The Classics: those shoe brands that are widely considered to represent the pinnacle and universality of their particular category. For heels, think Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. For ballet flats, think French Sole (both FSNY and FrenchSole/LondonSole) and Givenchy. And for walking comfort, think Mephisto.
Now, I know Mephisto doesn’t have a rep for being the most stylish or streamlined brand. And for years, this company left me cold. There were no styles that really struck me as attractive, and those that were nice-looking ended up being too narrow for my feet. But, like many comfort shoe companies over the past few years, Mephisto is upping their style quotient, with some really nice looking results. And I have finally incorporated a pair into my shoe wardrobe.
When I first went through the podiatry visits and physical therapy that convinced me I needed orthotics, I was a heartbroken girl. I was convinced I’d never be able to wear fun shoes again, that I was consigned to a life of &amp;amp;quot;old lady&amp;amp;quot; shoes, and that shoe shopping would become purely about what could fit my orthotics, and that fashion was a thing of the past. To cheer me up, good old Mom and I went on a shoe-shopping trip to Eneslow in NYC (a great comfort footwear store with everything from sneakers to dress shoes, for anyone who’s ever looking), and Mom kindly bought be these Mephisto Beatrice oxfords.
Now, for all my training in shoe brands and focus on comfort and construction, it’s still rare that a new pair of shoes literally needs no breaking in AT ALL. I know that’s what any truly well-fitting pair of shoes should be, but my feet just don’t allow for that in reality. Or, they didn’t until I tried on the Beatrice’s. They really are incredibly comfortable, and fairly stylish, in my opinion. The silver metallic and black suede are a fun combination that’s sort of sporty, but a little more fashion-forward than a plain leather would be.
So, here’s a little paean to this brand. First off, the basics. It’s a French-based company that focuses on using high quality materials and providing excellent support for people who really WALK in their shoes. They use tons of different lasts for lots of different shaped shoes, and their soles are all rubber or polyurethane, which offer excellent shock absorption. They have partly-cork footbeds in many of their sandals, so the shoes mold to your feet as you wear them. Their leathers are soft and even the strappy sandals don’t cut into your feet when you wear them. Mephisto shoes often have removable and/or ventilating and wicking insoles to keep your feet comfortable and dry. They give you arch support a-plenty, and have just the right balance of soft but supportive footbeds.
Since I know what you’re really all waiting for, here you go… THE PICTURES!
The classic Helen sandal in funky gold iguana
The Ibbine loafer in beautiful bronze leather
The sporty… er… Sporty
Caution: Mephisto’s do often tend to run on the small side, so keep that in mind when you’re ordering/buying and try going up a size.