We get a lot of email here at Shoeblog. It’s almost all interesting, but not all totally relevant or postable.
However, the email that showed up in my inbox today was absolutely the former and oh-so-much the latter, too.
May I present, oh fellow lovers of shoes, Modista.
I know I’m not the only one who shoe-shops by feel (as I call it). I think of a shoe I want that has a certain “feel” to it, and then I go poking around shoe sites trying to re-create that feel by ticking boxes for certain heel heights and colors and assorted other criteria that may or may not return a list of hits that have that feel at all.
Modista puts it all right at your fingertips.
It was started by an enterprising and helpful significant other trying to assist a cash-strapped student girlfriend in finding nice-looking shoes that would look designer, but be a whole lot friendlier on the wallet.
What came of this project is a brilliant site that uses visual searching to let you pick a shoe with the right “feel” and then see a grid of others that approximate it in terms of color, style, etc.
Let’s take an example.
I am currently looking for a good pair of walkable, flat-soled boots. The feel I’m after is feminine, simple, with a little bit of an edge.
I start with the Diba 2002 Dakota ($179 at Endless).
What comes up is this:
Let’s see… I like the fifth one in from the left on the top row.
I mouse over it and see that, oh, that’s the Gentle Souls Silver boot ($354 at Zappos).
Nice looking, but a little plainer than the feel I’m going for.
I like third from the left, top row.
It’s the Mia West by Clarks ($225 at Zappos).
Nice, but a little clunkier than I’m after.
So, I click onwards and get:
Oo! Who’s that second from the left on the bottom row?
Why, it’s the D Kink 11 by Geox ($234 at Zappos).
A bit more edge than I’m after, but we’re on the right track here. Especially because the screen that comes up when the Geox gets a click is this:
Top row, fourth from the left: you call to me.
You are the Michelle K Enrapture ($86 at 6pm.com),
and while you are too sporty for what I’m after, you lead me to this screen:
and thence to the Miz Mooz Blitz Lace boot (third from the right, top row, $180 at Endless).
Look at the shiny leather! Look at the comfy, walkable sole! Look at the asymmetrical lace-up front. Ladies and gents, I think I have found my winner.
Thank you, thank you, Modista. You have not only made shoe-shopping so much more effective for those (like me) who shop “by feel,” but you’ve also turned it into a fun fun game. Or, at least, more of one that it already was.