with the bright red soles! Despite the promising box packaging, the shoes themselves were rather disappointing. The inside of the heels, (the heel area of the foot, not the stiletto) was very rough to the touch and dug right in to my foot. The toe box was high and left a huge gap between the shoe and my foot, just like cheap high street shoes and the suede was unevenly coloured. One shoe especially looked like it had been battered around a bit. I’m not even sure they definitely were real suede because they felt like the sort of “suede” you’d find in Primark or New Look.

A month I waited and the shoes didn’t really fit and weren’t the sort of quality you’d expect for that money. What a disappointment. The only positive was that they were narrow enough in the heel to stay on my feet so that’s given me the drive to try a more expensive pair from a more reputable brand. Well, I’ll try and do that but I haven’t yet got a refund for these so I’ll wait with baited breath to see just how much of a mistake it was.

So there you have it, a brand to avoid! Coming soon are some more successful shoe purchases including a much more budget-friendly Tesco pair 🙂

Happy shopping, shoe lovers!

Narrow Brand: Duo

If you’ve ever tried to search the UK market for narrow shoes, you’ll have noticed that specifically made narrow shoes are in short supply as we’ve few brands retailing them.

However, the best brand I have found so far for producing narrow fit yet stylish shoes is Duo. The prices are high but you’re getting good quality materials and in reality the prices aren’t hugely different from brands such as Dune.

Here are a few pairs from their current collection to whet your appetite and inspire you. If you want to shop their website, you’ll find all of these shoes come in Narrow, Standard and Wide widths. Find them here.

Malin, £110, Duo - also available in navy or blue

Malin, £110, Duo – also available in navy or blue

Beatrix, £110, Duo - also available in navy

Beatrix, £110, Duo – also available in navy

Brando, £110, Duo - also available in brown and a variety of black leathers

Brando, £110, Duo – also available in brown and a variety of black leathers

I’ve not yet bought from Duo but have been told by a reader that their narrow width worked for them and as soon as I’m back on the hunt for a decent pair of shoes to last, I’m likely going to order from here. They do also have sales at the usual times of year so you might find you’re able to pick up a bit of a bargain to make them more affordable if you’re on a budget. Happy shopping! x

Latest Brand: Cocorose London

If you’re as eagle-eyed as me, you might have spotted this brand on the House of Fraser website but if not, I reckon the chances are you won’t have heard of Cocorose.

There I was merrily searching for some new ballet flats when I stumbled upon this brand. They do some awesome designs of both the more traditional ballet style pump and the slipper style pumps and they come in a bit cheaper than Pretty Ballerinas. I highly recommend you check out their website because most of their shoes are foldable and therefore elasticated. Here’s their site.

Here are some of my favourites from their current collection:

Farringdon Patchwork Dalmation, £105, Cocorose London

Farringdon Patchwork Dalmation, £105, Cocorose London

Knightsbridge Black, £48, Cocorose London

Knightsbridge Black, £48, Cocorose London

Balham Leopard and Pink, £48, Cocorose London

Balham Leopard and Pink, £48, Cocorose London

Just look how gorgeous they all are and £48 for a decent pair of pumps really is nothing. Check them out now!!! x

Autumn 2014, Narrow Shoe Selection

Hello!

As you might have noticed, I had somewhat put this blog on the back-burner due to time constraints. However, I had a request come in on it’s sister blog, 20somethingfreak, asking for more posts on narrow shoes from someone who is in a desperate situation. Rather than bombard the blog with multiple posts, here are a few shoes that I’ve found in the shops right now that might help out a narrow-footed friend or two 🙂

First up, ballerinas!

Real Leather Elasticated Black Ballerina, £19.99, New Look
Real Leather Elasticated Black Ballerina, £19.99, New Look

I haven’t tried these pumps on myself but past experience with New Look elasticated pumps suggests these may be a smidgen snug in the length but should be shallow and narrow enough to stay on. If you want to shop online, you can find them here.

My second ballerina is also from New Look and these inject a bit of seasonal glamour into proceedings:

Dark Red Velvet Gem Front Pumps, £19.99, New Look
Dark Red Velvet Gem Front Pumps, £19.99, New Look

How cute!!! These are also available in black with black gems and providing your feet don’t find the elastic at the back too tight, I think these have the potential to be some of the comfiest, cutest pumps a narrow-footed belle on a budget could own. Shop them online here.

My third pair of ballerinas require a higher budget but I think they are so worth it if you can afford them. They come from Pretty Ballerinas, a brand well known for being worn by Kate Moss. Here they are:

Shirley Tartan Printed Poni, 219Euro / £175, Pretty Ballerinas
Shirley Tartan Printed Poni, 219Euro / £175, Pretty Ballerinas

Despite having stores in the UK, I can only find the Euros prices on their website. The sterling price is my rough conversion and this may actually be different if you place an order. They’ve got loads of great patterns in this style and you can shop their site here.

Now, courts! Courts are always the hardest shoes to find if you have narrow / shallow (or both) feet. They have a habit of slipping right off, gaping over the toes, gaping at sides when you bend your foot to walk and being just plain old uncomfortable. I struggle with this too but I’ve found a few pairs that might just help if you’re really in the market for a court this season. Here goes…

Gordon, £120, Carvela
Gordon, £120, Carvela

These seasonal beauties sure are eye catching and they’re also available in black. I’d highly recommend trying them on to be sure you can pull the laced part tight enough to hold your foot in place. To find them online, click here.

For something similar but a little more practical and a lot cheaper, try these:

Katrina, £49, Carvela
Katrina, £49, Carvela

Katrina is also available in navy and in my opinion, makes the perfect office to evening shoe. You can find her here.

My third and final court is one that I happened upon by pure chance; I was driving past Matalan and decided to pop in. I’m glad I did because look what I found:

T-Bar Point Court, £15.00, Matalan
T-Bar Point Court, £15.00, Matalan

I can tell you now that the picture does nothing for this shoe, in reality it leaps off the shelf at you. The cobalt blue is bang on trend and these are such a great example, with the chunky rounded heel. They’re usually £18 but are currently on offer and also come in a lime green colour. I tried them on and found that a size down fitted better as they’re quite generous in length. Definitely a budget friendly buy for this season. Shop them online here.

That’s probably enough shoes to investigate for now, next stop is boots! See you soon x

Ballet Flats: Bloch

One of my favourite shoe brands is Bloch, the same brand that make ballet shoes, etc. I discovered them a couple of years ago by accident and ordered a pair that were in the sale. They quickly became my favourite, most comfortable pair of shoes and I have since bought a couple more pairs which I virtually live in.

There are a few styles of Bloch flats and each comes in a wide variety of colours; so far only one style really fits me well so I tend to stick to those. The great thing is that whilst they are elasticated pumps, the shoes themselves are really narrow anyway so the elastic isn’t really strong and doesn’t dig into your heels like it can with other, ruched styles.

Bloch shoes are real leather and have a suede-like inside so it’s like putting your foot into cotton wool when you get a brand new pair. They also come in loads of sizes as they do half sizes on European sizes. For instance, I usually wear a 40 but with these I can take a 39.5 🙂

Here’s a picture of the style I love, in a colour that’s new for this season:

Bloch Rose St Laurent Luxury Ballet Flat Shoes, £130

Bloch Rose St Laurent Luxury Ballet Flat Shoes, £130

These beauties are available on the Bloch website, http://www.blochshop.co.uk. They are a bit pricey but I personally think that for the comfort they provide, they are really worth it. Plus they’re flat and if you’re anything like me, that means you’ll wear them loads so the price per wear becomes much more reasonable.

If you have any suggestions for narrow, flat shoes just let me know! x