24 - 26 Upperkirkgate ABERDEEN

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Ladies Shoes ...

 

Ladies nearly always have more shoes than men, because dress code and fashion have much more impact on them. Heel heights and shapes, toe shapes, upper style and materials all cause women's shoes to have a 'sell-by' date! If you combine this with the fact that due to the imposition of 'must have' fashion, women are then subjected to 4 times the likelihood of foot problems created by those fashions, women really do have a tough time! Most of the Shoe Brands available in the UK cater almost solely for the 'mass market', so ladies with very narrow or very wide feet have a problem of finding a choice in footwear. We have tried to cater for years for all tastes and fittings of shoes and find that the styles that would fit often leave much to be desired in the eye of the wearer! (No woman wants to look old even if they do feel that way sometimes!) So, basically compromise has to be the name of the game! The fundamental criterion on which to base buying a shoe is fit. If a shoe does not fit then the problems start…circulation, corns, blisters, hammer-toes and bunions. Then heel height throws in its tuppence worth increasing pressure on the ball of the foot, the knees, hips and back are also thrown out of their natural alignment the problem getting worse with increased height of the heel. The calf muscles shorten if a high heel is worn all the time, making wearing a flat shoe verging on impossible due to the pain involved in re-stretching those shortened muscles and tendons! Narrow heel profiles place more strain on the ankles and sprains are more likely. Toe shape and depth should also be considered as an integral part of 'fit'. In the same way as you would never put a square peg in a round hole, so too you should not put a square foot in a narrow pointy shaped shoe. If the toe puff of the shoe bears down on your toes then the shoe is too shallow or too short and will only cause grief. However, do remember that the manufacturers NEVER mean your toes to reach the front of a shoe - there is always an allowance on the last a shoe is made on for the shape of the toe of the shoe. Our advice is simple, get a shoe that fits your foot and the purpose for which you are going to use it for and vary your heel height! Often easier said than done and for most people it will mean compromise.

 

Court Shoes ...

Court Shoes are essentially a slip-on shoe in which the fit of the front of the shoe is critical to the heel fit i.e. It is the fit at the front that stops the foot slipping down into the shoe and thus enables the heel to stay on. Finding brands that offer a range of width fittings makes wearing court shoes much more bearable. Courts are often designed with high fronts or straps both improving heel fit, they may have peep-toes or open sides to 'lighten' their appearance. The court shoe, however, was never designed to be used to walk long distances and therefore should not be considered to be a 'walking shoe', but rather a smart work or dress shoe. Heel height is very important to comfort and appearance and a lower heel with a wider base will offer more comfort, where a high heel will provide more perceived femininity or dressyness. There are several variations in 'cut' of the upper of a court each offering certain benefits. A 'V' throat is often useful for allowing entry into the shoe of a high instep or fleshy foot and makes a shoe look more elegant, where a 'round' or 'A-line' throat will restrict entry into the shoe and make the shoe more bulky in appearance. Sling back shoes are essentially courts with a sling type strap instead of an enclosed heel.

Sandals ...

 

Sandals come in all shapes and sizes and for all different purposes. Comfort sandals are nowadays often made of soft uppers, specialised insoles and various man-made soles, but often polyurethane (PU). The fundamental aim of this type of sandal is comfort in warm weather, allowing the foot to breathe and the sandal to be worn without socks or tights. Sandals are often held on by either ankle strap or sling back strap, the ankle strap is more secure. The front of the sandals are often adjustable using velcro or buckles, even laces giving greater flexibility in fit. Comfort sandals are often fitted with insoles referred to as foot beds that depending on manufacturer are made in different ways and with different materials, usually containing antibacterial additives. However, there is still very little that can compete with a leather-lined footbed although microfibre is being used more and more. It is important to have the joints of the foot cradled by the straps and the straps should follow the shape of the foot so as to prevent the toes sticking out and being rubbed. As with any shoe, your toes should never hang over the end of a sandal and should sit within the footbed. Your foot moves when you walk so you should allow for this when you are trying on your sandals. Remember if you don't like your toes 'out' opened up casuals are often worth consideration. Dress sandals are exactly that, flimsy dress items designed often to show as much flesh as possible to achieve a lighter look for a dress outfit. Some have a strap that wraps around the ankle others have a sling back strap. Espadrilles are a cross between a sandal, a court and a casual with a wedge sole unit often covered with a crochet-like covering on the wedge.

Casuals ...

 

Casuals are slip-on shoes designed with walking in mind. They tend to have higher fronts to hold the foot more securely in place. As with court shoes the accuracy of fit is crucial for your comfort, therefore the leading brands have different width fittings and last shapes for most feet although it has to be said that the styling won't always be to your liking! Use of PU sole units to provide cushion comfort, rubber units to provide grip, sometimes with wedges and sometimes with heels provide so many style options that much is down to personal choice and compromise! If you then look inside the shoe for your further comfort we would always recommend a leather lining where possible with extra shock absorption under the insole. Summer casuals are often perforated, or have cut-outs or interweave uppers to allow air flow and are often a good alternative to a sandal.

Mules & Clogs...

 

Mules/Clogs are shoes with no backs usually with a wedge sole unit. The original clogs had solid wooden soles, which because they did not bend had to be given a rocker type profile to make walking easy. Nowadays PU and PVC are the most common materials and the sole units are usually directly moulded onto the upper allowing great flexibility of the sole and its appearance. Whilst it is possible to have clogs with a filled in back, today it is generally accepted that a clog/mule is backless. The toes can be peep-toe or closed-in and as such they make good easy access foot-cover for slippers and sandals for the beach and swimming pool, operating theatres and the like.

Boots ...

 

Boots offer ankle support, warmth, and protection and can often be worn as a winter alternative to a shoe. They come in various degrees of dressyness depending on what they are to be used for. In winter you should always consider 'grip' as it is all very well being warm, but if you are always falling over because the soles of your boots are totally inappropriate to ground conditions you may as well have thrown your money away. Rubber cleated soles will give the best grip, but reasonably good grip can be achieved by moulded, cleated PU soles and they are lighter in weight too. Rubber top pieces on the heels of dressier boots will also help to prevent slipping. If all else fails, and elimination of slip on ice and snow is paramount, then there are various forms of crampons that you clip on to your boots. Warm linings preferably fleece or sheepskin allow the wearer to not change the thickness of hosiery that they prefer, but as most houses, shops, offices, etc. are all heated, wearing a warm-lined boot inside for most people is uncomfortably hot, and also not very hygienic. Leather or other non-warm absorbent linings should be sought for all year round use e.g. hillwalking, shopping in heated malls and dress occasions. Natural leather uppers with waterproof, breathable linings and membranous fabric uppers which use e.g. Goretex, Sympatex etc. allow the foot to breathe but also stay dry and depending on use are well worth consideration.

Lacing Shoes ...

Lacing shoes offer the best chance of fit and can be smart although it has to be said that they are generally in the comfort and/or casual sector of the footwear market. Cushion soles, leather linings and uppers all add to the comfort factor, but when coupled with foot-shaped lasts and innovative lacing methods, flexibility of fit becomes a reality - one fitting genuinely fitting 3-4 different widths of feet not to mention the different shapes! As you would expect, choice of sole material and tread pattern depends on what you want to use the shoes for, you can even have waterproof membranes, but remember the shoe will only be waterproof up to the lowest point of water entry!

Which brands do we stock?

ECCO, Gabor, Rieker, Josef Seibel, Van Dal, Lotus, Ara/Jenny, Tamaris, Romika, Relax, Nordika and many European Manufacturers product that offers much better product at a better price than the branded houses can offer. From these manufacturers we create ranges that should satisfy the most discerning customer as every shoe is assessed for value, fashion and fit, which sets us apart from any other shoe shop!

Andrew Begg - Never just another shoe shop.

 

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