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16 FOOT AUG12 Footwear Focus:Footwear_Jan10_p30 27/06/2012 15:00 Page 16

FOOTWEAR FOCUS ROAD TEST

Rieker Thalia wedges Emma Cooke walks tall in her Thalia wedges – and doesn’t wobble on the cobbles!

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hen I was first asked to choose a pair of shoes to road test from a selection of styles from Rieker’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection, I confess, I acted like the ultimate girl. I ran to my friends, or as I like to call them, my decision making S.W.A.T team, for advice. Then, after hours of careful deliberation, and to the chagrin of said S.W.A.T team, I went ahead and chose the shoes that I had liked right from the get-go, the Thalia wedges. I had visions of running along a sandy beach in the pretty blue wedges going through my head, I made my choice. However, my apprehension did begin to grow while waiting for the wedges to arrive. Despite Rieker’s reputation as a brand that have been making comfortable footwear for the past 130 years, I have yet to own a pair of wedges that didn’t cause discomfort in some way or another, and the suede material and three inch heels of the Thalia led me to expect some difficulty in wearing these. Rieker promises comfort in its footwear, with its patented Antistress sole technology that ‘absorbs shock by spreading pressure over its entire surface for a more comfortable tread’. This works through the use of a moulded rubber sole that reduces pressure on the footbed and joints for ‘ultimate comfort’. Funny how knowledge of all this technology can fly out the window when confronted with a heel over two inches high. Being a bona fide ‘short person’, people tend to assume I sleep, eat, and live in high heels, but unfortunately I never quite grasped the knack of walking in them. After years of nearly meeting my untimely end by tripping down stairs and over pavement kerbs, I accepted that I was just not a high heel wearer. Every so often I take out my favourite five inchers and moon over them, but it’s been a few years now since I ventured out in anything that high. This has its plus sides though, largely through comedic moments when I walk into a room full of five foot nine inch girls, strapped into six inch heels, before a ‘night on the town’. Cue shocked gasps, and looks of horror at my well-worn kitten heels. Once, one girl just couldn’t quite contain herself, letting out a high pitched ‘why are you wearing such tiny heels?!’ and then looking sheepish. Slightly less amusing is being directed to the children’s department in a shoe shop (my shoe size matches my height shall we say), although I do own the cutest ballerina wellington boots, bought during one such occasion. For a few weeks I got to feel superior with none of my envious friends being able to figure out where I’d found them. That is, until we went to a supermarket, and bumped into two little girls wearing…matching ballerina wellington boots. Oh, the humiliation. It pains me to admit that a pair of wedges had me quaking in my flats at the thought of wearing them through London’s cobbled streets. Cobbles being of course the arch-nemesis of any high heel wearer. So when the Thalia wedges arrived, it was with some trepidation that I stepped into them. About 20 seconds later I then had to look down to make sure I hadn’t accidentally put clouds on my feet. I can say with absolute honesty that these wedges were as comfortable as any flats I’ve ever worn,

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• FOOTWEAR TODAY • AUGUST 2012

if not more so. I don’t know what exactly they’re doing with that Antistress technology, but it’s working. My feet were definitely not stressed. In fact, I think they were in some kind of shoe nirvana. Not only were they comfortable, they were easy to walk in too! The design of the shoe is such that it hugs your feet, making the entire shoe incredibly stable. These are no tiny little kitten heels that wobble and shake at every cobble it meets! These shoes are absolutely made for running down the beach, but while I would like to imagine that on a beach is the only place I’ll be wearing them, reality tells me the dratted cobbles are unavoidable. Luckily, these are well equipped to handle them, and the cobbles of London may have finally met their match! The design of these shoes is youthful with cut-out upper detailing, silver chains, and raffia rope edging, and I would say these are trendy, rather than girly or pretty. Teamed with denim shorts and a t-shirt, they are perfect for summer, and this shorty will be glad of the pain-free extra height this season! Details: 69498/14 Thalia sandal Trade £23.37 - RRP £55.00 Tel: 01858 414141 www.rieker.com

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