On 27 February and 17 March, the Duchess of Cambridge wore some incredible high heels from Oscar De La Renta, with a gorgeous sparkling effect. The shoes are available here. (Sign up for 10% off!)
If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s buying workout clothes. There are so many gorgeous outfits and beautiful trainers that whenever I feel like my motivation to work out is waning, I can be sure to revitalise it with a new T-shirt or even a pair of trainers. So when the Duchess of Cambridge appeared in Portsmouth wearing a new pair of Adidas Pure Boost Xs, I knew it was time to make a purchase. I’ve never bought a pair of Kate’s trainers before (although I do have a pair of New Balance x Heidi Klum trainers that Pippa Middleton later wore!) so that helped tip them into my basket – and the fact that I could nab them from Next helped too!
When they arrived, the first thing I noticed was their rather eccentric construction. The shoe is only attached to the sole at the toes and heel, and the arch of the foot is suspended above the base. This is probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in a running shoe, although it does provide better ventilation for your foot. As I often run on trails, this rang alarm bells immediately, as this shoe is certainly not suitable for running on mud or through puddles. (Can you imagine getting a twig or a stone caught under your arch and on the top of the sole? Ouch!)
The technical term for this construction, according to Adidas, is a floating arch. The idea is that this creates more support by encasing your arch (I called it a foot hammock and I stick by the description), but personally I didn’t feel like this actually worked for my foot in the short time I’ve been wearing it.
The other thing I noticed was how cool these look in person. It doesn’t really come across in the pictures (and I have to admit, the first pics I saw of Kate wearing made me think this was a pretty boring shoe), but these have some serious style. It was the second batch of pictures released of Kate in her black Ralph Lauren jumper and skinny jeans that made me rethink them as a serious purchase. They’re just so sleek!
Anyway, after I’d finished mucking around and sticking my hand through the bottom of them, I decided to take them on a run to put them through their paces. I already suspected they wouldn’t be great on trails so I decided to put that to the test and do a normal circuit through the woods. First, though, I tried them out on the pavements – and as I thought, they’re a decent road runner, nice and light on my feet.
On my usual, stony, woodland trails, the shoes do fairly well. There’s very little in the way of grip on the sole, but the stones in the soil here help the shoe to stick. Even at this stage, it was becoming apparent that the Pure Boost’s strength was running on concrete, though…
Things started to get a little bit worse on the narrower, rooty pathways – not having the arch of the foot attached to the sole really started to ache my arches after a while, and if there’s any movement on impact when you put your foot down on something (large stone, tree root, whatever), there’s a lot of sliding inside the shoe as your foot isn’t supported all the way across.
Here’s a prime example of a situation where the Pure Boosts are completely out of their element. No, I wasn’t drunk when I took this pic – the ground really is that slanted in places. When you’re running on a surface like this your foot will naturally slant to the side, but when wearing the Pure Boosts, the lack of attachment allows the foot to slide inside the shoe quite a lot. At one point, because my foot wasn’t anchored in the centre of the shoe, the toes and heel went sideways with the ground while my arch when downwards with the force of my stride. A little difficult to explain, but suffice to say there was a bit of mid-run foot-in-shoe adjustments going on after this section. I would not run in these shoes on a trail like this again! It also worried me to think of road running in an actual race with these on – if you found yourself running on a street with a steep camber this would be very uncomfortable after a while.
With all the negatives out of the way, I have to say I’m still glad I bought these. Any runner who goes on a variety of different surfaces will tell you there’s no such thing as an all-purpose shoe. The all in one base on the shoe means there are fewer spots to rub and cause chafing and blisters. You can theoretically wear these without socks, although as you can see I chickened out and wore mine! The shoe does fit quite snugly and all the recommendations I’ve seen are to take a half size up from your normal size (I can’t be the only one who finds this infuriating, can I? Why don’t they just label them a half size differently if that’s the case?). Personally, I would recommend these for short bouts of road running, casual wear, gym wear or doing sports like sailing! (I have no idea on the last front, but Kate seemed to think they were suitable!)
Reading reviews of the shoe online shows me that I’m not alone in thinking these aren’t the best for running, despite them being advertised by Adidas for that purpose. Most of the feedback recommends these for short runs or gym visits, and I’d agree. If you’re going further than five miles and you’re going off the pavement at any point, this is probably not the shoe to wear. But if you’re looking for a lifestyle/casual pair of trainers that you can also wear for the odd treadmill run or fitness class, this is a great choice.
The Adidas Pure Boost X is available direct from Adidas, or via Next. This model is the Pure Boost X Shoes Core Black AQ6681, and they’re priced at £90.(The Pure Boost X also comes in a large range of other gorgeous colourways!)
Ilex London were kind enough to send me a bag from their new range recently, and after a lot of umming and ahhing, I went with this gorgeous Harriet Shoulder bag in Wood. For some reason, I have very few tan bags, so when this arrived I immediately went into panic mode about which shoes to wear with it. Silly me – in fact, tan seems to go with everything!
Pictured above, I paired them with Russell & Bromley’s Coco Pop espadrilles, which were worn by Pippa Middleton a few years ago and are still part of the brand’s line. With the toe-cap detailing and the straw wedges, they’re a classic that never goes out of style, and match this Harriet perfectly!
One of my favourite purchases from Russell & Bromley are the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoons, or as they’re called in the UK, the SW Cocos. Dark blue suede contrasts beautifully with the tan bag, and I can imagine this in an outfit with a navy skirt paired with a white blouse – effortless summer chic! This is another item from the Middleton wardrobe, this time made famous by Kate. It seems like you either loves these wedges, or you hate them – I love them, and judging from the offerings from other shoe brands, this combo of navy suede and cork heels is still firmly in style.
Moving into more recent offerings from Russell & Bromley, these Xpresso Crossover Flats make a lovely pairing with the tan bag – taming the boyish feel of the brown and giving it a softer, even feminine feel. Pair this with a tulle skirt and a blouse tied at the waist for the ultimate in girly summer chic. You’ll feel like a ballerina, but the chunky, solid Harriet bag will prevent your outfit from turning into a costume, giving a cool juxtaposition and providing you ample space to store your stuff on the run. And, of course, wear these with pride knowing they’ve been royally approved – Kate wore these on the recent Indian Royal Tour!
Finally, white shoes haven’t been on the fashion forefront since the ’80s, it feels like, but I couldn’t resist these Rockstud Valentinos, and they go awesomely with the Ilex – the gold detailing picks out the logo perfectly! (Check out Dune’s Heti in white for a decent alternative at £70.)
So, enough about the shoes, what about the bag? I love this sturdy little trooper – it’s perfect for work (or play!) as it has a central, easily accesible section with a zippered pocket, plus two additional zipped compartments either side, very much like the Modalu Pippa bag. It has two straps to carry over the shoulder, or an attachment to convert it to a shoulder bag. Priced at £205, it’s an investment bag, but one which will carry you through the seasons. It can fit a heck of a lot inside – the only limit is going to be how much you can physically lift… It fits an iPad easily, and you can just about squeeze an A4 mag or paper inside the middle part.
So far I’ve taken it on weekends away (perfect for stowing makeup and jewellery), work events (to hide notebooks and my camera) and to the cinema (of course, I would never smuggle Coke Zero and a packet of chilli crackers into a movie). It’s even been carried along the ramparts of Warwick Castle and over the London Bridge! I am really looking forward to wearing it in autumn and winter, too, as the new seasons open up a whole new range of styling possibilities!
If you want to pick up some classic pieces that will serve you well year after year, then you should look no further for inspiration than the wardrobe of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. If you follow me you know I’m a big fan, and I love picking up pieces the duchess has worn, because I know that they’re always great quality and will last for seasons.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite items that Kate has been seen in, that are still available now. Each one of these has been tried and tested by me, and I’ve worn them time and again!
Any self-respecting Duchess of Cambridge fan like myself should have a clear opinion on two of her most divisive shoe choices: the ubiquitous nude L.K. Bennett Sledges, and the blue suede Corkswoons from Stuart Weitzman. Personally, I love (and own!) both pairs, so when I was idly browsing Stuart Weitzman’s EU site and saw that there were a bisque pair on sale, I jumped at the chance to nab them!
Just a quick update – I’ve been selected as a nominee for the #SNAPPYFEET competition being run by Vestiaire Co on Facebook. If you’d like to vote for me, you can do so by clicking on this link: Vote for FFF. Here is my entry:
You might recognise it from this post back in Halloween!
I’ve also posted this at https://www.facebook.com/WhatKateWore, and in honour of my love for the community, I will be donating £50 to one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s charities, Place2Be (http://www.place2be.org.uk/) whether I win or not! So get clicking on this link to give me a boost, if you’d like! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151816367356073&set=a.10151816367026073.1073741832.115867246072&type=1 Of course, if you don’t like, there’s no need to do anything – I will literally NEVER KNOW. But if you do, many thanks!
I had a different set of bag and shoes planned for this week, but I abandoned that idea as soon as the postman came this morning!
Ever since I saw the Duchess of Cambridge pictured in the gorgeous New Dry suede and faux fur booties last week, I was desperate to get my hands on a pair. I already had aspirations for some Ruby Drys, but wedges are so much easier to walk in, and how could anyone resist the beautiful fur trim of these gorgeous shoes? They’re designed by Marvin K in Italy for Aquatalia, and exclusively available in the UK through Russell & Bromley here. As soon as Kate was seen in them, of course, they sold out, but after stalking the page for days I was rewarded when my size came up on Tuesday! (In the US, the style is called Neptune, as you can see above – although the fur trim is rabbit. They were on sale but now are sold out.)
These shoes are just as beautiful in person as they look online. Comfy, snug and super smart, they go perfectly with jeans, which is exactly what I wanted! They come already protected from the elements (hence the ‘Dry’ part of the name, which is a range of boots in suede from the brand), but you can also purchase Nano spray from Russell & Bromley to top up the finish. I paired them with my Lanesley bag from Hobbs, which is one of my most frequently used bags and puts up with all kinds of abuse without complaining. The Lanesley was a bit of a replikate for the Mulberry Polly Push Lock bag Kate was seen with in 2011, and is the perfect size for an iPad too! But no one cares about that, do they? (Sorry, Lanesley, you know I love you!) This post is ALL ABOUT THE SHOES. And so I leave you with this glorious sight:
Worth every penny! Keep checking back to the listing for these boots on Russell & Bromley’s site here, because as the returns come in from last week’s orders, quite a few new sizes keep popping up! Good luck…
Finally, there’s time to post about last week’s bag and shoes combo (don’t worry, I have a special one lined up for this week!). Again, this continues the saga of the French Sole Factory Shop visit last month (read about it here)!
These are the third pair of my epic haul, and they are very slightly translucent, with a reinforced area around the toes for added strength. The shoes are dotted with gorgeous silver sparkles, and have a muted navy trim. Because they were samples, and had no box, they were actually £20 instead of £25! I paired them with my favourite Wilbur & Gussie clutch (although it has plenty of competition, I LOVE W&G!), the raw navy silk with the beautiful ship fastening! (This style is currently unavailable, but you can browse the Charlie clutch range here.)
Because of the diamantes on the clutch’s ship clasp, and the gold edging, you can match it to silver or gold accessories, which is handy! As you can see, I usually carry it by the strap handle, which allows you to dangle it off one wrist at a jaunty angle…
I love these silver strips on the heel of the flats too.
I also love the way the muted colour scheme creates a really subtle look for the Henriettas – the opaque material is also really unusual and great fun. Although the sparkles work well for the holiday season (indoors, of course!), this kind of look would also be terrific for a balmy summer night too!
The clutch – well, what can I say? The Charlie clutch in gold was carried on tour by the Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister, Pippa, is often spotted with a W&G clutch under her arm. Given my fondness for nautical accents, how could I resist this one – especially when it combines two of my favourite colours, navy and red?!
- Pippa’s Christening Accessories Include A Beaded Hat And A Bunny Clasp Clutch (shefinds.com)
- Bag ‘n’ Shoes: French Sole Quilted Red Henrietta Flats and Accessorize Alessandra Satchel (foodfashfit.com)
- Shopping Alert! French / London Sole Factory Shop Visit (foodfashfit.com)
- Bag ‘n’ Shoes: London Sole Leopard Love Heart Flats and Hobbs Lanesley Bag (foodfashfit.com)
As I may have mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of French Sole, and when a pair of sandals I’d been lusting after for weeks came up in their sale – but not in my size! – there was nothing to be done except to get myself posthaste to my nearest FS store in order to bag a pair in person. The only issue with that is that my nearest FS store is in King’s Road, about an hour and half by car or between two to three hours on public transport. So, of course, this meant a day trip to London, and negates any savings I may have actually made on buying the shoes full price. But that is just a minor detail, so there’s no need to bring that up.
In order to get to the French Sole shop on King’s Road via the Tube, you face a pretty long walk from Sloane Street or a shorter one from Kensington, which then takes you along Fulham Road. This then takes you past an Amanda Wakeley store (Kate Middleton fans take note!) and a Butler & Wilson shop, which is a treasure trove of gorgeously over the top accessories. You then can then pass through any of the residential streets that connect Fulham Road to King’s Road, and soak in the beauty of Chelsea living – I am so jealous of some of these beautiful front doors!
King’s Road itself is a stomping ground for the Middleton sisters (and their glam mother, Carole, of course), and Bluebird has hosted many a cosy family lunch and is definitely worth visiting. Quite a few of the shops on King’s Road will be recognisable to a Kate Middleton fan (like an awesome L.K. Bennett clearance store!), but it was one shop in particular that I was honing in on!
Inside French Sole’s Chelsea branch, the sales were in full swing and the sales assistants were run off their feet getting different sizes and styles for their customers – always with a smile, I have to add. Luckily, they had a pair of the beautiful sandals I was lusting after in my size, so after purchasing I immediately put them on in order to get some wear out of them before autumn well and truly took over!
After that it was time for me to run loose in London – I didn’t have a lot of time, but I was able to visit the Burberry store on Regent’s Street (more on that in another post!) as well as to pop into Fortnum & Mason!
I adore honey (on toast, mixed with yogurt and fruit, eaten straight from the honeycomb… Love it!) so I was really excited to see the display celebrating London honey (this festival continues until 13 October). Plus, there were loads of gorgeous Halloween goodies – and the Christmas store was open on floor three as well.
Yup, it was a pretty good day…