You’d Never Guess These Pricey But Stylish Shoes Are Designed by a Podiatric Surgeon
If you’ve ever had to step foot in a podiatrist’s office, you’ve likely wondered during an appointment: What will my doc think of my shoes? And yeah, they most likely are, since most of the popular shoes we love aren’t so great for the health of our feet. (Ahem, we’re looking at you, flip flops.)
Marion Parke knows the struggle well, which is why the podiatric surgeon set out to design cute shoes that actually consider the health of your feet. Nailing the careful balance between form and function—because we don’t all want to wear hideous orthopedic shoes—Parke has taken all the knowledge she’s gleaned from years of performing surgery on feet and ankles and focused it on fashion-forward kicks. She’s been rolling out her doc-approved heeled sandals, supportive flats and surprisingly sexy-but-comfy lace-ups since 2016 and is now a fashion expert, in addition to being a medical professional. Now that’s #goals.
Here, the doc-turned-designer tells PureWow about her five favorite shoes from her current collection, focusing on the arch-supporting and toe-friendly details hidden within each. We’ll take one of each, thank you very much.
Before you get tripped up on the 3.3-inch stiletto heel, Parke wants you to understand the supporting features of this shoe: “My now patented signature contoured insole is sculpted and contoured to follow the natural contour of the bottom of the foot. [The] insole not only increases the surface area that the foot is in contact with the shoe, but the arch support also helps to reduce slippage into the toe box.” Add to that the stunning gold hardware and eight different color options, and you’ve got yourself a new favorite pair of pumps.
Aside from being adjustable—thus working on both thin and wide feet—the straps on these shoes serve one major purpose: “to keep the foot in contact with the shoe, which adds stability,” per Parke. The mid-height heel is great for formal events—from the big meeting to social distant weddings—but is still totally walkable. BTW, these classic sandals are on sale for $250 in denim blue and bordeaux, both of which are fall-ready shades.
No, your eyes aren’t tricking you. These stunning, sexy, va-va-voom kicks are, indeed, good for your feet (and they're a best-seller). We’ll let Parke explain why: “The soft mesh material holds the foot securely in place to reduce slippage and is also light and breathable.” Similar to the Bernadette sandals above, they can also be adjusted to fit your foot width. BTW, Parke also has the perfect outfit to wear these with. She throws on blue jeans, a crisp white button down and laces up the Brooke in camel. Classic and stylish? What’s not to love.
For these sandals, Parke was inspired by the breezy footwear that’s synonymous with Saint Tropez. “The traditional Saint Tropez sandal has a single strip of leather across the midfoot that isn't adjustable, which is especially challenging for women with high arches. They aren't able to put their foot far enough into the shoe and end up sizing up,” she tells us, adding that it can create a lot of unsafe slipping and sliding. So, she added a midfoot strap with a buckle that adds a touch more stability. Combined with the brand's signature contoured insole, these just might be the most supportive summer shoes you’ve ever owned.
Eschewing a not-so-great-for-you pointed toe, this flat has a soft and roomy square toe, as well as a high “throat line,” which means the front extends far beyond the toe cleavage. Per Parke: “This feature means that the foot will be held more securely in the shoe and that even with the natural stretching that occurs over time, the shoe will feel secure.” Plus, the included contoured insole makes these much more comfortable for long-term wear than, say, a pair of support-less ballet flats.