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SHOE ART

By Elena Schmidt
Posted On May 09, 2014

Perhaps I need new shoes for work and think—‘I want nude, pleather pumps with 3-inch heels and soft insoles.’ I then embark on a shopping trip to the mall or to a large shoe department store optimistic that they exist. But very often something happens as I wander down the aisles. Peering from heel to heel, I do not see what I am looking for and begin to loosen my original standards. The field of options then opens to off-white heels, in the three-to five-inch range, in whatever material I can find. I often leave feeling defeated and not entirely satisfied with my final purchase.

In years past, women have been plagued by the frustrating hunt for the perfect shoe in brick and mortar stores; without any alternative. Today, with the advent of customization, new companies like Shoes of Prey offer consumers a solution to the problem—the ability to design your own shoes.

Shoes of Prey is an entirely online retail brand, that allows women to create their perfect shoes from start to finish—type, material, height, color, and size—using virtual tools to visualize the final product. I talked to co-founder, and Chief Creative Officer Jodie Fox to get the scoop on how Shoes of Prey works and how to design your own shoes that will make you feel your best.

New You: Where did the idea originate?

Jodie Fox: I was trying to solve a problem of my own. I always liked shoes, but could never find exactly what I wanted. When I was travelling I happened upon someone who could create my designs, in much the same way as you are able to find tailors for suits. As I began to create this interesting collection of shoes, my girlfriends asked me where they were coming from, and when I explained, I began to commission designs for them too. Concurrently, my two business partners Mike and Michael were at Google and becoming really excited about the opportunities in online retail. They just needed an idea. We all came together and Shoes of Prey was born.

NY: What type of heel is most comfortable for you?

JF: You’ll find me either in flats or 4.5-6 inch heels! I love the way they look and I am very comfortable in them. I know they’re not for everyone though, which is why we have 10 different heel heights ranging from 0–6 inches. I’ve also created a short video tutorial on how to walk in 6 inch heels for women who’d like to try.

NY: What advice can you offer mature women who want to wear shoes that look sexy but are not comfortable wearing heels?

JF: Comfort and style are no longer mutually exclusive. If you want to look at sexy styles in lower heights, I recommend a low stiletto heel shape—it’s so feminine—with a more open upper. (The entire part of the shoe that covers the foot.) This could be a sandal, or d’orsay peep-toe, but it’s that openness in the upper that will keep things looking lovely instead of being too full which tends to happen with lower heels.

NY: What does Shoes of Prey offer or what do you recommend for women that have different sized feet?

JF: Because we make shoes one pair at a time to your design, we are able to make one shoe bigger than the other. You’ll never have to buy two pairs of shoes to be comfortable ever again.

NY: What does Shoes of Prey offer or what do you recommend for women with sensitive feet I.e. bunion, corn, ingrown toenail, hammertoe, flat foot?

JF: Depending on the exact issue, we are able to make pattern adjustments on a case-by-case basis if you advise us of these issues when you share your design with us.

NY: How long does the process take to design your own shoes?

JF: It takes 4 weeks for us to get your design to you.

NY: What is the standard range of cost?

JF: Our shoes are generally $179.

NY: What is the standard material?

JF: Most of our shoe designers choose to work with our soft leather for their shoes. My personal favorite is our faded soft leather range.

Elena Schmidt, naturally light, sun kissed Miamian, seeking to find my perfect shade.