Slipping on a slippery lobby floor, catching your heel in a crack in the sidewalk, scuffing the leather while driving… These are my real issues with stilettos, the ones that make me reach for flats when heading to the office or getting ready for a night out. Outside of the rare super-formal event, I primarily stopped wearing stilettos a while back – long enough ago that my fiance recently asked if I could even still walk in them.
St. Louisan Claire Flowers has a solution.
“I am a business person who had to wear a suit several times a week for work,” says Claire, noting that her high heels were not surviving her professional and social life before she created her line. “I became fed up with how high heel shoes were made. They were not comfortable and they looked terrible after only a few wears. I hated the idea of sacrificing comfort for fashion, so I created a line that offers both comfort and a great look.”
Claire founded the company in August 2012, “but I spent the first two years perfecting the five unique attributes or features that make the shoes comfortable, durable, and attractive. I didn’t want to be just another line of cute shoes.”
So what are the five differences? Claire Flowers shoes have a “cushioned insole…non-slip sole…protective heel plate…never-replace heel cap…[and wider] heel,” according to the company’s website. And every feature has serious thought behind it. The plate, for example, is located where Claire used to notice floor mat damage from driving. The heel cap is made from the same durable material used in roller skate wheels. The tip of the heel is specifically designed to avoid slipping in most city grates, decks, and other cracks. They are functional solutions for legitimate problems.
While you surely enjoy a local success story as much as I do, a dedication to functionality doesn’t mean much. It’s all about the results. Here’s my take from wearing the shoes: Do you remember Moon Shoes, the birthday wish fantasty of your 1990s childhood? I used my toothfairy money to buy a second-hand pair I found at a garage sale, and they were so comfy – and at first step, that’s what these Claire Flowers heels reminded me of. There is almost a slight bounce thanks to the sole support, and the balance factor is amazing. And who knew such a small change (a slightly larger heel) could make such a difference to your sense of stability? These shoes are crazy comfortable, and my other stilettos are looking sub par to say the least.
In the future, Claire says she envisions sandals, flats, and – dare I dream… – boots being added to the collection. “I am going to incorporate the features and benefits [of these heels] everywhere I can; I constantly think of new ways to improve the line.”
While I rocked these classic pumps with a bohemian dress, the styling options are endless. “As far as style, I like making statement shoes that go with classic wardrobe staples, like dark denim, the little black dress, and a white oxford dress shirt,” says Claire. “I love that my line can ‘make’ an outfit.”
Here in St. Louis, Claire Flowers-brand shoes are available at 10Denza. Outside of the area, Claire Flowers shoes can be found at Carl Meyers in Lexington, Kentucky; City Soles in Chicago, Illinois; and online at ClaireFlowers.com.