Boots have been my footwear of choice for half of my life. At age twelve, I found a pair of black leather knee-high boots at my grandparents’ house that I wore obsessively, but only while staying in Denver — for a reason unbeknownst to adult Julia, I was convinced they were too scandalous to wear at home. By age fourteen I found my next two key pairs: steel-toed lace-ups (they were perfect with my pink hair) and slouchy leather. Throughout high school, I wore boots daily, and only managed to remove them for prom. In college I started looking for boots with heels or pointy toes or hardware details. And now, at twenty-four, my boot addiction is still going strong. There’s simply no better footwear.
So it makes perfect sense that I would lose my mind when Naturalizer invited me to pick out a pair.
It was the perfect way to spend a Thursday morning. Thanks to comfort shoe company Naturalizer at the Saint Louis Galleria and Brown Shoe Company, I was invited to Coffee with Naturalizer through Saint Louis Fashion Week. And the shoes I left with are perfect.
Now, before we move on to the amazing boots I was given, let’s peek inside the store. Designers Ron D’Aloia and Jenny Matthews attended the breakfast, along with some amazing people from Naturalizer and Brown Shoe Company. While I sipped my coffee and side-eyed the phenomenal boots by the door, we were introduced to the glories (and surprising styles) of comfortable shoes. The Naturalizer was the first shoe company to create shoes for women’s feet — no joke, before its 1927 inception, women’s shoes were created using smaller men’s shoe forms, which would be a more uncomfortable version of me trying to wear Lance’s tailored-for-huge-shoulders suit several sizes smaller. These days, the store carries women’s dress and casual shoes in sizes 4 through 12 in various widths and calf-sizes.
There’s a huge stigma against comfortable shoes that even I started to embrace. It’s like saying you want a healthy breakfast or a sensible car — saying you’re in the market for comfortable shoes brings about images of squishy soles and ventilation panels and weird perpetually dusty shades of beige. Ah, silly Julia; wrong again! Comfort is key. Not only does Naturalizer house the fashion-forward (and incredibly comfortable) line Naya, but it is in its second collaboration with HGTV star David Bromstad. Take a peek at a few of my favorites below.
While picking one pair was incredibly hard, I wouldn’t be the Julia you know and love, err, tolerate if I didn’t go for tall leather boots. I’m tickled to welcome grey boots to the collection, and have been rearranging planned outfits to find new ways to wear them daily.
Currently wearing… Naya North Boot, c/o Naturalizer [HERE] | Trapeze dress, H&M [SIMILAR] | Vest, Saks Gray Label, Off Fifth [SIMILAR] | Necklaces, one vintage and two c/o Pitaya [SIMILAR] | Hat, World Market [SIMILAR] | Bracelets, vintage and Jacobs by Marc Jacobs
More STLFW coverage coming soon! Spoiler alert: I wore these boots a lot.