The lowdown on chic shoes
By Karen Gram, Vancouver Sun, June 29, 2012
Sometimes it seems like all the great shoes have towering stiletto heels, heels that only a select few can actually pull off with panache. The rest of us either look ridiculous wobbling along with our spines pitched forward, or years of heels have destroyed our feet and now we are resigned to sensible shoes and the feeling that we are dull in comparison.
Well here is the good news. Our city has loads of low heels that pop with creativity and can’t help but be noticed.
In fact, some shoe shops specialize in well-made, comfortable, yet really stylish low heels—finding brands from around the world.
A tour around the city uncovered some real gems. Some have cork soles which are a dream to wear, others have wedge or chunky heels offering great stability. They all have style components that will have women coming up to you on the street to say they love your shoes.
Our search was limited to shoes with heels no higher than two inches unless they also had a platform sole. We did end up including one or two that stood 2.3 inches tall. But when we tried them on, they met the comfort test.
Ella Shoes, both downtown and on South Granville, has a large selection of beautiful low heels. Owner George Rodriguez buys brands like Gabor from Germany and Pedro Miralles from Spain, because high heels may be pretty on the shelf, but only a few women actually buy them.
“Women prefer low heels because they are more comfortable to walk,” he says, adding the shoes sold at Ella are also well made for comfort and staying power.
“In Vancouver, it is very easy to find Chinese shoes. But if you want to find quality shoes it is very difficult or very expensive. We try to offer values.”
If Rodriquez had to choose favourites, he would choose the German brand Gabor for comfort. They are made in Portugal, are leather inside and out and their boots have different calf widths. For style, he loves Hispanitas boots. “They play with colours,” he says. “For me, in boots, the fall collection is No. 1.”
The edgy and eclectic New York brand Miz Mooz has a store on West Fourth that offers great choices too; both by Miz Mooz and a few other brands like Lola Ramona from Denmark. Danes love the red and white colours of their flag and Lola Ramona has picked up on that and added black stripes to the mix for a super fun shoe.
Then there is Jack and Jill on South Granville (and Grandview Corners in South Surrey) which has a lively selection of shoes including many from Portugal like Fidji, Dkode and Nopulse. They also carry the beautiful Mjus (pronounced Muse) which are designed in Italy but made in Bosnia.
Finally, shopping for shoes wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Gravity Pope on West Fourth. They have a huge selection of eye candy as well as gorgeous comfort shoes like the Cydwoqs (sidewalks) from California which are designed for walking or the London-based, Vancouver native Tracey Neuls’ shoes which put a lovely spin on retro.
Here is a selection of the shoes we discovered. Get walking.
[See photo gallery tab Vancouver Sun.]
Diane Von Furstenberg sends print dresses, beehives and low heels down the runway. Photograph by: Vancouver Sun, Handout
Low heels by the German shoe maker Gabor which are sold at Ella Shoes on South Granville. The sling back retails for $225.
Source: Vancouver Sun