I admit it. I am partial to an investment shoe. Some of my very favourite brands aren’t exactly cheap, but they make beautiful footwear of an amazing quality and with brilliant design, and that’s why I love them so much. So when the new season styles start to trickle on to their websites, it’s time to get really, REALLY excited. The brands I’ve included in this new season round-up all fall into the investment shoe category. They’re not MEGA expensive, but you’ll probably need to save up to buy a pair, and I hope that my endorsement of them will be helpful and reassuring if you’re thinking of doing that. They’re brands that I’ve been wearing for years and that I’ve always found to be incredibly comfortable, as well as durable. Oh, and they just so happen to make designs that actually make my heart race!
What I love about this brand is the celebration of colour and print that you can always find. As I write this I’m wearing an old favourite pair of Penelope Chilvers desert boots in blue velvet, and I have another pair in an orange and blue tile print – they’re shoes to wear when you’re feeling happy. This season I’m loving the Jungle boot in a variety of prints – a sort of chukka-trainer hybrid – and the pool slide espadrilles.
This little company is based in Northampton – the shoe-making capital of Britain – and only has a couple of new styles so far this season, choosing instead to continue some old favourites like its ‘Nibblefish’ fisherman’s shoes and ‘Platy’ fringed sandals (plus keep your eyes peeled for the trainers which drop online in a few weeks). ‘Cavefish’ is an eternally chic monochrome style, and you can’t get much more summery than the gorgeous two-tone ‘Damselfish’ loafers. Swoon.
I think that when you’re into flat shoes, it goes hand-in-hand that you shop at places that do his-and-hers stuff. Grenson, Northern Cobbler, Fred Perry and Folk are all places that Mr Brogue and I shop at together, and Folk’s shoes are REALLY lovely – they’re incredibly comfortable and the unusual yet subtle designs are an absolute winner. These Lore sandals do have a micro-wedge, but it’s so minimal that I will let it pass! And I love the look of these silver sneakers. It’s worth looking at the clothing while you’re there; if you’re a fan of colour and print with lashings of navy and grey, then I think you’ll like it.
Well, you don’t think that Grenson WOULDN’T feature on here, did you? I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve recommended this brand to who have since become complete addicts. My editor at InStyle – a previous lover of chunky high heels – is a total convert since I got her to wear a bright yellow pair of brogues over fashion week. When I was writing my book I really fancied getting a pair of saddle shoes but I couldn’t find any, so I was delighted when I saw ‘Peggy’ at Grenson’s press day a few months ago. I promptly ordered myself a pair in yellow and white (they are also available in blue and white) and I can’t wait for them to arrive. I’m also pleased to see some old favourites – like ‘Emily’ – in new, exciting colours (more yellow!) and the new ‘Carrie’ with removable kiltie, which is a reworking of an old style that just so happened to be my first ever pair of Grensons.
If you’re investing in a special pair of shoes I’d love to hear about it! Tweet me a picture of your new shoes to @EnBrogue with the hashtag #newshoes.