Say hello to brightly hued sandals and step right back into fun retro days, writes Kasmiah Mustapha
WHO needs black shoes when you can wear flip-flops in grape purple, sandals with shimmery flowers in a row in front and even gladiator sandals in orange?
Footwear is no longer merely utilitarian. And colourful footwear is among FitFlop’s Spring/Summer and High Summer 2012 collection.
The style was inspired by American photographer Slim Aarons who was famous for his pictures of socialites doing what they did best — living the glamorous life in the 1960s and ’70s.
As with the era, the fashion style is full of bright colours. FitFlop’s collections cannot be missed with their colour palette of sunflower, flame, grape and blue.
Primer International Management (distributor) assistant vice-president Camille Karaan says Aarons’ works embody fun, fluidity and glamour — things the company can relate to.
“He liked to take pictures of people doing attractive things at attractive places. That is the focus of our collection this year. We want people to wear our shoes and have fun, and do interesting things. While we focus on comfort, we also want to make footwear feel frivolous.
“We use bright, retro colours that bring back the feeling and images of the 1960s, regarded as a fun era.”
The women’s collection has more than 20 styles and designs. The Whirl range is rich in colour — purple, black and maple sugar. With padded and wavy suede straps, the shoes suit any occasion — either walking on the beach or to the nearby shops.
Arena takes sandals to another level with gladiator-style adjustable ankle straps as well as a cluster of resin stones. In red, black and tan, it draws attention.
If you like glittering sandals, go for Flare, with shimmering crystals on the front strap and flexible soft-suede in the sole. They really look fabulous.
For the High Summer collection, Floretta sandals make a comeback. The combination of colours between the strap and sole and flowers on the front strap are a hit. The flame/tan with orange flowers are adorable and sweet while the pewter/black and black/tan combination is very fashionable.
The designs in the Gemini collection boast a choice of sunflower/mink, silver/tan, urban white/tan and black/tan. The combination of colours made the often boring sandals brighter and interesting.
For the men’s collection, FitFlop has decided not to play with vibrant colours but to stick to the traditional black, brown, blue and red as well as the earth and dark tones. The best-selling Supertone sneakers have 1970s style lines with a simple structure and padded back collar. They came in canvas, nubuck and original leather.
There are several styles of sandals for men including the Sling, Gogh, Lexx, Xosa and Trakk collection. There is a choice of simple slip-on sandals or those with straps.
LOWER BODY WORKOUT
Launched in 2007, FitFlop is the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore who wanted “shoes that will give your legs a workout while you walk.” She took the idea to David Cook and Darren James, biomechanics researchers at London South Bank University.
They came up with the Microwobbleboard technology — the high midsole that gives FitFlop that distinctive look.
Made of rubber, the midsole provides three densities of foam across the bottom of the foot. The high density heel section absorbs up to 22 per cent more shock, low density mid section increases leg muscle activation by up to 19 per cent and mid density toe section supports push off, turns and pace variation.
Cook and James found that normal walking in FitFlop sandals can help increase leg, calf and gluteral muscle activity, improve posture, stimulate aspects of barefoot walking but with more muscle load, improve muscle tone and reduce foot pain.
FitFlop users claim that the footwear also provides relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, restless leg syndrome, scoliosis and degenerative disc disease.
Karaan says with the Microwobbleboard, walking with FitFlop can activate feet and leg muscle.
“I love wearing the FitFlop because it eases the pain in my knees. I’m a bit overweight so when I wear stilettos and my knees hurt,” says Karaan. “FitFlop only claims that the shoes activate muscle and brings comfort. Of course, it will also bring more benefits if you walk 10,000 steps a day as recommended by doctors.”
The new collections, available in major departmental stores, are priced between RM239 and RM539.