Dansko Tasha and Thea on the Mirabel Sole Review

Must Have Monday

As a true Dansko fan, I always keep an eye on what's new and wonderful. This spring season brings us the Thea and the Tasha, both built on the new Mirabel sole. What caught my attention, besides the groovy see-through-cut-out in the heel, is the fact that this outsole has a bit of that rocker-bottom feel that I love. It makes forward motion so smooth for such a boost in height. Both the Thea and the Tasha have classic lines, supple vegetable-tanned leathers, and suede-lined footbeds to keep your feet from sliding around.

So, which to choose?

If you don't have to choose—buy them both! The Thea in green and the Tasha in red:).

If choose you must—consider the following:

Pick the Thea if you happen to have a wide-ish foot with a high instep and short toes. The strap across the instep is not adjustable and the rear strap only serves to secure the heel. If you snug the heel strap too much you will simply be pushing your whole foot forward throwing off all the lovely arch alignment and endangering your toes. Also, the Thea is a good Spring pick for you gals who--for some reason don't like your little piggies showing or don't like to keep up on pedicures. The style says “sandal” but keeps your toes covered with smart details like stud accents and a great choice of rich colors.

Pick the Tasha if your foot is medium in width and depth or if it runs the slightest bit narrow. The Tasha does not run narrow—it just has better adjustability which means it will fit a wider variety of feet. The Tasha has a beautiful diagonally curved line across the instep making this a very flattering sandal on many feet. If you are looking to create a “longer leg look” the flowing lines of the Tasha paired with the “Natural” color will do the trick.

Both styles come in whole European sizing and you will be happy with your purchase if you feel the arch hitting you in a happy spot and you feel secure with the straps adjusted in their middle range. If you happen to fall between sizes keep hunting for a different style. The footbeds are not removable thus it is not advisable to attempt to wear these styles with orthoses of any kind.

The Tasha and Thea have already hit your local Dansko dealer showrooms, so get there early for best selection of colors and while there is still time to order if they already sold your size. If you are still waiting for your pedicure polish to dry you can stay put and find them online at, and

happy spring,

abigail dagmar



Ferragamo Sneaker Review

FlashBack Friday

Getting a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes is mostly a tribute to a designer I admire and a tad bit of getting a great deal on them. Ferrragamo was shoemaker to the stars and struck a lovely balance of creative to classic designs that actually took into account the anatomy of a foot. His family has carried on the label but most of the current designs tend to be “safe”--no longer pushing the envelope of design and creative use of non-traditional materials that made Salvatore an enigma in the shoe industry. These sneakers carry the famous name and do offer a bit of glitz and attitude for an otherwise simple design.

My friend and proprietor of a charming consignment boutique called Holly Go Lightly has been keeping an eye out for the right pair of Ferragamo's in size 8 for muh-wah (Thank you K.B.) He was as tickled as I was to find that these lil' numbers fit my feet beautifully. They have a lace-to-toe design that makes them very adjustable for my low-volume feet. They also have removable footbeds should I wish to add a pair of Superfeet insoles. I can't help but give them a smile and a wink when I look down and see them adding some sass to my ensemble. I mostly pair them with jeans or crisp black slacks to set off their white patent, black suede and bronze leather detailing. They are still made in Florence Italy and the leather does have a lovely feel.

If you wear a size 8 and happen to live in Northern California—get your butt into Holly Go Lightly as there are still some Ferragamo gems to be had. Otherwise you can visit or to check out the latest styles and head your favorite consignment shoppes for styles gone by.

Whether you are a shoe collector, designer label wench, or Italian shoe fan you must have a pair of Ferragamo's and I am thrilled to finally have mine!







Helle Comfort by Romu Reptile-Zip Loafer Review

FlashBack Friday

KA-POW!!! BOOM! WHIZZ! BANG!!! Throw in a sha-zzaaam and you might get a sense of how I feel when I zip on these flashy Spanish-made shoes. These Helle Comforts by Romu are one of my most commented upon shoes in my collection. Naturally their flashy red patent leather and snakeskin-like pattern draws the eye, bringing raised brows and comments like “Wow...those are some shoes”! In general, women engage me in shoe talk more often than men but I get the most comments from the guys when I wear these gems.

I don't necessarily feel like a flashy person even though I admittedly love red shoes...but in all honesty, it is the pure comfort of these treads that wooed me. The patent leather is incredibly pliant and the insole cups my heel and arch in a way that makes me grin—every time!!! The polyurethane outsloes have been long wearing and the patent leather still looks “shiny” new. I also adore the way the little foot-shaped zipper-pull jingles happily with my stride. Their shaping is unremarkable but that red patent leather and dreamy comfort cannot be denied and I had to have them.

I most love to wear my Helle's during the holidays and on gray rainy days. Wearing them in full sunlight is still a bit too much for me but I love the way they brighten ones day when the gray sky is dumping rain. Even though they are not technically waterproof; the patent leather finish does a bang-up job of repelling water—which is perfect for living in the Great Northwest.

These shoes were originally offered in red, black, and cognac patent leathers and this discontinued style can still be found on they are in short supply. Helle Comfort has continued to make shoes and are carried by local comfort shoe stores as well as internet locations like and in case you wish to see the new styles they have up their sleeves—or down their socks.


Fitting Notes:

European whole sizing. For the most part, Helle Comfort's do not run long at all. I bought mine in my usual size 39 which often feels a touch too big but the Helle's feel perfect in length. This particular style does have a removable insole making them quite orthotic friendly and a fun break from boring 'ol sneaks. Many of their sandals are also orthotic friendly and come in patterns and materials that lend a dressier look. Just be sure to buy your shoes long enough and you are sure to love your Helle's as much as I love mine.






The Forum Mist Revisited “After”

Must Have Monday

I survived my first snowboard outing in my new Forum boots with a sore bum and some insights.

First and most important, my new Forum Mist boots performed beautifully. As a newbie to snowboarding, I expected the boots to feel stiff and awkward. I was barely aware of my boots! They fit great and they are incredibly light weight. At no point did they dig or pinch me, despite the fact I gave them every opportunity to do so as I had my legs and body heading in unfamiliar and sometimes unintended directions. They are easy to get in and out of with their speed lacing and locking system. I was able to get them in and out of my board bindings easily as well. I noticed that my feet stayed at an even comfortable temperature but I will give some of that credit to my awesome Thor-lo socks. Each time I was upright in my boots I felt supported and comfortable. The gal that rented out the snowboard even commented on how nice and light my boots were.

The only way that these Forum Mist boots wouldn't be the perfect boot for you is if you buy them in the wrong size or you have an extremely narrow foot. The speed lacing system is nifty but does not offer as much adjustment, most needed by narrow feet, as a boot with traditional lacing. When it comes to sizing, it turns out that it is imperative to have a snug fit within your boot. Your toes should not be cramped but should just touch the end of the boot. I do recommend this close fit for snowboard boots... but the moment you are out of your boots—give your toes lots of space! Do not become accustomed to this tight, short fit in your everyday shoes or you will suffer many foot woes. In my case, the boots fit perfect and I only have the sore bum woes of a newbie.

I landed on my butt quite a bit and bruised my lil' tail bone. I have been told this goes with the territory of a beginner. The funny thing is, I am looking forward to another shot at snowboarding. I love my boots and want to use them again. For now, I will focus on healing and look forward to a powder day...for better boarding and softer snow to land on;)

You can still get the Forum Mist Boot at your local board shop or at and do hurry--they won't last long!




MBT Sport Grey Shoe Review

Must Have Monday

Masai Barefoot Technology -MBT shoes have caused quite a stir from their very inception and these days their concept is considered controversial. From the moment you put them on your feet you know that these are not ordinary shoes. MBT would like you to think of them as mini rehabilitative gyms on your feet. There are folks that will tell you they are the best/worst shoes ever. They have been called a gimmick and I have personally had customers say the MBT's took away all their foot pain. I would like you to remember my best words of wisdom when considering whether MBT's are for you: “IT DEPENDS”. Of course, it depends on your particular foot shape, foot concerns, planned usage and your own expectations. The toughest part is that you really don't know until you try them. They are a spendy commitment but if you buy a latte everyday then you can afford to give them a whirl and if it doesn't work out you can thank ebay for a “plan b” way to recoup your money—just try that with your lattes.

I have three pairs of MBT's and feel it is worth putting in my two cents on the matter of these odd shoes. I was extremely skeptical when I first saw the MBT Sport and was reluctant to even try them on. It is not in my nature to deny a fair shake to any pair of shoes, so I did try them. I have never had an experience like this when it comes to shoes. I felt my shoulders relax and noticed a heady feeling that cleared up as I began to make laps around the shoe store. I couldn't help but smile. I was instructed to take small strides and feel my head centered over my body and notice the reduction in overall pressure to my spine and joints. It was remarkable and so it came to be that I am personally a fan of MBT's.

Folks love to ask me “Do they work?” This is such a tricky question because I never know if the question is aimed at the shoes health and fitness claims, their supposed ability to cure plantar fascititis and/or the notion that they will reshape your body and specifically your derriere. I have certainly had customers tell me that their foot pain has been completely relieved from wearing their MBT's but I know that this is a case by case type of miracle.

What I notice is that my whole body feels better in general when I wear them. In fact, when my lower back gives me grief I turn to my MBT's. I go for a ½ hour walk and find that my lower back relaxes and the pain goes away and that is a fact I cannot deny for myself nor promise to you.

Yes, yes...but will they lift my/your butt?

My answer is “Sure they much as any other shoes you actually commit to using regularly!” We all are after that magic bullet but you know deep down that you gotta do the work—not just wear the shoes. I will say that they certainly seem to engage more of my muscles as I walk and have noticed toning in my hamstrings and feel my abdominals doing their job to balance me as I walk....but don't miss the point that I am out there actively working up a sweat. One of my favorite people and personal trainer pointedly reminded me that if I want to improve my bottom line I simply need to incorporate 100 clean squats into my daily life! I like to do the squats in my MBT's because they do provide a greater challenge but honestly I am not the biggest fan of squats.

Ultimately, I just want to say that I love wearing my MBT's and are without a doubt the most comfortable pair of walking shoes I have ever had.

If you have the funds I do recommend trying MBT's out for yourself, watch the dvd they come with, follow their usage guidelines and decide for your self.  The current equivalent model is called the Sport 2 Grey  As always, and especially with such a specialized shoe, I recommend you visit your local MBT dealer to get the best fit and information. If you do not have a local dealer I suggest ordering them from, taking advantage of their free shipping and seriously watch the dvd and wear them around the house a bit before committing to them.

Also, feet do tend to get pretty hot wearing MBT's so be sure to treat yourself to a nice pair of moisture-wicking socks.