Last time I was in at Eneslow (a really excellent shoe store that specializes in comfort footwear both stylish and pedestrian and can work wonders with your shoes as far as comfort and fit goes), I grabbed one of their catalogs. And inside was an ad for a shoe company I’d never really paid attention to before… Kumfs. So I hit the internet to dig up some info and the result is this edition of Focus on the Shoe Brand.
Kumfs is a shoe company that started in New Zealand and is now based there and in Australia. They’ve been around in one form or another since the 1940′s, owned and operated by the Robertson family. They began by creating orthopedic lasts for women’s shoes, and marketing them to patients of one of the founding brothers’ podiatry practice. Rapid expansion followed as women caught on to the idea of comfortable footwear that looked good, and now Kumfs shoes are sold around the world.
The focus on Kumfs shoes is to make them comfortable and healthy for women’s feet, and they do it with things like removable insoles (so you can put your own orthotics in them… even in sandals!) with Poron and gel cushioning for shock absorption, polyurethane soles for traction, and steel shanks to keep the support of the shoe steady without allowing your gait to get too out of whack. They use high quality materials, all-natural uppers, and care in the manufacture of the shoes, so these suckers might not be the cheapest, but they’ll last for years. Oh… and you get to pick from various widths, too!
And how do they match up style-wise? Well, let’s check out some sample styles.
We have sporty casual shoes like the Trixie Mary Jane.
Classic, flirty sandals like the Yahoo and the Y-You.
Vintage style heels like the Kenda and the Karma.
And even (although I hate to be thinking about winter shoes when the weather’s just getting nice) sleek boots like the Utopia.
Now, finding these can prove a little tricky, especially if you’re not in New Zealand or Australia. There don’t seem to be all that many online retailers that carry this line, and those that do have fairly limited selections. Zappos has some styles, but not many, and especially not many of the more stylish models (although they do carry the Yahoo sandal I mentioned above). HealthyFeetStore.com has another selection (including the adorable Y-You sandal) of some models. Village Shoes is another online place to check. And you can check on the Kumfs site to locate a physical store near you.
Me, I’ve never tried these shoes, but anyone who’s working to make shoes that will accommodate orthotics, support my feet, and look good doing it is A-OK in my book, and I’ll be keeping my eyes out for Kumfs near me.