I've been searching for good summer shoes for a few years. Trendy thin-soled sandals don't hold up for me. It's partly psychological, but I feel like I'm too big for them. It's as if I'll break them or they are temporary somehow. Maybe it's because somehow summer shoes evolved into something disposable. Even though I enjoy wearing heels, they aren't really what I mean by "everyday." I can wear them - even run in them - but they aren't truly comfortable and in fact, many are probably damaging.
I'm looking at the feet around me. I want to avoid developing foot problems like most of the women in my family. My mother, her four sisters, my two sisters and a long list of cousins have terrible foot problems - bunions for starters - and they struggle to find truly good shoes. And the list of my friends with foot issues is also long. Sure, blame genetics for their bad luck, but still, why compound the possibility for yourself?
"Good" to me means shoes that fit and look good. That is the compromise - if the shoe fits well so often it's unattractive. (See orthopedic shoes and Birkenstocks if you aren't following this.) Of course, where I live, in the Rockies, style is often compromised for green or healthy footwear and it's fashionable enough to wear hiking and river shoes here, but I don't want to wear athletic sandals every day. I want some style. I want to express myself. And I want the option to change shoes around from day to day. I think it's only right that we have everything we want in our shoe collection without compromise. Don't you?
Definition of a good shoe: comfortable, smart, good-looking and - for summer - cool, too. For full disclosure, you should know that I am a huge fan of John Fleuvog's shoes for all of the above reasons. And more. Fleuvog's are smoking hot and most are comfortable. They draw on retro sensibilities, which I share, but even so, they are able to also be very now. And they are well made. Unfortunately even Fleuvog has not been able to provide the elusive 'everyday sandal' for me. Plus, Fleuvog's are pricey (think $200 and up easily) - I'm always trolling for their sales. Don't get me wrong - I'll gladly drop a lot of cash on shoes. And I do. But they better be worth it. (And Fleuvog's are.)
This year, I found Wolky and my hunt for good everyday sandals was over. This pair I'm wearing in these photos is just one sample. They are more futuristic than they are orthopedic and that's partly what makes them work for me. They have a lot of features - adjustable straps at every point you would want adjusting and removable foam and cork combo footbeds that mold to your feet and can be replaced with personalized inserts if needed. I like the beefy soles and patent-y material. They are easy to maintain as well as take on and off. They are fantastic for traveling - they adapt from casual day wear to snappy evening wear in a pinch and I can walk the greatest distances in them. Oh and did I mention that they just feel good? I recommend that you take a look at their varied collection for a style you might like. Their prices are not significantly cheaper than Fleuvog's, but like Fleuvog's they are built to last. (Check out Fleuvog's too, by the way, you won't regret it.) Oh, and in Missoula, the Bootlegger in the mall now carries some Wolky styles.
The best endorsement for Wolky is Mabel. When I visited Mom in Indiana this summer, she admired mine, tried them on, and most importantly she was certain in an instant that they fit! So, we ordered her a pair (in bronze). She loves them. You have no idea how happy that makes me.
I'm saving up for closed toe styles - probably boots - from Wolky now that the weather is.... turning.