INNOVATION FRIDAYS: Is This THE “My Feet Are Killing Me” Solution?

Antonia Dunbar, Co-Founder and CEO of Antonia Saint NY, said what a lot of women have been thinking for a long time. The construction of women’s shoes is a racket.  “Either the shoe is overpriced without technology for comfort, and with cheap components – heel tips that snap off, leather heels that scrape easily, red bottoms that scuff and have no traction, etc. – or the shoe itself is intended to be cheaply made and cost less, but your feet pay the price.” This woman clearly gets the sole problems women have been enduring. So, this co-founder of THINX (which was named TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2015 FYI) set out to make high heels with an interior akin to cushy sneakers. But why stop there? She made comfortable flats too.

[Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

Antonia Saint NY brought in shoe-making experts Keiko Hirosue and Rebecca Heykes to focus on strong construction. She then reached out to celebrity podiatric surgeon Dr. Suzanne Levine to make sure their shoes would cover all the bases when it came to all the major foot issues women face. With the guidance of professional expertise, Antonia Saint Dunbar came up with a solution for foot pain points. In the span of two years, she developed and finalized the design of her patent-pending SoftSurround System™.

SoftSurround System [Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

So, what can you expect?

Aesthetically, they decided to start off with two traditional and essential styles; the Victoria High Heel and the Jane Autumn Flat. The idea was to provide ladies with a pair of shoes that they could wear from day to night, without the barefoot break. Thus, the simple, modish and decorous silhouettes that work hard and play harder.

InsertSupport Technology [Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

The outsole design maximises on shock absorption and flexibility. And that clack clacking sound heels make? They’ve used Ballistic Nylon that eliminates the sound while strengthen the heel. Other thoughtful shoe construction includes:

  • Deeper toe-box to provide more room around toes
  • Reinforced tips for longer wear, and to help prevent scuffs on top of toes
  • High-abrasion-resistant heel tips that lasts 5x as long
  • Superior, soft materials to conform to the shape of the foot, especially as foot expands during day
  • Thoughtfully folded and stitched seams to ensure the softest materials are against the foot
  • A carefully constructed exo-skeleton embedded into the shoe layers to disguise all technology
[Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

Back to the cushy cushion effect that’s built into the footbed insert and the top of the shoe. Both shoe styles are cushioned with Tri-Arch Support™ and dual-layered foam which support the entire foot. Sidenote: this triple-cushion insert design allegedly makes their 3.5 inches heels feel much lower, which would be great training ground for those who haven’t tottered in heels in a while. Side-cushioning prevent blisters and keep the foot in place. There’s also cushioning at the base of the big toe to prevent that unbearable pain that usually happens under the big toe joint.

[Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

Got long toes? They’ve thought of that too. They’ve embedded cushioning band over the tops to protect your toes. The heels take care of the balls of your feet by placing a triple-elevated cushion underneath it, that can take more than double the body weight! And if heel gap gives you sleepless nights, the embedded heel cushions softly grip the back of your heel. Bonus effect is that it prevents blisters.

[Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

Antonia Saint NY Fit Kit™.

Raise your hand if one foot is bigger than the other. Re-engineering these classic-looking flats and heels also took into consideration that women’s feet aren’t the same size. Through the Antonia Saint NY “Fit Profile”, they aim to provide a personalised fit to each of their customers. Through a smartphone app, each customer will create their Sole Story™, which will save their measurements and find the closest matching shoes. Using this information, the Antonia Saint NY can then customize shoes that perfectly fit.

Unlike most shoe companies, that only offer one width size across all sizes, they’re initially going to offer three widths. Namely narrow, standard and wide. As the company grows, there are plans to offer more width varieties. The shoes will come in their split innovative shoebox. It comes as a complete set but each side caters specifically for each individual foot. Sweet bliss.

Unique Shoe Box[Image: Courtesy of Antonia Saint NY]

They may have already hit their crowdfund raising goals, but they’re still giving customers the opportunity to buy the shoes at a discounted rate. If you’ve already ordered on sites like Indiegogo, the heels are projected to be ready by December 2017 and the flats by February 2018. After that, they’ll be exclusively available on their website. The shoes are being assembled in the Brooklyn Shoe Factory, another partnership between Antonia Saint NY Co-Founder/CEO Antonia Saint, Co-Founder/CFO Obed Cepeda, and two shoemaking experts Keiko Hirosue and Rebecca Heykes.

Antonia Saint NY [Image: Caio Ferreira]

We love the idea that you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for function. Or that pain doesn’t have to be the standard. Feet need soft cushioned hugs too! Antonia Saint NY, is saying all the right things. Seriously, their Indiegogo campaign has phrases like, “we believe that you should no longer be held back by something as simple as your footwear… If you’re going to fulfil your dreams, you can’t have part of your brain focused on the pain … you’re worth it. You are unique, and there are no other two feet exactly like yours.” Way to make a girl’s feet feel special. We can’t wait to see if they actually walk the talk.

Antonia Saint NY [Image: Caio Ferreira]

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