Reviews: Sandy Tortie Pump, Gia Mary-Janes, Serengeti D'Orsays

Monday, October 28, 2013

You win, Anthropologie. 
I ordered your online-only Sandy Tortie Pump ($198) at full price and paid shipping too.

I'm working to replenish my shoe assortment and Anthropologie has helped me right along with a bunch of tempting options. Inside, reviews of a pair of pumps, a pair of flats and one pair somewhere between.

Sandy Tortie Pump ($198) by Ramon Tenza, size up
**as far as I know these are truly online-only**
Style #: 29342938; terra cotta (086); green (030)

I prefer chunkier heels to stilettos in most cases. Cobblestones, city streets, sidewalks and such are not kind to thin heels. Plus, I go through pumps like SUVs go through gasoline. I've found it doesn't matter how much I pay for a pair of shoes; more expensive shoes tend to wear out just as fast as less expensive shoes. So now I tend to look more at material and construction. Leather soles are easier to patch and replace. Reinforced toes are a huge bonus.

With the Sandy Tortie Pump ($198) I immediately loved the shape of the heel and toe. I'm an unapologetic pointy toe lover! Four inch heels don't scare me so long as the arch is padded and the footbed comfortable. How would these shoes hold up to those demands? I eagerly searched around for any other retailer that had these shoes with free shipping. As far as I can tell Anthropologie is the only store carrying them. Oh sorry, the only website carrying them.

In terms of looks these shoes are beautiful. The tortoise heel is a shiny multipanel wedge with a plastic-tipped heel. They're very quiet when you walk which is very important since I spend a lot of time at start-ups and in fashion studios where the floors are usually concrete or some other surface you don't want to click-clack across. The nubuck suede is very soft though the terra cotta pair I ordered arrived with a few scuffs already. The sole, insole and upper are all made of leather. Hooray! This will make them last much longer than a synthetic counterpart. Three years from now they might be on their second sole and a repaired toe but that's better than the trash.

I am a size 9 in USA shoes, a size 39.5 typically in Euro-sized shoes. Based on Anthropologie's sizing guidance in the product details I ordered a size 40. These pumps were made in Spain and I wish I'd known that before ordering -- I usually need a size 41 in shoes made in Spain. Consider this my plea to Anthropologie to list the country of origin! Shoes made in Spain fit differently than shoes made in Brazil fit differently than shoes made in Italy and so on. This information is critical and I expect to get it, especially if you're going to charge me $15.95 in shipping just to try these on.

Here are how the shoes look on.

You might notice a few small bumps in the side of the shoe -- those are my little toes begging for some more room! When I first tried to put this shoe on I was sure the angle of the instep was too severe. To my surprise once I got my feet in they were pretty comfortable. I can't say how they'd feel after a few hours of muted clip-clopping around Midtown or Soho but at first fit they're certainly nice.

I'm in a bit of a conundrum now. I'd love to be able to try on a size 41 to compare them to these 40s. But of course the 41s are sold out (in both colors). The greens are nearly sold through. So do I try to stretch these 40s via a cobbler? Or return them? I'm leaning towards the latter, mostly because I want pump perfection. But damn, these are so pretty! It's hard to let them go.

To try to help illustrate the color, which looks pink to me in most lights, here are the pumps along with a red and orange fridge magnet. Hopefully this helps to show the pink tones. This is a shoe I'd likely buy in both colors. Sadly, since both colors are now sold out in what I think is my size, I might simply have to admire them from afar. I hope Anthropologie is able to place an order for another size run of these pretty pumps!!

Gia Mary-Janes ($128) by Pied Juste, TTS
**raspberry available in select stores**
Style #: 29065117; neutral motif (015), raspberry (062) or black (011)

I guess I just have a thing for spots. Tortoise, calf hair or these leopard (neutral motif in Anthro-speak) Gia Mary-Janes ($128). The other two colors of this shoe are solid. I found the raspberry version at the Chelsea Market Anthropologie and was delighted by a chance to try them on. When it came time to pick a color though I went for the neutral motif spotted pair instead.

The back of this shoe is suede while the front is dyed hair. Likewise the straps have the same spotted pattern. There is a slight 3/4" heel and a rubber sole topped by a leather insole and upper. I'm no fan of rubber soles because they tend to be slippery.

Below are a few more shots of the shoe.

For the life of me I can't figure out where these shoes are made. "Imported" could be anywhere. Aren't shoes supposed to be labeled on the side or sole? The only thing on the sole is the size. And I can't find anything inside the shoe. So it's a mystery!

Now technically a USA size 9 is supposed to correspond to a Euro size 39. This shoe is one of the rare cases where a 39 was right on for me. Comfortable with plenty of room for my toes and just a bit of cleavage. Speaking of toes, this shoe is maximum pointy toe! Very 80s in shape really but for tall people like me it does an excellent job of balancing out height without making your feet look clownlike. I recommend going as sleek as possible with these shoes!

These shoes were comfortable on me right from the get-go. I love how the foot strap has so many hole options. No blisters on my heel or any of my toes. These are some well-made comfy shoes. A definite keeper!

Serengeti D'Orsays ($95) by Seychelles, TTS
AKA Seychelles Whisper in My Ear
Style #: 28429264; black (001); bronze (027) or wine (061)

Flats are great for the weekend but for work I like to have at least a small heel on. That makes a wedge like the Serengeti D'Orsays ($95) perfect! This shoe, known outside of Anthropologie as Seychelles' Whisper in My Ear, is also available via Zappos, Amazon and Piperlime. There are tons of photos of this shoe sans foot online so I've skipped that for this shoe review.

I love this pattern-on-solid trend and it's nice that these Serengeti D'Orsays are flipped from the Gia Mary Janes above -- solid in front and pattern in back. I was initially very drawn to the bronze version but decided that this black version with a suede toe would be more versatile. The back is made of synthetic hair and it's somewhat rough to the touch. The strap has tons of holes to get the perfect size around your ankle. I don't wear ankle straps much so I was happy these fit nicely. I will note that the right ankle strap seemed way longer than the left on the pair I received. I have the right shoe set on the third hole and the left shoe set on the first. Weird.

Here is how the shoe looks on.

Adorable! And very comfortable in my usual size 9. No toe cleavage. The ankle strap needs to be a little softer; as the day wears on the strap digs into my skin a bit. I've solved this by running the strap through wax paper. The wax softens it a bit. You can also use something like Band-Aid blister block.

I love the way these make my feet look! All three of these pairs in fact keep my feet looking dainty and not too big. I hate it when shoes make your feet look bigger! I'd recommend any of them.

To protect my leather and suede shoes I spray them with Penguin Water & Stain Repellent ($6 on Amazon). This stuff works on leather, suede and more. I use it on everything except reptile. There's an excellent review on Amazon's site with good application instructions. I always recommend trying the spray on the inside of the shoe first then letting it dry overnight, so that if there is discoloration it's somewhere innocuous. I've never had discoloration with this spray but I suppose it could happen. You can also use the spray on bags, hiking gear, winter jackets, etc. DO NOT use it on delicate fabrics that are likely to bleed, i.e. silk.

What do you think of the shoes in this post? If you own or have tried any of them please share your thoughts in the comments!! I feel like shoe sizing is hard to nail down so all feedback is very much appreciated for the community.