New Shoe Combines Comfort AND Beauty

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A model for a proposed Thesis Couture shoe designAt last month’s Vator Splash in Oakland, Thesis Couture was awarded the Judges prize for creating a high-heeled shoe that offered comfort without sacrificing style.

I came across an interview with Dolly Singh, founder and CEO of the company, and wanted to share a few highlights that really resonated with my Houston podiatrist’s world-view.

On the problem with other high-heels:

"At a high level there's an accepted notion that beauty equals pain, and this is something that fashion footwear has accepted for a long time. We want to disassociate those two things, and show that you can have something beautiful without it being painful."

Explaining Why Most Heels Are Bad For You:
The pain that women experience comes from the internal architecture of the shoes. Inside the high heel there is usually a metal plate, called a shank (which, tellingly, is the name given to homemade knives that prisoners use to stab each other) made out of a flat metal plate. It's strong enough to put the foot up on an angle, but it doesn't help redistribute the weight when the foot comes down. These shoes put 80% of weight on the balls of the feet, and at an awkward angle. Ultimately, this causes health issues, especially bunions, as toes get pushed into each other. Wearing these shoes can cause massive amounts of damage, so much so that millions are being spent on corrective foot surgeries.” 

On her plans for (beautiful) change:
"Italian artisans know that supporting the underside makes better shoe, and the reason is because they start with a flat metal plate, and the only way to support that underside is to build up from the plate into an arch. When they start to do that, it creates a wide line in the shoe that is unattractive. What we were able to do is customize the form and shape of that curvature, and instead of building it up, curve the primary structure itself.”

While Thesis does not yet have a finalized shoe model for people to try, they hope to launch a single style of their shoe line, priced at $295/pair, by the end of this year (plans to expand their line are targeted for 2017.) While $300 seems like a lot to spend on shoes, it’s still way less than a pair of Manolos, and they won’t do the type of damage to your feet that will cost you in the long run. Something to think about, yes, ladies?
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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