Reviews: Paso Fino Sandals

Monday, April 9, 2012

Paso Fino Sandals ($98) by Miss Albright, true to size (9=39)
style # 24080210, nude

Much like the horse breed from which the Paso Fino Sandals ($98) take their name, there's a bit of showiness to these shoes. From the front they look simple. A simple strap over the toes. A simple strap around the ankle. And then you see the back. Like a horse's mane waves of black and white beads roll across the back, elevating these from basic tanned leather to something delightful.

I'm impressed that Anthropologie used leather for the sole, uppers and straps and still kept the price under $100. Kudos for that. There is contrast stitching along the footbed and the ankle straps have an elastic panel at the buckle. The strap is a pain to pull through the circular buckle though. On the left shoe of my pair it's a struggle to get the strap at the right angle to pull it. Those ankle straps are nice and long -- I was able to use a hole three or four in, and with my thicker legs I'm normally straining to buckle around the ankle.

The soles have some grading on them to help with traction. Since they're leather they already grip better than most synthetic soles. A slight heel gives better balance. There's also some angled tread on the heels. Notice that the size is in US numbers on the shoe; I have no idea why Anthropologie insists on using Euro numbers on the website. It's unnecessarily confusing. As I mentioned in the top details a 39 Euro = 9 US for these sandals. It's a shame this shoe doesn't come in half-sizes.

The front strap is significant and sturdy. It seems to be well-sewn into the sole. It's set at a slight angle which helps to keep the shoe moving with the foot, and it's a little more comfortable to me than sandals with straps straight across. Your pinkie toes will likely be covered by the strap.

A note on quality: on the left shoe (that's the one on the right in the photo above), I noticed the leather footbed peeling back a bit after just one wear. Annoying. 

These sandals are pretty comfortable from first wear on. For me the heel felt great with no break-in period, while the toes were a smidge tight initially and then stretched to a comfortable level. The sandals will stretch both length and width-wise on the first wear, so if they're a little snug you're probably OK but if they're uncomfortably tight you should size up. If your foot is widest at your toes you'll want to size up.

I love the positioning of the ankle strap, which is low and makes my ankles look slimmer. The toe strap goes right across the ball of the foot to protect an area that gets beaten up by the pumps I usually wear.

From the side view you can see the detail on the heels. I am a big fan of sandals that keep the heels covered -- they stop sand from getting stuck in the footbed on the beach and my heels tend to look pretty beaten up on a good day, regular pedis be damned.

My foot is pretty narrow but I did notice some side overhang with these sandals. In the model shot on the product page you can see the same thing with her feet, though not to the same degree as mine. My feet are slightly curved and the ball portion has widened from all the high heels I wear so this is a common issue for me. 

Overall the shoe quality seems decent, about on par with Seychelles or Sam Edelman or other brands you'd see at Anthropologie. One thing I did notice is that the back beading is somehwat prone to falling off. In-store the pair on display was already missing a few back beads and the pair I purchased lost a bead on the first wear, though it's gone through two more wears fine. You can glue the back if you're concerned about this but I think it's only natural for this beadwork to fall off over time. I wish it had been secured better to begin with but one bed isn't a dealbreaker.

I'm very happy with these sandals and can't wait to wear them on my trip next week! To me the pricetag seems fair. I'm very glad they're under $100. They are comfortable with little to no break-in period required. The tan color is neutral and great for summer.

If you buy these sandals in-store I recommend you inspect the footbed for peeling leather and the heel for loose beads. I know that for online buyers it's more of a crapshoot. The quality is decent but not spectacular. If you order these from the website inspect the shoes very carefully before you wear them.