In praise of the summer flatform shoe
The low wedge or flatform has been one of the breakthrough styles of the last decade, elegantly bridging the gap between structured shoes and trainers. ‘Flatforms have elevated the idea of a flat shoe as a go-to thing in women’s minds,’ explains Alison Hargreaves head of marketing for Grenson as we walk briskly across town. She’s wearing a pair of black leather flatform sandals and a khaki summer dress and looks incredibly chic, ’I’ve got a bit of height and it’s comfortable and it’s a nice shoe. What’s not to like?’
Obviously Hargreaves’ position means she’s never short of a smart pair of shoes but flatforms are a particular favourite. ‘I wear them with cropped jeans, wide trousers and dresses and don’t have to think about it too much,’ she continues, ‘If I go away, I always pack a pair, they’re a good way to effortlessly dress things up.’ Versatility, comfort and ease are three comfy shoe considerations, ‘There’s less deliberation,’ Hargreaves goes on, ‘Whereas if I’m wearing heels or flats I have to think about it a bit more – how long will I be standing up? Where’s the contrast? The flatform is the perfect hybrid – a smart shoe that feels like a sneaker.’
The chunky sole has a cushioning effect and is great for running around in. But do tread carefully, flatform fans. Always opt for a flexible rubber sole rather than a rigid base that feels like you have two bricks strapped to your feet. A couple of years ago, I sprained my ankle going over on a pair of cheap flatform sandals and ended up spending more money on physiotherapy sessions than on the bloody shoes themselves. Lesson learned. Look out for shoes with a slight gradient from the heel to the ball of your foot, and grooves on the tread for extra grip and stability.
This feature is based on an extract from Know Your Style – find it HERE.
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The shoes in the top photograph were borrowed from Grenson for my summer shirt dress shoot last year, and returned afterwards.