For years women have suffered for fashion: corsets, wool bathing suits, perms, skintight jeans-just to name a few. And what about the shoes! Since the stiletto was rolled out in the 1940’s, women everywhere have persevered through long nights of cramped toes and strained arches- while dreaming of that perfect moment when they can finally slip their shoes off. Not to mention the balancing act across slippery floors. Sound familiar? Most of us have become resigned to just grin and bear it, that discomfort is the price to pay for how amazing those heels make you look.
One local woman decided she wasn’t going to suffer in silence any longer. Instead of getting frustrated, St. Louisan Claire Flowers (click here) got inspired and decided to design a line of comfortable, yet still sexy high heels. “I was fed up with the toll my work and social life were taking on my high heels, like becoming stuck in city grates. I was always walking around the grates or walking on my toes to avoid getting my heel stuck. I looked for shoes with a wide heel base that was still stiletto-like but I couldn’t find anything,” explains Flowers, “I started thinking about all the ways I could improve a pair of high heels. I ultimately came up with five ways to make high heels better. I couldn’t wait to design the shoes and start wearing them. So, really I started the company out of necessity!”
Flowers comes up with the designs and materials, then sends them to a factory in Brazil where the shoes are ready in about four weeks. Part of the genius design of these shoes is how they can withstand wear and tear. For example, many women will remove their right shoe before driving to prevent the back of a good pair from getting torn up. Claire Flowers pumps have hardware on the back above the heel to protect the leather from friction on car floor mats. Brilliant! The best part is that the hardware doesn’t look like, well hardware. “Everything functional about the line has been disguised as something beautiful,” Flowers says.
Now for the big question…Are they really comfortable? “The shoes are incredibly comfortable! I have been wearing high heels since my teens and have never found a more comfortable high heel,” says Flowers. With design elements like a cushioned insole and a non-slip sole, these shoes will become the one pair you constantly keep in your wardrobe rotation. “Women buy my shoes because they love to wear high heels, but don’t want to be in pain or spend money unnecessarily on a new pair every few months.”
Finally, a classic, yet practical solution- fashionistas everywhere can rejoice! The line consists of pumps in whole sizes 6-10, but Flowers is currently designing flats and sandals which will be available in 2016. And her favorite? “Right now my favorites are the blue suede wingtips with hot pink heel caps,” Flowers says, “I love being stopped and asked where I got them!” Claire Flowers shoes are available online (click here) or locally at 10Denza, Cobblestone and Mister Guy.