This is not a sponsored post; regular busichics will know about my ongoing search for orthopedic shoes that are also stylish. So it is with great joy that I introduce Anna Baird, the creator of Bared Footwear.
Do you experience foot, lower leg or back pain? A trained podiatrist, Anna often treated clients with these very symptoms. She became frustrated about the lack of fashionable options available when she had to tell “often relatively-young-women” that they had to wear orthotics in order to address these symptoms. So one day she decided to take it upon herself to develop a range of shoes that were stylish but also met the needs of her customers, going on to invest her own money into this long and arduous process.
Let me tell you it is NO easy feat (no pun intended) to 1. find a manufacturer of foot lasts then 2. work with the manufacturer to make and re-make foot lasts until a good-looking shoe is born. However Anna found some Australian makers who she worked closely with until she realised that she needed to move production off-shore to be able to offer a reasonable price-point to her customers. This enabled Anna to develop the key differentiator that makes her shoes so comfortable: a unique foot bed which is designed to support the arch while simultaneously cushioning the foot.
Anna and her husband have also created a beautiful retail experience at Bared’s first physical store. The fit-out is warm, inviting, cosy and stylish. Come to think of it, so are the staff! My husband and I have each been in on different occasions and it is such a relief to have knowledgeable staff who are understanding of feet woes and exercise the patience required to ensure a good fit for every customer. Yay for quality customer service!
Business Chic shoes at Bared Footwear
Bared have an excellent range of shoes for men that cover wardrobe needs from stylish brogues for the office and dressier events (my husband wore the Oxygen style on our wedding day!) to down to more relaxed Smart Casual and weekend styles.
The team are currently working on some more low heels for the working wardrobe so I loved having a chat with Anna about the sorts of styles, finishes and details I look for in a great shoe. So much so that Anna gave me a sneaky peek of an upcoming style that is GORGEOUS! I think it will look amazing in more conservative offices but is also fabulous enough for drinks and beyond; so exciting, it’s out later this year! In the meantime the current offering for office workers are the ‘Quail’ (as I wore in this post), ‘Ostrich’ or ‘Monarch‘ pumps and ‘Mockingbird’ wedge. For the more relaxed workplace, Anna personally loves the ‘Starling’ smoking loafer with a tailored pant suit while her current favourite is the just-released Parrot. Now that I can dress more casually for work, I’ve my eye on the Hawk 😉 What do you look for in a great shoe? Do you separate your work shoe from your play ones?
Kudos to Anna and her husband for sticking at it because I know I’m proud that there’s an Australian business making good-looking shoes that are also good for our feet!
Visit Bared Footwear
Listeners of the Melbourne in Fashion podcast might recall that I spoke with Anna in episode 24 as part of our special series for the VAMFF Cultural Program. Click through to hear our chat on iTunes!