Friday, December 20, 2013

Move Over Shoe Designers, Start-up Allows You to Design Shoes

In the world of shoes, designers like Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik have become household names. Now, a new start-up, Milk & Honey, is letting YOU be the designer.

The start-up was featured on CNBC's Power Pitch, which gives start-up founders 60 seconds to convince a panel of experts that their business has what it takes to make it big.

This week, Milk & Honey co-founder Dorian Howard told Power Pitch why her shoe customization business is going to make it big.

“If you want a certain shoe at a certain heel height or strap option you should be able to have exactly what you want,” Howard told CNBC.

The site allows you to pick a silhouette, colors, embellishments, and heel height, according to CNBC.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shoe Inserts for Comfort

Some times a shoe insert, such as a insole or a heel grip, can make the difference between comfort and pain. Recently, I have found thick and thin insoles, and heel grips that have saved my feet.

Dr. Scholl's for Her 16 Hour Insoles

I love Dr. Scholl's shoes, especially the Jute and June styles that have these great foam insoles. The Dr. Scholl's for Her 16 Hour Comfort Insoles give me the same feel and can go in many pairs of shoes. While I like this line of Dr. Scholl's shoes, they are on the casual side and limited. These insoles give me the same sensation, but can go in many shoes. I especially like them in boots, including Ugg type boots and my slippers.

These Dr. Scholl's flats from TJ Maxx are super comfortable due to a foam insole.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

High Heel Shopping at Famous Footwear Just in Time for the Holidays

Its holiday party time and high heels can give you that extra confidence boost or make an outfit. Or...they can cause blisters and pain. 

I have found myself shying away from heels, especially for work because I often cannot tell if I will be on my feet a lot.

Recently I was in Famous Footwear and found heels in the clearance racks that were actually comfy and cute! Priced at about $25, I couldn't go wrong. 

Aerosoles Mary Janes 

After recent success with Aerosoles boots, I have been liking the brand's padding in its shoes.

These heels have the same padding. The heel is thick a sturdy. The mix of textures and shades adds interest, while suede makes them wintry. They can be worn dressy or for work. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Boot Shopping at Marshalls and Famous Footwear

#fabfound #myvictory

I live in boots when temperatures drop. Unfortunately, after a season, I often find my boots get pretty dead, so each season I am on the hunt for new comfortable and stylish boots.

This year I was looking for flat booties and flat tall boots. My job often requires many hours on my feet, so I want to be comfortable and stylish.

I hit up two of my favorite discounters, Marshalls and Famous Footwear and walking away with 3 pairs of boots.


I picked up these Nine West fringe booties in Marshalls for $25.

As I previously shared, Marshalls is a great place to find boots.

Most booties have high heels, which are very difficult to walk in. These are nice and flat. The fringe adds a fun touch. They are more on the casual side, but with the right outfit can be work appropriate, depending on how formal your office is. These booties work great with pants or work well to dress down skirts and dresses. The color works with black and brown.

I have been wearing them a ton as a fall transitional shoe. However, I do wish they have more padding. My feet tend to become tired by the end of the day. I have been adding very thin insoles to help.

As I have revealed before, I often shop in the kids section for boots. Its a great way to get stylish boots from great companies for less. These Nine West boots are kids. The size 4 is a size 6 womens'. Great tip for those of us with small feet!

The difficulty with Marshalls is that selection is sometimes limited, lacking a full range of sizes. Items are often from the season before. However, the thrill of a find for a steal is amazing!

Famous Footwear:

Famous Footwear has a much larger shoe selection than Marshalls. Unlike Marshalls, you can also shop online. If you find a shoe in store that they don't have in your size, be sure to check online.The shoes are also usually same season. The downside is they offer less of a discount. Be sure to join their rewards club to earn points towards rewards certificates (free shoes!) and other coupons.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Year Later: Superstorm Sandy & the Jersey Shore

Yesterday, I shared a recap of my experience with Superstorm Sandy on Staten Island. I would be amiss if I didn't mention the effects on the Jersey shore. I have spent countless days since I was a child at Seaside Heights and in Ocean Grove, NJ. Summertime would not be the same without relaxing at the beach and enjoying arcades.

Seaside Heights/ Seaside Park, NJ

In April, I showed the recovery in Seaside Heights. Little did I know in September much of the rebuilding would be undone by a great fire. It pains me to see recovery burned up. It is also frustrating that the fire was at least partially caused by the rush to rebuild. The hydrant system was not rebuilt, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News, even though its a wooden boardwalk. In addition, the electrical wires were not checked, according to, especially in the area of the boardwalk which survived Sandy.

This area of the boardwalk survived Sandy, but was consumed by fire.

This carousel and its arcade started to come back after Sandy, but was destroyed by fire.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One Year Later: Superstorm Sandy on Staten Island

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy striking the northeast.

As many of my readers know, Sandy was something I experienced personally, as a native Staten Islander, who still lives on the island. I shared my experiences on this blog.

I just put together this montage of video I shot as the tidal wave came in and the next morning. At the time, I was nervous about sharing because of my voice. Now I realize it shows the terror of the water and what was overcome.

Even though this is a shoe blog, I see shoes as a lens to the world. I have no desire to downplay the horrific effects of this terrible storm. However, shoes comforted the feet of those evacuating, those escaping, and the long hard work of rebuilding.

When I first blogged on Sandy, winds were starting to whip, and waves were rising. But they were only a omen of what was to come.

Before the storm got bad, I visited Midland Beach to see the waves and the wind.

These rain boots got messy at Midland Beach.

A few days later, I shared before and after pictures

My car before and after it was spun around and floated down the street. Also note the cars on top of each other across the street.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shoes for Changing Weather: The Autumn Addition

Temperature in the northeast has been erratic. Since Labor Day, temperatures have spiked to the 80s, dropped to the 40s, and been amazingly pleasant. We've also had rain and days that threatened rain.

What shoes do you wear for this mercurial weather? On Instagram you will find many of my shoes choices.

White after Labor Day

Let's start with the first issue that appears after the end of summer-- can you wear white? As you see above, I wore these white Dr. Scholl's eyelet espadrilles after summer's end.

The tradition of not wearing white likely comes from the early 20th century, according to Time. At this time, the wealthy often went away to cottages and resorts for the summer. When they returned they resumed wearing darker clothing.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What Shoes Should I Wear? A Helpful Info-graphic

You've probably been in a situation before where you've realize you accidentally wore a too short dress or too casual shoes. The shoe info-graphic below aims to help you avoid that. While its a matter of some common sense and your own sense of style, hopefully this helps you make sense of the plethora of shoe styles.

This graphic comes courtesy of Elegant Steps, a UK shoe company.

To use the guide, follow the lines to and from your shoe type or event. Also follow the icons (the legend is at the bottom).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Insta-shoes: Through the Sole joins Instagram


I am committed to being where ever Through the Sole's readers are. Thus, this week, Through the Sole joined Instagram.

I'm still getting used to a mobile based service, but am enjoying sharing pictures, including what shoes I wore, and pictures from my blog.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lady Gaga Returns in Platform Booties

Yesterday, Lady Gaga returned to the lime-light after hip surgery. She appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and debuted the video to her new single, Applause (above). The song is already stuck in my head.

Lady Gaga is known for her shoe choices, from shoes made of meat to heel-less shoes. Shoes similar to hers have sold out.

Given this, I was curious what shoes she would wear. After hip surgery would they be less tall?

Nope! According to Red Carpet Fashion Awards, the singer wore platform taupe suede Alaia booties.

More focus was on her face and dress, but you could see the shoes in the GMA wide shot.

Screen-shot of Lady Gaga on GMA

Monday, August 19, 2013

Shoes for the Royal Baby: Part 3

New photos of the royal baby, Prince George Alexander Louis were released by Kensington Palace today. In a break with tradition, the photos were taken by Michael Middleton, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's father. 

Unfortunately, the picture's do not show Kate's shoe choice.

According to blog, What Kate Wore, the Princess is wearing a Knot Front Dress by Séraphine Maternity. The dress is $79 and is back ordered until September.

In more shoe related news, I am not the only one to speculate what shoes the royal baby will wear. The baby's shoes are not visible in the new photos. Yet, when I opened Parade Magazine today, I saw the article, What will Prince George Wear?

The Parade article in print.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Giant Ballet Slippers of Saratoga Springs, NY

Dance shoes invade horse town.

Last weekend, I joined in my family's annual tradition of visiting Saratoga Springs, NY. The small town is usually associated with horse racing.

And there off! The beginning of a race at Saratoga Race Course.

In 2002, the town added Fiberglass horses throughout, according to But the town is also home to the National Museum of Dance; so this year they added 24 giant ballet slippers.

A fiber glass horse outside the gate to Saratoga Race Course.

It's an interesting choice figuring the town is also celebrating 150 years of the race track. 

A floor plaque celebrating 150 years of racing. Along with my cute gold sandals.

Most displays of large fiberglass items throughout a town are usually animals, such as NYC's cow parade, and Catskill, NY's cats. Thus, I was so excited to see shoes!

Given it was dark and they were pretty spread out, I only saw four. They were very well done and showed all the things shoes could represent. Each one is 5 ft tall!

Here they are:

Believe in Your Dreams by Jenny McShan

Monday, August 5, 2013

Update: Even More Ways to Decorate with Shoe Art

What do you get when you cross shoe art with shoe quotes? An adorable room sign on shoes!

As I have shared before, I love using shoe related items to decorate. The above sign now decorates my desk and is fun way to add color and bring a smile to my face.

The quote is one way of justifying a love of shoes and is a variation on my all time favorite shoe quote:

And one of my all time favorites, “A pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella.” Anonymous

A shoe may not instantly change your life, but it can help. If the shoes give the confidence to help ace that job interview, or to talk to that cute boy, they're a positive influence!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Happy 100 Posts Through the Sole!

Last post was Through the Sole's 100th post! It took over 3 years, but is an important milestone.

Fittingly, the last post was on the shoes Kate Middleton wore to bring her new royal baby home. The Duchess of Cambridge has been the most popular topic on Through the Sole, including the post to get the most hits, The Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton’s Wedding Shoes. The Princess is also the subject of the post to receive the second most hits, Royal Fashion: Kate Middleton’s Shoe Choices.

Lady Gaga rounds out the tops three most hit on posts, Celebrities and Shoes: The Wacky and Inspiring Shoe Choices of Lady Gaga. She is the second most popular topic. 

Other popular topics in this first 100 posts include ice skates, the royal wedding, Jeremy Lin and shoe statistics.

In the first 100 posts I also shared my experiences living through Hurricane Sandy, shoe shopping, and how shoes can make a difference.

Some of the Through the Sole topics may not seem so shoe like, such as the Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen for the Cure controversy, but I truly believe you can see the world through the lens of shoes.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shoes for the Royal Baby: Part 2

Last week, The Duke the Duchess of Cambridge showed off their new baby boy. Later that week, they revealed his name, Prince George Alexander Louis.

Through the Sole wishes Will and Kate all the best.

While the world waited to see the baby, I couldn't help but wonder what shoes the new mom would wear.

Along with her Jenny Packham blue polka dot dress, Kate wore Pied a Terre Imperia wedges in white, according to What Kate Wore. They have a closed toe, with a sling back featuring a buckle. They have straw wedges.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shoes for the Royal Baby: Part 1

Congratulations to Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their new baby boy!

Now that the wait for the future monarch is over, I can't help but wonder what shoes the future king will wear. With his mother's fashionable shoe choices, he will have a great guide.

It will be a few months before the royal baby is ready to wear shoes. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that babies do not wear shoes until they are walking outside, especially any kind of stiff shoes. Once a baby is walking, comfortable and flexible shoes with non-skid soles will keep a baby's feet protected. And be prepared to go baby shoe shopping, a pair of shoes will only last a baby 2-3 months.

How cute are these monkey booties from

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wear Comfortable Shoes to Rebuild Seaside Heights, NJ

Today marks the 6 month anniversary or Superstorm Sandy made landfall in the northeast.  People have volunteered their time, donated supplies, and opened there wallets. In all $174 million has been donated, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as reported by CNBC. Yet, rebuilding continues.

As a current coastal Staten Island resident, I have shared how Superstorm Sandy affected my local area. Recently, I was able to see the damage along the Jersey shore in areas I regularly visit like Seaside Heights and Ocean Grove.

While, Seaside Heights is often associated with "Jersey Shore" and wild partying, it actually a pretty beach with lots of family fun, likes rides and arcades.

I went twice 3 weeks apart and the progress was visible. The first time, was the St. Patty's Day Parade and the streets and bars were jammed with people in green. It was nice to see people coming back and the arcades re-opening. Three weeks later, right before Easter it was much calmer but more was open. Surprisingly, instead of having Easter baskets galore to win, the holiday was skipped over.

The boardwalk and the rides were destroyed. The building were flooded and contents needed to be thrown out Areas are roped off and marked with no trespassing signs. However, construction is ongoing and the boardwalk is slowly taking shape again.

Since pictures often tell a story better than words, I will be sharing my Seaside Height pictures, which show both the devastation and the recovery.

Early March 2013

The boardwalk was been destroyed and was in the process of being rebuilt. The post visible are the supports for the new boardwalk. Many famous places for food, like the lemonade stand (left), remain closed.

The boardwalk rebuilding with the destroyed Casino Pier in the background. Casino Pier had many rides, including the roller coaster which fell into the ocean and was shown in many newspapers. What is left of the roller coaster is visible in the background.

In the sand, you can see debris that needs to be cleaned out. Many cats have called Seaside Heights home and luckily they survived and are being fed now.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Prabal Gurung for Target: Nice Design; Sometimes Poor Execution Part 2

Three looks for the Prabal Gurung for Target collaboration.

Prabal Gurung brought fun patterns, bright colors and feminine shapes to Target. Yesterday, I reviewed the shoes in the collection, finding that the designs were nice but sometimes the construction was poor.

I was able to buy items from the collection both online and in my local store.

I tried more of the clothing than shoes, so I decided that since this collection contained both, I would review clothing for the first time on this blog. Moreover, the clothes are designed to go with the shoes, as the looks above show.

I purchased  this long sleeve tee in Nolita print ($19.99) to add a fun pop of color to my outfits.

I also purchased the long sleeve t-shirt in Floral Crush print ($19.99).

The two items of clothing I purchased were the long sleeve t-shirts in the two fun prints ($19.99). The Nolita print is bright uneven vertical stripes. The Floral Crush pattern has bright flowers that fade out to white. 

The materials were soft, but not sheer. The sizing runs large.

I thought the shirts would add a pop of color under black at work or dress up jeans. The floral print will also look cute with shorts as the weather warms up. At $19.99, I was happy to buy both.

I was less excited about the rest of the collection. Below are the items I tried on.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prabal Gurung for Target: Nice Design; Sometimes Poor Execution Part 1

Prabal Gurung brought his patterned clothing and fun femininity to Target. The designer is known for dressing both Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton

The Target collaboration includes shoes, clothing and accessories. After trying on both shoes and clothes, I found that the items well-designed and that they came at a nice discount (the most expensive shoes were $39.99, while most clothing ranged from $19.99 to $49.99). However, the execution varied, sizing was not standard and materials used were sometimes poor.

The line outside Target in Manhattan the morning the collection came out.

Shoppers quickly grab items from Prabal Gurung for Target's collection. Images from Racked.

Neverthless, the collection drew large crowds and some items quickly sold out online. Not wanting to sleep out, I shopped online. If you spend over $50 shipping is free, and you can return items to the store. Also, if you keep checking, items become available after previously being sold out. I finally made it to my local store this weekend, and found that they still had some clothes and shoes, including items that were sold out online. A store associate said the items will likely go on clearance soon.

Lets discuss the shoes first.

The Prabal Gurung for Target shoe collection included pointy-toed flats in solid colors and a colorful pattern. Picture from Elle.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Even More Ways to Decorate with Shoe Art

Shoes represent more than a way to protect your feet, they are a decorative way to show personality and style. In December 2011, I first shared how I use to shoes in my decorations to show my interests and to surround myself with things I like. Recently, I have added new ways to decorate with shoes, calendars with different shoes each day, and a chocolate shoe to display.

As holiday gifts I received 2 different shoe calendars. My family and friends know me well. 

This is the cover of the Shoes page-a-day gallery camera that I have on my desk.

The larger of the calendars is the Shoes page-a-day gallery calendar, which provides daily shoe inspiration. Each day you change the cover card to see a new design. The calendar has both new shoes and those from prior centuries. A variety of styles are shown although most are high-heels.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday Day Through the Sole!

On this day in 1952, Elizabeth the II was proclaimed the Queen of England. In economic news, the NASDAQ, the world's first electronic market, opened for trading.

In shoe news, on this day in 2010, Through the Sole: A Shoe Blog was founded.

I want to thank all my readers, my friends, and family for their continued support. 

In the past year, I have written about a variety of topics, including the history of the stiletto, Madonna's new shoe line, and Kate Middleton judging a shoe contest.

The first post of the third year was on Linsanity, which kicked off a sneaker theme, such as how to shop for sneakers, and new sneakers made of a woven material

This year, I also looked at using shoes for a cause. Although shoes are often thought of as frivolous, they are a necessity. In Detroit, they are using recycled material to protect the feet of the homeless.

Through the Sole took on a more personal tone as I wrote about my experiences living through Superstorm Sandy, and documenting my experience through the lens of shoes. For the first time I share pictures of myself and my neighborhood in order to illustrate the devastation and the help we have recieved. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wear Comfortable Shoes for the Long Superstorm Sandy Recovery

Over 3 months have passed since Superstorm Sandy hit the New York-New Jersey area. From my viewpoint in coastal Staten Island, I have seen the outpouring of support and am grateful to everyone who volunteered and who donated time, goods, and money. Much progress has been made but unfortunately, more work is needed. Recovery is still taking place.

In my last blog post, I discussed living through the storm and showed pictures from before and during the storm. 

As the waters began to recede, I made my way out into the surrounding blocks to see the damage.  Houses were off their foundations, cars were left scattered blocks from where their owners parked them, wind ripped off roofs and siding, and there was mud and debris almost everywhere.

The first time I tried to venture out, water was still thigh-high.

These pictures were taken in the first days after the storm. Some water remained along with extensive damage to homes and cars.

Right after the storm, there were calls for help. Government action took a long time and the Sandy Recovery bill in Congress was not passed until January. Most of that money has yet to be used.
One neighbor posted this sign asking Obama and FEMA for help.

With so many people needing places to live and basic necessities, the generosity of strangers was much called upon and greatly appreciated. 

I went to a help center at Miller Field in New Dorp, Staten Island, and saw young children asking for necessities like underwear. Luckily, a stranger handed them a new package. Food and other supplies were also given. Insurance companies were also on hand, although in my family's experience they did more to cause aggravation and stress than to help.

These pictures show the aid being given out at Miller Field.