Comfort is the new coolth when it comes to shoe-sha. Fashionistas across the world seem to have developed a newfound fetish for unconventional varieties of footwear, including the Worishofer sandals-orthopaedic demi-wedges with a cork sole born 70 years ago in the Bavarian town of Bad Wörishofen. ‘Grandma shoes’, as they are commonly called, lace up the front, revealing a demure hint of toenail, and have a wide base for ease of motion.
Celebrities such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst have been spotted wearing Worishofers recently. Comfort is the driving force, say desi designers.
“After wearing high heels for years and standing on your feet for hours together, these are an obvious choice. They’re cushioned and foot-friendly,” says footwear designer Rina Shah. Indian shoe shops have been quick in taking cue. “Customers are now seeking a combination of comfort and fashion. Such a style proves easy while travelling or shopping, and can be paired with jeans or a summer dress alike,” says Manoj Chandra, vice president - marketing and customer service, Bata, which stocks similar sandals.
This is not the first time a shoe without obvious charms has become a bestseller. Others include Dr Scholl’s sandals, Birkenstocks, the Croc and the Ugg boot. But some, like shoe stylist Samir Singh, say they can never be diva material. “Tell me, will Paris Hilton or Victoria Beckham ever wear them?”