Avoid painful heels forever: a shoe designer on how to buy wisely

by ALICE BIRRELL • 12 Feb 2016

Francesco Russo shares his knowledge

If you were an aspiring shoe designer your dream resumé might read something like this: working at Miu Miu and Costume National in Milan, spending eight years designing shoes for Yves Saint Laurent under Tom Ford, before becoming both creative director for Sergio Rossi and then creative director of women’s shoes at Christian Dior under Raf Simons.

Francesco Russo’s CV reads exactly as above, though just add designer of his own eponymous label and you have the whole picture.

Quality not quantity is really the key:
“I could only advise to always buy quality shoes. Even a pair of high-heeled shoes, if well constructed, can be comfortable. The secret lies in having the right arch on the base of the form used to build up a shoe. When I’ve started working on my own brand, I have spent three entire months just to adjust and fine-tune the arch of the three heights of forms we normally use in our collections: 25mm, 75mm and 105mm.” 

There’s a trick to trying on shoes in store:
“When a woman tries her shoe she has to feel the entire arch of her feet well sustained by the shoes. If she feels the weight of her body all in the front of the foot and in the arch the space between the foot and the shoe is empty she will be taking off her shoes after an hour or so because it will be too painful. Shoes are like micro architecture that are able to sustain a whole body. If it is well conceived and the weight of the body is equally distributed on the plantar arch, the shoe won’t hurt the feet.”

Walking around in your heels is an old but good trick:
“For sure it helps if the woman is not used to walking on [the] heel. But if the quality and the construction is wrong, even the most expert walker in high heels will have pain on her feet.”

Choose a label you know is committed to comfort: 
“I always knew that when I would approach my own collection my aim would be to make real shoes. By this I mean products that are not only an expression of design but also a high crafted content with a strong attention to construction and comfort. This is something you learn with time and experience. I would not have been able to do the products I offer today if I had launched my brand 20 years ago.”

via: Vogue Australia






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