I’m a shoe designer!
No, I haven’t gone and created my own line of stomptastic shoes (patience, friends). I have, however, finally gotten around to designing and ordering a couple of pairs from the ultimate shoe playground – Shoes of Prey. For those of you who haven’t heard of this incredible custom shoe purveyor, do yourself a favour and head over to their site. Now. (Wait… keep reading and then you can go there. KTHX.)
Shoes of Prey allows you to choose from an insane range of fabrics, textures, patterns, colours, styles, heel heights, embellishments, and much much more, so you have all the tools at your disposal to create your perfect shoe. (The only thing I miss is a low block heel, and a flatform (they used to have them, but no longer)).
Better still, if your feet are ‘gifted’ size-wise, like mine (and yes, I believe that size does matter), Shoes of Prey will allow you to order your design in any size up to 49 – yes, 49! My feet are rather large, but only a size 44 (only! ha!), so this range of size options is incredible – particularly given that most shoe retailers go to size 42 at a stretch (no pun intended). When Shoes of Prey started, you had to pay extra for sizes 44 and up, but they’ve scrapped that now, so all the better!
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity by Shoes of Prey to design a couple of pairs of shoes. I spent hours and hours (and, to be honest, hours and hours) designing. If you’re looking for a way to spend a rainy afternoon, you could do a lot worse than creating 97 pairs of unique shoes.
First, I needed sandals because it’s the middle of a stinkin’ hot summer in Melbourne. I already had some tan ones, and some flatforms, and a couple of different coloured options, but strangely no black! So I set to work, and ended up with a cool cross-toe sandal in different variations of black, with a pop of coppery-bronze leather. Here is the finished design from the site:
The materials I used were black patent leather for the heel cap and one of the front straps, soft black leather for the other front strap and one of the ankle straps, soft copper-bronze leather for the second ankle strap, and a soft black leather lining.
And here is the finished product, on my foot:
It’s perfect! Exactly as per the design, SUPER comfy (as though they were designed for my… oh), and really, really well made. I wore these all day on Christmas Day, and all night with a lot of (amazing) dancing (to Justin Bieber – eep) on New Year’s Eve, and there has been no discomfort at all – none whatsoever! And for someone who’s spent their life learning how to deal with blisters and hot spots from ill-fitting shoes, this is a bloomin’ delight.
So, that’s summer taken care of.
Next, I needed some closed-toed shoes for work – something a little different to your usual ‘My job is boring so my shoes might as well be too’ ballet flats. I didn’t want to go too flashy, but I did want a bit of personality. Here’s what I came up with:
The materials here are black suede for the front, and Arcadia patent leather (that’s that cool green colour) for the heel cap, and the lining is black and silver soft leather. I really love these, and I haven’t seen anything quite like them in stores. It’s so nuts to just download your brain into the computer and get a pair of shoes out of it. Nuts… or genius!
Here’s the actual shoe, on foot.
The shoes look super awesome (I love the almond-shaped toe) and I got heaps of compliments on them at work today. I really dig the cool green patent – it’s a great colour that you don’t see around much. The shoes fit really well – they’re slightly less comfy than the sandals, but I think that’s because of the closed heel/toe situation. It usually takes my feet a while to adjust (heck knows why – they’ve seen a lot of shoes), so I’m sure they’ll be super-comfy soon. The size is definitely right.
So there you go. My Shoes of Prey experiment, which I deem to be both a great success (in that these shoes are seriously lovely, comfy and completely unique – nobody else has them as far as I know), and somewhat of an issue (in that I am fairly confident that my ‘disposable income’ has found a new place to be regularly disposed of).
If you decide to design your own shoes, I would love to see them – post a pic!