Living the Shoes of Prey dream

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:

Shoes of Prey sandal

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:

Shoes of Prey sandal Shoes of Prey sandal Shoes of Prey sandal

 

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:

Shoes of Prey flat

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.

Shoes of Prey flats Shoes of Prey flatShoes of Prey flat

 

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!

Happy designing,

Sx

 

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Vivienne Westwood FTW

Sometimes, Solestruck is the best place in the world for people like me. And when I say ‘people like me’, I mean people who are tall girls with large feet and a penchant for Vivienne Westwood. So, this week Solestruck has brought a men’s boot to us that is decidedly awesome, and decidedly not too manly for a stylin’ lady.

I bring you the Clog Army Boot, by Viv (yeah, that’s what I call her). At a really reasonable *cough* price (US$849.95, or A$1163 for us Aussies!), you can pop these strange but awesome clogboots on your feets. They run up to a men’s 12, which is a women’s 14 or so, and they also run large – so, essentially, if your feet are up to size 15, these will fit you. And if you have a stash of gold bullion that you can sell to buy them, do that.

I’m in love.

Vivienne-Westwood-shoes-Clog-Army-Boot-Mens-(Beige-Melange)-010604

Long Tall Sally

Okay, so, here’s the thing. I may have made a little faux pas in a post earlier this year.

A while ago, Barefoot Tess merged with Long Tall Sally, and moved their footwear offering over there. There’s a slight chance that I was a little hasty with my judgment (yes, sometimes I’m wrong, OK?), as I was originally not super impressed with the limited range of shoes, and the absence of some of the brands that I’d loved at BFT.

I have, however, just had a squiz at the site, and it seems that the footwear options have been really well consolidated and curated, and now there are loads of great footwear options – way more than last time I checked. They also have clothes that fit our Go-go-gadget limbs (tights and jeans without drop-crotches anyone? Uh, yuh!), which is so rad. AND, on top of that, shipping is only $14.95 to Australia, which is HEAPS less than it used to cost to get shoes shipped from BFT.

So, I think I owe LTS a public apology and a shout out for doing so much for taller ladies. I’m sorry! And thank you!

Here are some things that I love from LTS.

The first is the Celena patent ankle boot, by BFT. It’s $130, and goes up to a kick-ass size 15! If I didn’t already have my Jamie Fame patent chelsea boots, I’d totally nab these.BFT Celena Patent ankle boot

To add a bit of pizzazz to a dark outfit, these Nine West Zanta ankle boots in teal are pretty fun. A block heel and a diagonal ankle pair well with the colour to make these stand out. They’re $213, and available in sizes up to 15.

Nine West Zanta

A cool non-boot option for work or casual soirees is the BFT Garnet loafer – this comes with a variety of colours/materials atop the front panel, including this snakeskin, but also white leather and black houndstooth. These dudes are only $66, which is a bargain, and they, too, top out at size 15.

BFT Garnet panelled loafer

Sandal-wise, the Premium Tippi is super cute (flatform, anyone?), and in good summery colours. The sizes on this one are Euro (oh la la), and currently they’re available up to a 44, which is about a 13 AUS.

Premium Tippi

There are plenty more options to check out on the site – a search for size 13s gave me 95 options, which is pretty great, and for 11s, 12s and 13s there were 248 to choose from. So, I shall eat my words (and my hat, and my shorts if need be), and say that the range on offer at LTS is pretty dang good.

I might do a clothing post soon, including ASOS’s tall range, LTS, and any other goodies that I find for the statuesque sartorialist.

‘Til then,

Sx

Keepin’ it cool

It’s been super warm in Melbourne the past couple of days, and I have to admit that I’m not a massive fan of the heat. Aside from preferring not to stick to every dang surface, and being uncomfortable sleeping if I’m not wrapped in a doona, I don’t do sandals well; I’m a boots’n’jeans kind of gal. So, I’m trying to find some shoes that I think I’ll enjoy wearing when it gets hotter (although I’m certainly not one to shy away from just chucking on my boots and jeans and pretending it’s not hot while sweat beads on my forehead and I dream of Greenland).

Here are some bits and bobs that work for me – and some that aren’t necessarily my style, but might work for you.

My first port of call for sandals is generally the men’s section of Solestruck. Weird, yes, but they usually have some options that definitely look more unisex than manly, and they’re not those flimsy lady-sandals that have flowers and strappy bits and things that this Stomparella can’t quite pull off (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

These are the Lo Res Earth from United Nude, currently only US$79.95 on sale (though that’s more like about a gazillion Australian dollars at the moment). I think they’re totally fine for a lady – cool colour, a bit different but still gender-neutral enough to work.

United Nude Lo res Earth

I also really want the Himalayan sandal by Bernhard Willhelm x Camper (remember I bought those rad high-tops by this collab?), but they’re out of stock! It’s probably for the best, though, because what the heck would I wear them with? Why do I even like them? Who knows… but I do, OK?

Bernhard-Willhelm-X-Camper-shoes-Himalayan-Sandal-Mens-(Blue-Green-Multi)-010604

For something a little more traditional (and black), Solestruck also has the Sentinel from Monster for US$134.95, but I’m always really wary of the leather sandal thing, because men’s can be quite wide and flipper-y, and I feel they can come off quite masculine. These have some embellishments and a shape that I think could work, but it’s hard to tell without actually putting them on a foot.

Monster-shoes-Sentinel-(Black)-010604

I also had a look at Willow Shoes, from New Zealand, because I think they get some really great stuff in from time to time. At the moment there’s not much there in terms of sandals that I think I’d wear (the below, by Everybody, are inverted quotes “sandals”, but I think we can all agree that I like them because they’re about as boot-ish as a sandal can get…).

11883

They also have some great brogue-style shoes that I think would work with a pair of cropped pants (no, not a cropped pant) for work, or with a cute dress on the weekend. These are by Bresley, and they come in black or silver (silver is a good option for hotter months – reflecting the heat like a boss).

12166

Silver Bresley

In Oz, The Shoe Garden has some pretty sandals for the more girly among us. These I like – I think they’re spunky! They’re called Isabella Swift, they’re A$155, and they go up to a 44. If you don’t dig the leopard, you can also get them in plain red or black (but go on – get the leopard!).

Shoe Garden Isabella

The Isabella Palmer is also quite cool, and odd (but normal is boring, says Tyra). You can get these in this combo, or a silver/black, and they also go up to a size 44. They’ll set you back A$145.

Isabella Palmer

I kept Shoes of Prey until last, because honestly I knew I’d get stuck there. I designed about 349 pairs of sandals (a conservative estimate), and here are a few. Some are relatively normal, and some are a bit bizarre, but the thing with Shoes of Prey is, you can make normal or batcrackers crazy and you’ll be the only ones wearing them. They also have pre-designed options, but where’s the fun in that, eh?

Shoes of Prey 1 SOP4

SOP2
SOP8 SOP5SOP6SOP3SOP7

I think the most expensive of all of these is A$220, and you can get sandals for as little as A$129, and that’s custom-designed. And did I mention that they go up to a size 49? If you haven’t been to this site yet, DO IT. Be warned, though – you’ll be there a long, long time. This post has taken me days.

Oh, and tomorrow the weather’ll be back to freezing (good old Melbourne), so I’ll be back in my boots, stomping around.

xS

Big feet – small comfort

Heya team! What’s news out there? Any new shoe finds that I should know about?

So, a few months ago I wrote about the Jamie Fame boots that I bought in a size 43, with fingers and toes crossed that they fit a little large. Well… they don’t. But I’m still wearing them, asking my toes for forgiveness with every step. To be honest, I’ve grown accustomed to wearing shoes that are slightly too small, as I’m sure a lot of you have. When your options are limited and heaps of brands only go up to a 41/42, sometimes you just grit your teeth, muttering, ‘Nothing hurts as much as daggy shoes…’

But my toes did get me thinking about comfort, so I decided to revert back to my teenage self and get some everyday runners. My sisters would tell me that ‘junners’ (jeans + runners) are probs not the most fashion-forward option, but I beg to differ. Runners are pretty on-trend at the moment (hello hipsters in your New Balance trainers), so I set out to get myself some. I scoured heaps of sites, from solestruck to sneakerboy, asos and a few others. The beauty of runners is that the men’s and women’s styles are pretty much the same, so there’s heaps of choice for those of us with feet of an impressive length.

Anyway, long story short, I wanted all-black runners (the white soles are just too much like gym gear for me), and I grabbed these Puma XT2s from Nordstrom Rack on sale for US$43 (shipping isn’t cheap at US$28, so I felt compelled to add a Free People jumper just to make it worth it. See, I’m a savvy shopper). 
XT2

These are super-comfy, and I’ve worn them non-stop since I got them. Yes, I feel a bit ‘sports luxe’, but there’s nothing wrong with that. A bit of lippy and a cool jacket/jeans combo, and these are the business. I’ll post some ‘action’ shots shortly.

xo

Hooray for colder weather!

Holy smokes, there’s some great stuff going on in big shoes at the moment.

It’s autumn, which makes me giddy with happiness… no more heat. No more sandals. More layers. More black. More chunky shoes! So, I’m on the hunt for black ankle boots, and boy have I found a truckload of good’uns…

First, one of our faves Uncommon Ground has some new Django & Juliettes that are perfect for colder months. These are the ones I have my eye on. They’re the Glenvale by Django & Juliette, and they’re only $169, up to a size 45. Uncommon Ground also have a range of other great new styles that have just hit the site. Go forth!

D&J Glenvale

 

For you Aussie and New Zealand ladies, Willow Shoes are really repping some fantastic brands and styles at the moment. I mean, look at this. I’m deeply in love with this beautiful patent ankle boot by De Robert, available up to a size 45. Full disclosure here – they’re $500 – but eesh it’s like… could I? Should I? (I haven’t, but it’s tempting!)

De Robert

 

There’s also these guys from MINX, which have a cool cut-out heel (not sure about the star on the zip, but hey, whatever floats your boat!). These go up to a 13, and it looks like they only have 13s available at the moment. They’re also slightly less wallet-thumping, at $299.

 

MINX

Postage to Australia from Willow is $20 per pair, which isn’t too bad. I feel so silly that I haven’t checked these guys out lately, because they’re doing lots of great stuff.

The other thing I discovered today is that Jamie Fame (the brand of some of my favourite boots of all time) have a BIG sale on at the moment. I slipped, clicked, and accidentally bought two pairs. They are The Patti, which is kind of everything I’ve been looking for for winter. I had to get a 43 as it’s all they had left, but I’m hoping that my feet are so used to being cramped that they’ll suck it up for the sake of awesomeness. I’m sorry to say that I grabbed the last pair (for $39.95, marked down from $279.95!).

Patti Jamie Fame

HOWEVER, I also got these, called The From Heaven, which are still available in 43 AND 44, and they’re only $39.95 as well.

From-Heaven-s_1024x1024

I’ll update again soon, promise. I’m really back on the sneakers bandwagon at the moment, so I’ll do a post dedicated to the best kicks around.

Til then, eh?

S xo

 

 

I want I want I want

I promised I’d write about some shoes that I’ve noticed online, and here I am, doing it the very next day! Huzzah!

So, today in Melbourne it got up to 31 degrees (Celsius, that is, for all those who were thinking that sounds quite chilly), and I realised that, although I have some great sandals from last year, surely it’s time for some new ones? Right guys? (Back me up here, my husband’s listening!)

Uncommon Ground (yes, I love them. A lot.) have listed some great shoes lately, including these little numbers by Django and Juliette, called ‘Rill’. These would be so lovely with a pair of jeans, a maxi, or culottes. Yep, I’m going to rock those baggy shorts this summer. Anyway, these good’uns are only $149, and you can get ’em here.

Rill Tan Django and Juliet $149
Rill

For some more super summer slippers (OK, alliteration got the better of me there – apologies), Rosenberg’s have some great new options. These cute sandals from Bresley, which remind me a little of school, are called Allin, they come in white or black, and they’re only $120. I know from experience that Bresleys are really comfy, too, so these will definitely get you around sans-pain during the heat.

 

Bresley Allin Rosenbergs $120 Bresley Allin Rosenbergs

 

Also available at good ‘ol Rosenbergs are the classic Birkenstocks, in black. These are everywhere at the moment, and they’re not only super-casually cool, they’re also made for German housewives and hence INCREDIBLY COMFY. Anyways, $110? Bargain in anyone’s language.

Birks $110

 

 

I’m not familiar with the Frankie4 brand, but Rosenberg’s site tells us that they’re designed by an Aussie podiatrist, and before you start harrumphing about more large, ugly comfort shoes, check ’em out. They’re cute! And must be comfy, given their designer’s vocation. $199, here.

 

Frankie4 Alix $199 frankie4 alix 2

 

 

 

Finally, I fed my Solestruck addiction, and after spending a few sec…inute…ours going googly-eyed over a lot of the lady shoes that I just can’t smash my feet into, I headed over to my trusty pal, the men’s section. Stay with me.

Now, it’s rather difficult to commit to a pair of mandals (haha. Gosh, let’s just call ’em men’s sandals, shall we?), because I find that they’re 80 per cent likely to make you look like either a Mediterranean European man in a linen suit, or a woman wearing men’s sandals because her feet are enormous. Having said that, I think that the range of sandals that YES are doing for men, which you can find at Solestruck, has a few choices that could work. Below are the Mega Cross 2.0, which are only US$119, and I think they do androgynous (leaning towards feminine, perhaps?) pretty well.

 

YES Mega Cross 2.0 $119 Yes Mega Cross 2.0 $139

There’s my (incredibly truncated – there are hundreds more) list of desired footwear for summer. I’m hoping to post some more over the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

xx