Friday, 24 April 2015

21 pairs of chic shoes designed with comfort in mind

Geox Egizia Sandal - beige and black alsoIf the words ‘comfort shoes’ conjure up something you would expect your granny (no disrespect) to wear then it’s time to accept that some brands have realised that we don’t want to sacrifice comfort for style.  We want to be able to slip into something stylish and modern and wear them all day and on without ending up with sore feet.

There are some people who can walk all day in 11cm heels and not suffer, but to me they’re a rare breed and I know for a fact that the pair of true designer heels that my daughter saved up for last year leave her practically unable to walk the next day.  Fabulous.

In the US there seems to be a trend for much more attention to comfort, particularly cushioning inside the shoe, but here it’s taken a while.  We seem to be getting there, with brands such as Carvela introducing a Comfort range, and Unisa, Geox, Gabor and more specialising in shoes and sandals from classic to modern with comfort built in.  These brands have a very wide appeal, so you can expect footwear for everyone within the ranges, from true classic to very modern.

Geox Lana SandalGeox Ivana SandalGeox Heritage SandalGeox Vinca Flat Sandal

Italian brand Geox started off life as a children’s shoe manufacturer but now includes shoes for everyone.  Using advanced technology to produce breathable but waterproof trainers and rubber soled heels and flats, these shoes are some of the most comfortable you’ll find anywhere.  Because of the innovation and the high quality leathers they’re not cheap, but they’re not designer prices either.  Slip a pair of Geox shoes on and you may want to wear nothing else.

Note:  Geox shoes are generously sized so order a half size down from your normal size.  I tried on about six pairs yesterday in the store and it was the same for each one.

Carvela Comfort black flipflopsCarvela Comfort black cross strap wedgesCarvela Comfort tan flat sandalCarvela Comfort Remi ankle boot on sale

Kurt Geiger needs no introduction, and Carvela Kurt Geiger has introduced its Comfort range for those who want a bit of extra cushioning.  Having worn the boots above on the right to walk five miles yesterday (first outing) so far I’m impressed.

Unisa High Strappy Sandal - black alsoUnisa red suede pointed toe stiletto (other colours)Unisa Bronze and taupe suede sandal - beige alsoUnisa snake print wedge sandal

Unisa is a Spanish brand sold internationally but quite hard to find in the UK.  Luckily Zalando stocks the collection to order online.  Sizing is standard and the shoes, designed to be both stylish and comfortable (and the two pairs I have tried have proved to be extremely so) include everything from strappy high sandals to flats, pumps and boots.

Gabor wide fit tan sandalsGabor beige suede medium heel pumpGabor Ruffle Nubuck Pumps - other coloursGabor flat gold sandals
Gabor is the most traditional of the fashion comfort shoes, but everything is designed to be extremely wearable, and there is something for everyone.

Marks and Spencer beige strappy sandal with InsoliaMarks and Spencer white t-bar sandal with clear heel and InsoliaClarks cushioned gold strappy sandalClarks black suede strappy sandal

Finally both Marks & Spencer (with Insolia) and Clarks have taken it up a notch in the style stakes.  Known for comfortable – if not always the most modern – shoes, there are good choices at both and the prices are lower than the brands above, so when you’re looking for your next pair of shoes to look good and go out on the town (or at least walk a couple of miles in) have a browse here as well.