I was recently given some shoes (for free) to review for the site. There were two pairs that really stood out, both relatively new lines from Dr. Andrew Weil and from Blake/Brody.
I’ve talked about the Blake/Brody Pilates shoes before. They have just introduced their fall line of Pilates flats which are pretty adorable. These shoes are intended for studio use only; the soles are really too thin for the street (although I have run to the coffee shop in them), plus they’ll lose some of their grippiness if exposed regularly to grit from the sidewalk. The Blake/Brody are great shoes for the studio though; so cute, and they work well and a bunch of us have them and work out in them regularly.
Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Footwear was honestly a revelation. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Weil and I was hoping the shoes would be good. They did not disappoint. The sole of the shoe (developed by Orthaheel who make orthotics) has a heel with this great cupping feeling but still with nice arch support (and I have high arches). They were instantly comfortable, did not need to be broken in, and at the end of the day, I slipped them off and noticed that my whole spine felt better and I was standing more balanced on my feet. As a Pilates instructor, this was a “woah” moment.
Dr. Weil offers walking shoes, sandals, and flats. A nice bonus: all the net profits of his shoes go to the Weil Foundation. The shoes run from $90 to $130 or so. I did get a free pair, but I’m definitely purchasing some sandals for next year. As for the Blake/Brody shoes, I like them so much I sell them to my clients. Can’t get a higher endorsement from me than that.