No oxymoron kicks
Sexy comfort shoes? Dana Davis makes Anne Hathaway believe
Like most women, I love shoes. I love a peep toe and a platform. I like the look of a wedge and a patent leather Mary Jane.
But, ever since an unfortunate foot injury and ensuing neuroma, my non-party shoe of choice is, I’m embarrassed to admit, a FitFlop. It hasn’t done one stinkin’ thing to strengthen my calves or hamstrings or whatever else it claims, but I can walk for miles without the pain of a 1000 hot pokers jammed in my foot. That is enough for me, except when it isn’t, because all I really want to wear are pretty, sexy shoes.
Enter shoe designer Dana Davis. She also knows what it’s like to live with chronic foot issues.
It’s not pretty and, sadly, neither are the shoes available for those who have only sensible (read SAS) shoes to choose from. So she did what any style-savvy kindergarten teacher would do. Davis started her own shoe collection, complete with inner orthotics. Yes, that’s right. Her sexy, strappy heels come with foot-correcting inserts that can even be removed to accommodate a woman’s own orthotics.
“There is nothing worse than wearing ugly shoes,” Davis said. She stopped at Nordstrom for a Spring/Summer 2010 trunk show and I caught up with her before she met with shoppers. She’s dressed in a black shift dress and one peep toe heel — her other foot is encased in a protective boot as a result of complications from Type 1 diabetes she developed as a child.
“You don’t want to put your foot in a bad pair of shoes and you don’t want to buy shoes you can only wear for a couple of hours and then take them off and carry at the end of the night,” Davis said.
An admitted fashion novice, Davis jumped into the shoe business with no experience, although her great-uncle and shoe manufacturer Falk Levine is widely credited for creating the mule shoe. Her shoes vary from platforms to driving shoes, but they all feature elements that stabilize the foot.
“Our high heels act as a tripod, supporting the first and fifth metatarsal. Our orthotics are patent-pending and really they just feel good,” she said. The tri-density orthotic balances the wobble of the foot while providing support and cushion in the heel and forefront. Other American Podiatry Association-approved shoe elements include arch contour adjustments, ankle straps in specific styles that work to control foot motion and the incorporation of platforms, insoles and increased outsole thickness so the pitch of the foot is reduced, but heel height isn’t.
The Italian-made shoes coupled with technology mean the shoes are pricey (between $275 and $450 a pair), a point Davis acknowledges.
“Everybody deserves well-made shoes. I know they are expensive and I would like them to be more affordable. I would also like them to be Medicare-approved,” Davis said.
If you hear Medicare and think orthopedic, think again. Davis’ shoes are favorites among celebrities like Penelope Cruz, Jenny McCarthy and Anne Hathaway who smartly slip them on for the red carpet and general gallivanting. Her latest collection of shoes includes flats, wedges and heels in various colors.
“My shoes are like jeans. There’s not a cookie-cutter shoe in the collection," Davis said. "You have to find what fits you and your foot best."
Hmmm, I just may have to rethink those FitFlops after all.