Make Waves in Orcatex Design’s Breezy Summer Shoes

Catch me out and about on any given summer day and I’m probably wearing barely-there flat sandals. But sometimes your feet need a bit more coverage and protection than the average flip flops can provide. Mitchell Fein and his brother Michael set out to develop just that – a stylish “go anywhere” summer shoe. Their solution: Orcatex Design.

Orcatex Design Orca ClassicThe upper of these shoes is made of a unique material that resembles the non-slip liner inside a kitchen drawer or beneath a rug. The unisex footwear is made with a patent-pending breathable, flexible and washable material with a minimal non-slip outsole. Rendered in preppy silhouettes and timeless colors, these shoes can carry you from the surf or pool right into town.

My Review

I received a pair of the black Orcatex Design Orca Classic shoes for review. Both my husband and I took them for a spin. I now have to hide them from him because he likes them so much. Read on for more details about these comfy, casual shoes.FullSizeRender 21

Pros

Eye-catching design. At first, I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of the way these shoes looked. The material threw me off a bit. But once I put them on and wore them around a couple of times, I was hooked. The classic silhouette is similar to a boating shoe, and the texture of the upper lends them a bit of an edgy feel.

Breathable and quick-to-dry. Mitchell boasts that the shoes dry in 10 minutes, so bonus for all you waterside wanderers! I can vouch for this fact as I wore these shoes during a rafting and camping trip last month. While they are breathable, I don’t think they’d be comfortable for all-day wear. But neither are flip flops!

Comfortable. So comfortable. With every step the shoes massage the soles of my feet, especially when walking on a hard surface. The sensation takes some getting used to but it can be very soothing.

Lightweight and packable. These shoes can be rolled up and tucked in a pocket or small bag. So convenient!

Washable, odor and bacterial resistant. A great thing since I wore these in muddy waters and around a campsite. I just hosed them off and they were good to go!

For a good cause. It’s hard to not love a shoe company that is as dedicated to the environment as it is to its products. A portion of Orcatex sales go to marine wildlife charities to keep our oceans wild and free.

A photo posted by ORCATEX Design (@orcashoe) on

Cons

Lack of color and style options. While Orcatex Design shoes are unisex, the current available style is decisively geared towards men. But with this said, of course this is a young company and I know they are working on more options (and kids’ sizes!) for next year so this isn’t a biggie. Plus, menswear is a big trend right now for women’s footwear, so I’m going to channel my inner tomboy and wear these babies to the beach with my favorite bikini and coverup.

My Verdict

Overall I find Orcatex Design shoes to be a really fun and unique alternative to the usual summer lifestyle footwear out there. The comfort they offer is nearly unmatched and I did find that they kept my feet dry and comfortable all day long. Two thumbs up! I will definitely #StepHappy all summer long =)

You can purchase the Orcatex Design Orca Classic ($45.00) and in the future, other styles online at www.orcatex.com. Look for 10 new colors as well as two-toned versions of the Classic for Spring/Summer 2016. The company is also exploring licensing possibilities with both collegiate and professional sports teams.

 

Relaxing after work in my @orcashoe slip-ons. #shoes #footwear #shoelovers

 

A photo posted by Anna Bassham (@shoesmitten) on

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25 Trendy Summer Sandals Under $25



Summer’s in high gear and the easiest way to update your look is to grab a pair of trendy summer sandals. Coming in at under $25 a pair, you can afford to add a few of these sandals to your wardrobe without worrying if they’ll be “in” next year. Have some fun in the sun in sky-high cork wedges, funky flatforms, and everything in-between.

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High Heels That Don’t Hurt? Design Comfort Shoes Has You Covered

Irresistible by Design Comfort Shoes

Let’s face it – you and I are a special kind of masochist. Over and over again we cram our feet into punishing shoes, knowing that at some point, they’re gonna hurt us. It seems we have two choices: either grin and bear it for the sake of being en vogue, or surrender to wearing frumpy orthopedic shoes.

After suffering from blisters, toe cramping and bunions in the name of fashion, Ilene Greenberg decided enough was enough. Fed up with the lack of high-tech high heel options available, she created Irresistible by Design Comfort Shoes. Launched in November 2014, the shoe line marries style with comfort.

“We are changing a woman’s perception of what to expect in a stylish shoe by engineering into every pair patent pending comfort elements that reduce impact and stress to the foot.”

The technology

  • Shock absorbers in the platform reduce stress and impact to the foot.
  • Signature stretch panel in the bunion area stretches for those who need it. It also functions as a fashion signature statement for those who don’t.
  • Double plush cushioned footbed with perforations by the ball of the foot allow air to circulate.
  • Reduced slope of the shoe lets the ball of the foot lay flat rather than taking on most of gravity’s impact.
  • Slip resistant outer-sole helps you walk safely, rain or shine.

My review

Always anxious to try out the latest shoe comfort technologies, I jumped at the chance to review a pair of Design Comfort Shoes. I chose The Stephanie, a sultry red peep toe platform with ankle strap. The shoes arrived just in time for my weekend trip to D.C., where I had plenty of dressy nightlife activities planned.

Pros

Lightweight. I was shocked when I first picked these shoes up out of the box. They are so light! You can pack these in your suitcase without worrying one bit about added weight. Even with the 1-inch platform and 4-inch heel I had no trouble walking in them.

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Comfy.
I can’t stress enough how comfortable these heels are! Not once did my arches or heels ache. Not even after hours of walking and dancing.

Stylish. These aren’t only comfortable shoes; they are HOT heels I’m proud to be seen in! I got compliments all night long from my fashion-savvy friends and strangers alike.

FullSizeRender 15

 

Well-made. These heels are German engineered and made of leather and other high-quality materials. It’s obvious that the makers pay close attention to every detail to ensure these shoes are comfortable and will last.

Cons

Rubbing. While the elastic panel on the inside of each shoe stretches to accommodate a bunion or wider feet, the opposite side is simply leather. This side rubbed my feet a bit, not causing blisters but some irritation after long hours on my feet. This can be easily remedied by stretching out the leather uppers before wearing for the first time. Place a Ziplock bag full of water inside each shoe and put the shoes in the freezer.  After the water expands and freezes, the leather uppers will stretch out.

My verdict

To sum it up, I’m a huge fan of Irresistible by Design Comfort Shoes and will be telling all my friends and family to try them. This shoe company is by far the best company currently in the “comfort heels” market, if you ask me. I’m curious to try out more of the styles to see if each pair is as wonderful as The Stephanie.

You can learn more and buy your own beautiful, comfortable high heels at www.designcomfortshoes.com. Let me know which styles you buy or are eyeing in the comments below!

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Celebrate Midsummer with Cape Clogs [Giveaway + Review]

UPDATE 7/1/15: Giveaway is now closed, and a winner has been randomly chosen! Scroll down to find out who!

Glad Midsommar

Midsummer is Scandinavia’s most popular festival. A traditional celebration of the Summer solstice, Midsummer is the longest day of the year. In mid-June, school is out and nature has burst into life. It seems like the sun never sets. In fact, in the north of Sweden it doesn’t, and in the south only for an hour or two. The air is filled with the fresh scent of flowers, music, and laughter as people celebrate the long hours of sunlight.

What better time could there be to talk about Sweden’s most popular footwear, the clog? As is the case each spring, clogs are making a comeback. From sky-scraping platforms to wooden flatforms to the original style with fashion-forward accents, clogs are a must-have.

To celebrate Midsummer, Cape Clogs is giving you the chance to win a pair of clogs of your choice! They also sent me a pair to review so you can see for yourself how they look and feel. Read on for the details.

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This Summer’s Top Footwear Trends

Summer’s well on its way and with it, a whole host of new footwear trends to enjoy. Whether you’re a high heel lover or into something a little more comfortable, there are styles to suit all tastes! So let’s get on with it and see which shoes you’ll be wearing this season.

Image credit: Mark Colliton Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/52814185@N02/15563417943/sizes/m/
Image credit: Mark Colliton Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/52814185@N02/15563417943/sizes/m/

Mules

Love them or hate them, 90s mules are making a comeback! Worn by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker in the early Sex And The City days, everyone who is everyone will be wearing mules this summer. They’ve already been spotted on the likes of Kate Moss, Emma Stone and more recently, Jennifer Lawrence.

If you’re after a pair of stylish, yet versatile shoes for the summer, mules make a fabulous choice. Slip them on and off with ease and achieve an effortless look by pairing them with a casual jeans and t-shirt combination.

platforms
Image credit: Philippe Put Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/34547181@N00/5747343387/sizes/m/

Platforms

Seventies fashion is so hot right now that it’s not surprising that platforms are one of the top summer footwear trends for 2015. If you’re more disco then boho, then this will be the shoe for you!

What’s great about platforms is that they not only add the wow factor to your outfits and help to lengthen your legs but they’re also very comfortable. The towering platform helps to spread some of the weight, so you’ll be able to wear them in comfort all night long.

lace up flats
Image credit: JessJamesJake Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessjamesjake/5774041242/sizes/m/

Lace-up flats

If you’re looking for the perfect balance between style and comfort, you’ll love the lace-up flats trend. Pick out a pair with lacing that ties above your ankle or if you’re feeling a little daring, half way up your calf. There’s something subtly sexy about these flats that add an element of interest to both day and night time outfits.

Pick out a pair of lace-up sandals for your holiday and wear them with your favorite summer dresses. All eyes will be on you!

pointy toe heels
Image credit: Ryan McGuire IM Creator – http://www.imcreator.com/free/getting-sexy

Pointy toe heels

Pointy toe heels are what we like to call a marmite trend – some people love them, whereas others can’t stand them! Either way, they’re great for lengthening the legs and look extremely sophisticated, whether paired with a little black dress or a pair of skinny jeans.

It’s best to try on a pair of pointy toe heels before committing to a purchase. Some people find them comfortable to walk in, whereas others feel they’re too constricting on the toes.

flatforms
Image credit: chambrayandcurls Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/chambrayandcurls/10383558174/sizes/m/

Flatforms

Forget flip-flops! This summer it’s all about flatforms. Pick an open-toed style and pair them with your favourite denim cut-offs or even a seventies-inspired boho dress. Flatforms give you a little extra height, yet are still comfortable and practical for long walks on the beach.

metallic flat sandals
Image credit: telepathicparanoia Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/donutgirl/3844215431/sizes/m/

Metallic Shoes

Make your outfits shine this summer with a gorgeous pair of metallic shoes or sandals. Everything from warm toned copper and gold shades to cool tones silvers are in. They’ll add a stylish and sophisticated touch to your outfits and will go with almost every other color!

fringe sandals
Image credit: …love Maegan Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemaegan/3661888888/sizes/m/

Fringed Shoes

Last but not least, if you’re looking for statement shoes for summer, pick up a pair with fringed detail. From skyscraper heels to casual sandals, there are plenty of fringed pairs for you to choose from. They’re ideal for getting that boho beach babe look and will jazz up even the plainest of outfits this summer.

So there we have the top summer footwear trends! Which ones will you be rocking?

 

Guest post by China Blue Shoes, a fashion & footwear blog and online shoe store stocking hundreds of shoe styles for men and women.

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Spring’s Hottest Statement Sneakers [Infographic]

We are in the midst of spring and I haven’t talked much about the season’s must-have trends! Shame on me! Well, better late than never, right? Let’s start with sneakers.

Whether you’re a sneakerhead looking for the latest fashion statement to add to your collection, or you just need some trainers for the gym, this infographic can help guide you to the right pair. What’s your favorite style?

Trainer Shortlist

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Marmi Shoes: Specialty-Size Designer Footwear

I have several friends and readers who experience frustration when trying to find fashionable shoes that fit. Most stores only sell shoes that fall within a narrow size range, leaving women with smaller or larger feet in the dust. I can’t stand for that. Everyone deserves to be well-shod, am I right?

In an effort to help I’m constantly on the lookout for stores that sell beautiful, quality shoes in hard-to-find sizes. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover Marmi, a boutique that carries a broad range of designer women’s shoes in sizes 4 to 13, narrow to wide. If you have trouble finding stylish and comfortable shoes in your size, you are going to love this store!

Marmi Shoes

Luxurious Shoes For All Sizes

Marmi sells three well-known designer brands: Vaneli, Sesto Meucci and Eric Javits. Vaneli captures each season’s must-have looks rendered in quality leathers and unique fabrications. Sesto Meucci boasts real Italian craftsmanship, extra comfort features and fashion-forward details. Eric Javits selected Marmi as the exclusive footwear licensee, and the shoes feature meticulous styling and remarkable details.

Trend-Conscious

Not only does Marmi offer quality, specialty-sized shoes; the company stays on top of the latest fashion trends. Their Spring 2015 Report breaks down the must-have colors, styles and features of the season in an easy-to-read infographic. You can find all of the hottest spring trends in their shop, from boho-inspired sandals to sporty flats and everything in between.

030615_SpringTrends

Something For Everyone

Marmi carries all sorts of shoes, from fashionably comfortable wedges to work-appropriate flats, and the shoes run about $100-$260. You can find some great deals on Marmi’s Shoe Rack, where limited inventory is discounted. These spicy ERIC JAVITS GRECOTSAND fisherman sandals caught my eye. Priced at just $99.99 (marked down from $200), they would make the perfect Cinco de Mayo party shoe. The multi-color straps and metallic finish will get anyone in the fiesta mood, don’t you think?!

ERIC JAVITS GRECOTSAND fisherman sandals

Excellent Service

The Marmi philosophy is to “Provide women with quality footwear that looks great, feels great and fits great-and put customer satisfaction above all else.” If you find a shoe on their site that you want but it’s not available in your size, they will work to get it for you. Simply click the ‘don’t see your size?’ button to send a message. A sales rep will then be in touch to see if they can find what you need. That’s pretty great customer service.

Shop Marmi Shoes

Marmi operates over 20 specialty stores nationwide. Stop by a location near you, or shop online at shop.marmishoes.com.

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Tanya Heath Convertible Shoes Change From Heels To Flats With The Click Of A Button

We’ve all wished at one time or another that our painful high heels could magically be transformed into comfortable flats with the wave of a wand. Or that we could simply swap out the heels on a favorite pair of pumps to give them new life. Thanks to up-and-coming designer Tanya Heath, now we can!

 

 

Tanya Heath is revolutionizing women’s footwear by allowing customers to switch between high heels (3.5 inches tall) and low heels (1.5 inches tall) with the push of a button.  Now, you can buy a single pair of quality leather shoes and pair them with either a comfortable low heel, a chunky mid-height heel or a tall stiletto, depending on the occasion. I also imagine packing your shoes becomes easier, as you can simply snap off the heels.

Tanya Heath shoes are available in a wide range of styles, from open-toed sandals to knee-high boots. There are hundreds of heels to choose from, so you can customize your favorite shoes however you want.

Not only are Tanya Heath’s shoes innovative and practical; they are luxurious. Made in France, the craftsmanship and materials (and price) of these shoes are on par with those by Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin. Shoes range in price from $600 to $1,000 (not including a heel). Not cheap. But when you consider you can transform one pair by switching out the heels (which start at $45), the price suddenly seems fairly reasonable.

 

 

What’s next for this self-taught, Canadian-born designer? Rumor has it, a handbag as revolutionary as these shoes. Tanya plans to continue creating fashionable products that make women look good but also allow them to live their busy lives.

You can buy Tanya Heath’s interchangeable heels at her boutique at 138 Cumberland Street in Toronto’s Yorkville area, or at www.tanyaheath.com.

Images: Tanya Heath Paris; Instagram (2)

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Win a Year’s Supply of adidas Originals Trainers!

This giveaway’s for the men! Take home a brand new pair of adidas Originals trainers every month for the next 12 months, courtesy of adidas Originals and Mainline Menswear!

To enter to win, simply leave your name, email address and mobile number on the entry form. One lucky person will be picked at random. The giveaway closes March 15, 2015, so head on over and enter now!

Open to residents of any country. No purchase necessary. You must be over the age of 16 years old, or have your parents’ permission to enter. Mainline Menswear only stock men’s trainers in UK sizes from 6 to 12. See all terms & conditions on the entry page.

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Meteorite Heels: One Giant Leap For Fashion

Alexander Grove and Azusa Murkami, Studio Swine - meteorite heels
Image: Studio Swine

When cutting-edge technology and fashion collide, the results can be truly out of this world. Alexander Grove and Azusa Murkami of Studio Swine have proven this with their outlandish meteorite heels.

Inspired by the comet landing of the ESA in November and sponsored by Microsoft for an ad, the design duo set out to turn aluminum foam into meteorite shoes. They visited the Natural History Museum where they used 3D scanners to make 3D files of meteorite shapes. They then combined traditional shoe-making techniques with CNC milling to craft the rock-shaped heels.

meteorite heels by Studio Swine
Image: Studio Swine

The shoe upper is made of lightweight aluminum foam, which creates a lot of volume with very little weight. This airy material, used for sound insulation inside luxury cars and buildings, gives the shoes a sense of large rocks floating in space.

But these meteorite heels are more than just conversation-starting works of art. The designers claim that the rugged-looking heels are actually quite comfortable, as they are nearly weightless (aluminum foam is 90 percent air) and feature soft Italian leather lining.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be curious to see what Studio Swine designs next. The use of 3D printing technology in fashion has me completely intrigued at the moment. I’ll be talking more in-depth about this exciting trend on Shoe Smitten, so stay tuned!

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