There needs to come a time when the age-old question concerning ‘form or function’ should no longer stand. Although I do believe that we are getting closer to this time, I also believe that some of us need a bit of a reminder!
We are lucky that comfort-focused brands have also become inclined to cater to the more fashion conscious in an attempt to grow their customer base and create pieces that are just as stylish as they are comfortable. In my view, every well-made item should fit this category. If a product - being a shoe, item of clothing or even a bag - is not made well, then the body that is to wear this item was not taken into consideration and, in conclusion, will not ever have a chance at being comfortable to the wearer.
Footwear is one of the more difficult items to combine the two. But I do believe that when the balance between them is found, the shoe will be an absolute success. A big part of comfort for the final product involves the way the shoe is made. This starts with the absolute base – the moulds selected and the materials that are used in making the shoe (including leather lining, insole padding, and sturdy soles). Elegance comes from the design and incorporating smart and practical design decisions. Hand-in-hand, these create the ultimate pieces that have the form you look for and function you need, and this is what the Rana Cheikha Brand is all about.
A large part of finding comfort shoes also depends on knowing which is the right pair to wear - every day and for every function. Getting this right will make sure you avoid stumbling into a circumstance where your usually comfortable and favorite pair of brogues might disappoint you.
How is this achieved? By simply knowing what to expect and choosing accordingly.
I’ve highlighted four main points to think of before sliding into your footwear choice on any given day.
My favorite part of individual style is mixing seasons into outfits while maintaining a balanced look to avoid looking (and feeling) out of place. Open-toe shoes like flip-flops or sandals will never be right in the colder months, and a pair of knee-high boots is definitely not a summer look, but a pair of cute ankle boots will always look cool with a short and light summer dress. Season-less shoes are also my favorite, like the Rasha brogue or the Dinieh T-stap that are flexible enough to wear with stocking, socks or bear depending on the weather.
Occasion plays a big role in selecting what shoes to wear. A pair of sky-high heels might be the first thing that comes to mind when dressing for an important meeting or a formal wedding party. Although you might look your most elegant in them, make sure that they will be comfortable for the entire duration of the event - because after the comfort goes so will the confidence. So, occasion and wear-time go hand-in-hand over here. If you want to make sure to dance for hours at that party, make sure you wear shoes that will let you do that!
Formality is a tricky one these days. It is less common that strict dress-codes are communicated for an event, yet there still remain unstated expectations when attending certain occasions. For this reason, the trick is to find the shoe that is proper for the event while maintaining your personal style. This can be achieved by choosing a classic style in a unique colour or opting for a unique design in a subtler colour. It it also important to avoid being over-dressed as being under-dressed and feeling uncomfortable or out of place. The key is understated luxury and style, and it is always about maintaining the balance.
The sun is shining, the temperature is set as a beautiful and comfortable 23°C and you decide it’s the perfect day for lunch with the girls followed by a walk to the local farmers market for some grocery shopping. You’re not feeling those sneakers (as you’re not a fan of sports footwear outside workout hours), so you think that a pair of flip flops or open sandals is your best bet. But I beg to differ! If there will be quite a bit of walking involved, that will probably turn into a pretty painful walk. It's always a better idea to wear well-structured shoes that will give you support. This will also make sure you avoid long-term problems from wearing improper shoes (if you ended up wearing flip-flops for a long walk for example). A pair of flats or light-colored brogues would be a pretty good option balanced perfectly with a short and light dress.
Start simple and build up your outfit to make sure you are always dressed right for the season, occasion, formality and activity. A combination of these will guarantee you are comfortable and elegant on any given day!
Signing-off: Rana Cheikha for The Shoe Advisor