I Designed My Dream Shoes With Shoes Of Prey (here’s how it works):
By Alison Blackman
Shoes of Prey are not the footwear of the victims of pirates or piranhas or panthers or such, they’re shoes, glorious shoes for human ladies feet, that you design yourself using the Shoes of Prey website computer aided program on the Shoes of Prey website! The mental visuals were just too vivid for me to ignore and I had to try it. On the Shoes of Prey website women can design every part of her shoes – from the style, colors, materials and heel height and from stilettos, wedges or platforms from pumpos to oxford. You can add details like , ruffles, bows and flowers, a ankle strap, perhaps. Make the heels a different fabric and color, no worries! You can pick something different for every single part of the shoe including the insole if you really want. There are over 300 materials to choose from including snakeskin, fish skin, silk, suede, leathers and vegan materials and a huge range of sizes from 2 ½ to 15 (based on my wear test they run true to size). Depending upon what you choose, the average price point is $220, each design is made to order and takes 2-3 weeks to be delivered.
I was so excited to try this. I zipped over to the shoes of Prey Website. The process could be overwehelming, but the site is very user friendly. There are really just three big steps using the website’s 3D Designer you choose the shape, colour and height of your shoes; you confirm and pay for your design, Shoes of Prey makes you your design and ships it anywhere in the world in around 4 weeks.
Sounds easy? Well, yes, and no.
Think you are a budding Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnick. Maybe not so fast. This isn’t all that easy unless you’re picking a basic pump and heel in one color and if your’e doing that, you probably don’t need to buy it on Shoes of Prey. You’re looking for something unique that makes a statement, right? It is easy to get overwhelmed and if so, your design can go horribly wrong. Select from 12 essential shoe shapes – including ballet flats, stilettos, sandals, oxfords and wedges – to craft your ultimate design.Play with over 170 fabrics to select the shade and texture you want. Click here to see the full range.
Where’s the Inspiration? If you don’t know where to start, you can look at a gallery of finished styles for inspiration and once you sign up for an account at Shoes of Prey, they’ll send you inspirational emails as well. At first, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to design a sensible oxford, or a dance shoe. Finally, I figured I’d try a fancy shoe for Spring. An email showed (or should I say “shoed”) up suggesting a dance shoe with the two hot Pantone colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. I decided to go with that style. However, I wanted to make my own statement, not just re-create the shoe on the email.
I’m Not Manolo! The Shoes of Prey shoe I designed might all but end my amateur shoe designing career! I got carried away with colors, fabrics, and additions. I should have followed the old rule, take off one piece of jewelry before you leave the house, and eliminated one color or the rosette from the shoe before finalizing it. It’s a bit “busy” but it’s definitely all mine! The good news is that if your shoes don’t fit or if you don’t like them, there is a very generous 365 day return or re-make return policy. There is also free shipping to the United States (the shoes come from a factory in China, so it might be a few weeks more or less).
When I created my sample shoe there were fewer heel choices and embellishment choices than there are currently and still, the choices overwhelmed me. The Computer Aided Design Tool is super easy to use, but that makes it tempting to try too many colors and fabric choices. As you can also see from the print version and the actual shoe, what looks great in print might not look the same in real life.
Worth the Wait: It took a couple of week, about a month to be exact. All along the way I received emails updating me about my shoes and where they were in the creation process. There are photos, and videos, The emails and links on the website weren’t just re-assuring, they were educational and fascinating! When the shoes arrived via DHL Express. I was impressed with the careful packaging and couldn’t wait to unearth the shoes. When I did, I realized I’d gone overboard with color and accents. The rosettes looked really cute on the print version but they a bit oversized on the actual shoe. The ankle straps, that have a unique closure (there’s a clasp no need to contort yourself to buckle them), looked lovely on the original shoe but they make my ankles look less than lovely. On the positive side, the shoes are comfortable and they fit perfectly. They’re a party shoe, and I’ll flaunt them at a party!
Who are These Really For? Obviously, anyone who has ever dreamed of the perfect shoe, or almost. There are limitations, but they’re slight and getting smaller by the minute. And obvious group is brides and their bridal parties, who want something special other than the standard bridal shoe offerings. One practical reason is that this way bridesmaids can get shoes that follow the same basic style, but with differences to reflect their own preferences, or if they wish, different heel heights so that they’re all comfortable. Another lovely and romantic option is that of including a personal inscription such as a message or quote, a name or an auspicious date stamped on the insole of the shoes to mark a special occasion. Shoes of Prey told us that a man wanted to propose to his shoe-obsessed girlfriend in a very special way, so he asked if he could stamp his proposal into a shoe for his girlfriend. I’m sure she said YES! immediately!
This is a Spectacular Gift Idea: Which really gets me thinking: If you want to send the most fabulous gift ever, you can also send a gift certificate to someone. Get your girlfriends together and gift a pair of Shoes of Prey to a bride to be. Wouldn’t that make a better gift than a bunch things she really doesn’t need anyway? Gift a pair to your fabulous mom, or a special friend, or yourself, of course. Shoes of Prey are online at shoesofprey.com and in select Nordstrom locations around the United States