The Shoe Review

The weather here looks like it is finally going to change and I might be able to get out of boots and into shoes and (gasp!) even sandals within a week or so! Yay!

As most of you know, I'm on an editing and buying spree this spring, the biggest in a decade or more. But my footwear review happens every single season, and every single season I have to discard shoes due to extreme wear. I am hard on my shoes!

Once in a very long while I donate footwear -- but apart from dressy shoes, that's rare, because most get too broken down, despite the fact that I keep a reasonably large collection. I do take my boots and shoes to cobblers for re-heeling. I polish and care for my footwear. And I try to rotate wears as much as I can. But I walk a lot in all conditions. 3 pairs of sneakers, 3 sandals, and one flat (spring/ summer) are out this spring. That leaves me with some gaps.

I wanted a new white and a new silver sneaker. I'm a long time fan of Ecco 7 Softs and have worn them for years. Having said that, I can't wear them without insoles, and they're not the best all-day shoe for me, even with insoles. (I'm better with more padding/ lift in the heel due to plantar fasciitis risk.) My current white pair, with some cleaning, is still decent, and I will keep and wear it, but for my full length jeans I need a shoe with a slightly higher lift.

I thought I wanted the Vagabond Judy sneaker. Alas, it was too short and too wide for me. I then tried a few more that I can't even remember, the fit was so bad. My "almost" was a pretty and fun sneaker called Vince with a "frilly" tongue from Canadian company L'Atelier! These are lovely soft shoes, very lightweight, and I was tempted. (They come in other colours, too!) But they were a bit wide in the heel area and quite slippery on the bottom (at least on the engineered wood floor of the store). So I passed. I do think this company makes some great looking shoes, though, and if these go on sale at end of season I might give them a go.

I settled in the end on the EOS Minimal. Fit is great and comfort is good out of the box. I'll need to use a prophylactic bandaid on my left heel to avoid blisters, but that's my life -- I almost never find a shoe that doesn't give me blisters if I don't watch out for it. Reviewers state that this style fits more narrow than most EOS shoes. I can put in my own insole if I prefer it, but for now the regular one feels pretty good.

For my silver, I'm going to try the Naturalizer Morrison 2. They have not arrived yet, so I can't comment on fit and comfort. 

I also tried a pair of Banks slingbacks. Slingbacks almost never work on me and these ones might not, either, but I haven't had a remotely dressy or even slightly refined summer shoe in years, and Carla's posts and Angie's recommendation made me want to give this pretty low heel a go. In the smaller of my two sizes, I think it is just barely too short. But it stays on!! Miracle!!! I fear in the larger of my two sizes, it will fall off. But I ordered to find out.

I also ordered a dressy sandal to try. Again, it hasn't arrived. It has been so long since I had such a thing, or had a need for such a thing, for that matter. But this year, I may in fact have a few occasions. And this is on sale currently and looks to me like a style that won't date, with a medium low stable heel and an ankle strap to keep things secure. 

Last but not least, I'm trying the Cole Haan oxford. It's really a faux oxford -- more like a sneaker, I think! But it's pretty and lightweight and might just fill a white summer shoe hole for me. Won't work with full length jeans (because the lift is not high enough) but will work with everything else.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    The Banks looks pretty on the foot, doesn’t it?  I can see a size up might be better, and the silver is fab.  

    I’m looking at my shoes, and know I need to re-assess.  I’m hanging on to a pair that really need to go, and there’s a mistake I need to face…. :-(

  • LJP replied 1 year ago

    Oh geez . I just fell down an EOS rabbit hole . I’ve never heard of this brand but I LOVE those white sneakers !! Where did you source them from ? The silver slingbacks are nice but do look a tad short . As to the height issue , my EF white sneakers are on their 3rd year ( I baby them ) and they have a lovely clean line , a bit of a platform and are decidedly unathletic . A surprise buy for me .

  • Sal replied 1 year ago

    Good plan! The sneakers - Eos - look great. Love the silver options and hope you can get the comfort sorted.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    The EOS Minimal looks KILLER fab for you, Suz. PERFECT with the wide legs!

    Glad you were able to refresh your essential white sneaker so easily. Clean, crisp, modern, and pretty! :)

    Hoping the Banks work half a size up. Pretty! And hope the dressy sandal works too! 

    On the Cole Haan Oxfords - I LOVE mine. I have two WEATHERPROOF pairs that are getting a lot of action this Spring. (Got them last year on deep discount). White and light blue. Those, and my new gold ECCOS are winners. Thanks for reassuring me that the metallic is robust! (Outfit of two months ago on a rare mild day. About to go dog walking in my golf shoes). I hope they work for you too! 

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Angie, I think the Cole Haans I've ordered are a similar style, but different material, since they are knit! (!!) I hope they work, too, and have some doubts. However, they get great reviews! If they do work, I will get a weatherproof pair in the fall, or on discount somewhere sooner, because I think the style is fantastic and looks great on you. 

    Lisa, The EOS sneaker came from a store in Victoria (in person shopping, hey!) called Footloose. They do online orders too, I think. And I can also vouch for EF quality. Pricey shoes (for us in Canada, especially) but sometimes on sale and they do last! My sandals (second pair of the same style) are going strong so far -- I got three years from the first pair. Which for me is great! 

    Oh, Carla, Shoe mistakes hurt in more ways than one! But they are so, so easy to make. It's not easy to tell how things will go over time. And sometimes we just get overly hopeful...

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Suz, I know the knitted version well! My clientele LOVES THEM. My fingers are crossed. Let us know! Cole Haan make great shoes - for menswear too. 

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    Suz - thanks!  Shoe situation resolved :-)

  • Irina replied 1 year ago

    Suz, I have the same Cole Haan knitted oxfords, mine are black. I bought them in 2020, wear them frequently and the look like new. Very comfortable!

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    Alison over at Wardrobe Oxygen blog has been raving about her white Birkenstock sneakers. Have you tried those? I love the Birkenstock footbed for my fussy feet.

    You’re in luck that silver is really on trend! Milk it!

  • LJP replied 1 year ago

    Oops , I’m all wrong here. It’s the frilly L’Ateliers ( Vince ) ones I was looking at . I need them !

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    The Vince Ateliers came from the same store, LIsa, and you can order on line from the maker. I'd say they are more or less TTS. 

    Alas, Jessikams, Birks don't work on my feet -- footbed is wrong for me. But that is good to know -- there are many Birks lovers here who will be happy to hear there is a sneaker option! 

    Irina, those look great on you and that is encouraging news about their durability. 

  • replied 1 year ago

    I always look closely at your recs since we're foot twins- except that Birks do work for me! Love the slingbacks especially!

  • Kari replied 1 year ago

    What a great roundup! I’m also a fan of the ECCO soft 7 and fortunately they work well for me with an insole, but I hear you on the PF risk. After the early pandemic and spending tons of time indoors and barefoot (on crappy flooring), I started developing PF and it flares up when I’m not wearing shoes or supportive slippers enough inside.

    Those silver shoes are both fabulous!

  • Jaime replied 1 year ago

    Not the point, but I just love those long wide legs on you - with the sneakers of course. I like the silver shoes but they do look a bit small to the point of discomfort? Maybe not, and they will stretch. Good luck with the orders!

  • Jenni NZ replied 1 year ago

    Left foot might be just slightly bigger than right? The right foot looks to fit better in the silver slingbacks. Both silver shoes are so pretty. The higher heeled ones look a bit high to me- can you manage those?
    White sneakers look great on you.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Jenni, I think my right foot's bigger, but not 100% sure. I should measure! I am not sure whether I can handle the heel of the sandal, either -- 2 inches is usually my sweet spot. A flat is actually the worst for me -- 1 inch to 2.5 used to be best. But we'll see. These are returnable. Anything that doesn't meet the comfort test is going straight back. 

    Jaime -- yes, I'll be returning the slingbacks in this size. They're not uncomfortable but they look it. So I hope the larger size works! 

    Kari, once you get the tendency to PF it unfortunately can return if you are not careful. Shoes with support indoors are absolutely crucial! I wear Dansko clogs in the house for a lot of the year, and my new loafers, which I dedicated to indoor wear for the winter, and indoor sandals with padding  in summer. Slippers and bare feet don't do it for me any more! 

    Suntiger, those sling backs come in so many colours you would not believe. 

  • Tanya replied 1 year ago

    The new sneakers are perfect on your feet, Suz! Hope you have some luck with the silver shoes.  I have been looking for silver fisherman sandals and not seeing much.

    Like Angie, I also have good experience with Cole Haan oxfords, mine are different models to hers and yours.  My favorite sneakers are CHs, too, they work better for my feet than Eccos, as the platform is a bit higher at the heel area.  I am currently tempted to duplicate them in silver, but kep telling myself that would be an almost-duplication of my silver oxfords.

  • Lana replied 1 year ago

    Suz, I’m loving the frilly tongue sneakers from Atelier! The white or the pewter are calling me. Did they fit true to size, and did you see the pewter? I’m wondering if they are more taupe or gold (cool or warm).

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Lana, apologies for the delay -- i didn't see this. I didn't buy those sneakers because they were too loose on the heel for me. I love the look of them, though! I didn't see the pewter in store -- just the white. They felt really comfortable but slippy on the bottom and for me, the heel slipped. Which is also really common for me. 

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    Suz, those sneakers are cute! You’ve got me checking out the EOS Minimal but it’s not as easy to find in the States.

    You and I share the heel-slippage problem. You’re probably close to a foot twin to me — we both need a slightly narrow, slightly low-volume shoe, and I have given up on loafers and especially pumps! Good thing I don’t really need them in my lifestyle! Lace-up styles help that fit issue a lot, and I find that my Ondo no-show socks really help prevent blisters with heel slippage on the shoes I already own — they made a problematic pair of shoes totally wearable!

    Good luck with the size up on the slingbacks. I also find slingbacks very hit or miss.

    Cole Haan has usually been a good fit for my feet — I still have a very old pair (10+ years!) of blue oxfords by them, and wow were they well made for the moderate price! Your new Oxford-sneakers should be a workhorse!

    Also commiserating on the Vagabond fit — I tried a couple of their sandal styles. Absolutely love the style, but too wide for my foot. *sadface* It was actually kind of hilarious — I placed an order with Nordstrom for 6 pairs of sandals to try, and had them delivered to the local Rack for pickup. That way, I can try them on in the store and return what doesn’t work immediately. So there I was sitting in the back of the shoe department with all these boxes, pouting that none of them worked, except for the least practical of them all, which I did end up keeping anyway! They were so pretty and comfortable and unlike all my other sandals that I’m finding ways to wear them. :-) Pretty funny though that I was really looking for chunky, substantial sandals and ended up with the only wild card, a pair of more delicate ones!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Janet, don't go for those EOS sneakers! my follow up post, I detail the disaster!  With multiple insoles and socks I have found a way to make them tolerable for short jaunts (not that I am jaunting anywhere, at the moment, post-accident) but they are never going to be great for me. 

    I find the Naturalizers fantastic, though. I did get some awful blisters with those one day but it was very humid and I walked miles without socks -- dumb dumb dumb. Otherwise, no blisters at all. I love them and would duplicate. 

    The slingbacks in a size up do work!! Magic! 

  • Lana replied 1 year ago

    Thanks Suz! I found a pair on Poshmark so fingers crossed they work.  I too have the silver naturalizer ones and love them!  Very comfortable and slightly elevated with the platform.

  • texstyle replied 1 year ago

    Seems white sneakers are so on trend. I just got these today and I am very pleased with the look and feel (so far). Gonna see how they do for a few hours.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Nice to see you, texstyle! Hope the music is going well. Those look like nice sneakers. 

  • nancylee replied 1 year ago

    You look SO cute and fashionable in your wide leg jeans, Suz! Love the EOS Minimals. I'm a big fan of Ecco 7 Softs as well. 

    Have you looked into Cariuma? They're a new sneaker on my radar.

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