Lundi Fashion Boots Go Tech!

Finally the ancient art of shoemaking is entering the 21st century!  A brand new line of boots, “Lundi”, offers temperature control through your smart phone.  Freezing outside as you walk to work or class?  Turn the heat up to 80 degrees.  Indoors for the rest of the day?  Turn the heat down to 65 degrees. Great fashion boots for women.

These boots, designed and brought to market by Katie Lefkowitz, are now being funded through Kickstarter through early May 2016.

Twitter: @lundiboots –
Instagram: @lundiboots –

Wants High Heels for Office But has Long Toes, Narrow Feet and High Heels Hurt

Dear Shoe Lady,

I have narrow feet (size 7.5) and a longer big toe. Also, as I have very thin skin, I need a lot of extra cushioning for the ball of my feet.

I find it virtually impossible to buy comfortable high heeled office pumps. Any suggestion to brands I may try or getting custom made shoes?



Dear Noureen-

You were born with narrow feet, toes of disproportionate length and thin skin so the nerve endings are near the surface and very sensitive.  Mother Nature is trying to tell you something!  Why oh WHY are you trying to find high heel office pumps!?!
Good grief.  The challenges The Shoe Lady must rise to.
First, re-think the high heel part of the shoes you are seeking.  I’m sure you can find a way to look like an executive, leader, office diva without high heels.
But The Shoe Lady is here to help.  I will provide you with some “tips” that may shed light on a solution.
First, fit for your longer big toes.  I generally ask people to measure their feet from heel to toe.  And it works fine unless the toes are shorter or longer than average.  Truth is, shoes are made assuming a standard toe width and the key measure is the length from your heel to the widest part of your foot, the ball of your foot.  You should measure your feet on a Brannock device. This will tell you your shoe size if your longer toes were not an issue.  Why is this important?  If you are buying size 7.5 shoes because of your longer toes, but your heel-to-ball size is really a 6.5, then the shape of the shoe will not accommodate the ball of your foot correctly.  The ball of your foot will hit a narrower part of the shoe and in high heel pumps, this will be painful, even for thicker skinned folks.  Once you know the Brannock size and the full foot size, you will need to learn about shoe last shapes.  You will need a shoe shape that does not have a pronounced inward curve at the arch and outward curve for the ball of the foot.  An extreme example to consider might be a “D’Orsay” style pump.
Second, high heels.  If you are going to insist on high heels, let’s determine how high.  Studies of foot biomechanics suggest that women should not exceed heels of about 2.5 inches if they are going to wear them for most of the day.  But I hear you say you want to wear a 3 inch heel.  Then look for a pump that has a half inch platform sole.  You can have the heel if you raise the front of the shoe too.  What?  You want a 4 inch heel with no platform?  OK.  Here’s the deal.  Wear a reasonable 1-2 inch comfortable heel to work, on the way home, going to get lunch, etc.  Slip into the 4 inch heel while you are at your desk and walking to and from meetings.  Do not stand or walk in them for more than two hours a day.
Third, finding comfort.  There are a couple of options on the market that you may want to try.  Cole-Haan, part of the Nike shoe family, has used Nike’s technology for adding gas filled pillows under the balls of the feet.  You could find such pillows at a big drug store, but these are more permanent.  Look into the Insolia ( product to see if this will help.  Some shoe manufacturers incorporate it into their shoes.  But you can buy the inserts and add them to your shoes.
Fourth,  staying healthy.  Too much time in high heels will change your natural walking gait, even when you walk in flats or barefoot.  And it isn’t a good change.  It effects your posture, your ankle movement, your foot flexibility and the calves and tendons in your lower legs.  Of course all of this also effects your hip joints and back.  But I’m going to assume you are under 30 and don’t care about that.  If you do wear high heels a lot, then daily you must stretch out the backs of your legs, the tendons.  You must do foot exercises to keep those 27 bones, and all their related tendons and muscles, in each foot lively and moving.  Pick things up with your toes.  Role your feet over a golf ball.  Note.  If you are over 30, all that nice padding under the balls of your feet has started to slide forward toward your toes, or just disappear.  This means it is “bone on ground” time.  And the higher the heel, the more weight on the ball of your foot!
Fifth, brands to try.  Cole Haan, but they may not carry narrows.  Naturalizer, has comfort features and platforms.  Ros Hommerson, has been off market but is re-launching this Fall and I expect will bring good design and comfort features in narrow sizes.  Other brands that offer great “career wear” styles in your size include Bella Vita, Sofft, Soft Spots, Soft Walk, Trotters.  Try this link to get some options in your size:
Best to you,
The Shoe Lady
PS:  See these articles:
The Postural and Piomechanical Effects of High Heel Shoes: A Literature Review by Shavonda L. Pannell
by Cary Groner
A Biomechanical Evaluation of Standing in High Heeled Shoes
by Paula D. Henderson and Dr. Stephen J. Plazza
by Gretchen Reynolds\
by Colette Bouchez

Dr. Debora Spar Officiates Graduation in REALLY HIGH Heeled Sandals!

Barnard College President Debora Spar climbed the stairs to the podium for the Barnard Class of 2013 Graduation in probably the highest heels yet worn by any college president … anywhere!  The Shoe Lady is completely relieved that there were no reports of her tripping or falling.

Apparently Dr. Spar has given some thought to shoes as well as other matters pertaining to the lives of women. The Shoe Lady has grabbed a look at her soon to be released latest book,   WONDER WOMEN:  SEX, POWER AND THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION.  The Shoe Lady notes that the position in which the woman on the book cover is wearing HER high heels is far safer than the position the author chose, climbing stairs in these high heeled, colorful and very attractive sandals.  The Shoe Lady does, however, commend her for choosing sandals in the colors of

Ascending to podium on graduation day in 5 inch heels.

Ascending to podium on graduation day in 5 inch heels.


How to Measure Heel Height

HEY! ShoeLady!

I just bought three pair of the Silk by Bella Vita, three different colors. The website says Silk has a heel height of 2.25 inches. I measured it at 4 inches! What’s going on here?!?

Vanessa, Tennessee

Dear Vanessa,

Vanessa –

I understand you are concerned that the heel height on the “Silk” espadrille by Bella Vita is different than what is shown on the website? The website says 2.25 inches. I took my ruler to the warehouse and measured the shoe. It is 2.25 inches. Heel height is measured by holding the ruler in the center of the heel, on side view, subtracting the height of any platform under the ball of the foot and measuring in a straight line down, perpendicular to the bottom of the heel.

Bella Vita Silk Fuchsia Thai at

Silk by Bella Vita is a Mid Heel Casual Sandal

Larger size shoes do often have the heel height scale up a tad… but in a shoe like this, it would be minimal, not more than a quarter to half an inch at the most. My guess is that you measured from the back edge of the heel at an angle down to the bottom of the heel? Remember math class and the hypotenuse triangle? The longer side of a 90 degree angle triangle is significantly longer than the perpendicular side.

The heel height is intended to measure the angle of the foot as it sits in the shoe, and the rise of the heel compared to the ball of the foot. At most, the Silk has a heel height of 2.75 inches.

It’s all math, when you come down to it.

Stand tall in those gorgeous espadrilles!

The ShoeLady

Do I Have High Arches?

Dear Shoe Lady,
I measured my foot to be 21cm long and 8cm wide. By your guide this makes me a UK size 2-2.5

My problem is that whenever I buy this size shoe the length and width often fit perfectly but the shape of the shoe never fits my foot! I will try to describe the problem as best I can!

It feels like I need to push my foot further back into the shoe in order to get the contact I need for it to feel comfortable at the arch. This is especially the case with heels, even small ones (I never where high heels, they just hurt too much).

If I try a larger size 3 the arch position feels perfect, but the shoe itself is way to big. I do have rather short toes, I am not sure if this is my problem, or if it is high arches? What can I do to fix it and make wearing heals more comfortable?

I would very much appreciate some help.

Thank you


Dear Gem,

This is exactly the kind of question that keeps The Shoe Lady in business. Why is it that people assume that just because it is easier for manufacturers to think of all feet as being two dimensional objects that only vary by length and width… in per-determined proportions…. that real human feet are also two dimensional!!???

Breathe deeply. Ah. I feel a RANT coming on.

There are 28, TWENTY EIGHT, different measurement dimensions on a human foot. And we generally each have TWO feet. So that’s 56 different measurement points that a shoe should fit in order to fit our feet.

Now to give the shoe industry some credit, when they pick a style, some shoe companies really try to make it fit a lot of different foot sizes and shapes. The folks at love these companies and have a great selection of their shoes. These are companies that will make a given style in 56 different sizes. That’s a lot of work. A lot of manufacturing changes. A lot of possibilities for guessing the wrong amounts to make for each size, etc. So we appreciate their efforts. Who does this? Naturalizer. Antia. Special Occasions. Soft Spots. Trotters. And more.

BUT….. even though they make 56+ sizes, they still are only doing it on variations in length and width.

This is why we all need to really understand our feet and how their shape and size compares to what manufacturers assume to be most common.

I will now tell you the variations in foot shape that are most likely to cause “fit” problems.

  • Shorter than average toes
  • Longer than average toes
  • Thick (top to bottom) feet, including higher arches and more muscular feet
  • Wider forefoot, including bunions


If you have any of these, you can still have perfectly healthy, perfectly adorable feet. But you need to be strategic when you shop for shoes.

Without seeing your feet, I am trusting your description. Your toes are shorter than average. If you go to a pedorthist and have your feet measured professionally on a Brannock device, you will find that the foot measurement is always based on the distance from the back of your heel to the BALL of your foot, NOT the tip of your toes! Shoemakers assume you have the standard length of toes for that distance. And you do not. You MUST find shoes that fit the ball of your foot and expect that you will have extra air around your toes.

Ah. I know. There are more challenges. Keeping the shoes on, for example. You might want to look for shoes with “maryjane” straps over the top of the foot; or shoes with a high vamp, like loafers; or shoes with pointed toes. There are alternatives. You could look for more unstructured shoes like canvas espadrilles that do not have last that is designed to fit to the ball of your foot.

Why am I ignoring the “high arch” question? Well clearly I am not!

I have a high arch too. But I haven’t found that it influences the fit of shoes anywhere near as much as the thickness of my forefeet. You do need to pay attention, though. You may need arch supports, especially if you want to wear heels or have shoes you are standing in or walking in for long periods. This, my dear, is beyond my pay grade.

If your arches feel stretched, are cramped, etc., please do 1) massage them regularly and 2) see a specialist who can tell you if you need arch supports.

I am tempted to ask you how you even stand up on such tiny little feet. But I am restraining myself.

Aerosoles Benefit Bone Combo at

Aerosoles Benefit Bone Combo is a High Heel Casual Pump


Best to you,
The Shoe Lady


Dear Shoe Lady,
I have some foot and back issues that require orthotics. But I have such a difficult time finding decent looking trendy and elegant shoes – particularly sandals that take them. As a result, I’m a mess by the end of the summer since style is very important to me. Do you carry any shoes where the insides can be removed to be replaced by custom orthotics?

Dearest Vivian,
My heart goes out to you, and unfortunately this is an all-too-common problem. No one should ever have to sacrifice style for comfort, or even wearability.

Aerosoles Screen Saver Soft Gold Combo at

Aerosoles Screen Saver Soft Gold Combo is a Low Heel Casual Sanda

The Aerosoles Screen Saver shoe would be a perfect summery strap on. Although you cannot remove the insole, you can adjust both straps to compensate for the extra padding!

How to Measure Your Feet

Dear Shoe Lady,
My feet have gotten wider as I have aged and have a bunion on left foot. As well lost a considerable amount of weight of the last two years. Not sure what I size I actually wear now. How do I measure my feet?

Dear Linda from Dallas,
Congratulations on your weight loss and keeping it off for over 2 years! With weight loss comes a reduction in the width of your foot and at times even the length. Good idea to measure again at your new svelte weight! Here is a how to guide and the full guide plus size chart can be found by clicking here.

Step 1) Trace your barefoot on a piece of paper. Place weight on the larger foot. Hold a pencil straight up and trace a line around your foot (keep the line as tight as possible to your foot).

Step 2) Measure two perpendicular lines: one straight across the widest part of the foot, the other a straight (not diagonal) line from the toe to the heel.

Foot Measurement Guide

Foot Measurement Guide

Keep these two dimensions: Ball WIDTH and heel to toe LENGTH, on hand when you ask us about a shoe. Also, you must consider the shape of your feet. Thickness (muscularity), thinness, hammer toes, bunions and other shape features should be considered as you look at the size, width and shape of the shoe.

For bunion-proof shoes, you likely are looking for kitten heels, and shoes make of softer material. The Annie Geneva Brown Velvet Suede shoes are the perfect material for bunions.

Annie Geneva Brown Velvet Suede at

Annie Geneva Brown Velvet Suede is a Low Heel Casual Flat

On the other hand, if you want to keep the same footwear without sacrificing heel height, may I recommend the Aerosoles Tapestry Red Patent heel give that va-va-voom look without forcing you to walk home barefoot!

Happy Holidays and please let us know the results of your measurements Linda!

Needing ALL Leather Shoes

Dear Shoe Lady,
I have developed an allergy to shoes that have synthetic/rubber soles. Do you have all leather shoes with leather soles and insoles available? I typed in all leather and it still gave me rubber soled shoes.

Hi Donna,
With regard to the site search it’s because most of our shoes are made up of multiple types of materials. I will make sure to all “all leather” as a keyword to narrow your results to ONLY shoe constructed of 100% leather.

Have you tried our Rachel shoes by Softwalk? They have softleather and foam on the inside, but rest assured, no rubber insoles!

Softwalk Rachel Black at

Rachel by Softwalk is a Low Heel Casual Pump

Or, if you wanted a pair of boots, Softwalk also makes a cute pair called Trieste in dark brown.

Softwalk Trieste Dark Brown Suede at

Trieste by Softwalk is a Low Heel Casual Bootie

Softwalk shoes in general are a great brand to accommodate your rubber allergy, browsing our site for this brand, you will see a plethora of different styles to meet your shoe needs!

Happy Holidays!

Shoes for Teachers

Hello Shoe Lady,
This is your sister again.
I admit that I didn’t take the advice you offered last time I wrote. I succumbed to the ease of the washable shoes even though you recommended a nice mule.
I’ve been on my feet teaching math here in Florida now for a few months. I’d like some comfortable, stylish shoes that I can wear throughout the school year. I’m looking for something with a 1″ heel in a cocoa brown color with a price that fits a teacher’s wallet and my short wide foot. Remember all those summers we went barefoot? We didn’t know then but I am paying the price now with “spreading” feet!
I’m looking forward to some suggestions from you.

Your much younger sister

Well dear little, short, tiny footed sister….. it isn’t going barefoot that made your feet wide. It is getting old. Actually, not true. You were born with wide feet. I remember. Chubby little things.

Anyway…. I digress.
Here is a link for you to find brown low heeled shoes –
In the “Sort by” box in tiny letters (put on your glasses) on the right side of the page of shoes, sort by Price.

I know there are boots and you are in Florida. Sorry we don’t have an “exclude” function on search. But by limiting the shoe choices to “low” heel, you miss some great clogs and mules that have a higher heel but also a platform. That reduces the angle and brings your short self more in line with the family.

Take a look at the Softwalk mules (you can sort by Mule under the STYLE department).
I suggest the Mika, the Murietta and the Denver, all in your size and color. I added the images for each shoe below in case you needed a visual guide.

Softwalk Denver Wheat at

Denver by Softwalk is a Mid Heel Casual Mule

Softwalk Mika Dark Brown at

Mika by Softwalk is a Mid Heel Dressy Mule

Softwalk Murietta Cognac Croco at

Murietta by Softwalk is a Mid Heel Casual Mule

I also think you and your kids would have fun with you showing up in a pair of Cape Clogs mules. You can get flower prints or skull and cross bones… wear according to your mood. Let it be a warning to the little tykes.

The Shoe Lady

Pregnant Feet

Dear Shoe Lady,
I’m six months pregnant (yay!) and my feet have ballooned. I’m looking for the best foot gear to ride me through the winter and into the spring. I was wondering if you could recommend a brand or shoe, I prefer open shoes but the weather will not allow……so any shoe that would love my bloated pregnant feet!!. I appreciate the help.

Dear Thelma,
Congratulations on your baby! You’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of options available that won’t break your feet or your budget!

Tamarac Jessie Chocolate at

Jessie by Tamarac is a Low Heel Casual Boot

Not only is this casual boot very chic right now, it is perfect for lounging around or running errands and won’t break the bank unlike those other ugghyy folks. Right now is offering 5% off Tamarac Shoes. Use coupon code – TAMARAC – at check out!

For a night out, however, the Shoe Lady recommends the Antia Abella Black Metallic Snake Flat.

Antia Abella Black Metallic Snake at

Abella by Antia is a Low Heel Dressy Flat

The sparkle detail adds a touch of glamour and the variety of widths (medium, wide and extra wide wide) can accommodate every foot size.

If you want to be pregnant and in heels I would recommend this 2 inch heel wedge by Aersoles, known for their soft inner soles. Wedges are a great, stylish way to eliminate back stress while helping to maintain balance.

Aerosoles Barecuda Mink Combo at

Barecuda by Aerosoles is a Mid Heel Casual Pump

Best of luck,
The Shoe Lady