THE WORLD OF SHOES

When buying shoes, have you ever thought about how they were made?

Since I was 17yrs old I was thrown in the world of shoes, not something I ever thought I would do.  From landing my first job in a shoe shop, to then getting a management job in one of the most popular fashion shoe retailers at the time, to working in head office on the buying team. It was like a magnet, every yr became a closer step to becoming a buying manager/director and that was my main aim, my dream job, working in the fashion industry for a well known retailing in the heart of London. Travelling the world to source, shop and manufacture was amazing resulting in me being an expert in the footwear industry.

The market is flooded with shoes ranging from £2 to over £1000plus, ever wondered why prices are so different? As in the general public’s eye

  • A flat sandal is a flat sandal
  • A heeled sandal is a heeled sandal
  • An ankle boot is an ankle boot

But there are 2 factors that could have an impact on price

1/ Its the brand that makes them different- regardless where the shoes are made, putting branding on the shoe can add £’s to the selling price. Like they say it’s the brand that sells the shoe not the price…

2/ They are made using top end materials and manufactured in very good factorys

Over the last 13yrs I have been to many factory’s around the world and seen my footwear range (at that time mid price range) getting manufactured next to the production line of shoes that would retail for £500 plus…  How and why does this happen, same factory, same material, same machinery but its a different BRAND, that is what establishes the retail price!

Shoes are a necessity and one of those products that are worn daily. Especially for women who feel that they can never have too many shoes. In average 20 billion shoes are sold each yr and this figure grows year on year.

Although this is a necessity, no one ever seems to ever wonder how the shoes that everyone wears are made.

Shoe making can or is considered a traditional handicraft profession. Working in the shoe industry is very specialised and is an art, took me nearly 15yrs to become a specialist. There are many parts to a shoe such as the sole, insole, outsole, midsole, heel, and vamp or upper etc... as you can see below.

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More than 200 operations are required for making a pair of shoes and the order in which they are put together is key.  I have seen many shoes in stores that are not properly manufactured and can have a big impact on posture, hammer toes, bunions to major damage to leg tendons.  The effect may not be straight away but come with time.

The 70’s was the worst for this, platform shoes were everywhere and every women wanted to own a pair.

I have over the years spoken to a few women who wore platforms just to be on trend and now are suffering a lot. They said it didn’t matter where they came from, we usually bought them on market stalls, but it was a must have for women in those days.  We use to wear them on a daily basis, regardless how painful they were to walk in and now we are suffering.

That's one of the reasons why I take care and time when getting Sefia London's shoe range made.

Ladies all I can say is comfort is key when buying footwear, look after your feet like you look after the rest of your body. Its your feet that carriers your body…

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