From the outlandish designs of Irregular Choice and the collaborative rubber magic of Melissa, to the timeless style of Dune and the practicality of Clark’s, it has never been easier to find footwear that fulfils your needs. Are you a Hush Puppy, a Con-vert, a lover of Birkenstocks, Nikes or Vans? Do you yearn for a shoe for life, or one that will only last the summer? Pop into shops like Office and Schuh, or department stores such as John Lewis and Selfridges, to expand your footwear horizons in one afternoon.
I’d like to give a special mention to a couple of brands that have caught my eye in recent years. Founded by an architect and a member of the famous Clark shoe-making family, United Nude is one of the most innovative and collaborative footwear companies in the world. They have worked with fashion designers Iris van Herpen and Mattijs van Bergen, plus graffiti artist Niels Meulman to produce stunning works of wearable art. Their first design was, rather ingeniously, based on a Möbius strip. In contrast, Dr Martens has stuck with its classic a practical work boot through thick and thin. From a steel toe capped workplace necessity, to a sign of belonging to a music subculture or tribe, DMs are now pretty much a rite of passage for every teenager. They now produce stylish heels, pumps, brogues (see photo) wellies and re-invented classics, as well as their industrial range, making them more desirable than ever.