This blog post is a paid for advertorial in collaboration with Ally Shoes.
Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk *
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR products here.
I clearly remember the first time I stepped out into the world in high heels. I was 15 and we were attending the wedding of a family friend. After months of pestering, Mum finally caved and let me borrow a pair of her pointed toe pumps – a HUGE deal for teenage Vee! Mum used to frolic around in heels all the time and she made it look so easy and glamorous, so I assumed it would be the same for me. How I thought that would be the case is beyond me! By mid-afternoon, the blisters were coming in thick and fast. The more I walked, the more clompy I became and I ended up being that person who spent the best part of the reception barefoot. Oh the shame!
My love-hate relationship with heels continued throughout my 20s where I came to accept that heels were beautiful objects designed to inflict pain. And when I graduated and started working as a baby lawyer, heels became somewhat tolerable for spending long days at work but for the most part I had trained myself to just deal with it.
Ally shoes* (use ‘VIRGINIA40’ for $40 off your first pair of heels or ‘VIRGINIA10’ for 10% off your first pair of flats), Everlane blazer* (sz 0), Arket tee (sz S), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S), Isabel Marant belt (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
Now that I’m older and well into my mid-career, my tolerance for discomfort has all but gone. I can attribute blame to a few things (*ahem* one major global infectious disease event) but without getting into the nitty gritty – why should we have to put up with uncomfortable shoes?! Guys, let’s make a pact – from now on we only wear shoes that are actually comfortable and walkable.
A few months ago, I received a pair of block heels from New York-based brand, Ally Shoes. Having heard of the waves they’ve been making in the innovative footwear space, I was really keen to give their heels a try. While there are lots of brands out there making bold claims and purporting to make comfortable heels, Ally Shoes actually has a podiatric expert on their design team – so they really set the bar high when it came to my expectations and you can imagine how curious I was to see whether the shoes stacked up to their claims.
In today’s post, I’m going to share how I’ve found the shoes now that I’ve had a chance to properly road test them.
L: Ally shoes*, The Fold blazer* (sz UK 8, here’s another option and another), Arket tee (sz S), Gucci belt (read one of my many reviews here), Anine Bing skirt (sz S, also here and here), Tory Burch tote (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Ally shoes*, Arket tee (sz S), Anine Bing skirt (read my try-on thoughts here; sz XS – also here and here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
The Ally Shoes Origin Story
Ally Shoes was founded by accident – quite literally! The founder, Samantha, a Silicon Valley-based management consultant at the time, found heels provided her with a greater presence and sense of power in the office – something I think a lot of us can relate to – but after injuring her foot in a hiking accident, wearing heels became especially painful. It prompted her to do a bit of digging where she was frustrated to learn that most luxury heels are designed by men. This frustration, coupled with her constantly pained feet, ultimately fuelled her to create a shoe compatible with the needs of modern women today.
She moved to NYC to pursue Ally Shoes full time and met with industry experts – including Jeff Henderson who worked at Nike and Cole Haan managing innovation – who then introduced Samantha to Dr. Roxann Clarke, a NYC-based podiatrist and designer Sara Jaramillo who became the founding team at Ally Shoes. The rest, as they say, is history.
L: Ally shoes*, The Fold London top* (sz UK 8 – sold out, similar style linked), The Fold London trousers* (sz UK 8), Tory Burch tote (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses R: Ally shoes*, Everlane blazer* (sz 0), Arket tee (sz S), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S), Isabel Marant belt (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
What makes Ally Shoes comfortable?
Here are some of the innovations that set Ally Shoes apart from the rest:
- Patented ergonomic support structure including:
- Padded insole
- Proper arch support
- Strategic toe cushioning
- Deeper heel cup
- Stretch lining (for maximum flexibility and to minimise any need to break-in the shoe)
- Micro-size range (US 4.5 through to 12 in half sizes and four different widths)
- The entire upper of the shoe is constructed using stretch leather (without losing any structure)
- Patented ergonomic support structure
- Heels are scientifically engineered to alleviate pain
Bold Block Heel in Taupe
Footwear that contains this much innovation typically carries a luxury price tag. However, Ally Shoes have made these innovations much more accessible and inclusive. Ally Shoes offers micro-sizing with sizes US 4.5 through to 12 offered in half size increments as well as four different widths (!!), bringing as close to custom-fitted as possible while maintaining a reasonable price tag. While their best selling styles and colours are well stocked, Ally Shoes have an on-demand made-to-order process for the majority of their styles ensuring you get a bespoke fit while at the same time reducing waste in the production process.
Their hero style is the Classic Pump, a classic 3-inch stiletto pump which also comes in a 2-inch Kitten Heel. If you want to maximise support, there’s also the Bold Block Heel, a 3-inch block heel (the style I have) which also comes in a lower 2-inch height called the Lower Block Heel. I’m really keen to try their Classic Pumps as well as their Lower Block Heels next!
L: Ally shoes*, Arket tee (sz S), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S – review here), Tory Burch tote (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; L: Ally shoes*, Mango trench coat (sz XS – new season version linked), Nobody Denim jeans (similar style here), Celine bag (watch my review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
I’m absolutely blown away by the comfort of these heels and have found them an absolute delight to wear. The block heel style I have is not only comfortable but they’re a beautifully made shoe busting the myth that comfortable shoes designed by a podiatrist don’t have to resemble the ugly variety at the pharmacy!
I’ve worn these heels for entire days at the office with no break-in time required and my feet weren’t sore at the end of the day. With all of the internal support on the arch, heel and toes, the shoes feel spongy when worn and my feet feel properly enclosed thanks to the deeper heel cup – a design feature I didn’t consider would have such an impact, but I’ve really felt the difference having properly worn the heels. They are, without a doubt, the most comfortable heels that I have in my wardrobe.
The taupe shade that I chose has a warmer undertone which matches perfectly with camel, navy and black and has been the perfect light neutral to freshen up my outfits. I really wish these heels were available back when I was a graduate building my work wardrobe as my feet would have been much happier for it. And while I’ve been assessing these heels from more of a workwear angle, I think they’re ideal for events and occasions where heels are necessary – Ally Shoes even have a bridal collection because they’re so popular!
The Ally Shoes team have created a special discount code for me to share with you where you can take $40USD off your first pair of heels with the code ‘VIRGINIA40‘. If heels aren’t your thing, then I’ve also got you covered with 10% off their flats with the code ‘VIRGINIA10‘ and you can bet your twinkle toes that the flats have the same comfort innovations in their styles too.
It has been such a pleasure to introduce these shoes to you – I hope my Ally Shoes heels review was helpful to any of you who have your eye on a pair. As always, thanks for stopping by!
P.S. My top 10 outfits of 2022 and a Gucci bag try-on.