Privilege Blog

“Barking Dogs” For Happy Sturdy Feet

Sturdy Gals require comfort. Queen Elizabeth, the original Grande Dame-Sturdy Gal cross, never wears a heel over 2 inches. Those same British royals inspired the Hunter mucking about boots. High WASPs believe in striding around, suitably shod.

Reader rb posted a link in the Privilege comments to a blog called “Barking Dogs.” Get it? Devoted to comfortable shoes. If you have the Sturdy attitude towards feet, go look. You may even find an Artsy touch or two.

Here’s the shoe rb sent me. To wear with khakis. I just might follow her advice.

Of course, the Grandes Dames who admit to foot pain, and there are a few, keep the appropriate Ferragamo and Stuart Weitzman lasts on file at their favorite shoe salon, or bookmarked at Arthur Berens. Salespeople look forward to those visits. The rest of us are quite happy to have found Barking Dogs, and I thank rb from the bottom of my heart. Which is, of course, the location of my feet.

First two shoes, by Pikolino and Naot, from Barking Dogs
Second shoes, found on Barking Dogs, yellow shoe image from Zappos, brown shoe image from Amazon.

34 Responses

  1. Ah, yes! Thank you. style merging with comfort, and not a plastic clog in sight. Great follow-up to yesterday. I am a huge fan of Sofft, and sometimes Bjorn and Aerosoles as well. I will now add Barking Dogs to my rotation.

  2. I have difficult feet, but I also have my standards, and I’d rather go barefoot than wear most “comfort shoe” styles. I have occasionally found the right combination of chic and comfort in two obscure European brands: Everybody by BZ Moda (dreadful name, I know) and Gabor. That’s my review of a Gabor sandal on Endless: And these Everybody boots are sublime:

    The Naya brand, to which I was introduced by the Barking Dogs blog, had some lovely sandals last year. The cork midsoles made a huge difference in walking comfort. The Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 lines were disappointing, though–too clunky and fussy.

  3. Nicely done. You apparently have many devotees to Croc who reply here so you know that comfort is important to us. And obviously, despite that, we care about style because we read your blog.
    I will go look at Barking Dogs.

  4. OMG – those clogs! THOSE CLOGS! I must have them!

    But I’m afraid to look at the prices…oh, what the heck…

  5. OMG!! I LOVE the Pikolinos Oxford. What a perfect shoe for blue jeans!!! A perfect heel, perfect construct, perfect shade of blue. I MUST HAVE THEM!!!

  6. I will have to check the link but must admit that I fall somewhere in between. While I love complete comfort (who doesn’t?) I am willing to make some moderate concessions to fashion. I have many shoes that are quite comfortable and very fashionable as well – would I wear them to walk for miles and miles? Of course not – but for a day in the city with some walking mixed with cabs, they do quite well.

  7. I find some Fluevogs quite walking-comfy at a 3.5 inch heel, but that’s my limit, and those days have to be followed up by recovery days in a low heel. So I think I’m still hanging on to relatively Sturdy Gal qualifications (altho’ I’m undoubtedly at least part Artsy Cousin). Those bottom sandals will give your khakis some added pizzaz (which they scarcely need, really).

  8. I have that yellow sandal but in brown!! It’s wonderful to wear. And it wasn’t expensive either.

  9. Lisa, I wish someone out there would design a comfortable & stylish shoe.
    After spending 37+ years in stylish 5″heels my feet discovered Merril or Ecco shoes. While not as chic as I would prefere, my feet are happy…so am I!
    Nothing can ruin a day like foot pain.
    I just stopped looking down.

  10. Hi Lisa,
    I’m tickled you like barkingdogshoes. I will not complain about my feet here because that would be very non-Grande-Dame of me, but I will just say I have replaced ALL of my footwear over the last year, and most of it with help from Kristen’s blog.

    I do hope you order those shoes so I can get a vicarious shopping thrill!

  11. I have a large shoe collection full of mostly heels and “pretty” shoes. Thanks to Barking Dog, I have been able to find many of those styles that are also *comfortable*. Plus, she’s got great suggestions for when I need casual walking shoes too.

  12. Believe it or not, I only have 8 pairs of shoes ( including winter boots ) + rubber and leather riding boots. That´s it.
    The skyhigh´s for me are for parties only, and I try to cycle wearing the rest of my shoes during the day.
    Living in a country of 4 seasons, the shoes have to be really good.
    I am planning to buy me a pair of new cross country shoes. I have had Aigle´s in the past, but would like to have a pair not quite as heavy.

  13. Thanks for this link. Only wish they focused on comfortable + narrow shoes. Still, there were a few AA listed in among the mediums and wides. I’ve learned over time that’s about all a scrawny footed girl can hope for!

  14. Not a fan of any of these. I guess they all have a certain clunky style along with the comfort, but they are actually very ugly and somewhat depressing. I’ll stick to flip flops or loafers when I want to give my feet a break. Does that make me a Grande Dame? Love the fashion without Chanel, though!

  15. Boy, do I love this website. I love pretty shoes, but my priority these days is to be able to walk – at least a mile or so – comfortably. Otherwise, I just don’t have any use for them. Unless I want to spend most of my time in trainers, I need to replace a good number of my shoes *sigh* and at least these give me some viable options. I don’t mind the clunky look some object to. I have clunky legs, so they are probably more flattering, not that I wear many skirts and dresses. I’m really excited about these shoes – thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  16. I like that last pair of shoes for you. The last two pair of shoes I’ve bought have been practical and comfortable and I’m finding myself longing for Alexander McQueen’s hot pink high heel booties lately…the pendulum swings…

    xo Mary Jo

  17. I’m glad to hear that HW believe girls should stride around suitably shod.

    I never had daughters, but if I had they would have spent their days in laced-up sneakers so as to be ready to tackle anything that came their way!

    Those blue shoes have me looking for an umbrella so I can join Dick Van Dyke on a rooftop dancing to “step in time.”

  18. I am slowly replacing every pair of shoes I own with Naots. Finally, shoes I can wear without my medical orthotics.

    Patricia, you may find them ugly, but for some of us, being pain-free is the most beautiful thing in the universe. I actually danced, DANCED! at the last wedding I attended.

    Life. Is. Good.

    1. “Finally, shoes I can wear without my medical orthotics…..for some of us, being pain-free is the most beautiful thing in the universe.”

      Excellent point. I share the mandatory medical orthotic reality with you, my pronating ankles have a mind of their own unless I prop them up. If you’re like I am, we can go without orthotics for a spell, the duration of the meeting, the cocktail party, the memorial service, etc but for durable daywear, in and out of the car on multiple errands, a shoe that supports is a blessing indeed.

  19. I’m a fan of Sofft, although the new fall collection seems a little short on flats and lower heels.

  20. Ameriscott – My pleasure. Seemed only fair to follow up a rant with some progress towards resolution:).

    Fritinancy – Is there, anywhere, a listing of all the decent comfort shoe options? Maybe Barking Dogs has a list somewhere. I will go research.

    Susan – Really? Hooray! Shoes come in second only to hair in terms of personal style, in my opinion.

    Marj – I know, and I appreciate you reading very much.

    Jan – Now you probably aren’t talking to me. On the other hand, good shoes will last a decade. Think of the investment in enjoyment AND comfort.

    Lara – I feel terrible for having sent you on what I realize now was a wild goose chase. How dare those shoes be out of stock already.

  21. Quintessence – I have certainly walked the streets of New York in Louboutins. That said, I was in search of a cab and on someone’s arm:).

    Mater – Definitively a large Artsy quotient. But too thoughtful to throw all comfort out the window:).

    Mise – I want to see you in clogs that match your house. Those Hasbeens are a favorite of USA hipsters.

    Northmoon – Really? Thanks for the confirmation!

    Sandra – Hahahaha! Plus you can hide your feet under the herbaceous borders:).

    Duchesse – Now I want to see a Polyvore of your entire outfit with the purple shoes:).

  22. rb – Grandes Dames, we believe may not even HAVE feet:). I will report back on any shoe purchases.

    Kristen – I am so happy to have found her.

    Mette – I believe you are a shoe minimalist:).

    Ally Bean – Hahahahaha! Glad to be useful.

    Patricia – Yes! A veritable Grande Dame. Please, should you feel so inclined, send me any beautiful shoe finds! Clothing too. I need some additional Grande Dame inspiration right about now.

    Shelley – My pleasure. And I agree that being able to walk is the priority.

  23. Mary Jo – Oh good. Glad you like them. And I suppose I’m reacting to those blue and green sparkly Caovillas for my brother’s wedding:).

    Belle de Ville – My pleasure!

    RoseAG – Oh yes. My mother put us in lace up Oxfords until peer shaming finally triumphed.

    Louise – Three cheers for dancing at weddings. Oh, wait, no, 18 cheers! 62! 278,987 cheers!

    DocP – It seems as those these comfy shoe lines fluctuate appeal from year to year.

    Flo – Durable daywear. Exactly. Even the Artsy are sometimes sturdy facing their feet:).

  24. Thank you kindly for the link to my site. I’m only sad I hadn’t found you first. What a wonderful blog. I look forward to checking in frequently.
    Kirsten @

  25. Great shoe blog…loved the discovery of Earthies, so snazzy for a comfy shoe! I’m very thankful for the enormous amount of fun, ‘sturdy gal’ shoes that are around now compared to just five years ago, the Merrell clog finally has some competition.
    xo J~

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