Archive for the ‘Anyi Lu Shoes’ Category
I live in a walker’s city, so naturally the (female) company I keep is of the, um, walking persuasion. And of course, of the fabulous footwear persuasion, too–it goes without saying. A recent friend I made, who is a slender, petite actress, asked me for some advice regarding shoes. “I love to walk around town,” she says, “and I’m on my feet a lot, but I also need to keep a polished look and I really need the height.” To accomplish that, she often resorts to wedges, but she wondered if there is more to life footwear than that. I’ll start by telling you all I said before, which is, stick to lower heels or flats with good arch support, value health AND comfort over short-lived glamor, keep yourself informed about shoe brands with a reputation for comfort, heed the advice of experts (e.g., try on shoes in the evening when your feet are most likely to swell, shoes should fit right out of the box, with no “break-in” period, etc.). But, when you need the extra height, and you need to look glamorous for your job, AND you need to traipse around the city while looking glam and somewhat tall(er), then…you’re either in for a tough break, or you need to start making some compromises. Yes, do the wedge thing as much as you can, but if you want heels you can walk in, forget stilettos; wear those only in extraordinary circumstances (the job requires it, and you only need to do a limited amount of walking). However, you can still achieve the height and the look with some more sensibly-shaped heels, such as any 3″ or slightly higher from the Taryn Rose collection. The Canela, for example, is super-classy and kinda tall (3 1/2 inch high) and at $545 yes, kinda expensive, but see above re: compromises:
Why would I recommend such a high-heeled shoe? Well, here’s the thing: I own a 3″ pair of Taryn Rose pumps and they’ve been more comfortable than certain flats I own. I am not sure where this magic happens (nothing short of alchemy, if you ask me: turning painful high heels into golden comfort wear), but it’s probably a combination of materials (lightweight Poron), padding, built-in arch support, and angle of the heel relative to the sole. One of the issues with Taryn Rose shoes is they often tend to look orthopedic (at least they did in the beginning), and if not so, then a little stodgy and on the mature side. Or, let’s put it this way: they’re not exactly youthful. I can certainly understand that: given their prices and emphasis on comfort, you don’t want something that may go out of style by next year. Sometimes, however, the style reflects the current fashion, such as in this “Cheval” oxford sandal ($495 at Zappos):
Or these metallic peep-toes, Calexa ($475 at Zappos)–which are also timeless and elegant:
Apart from Taryn Rose, there are precious few brands that I can recommend for this particular problem. I LOVE Thierry Rabotin, definitely some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned, period, but they are often stodgy and seldom give you the height you may want. There is Donald Pliner, which I would qualify as only semi-comfortable at heights over 2.5″. There is Anyi Lu, but they cater to the more mature, over 40 crowd, and you can sort of see that in their designs. Oh, I know–there is Robert Clergerie, also very high end, and definitely not for everybody (definitely for me, though!); these beaded sandals are kind of sexy and are only 3″ high AND on sale at Zappos for $297 (down from $500):
One brand that I want to explore and about which I heard only good things is Chie Mihara. They don’t market themselves as a comfort brand, that’s true–but there is attention to comfort in the cushioned molded insoles and the overall architecture of the shoe (no stiletto heels, for example!). These strappy numbers, the Bankok model, are chic, edgy, thick-heeled, and….padded ($368 at PedShoes):
We invite you to share your experiences of fashionable and comfortable heels in our forums. We’re always eager to learn!
Susan’s recent comment put me in mind to search out some of the best options for comfortable and supportive shoes for spring that don’t compromise on style, specifically flats with a bit of a wedge. Well, she asked, and I’m answering. Comfort and style is what we’re all about here at Shoeblog, after all. Here are some adorable and foot-soothing choices.
Aquatalia by Marvin K makes plenty of fun and supporting shoes that are often weather-proof, too. Check out the Wizzy in this pretty multi-tonal gold color. Metallics are in this spring. Jump on that trend with these business casual loafers.
I’ve talked about the Bazaar wedge from Natural Comfort before, and I still maintain that it’s a stylish and sleek shoe that will make your feet happy even at the end of the day.
If you feel like shelling out for a pair that are bound to bring style and support, and you don’t mind lifting up a bit more (only to 2″), then go for the Anyi Lu Soleil with its cute quilted wedge and Poron insole.
Looking to get your stylish support with a little less pull on the wallet? Try Aerosoles’ Printz Charming, which comes in a bunch of colors, including this pretty red and brown combo.
There’s always Cole Haan’s line with Nike Air technology, which, this season, is offering the sleek and classically stylish Air Genie in black and ivory patent (ivory shown here) and this pretty brown metallic, too.
There are some options to get you started. Of course, spring has barely begun (at least, in my neck of the woods), and there are several glorious months ahead to find that Holy Grail of Footwear: the stylish and supportive shoe. They do exist!
I love the way Anyi Lu shoes feel, and most often, how they look. They are heaven for your tootsies, and they will give your outfit that classic, stylish vibe you were perhaps looking for.
However, I don’t expect my first reaction to seeing these shoes on someone to be, “Honey, watch out, you’ve got a little alien spawn on your shoes–it looks like he’s getting ready to gobble down your foot!”
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the design idea–I do, I really do, but in this case the effect is less funky T-strap variation and more praying mantis mounting a reptilian.
But again, I will admit to having a rather vivid imagination in this regard.
So! It’s been a while since I posted about my newest shoe purchases; partly, it’s because my camera has given up on me lately (it’s the battery, and instead of replacing the battery, I’m seriously considering a new camera–but that will have to wait a little, what with all these new shoes and all. Ahem.)
I had to perform several serious purges of my shoe closet before I could take new guests in, if you know what I’m saying–but that’s going to be the object of another post.
And now–the reveal!
First up: Espace black crinkled patent leather sandals (or shoes? shoendals? whatever).
I got them at a sale at the Joan Shepp boutique in Center City Philadelphia; they were about $110 (half-off). They’ve got a serious wedge and thick sole on them, which makes them some of the most comfortable shoes I have every worn. Unlike other shoes, these don’t rub at any spot, and the thick sole protects me from the harshness of any surface I have to walk on. They go great with jeans and even capris and I proudly count them towards one of my better purchases. Plus, I felt like having something rough and chunky-chic to indulge my tomboyish ways.
Unlike this next pair: Lundi Bleu satin floral print kitten heels, which are as frilly and non-tomboyish as can be:
These I got at Shoefly, about 60% off (maybe $50? I can’t remember). I’ve got to say they looked better on the website than in person; for one thing, the picture didn’t show the kitten heels–I thought there were flats. Second, I wore them without stockings and they gave me hellish blisters. Haven’t worn them since–I’ll give them another try (with stockings!) and see how they fare.
Very cute, no? The colors are a bit off in the picture–the green is a tad more intense, and the crochet flowers on the vamp are purple. They’re very comfy and casual; my only complaint is that the leather at the toe rubs against the pavement and peels off–at least, it did in my case, after only two wears.
This next pair quickly became one of my favorites: Anna Sui patent flats with laser-cut flower details:
I got them at Net-a-porter, about half-off, for $120; you can get them now on sale for $175 at Anthropologie. They are cute, they are comfy (though they do need a little break-in period), they’re a show stealer. I lov’em!
These next ones are from Jean Paul Barriol Accessoire line:
They are dove-gray suede with elastic criss-cross straps, light as a feather and as comfortable as they can be. Asta de Blue, a boutique in my neighborhood, went out of business, and they were offering these for $29. Given that the Accessoire shoes are usually $250 and over, I considered that a very good deal, indeed, for practical, comfortable, light shoes, fit to wear all day long.
I had long coveted a pair of Anyi Lu shoes, but the prices were quite prohibitive (upwards of $350). Well, I got lucky for once with these gorgeous gold and zebra-pattern hair-calf low wedges, discounted down to $118 (from $375) at Benjamin Lovell in downtown Philly:
The leather is soft as butter, the pattern unusual, and the comfort factor is high. I’m very proud of this purchase!
Finally (whew!), here’s an impulse purchase I still have doubts about but which I still think is gorgeous: Le Due raspberry demi-wedges from Anthroplogie, $100:
This is the highest heel I’ve bought in three years, and I still haven’t worn them outside. The cut looks great on the foot, though, and the color is extremely flattering. They’re gorgeous shoes, but I just hope I can wear them without pain outside. I obviously couldn’t resist their charms. They’d be perfect some socially appropriate function which requires minimum mobility.
So, now that’s been off my chest–what kind of shoe mischief have YOU been up to lately?
I love these shoes. The end.
Oh, of course I kid. It’s not the end. These are the creation of a designer who understands what comfort means, and who is intent on creating beautiful shoes for women who want to LOOK and FEEL good. Anyi Lu (pictured on the left) was traditionally educated in Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, has a degree and work experience in chemical engineering, and was a competitive ballroom dancer. As somebody who has a solid background in both art and science, she seems perfectly qualified to design my shoes! I for one I’m going wild for this print, and the styling looks comfortable and elegant. If only I could afford them both! These beauties are available at JustOurShoes.com for $315 (the ballerina) and $360 (the pump). The pump is also available in cheetah and leopard prints at Piperlime.com for $400.