It’s time to pack away the white wedges and golden gladiator sandals, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get to these fantastic independent Chicago shops that are all about covering your feet in the most delightful ways. Booties and over-the-knee boots will be big with block heels and rich autumn hues from midnight blue to oxblood red.
824 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Dubbing itself “the sole of Chicago,” Lori’s is the shop for the trendiest kicks. Lori Andre spills about what to look for in autumn and beyond: “We are still seeing bootie interest for Fall 2014. Details include buckles, laces and stronger, blocky heels. Calf hair is another important trend that you will see in sneakers, booties, flats and pumps, whether it be solid calf hair or cheetah print. Grey is an important color as well as darker shades of bottle green.” Don’t toss your over-the-knee boots from last year, though. Andre says it will be back stronger than ever with a combination of leather and stretch or solid leather, either flat or with a blocky heel.
348 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60605
Florodora and Florodora Shoes are located in the historic Monadnock Building in the Loop stocking fashion, shoes and gifts from smaller designers, local, American and European. The shops’ fashion aesthetic is contemporary, but influenced by the fabulous vintage-downtown neighborhood. According to owner Michael Blossom, expect fall to be strong in rich, deep colors like midnight blues, oxblood reds and goldenrods in both apparel and shoes. “While the in-your-face color-blocking trend has died down, its influence is still reverberating in different forms,” he says. “In our shoe store, block heels are a positive trend for those who don’t like teeter-totter heels. People are definitely still going for minimalist shapes, but when they do a pattern, they really go for it, like with our multi-tone high heel spotted leather Mary Jane from Chie Mihara”
2001 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
If it’s European footwear for men and women that makes your heart flutter, designer shoe boutique City Soles is your resuscitation. Located in the heart of Wicker Park, the shop offers avant-garde merchandise from casual shoes made in Africa or Central America to Italian boots and high heels designed in Spain. Women’s brands include Penelope Chilvers, Coclico, Cushe, Plomo and Audley while guys covet the shoes with designer names such as Bacco Bucci, Blundstone, Prajaa and Volley. The shop offers one-hour Chicago delivery of unique kicks like a trendsetting two-tone take on the classic Mary Jane from Spain or a fabulous lace-up boot hand made in Sweden. This season, expect tons of ankle boots in colors from periwinkle to classic cognac.
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 109
Chicago, IL 60604
107 E. Oak St.
Chicago, IL 60611
The venerable luxury apparel retailer offers a strong collection of shoes ranging from sneakers to tuxedo shoes and for fall and winter, both Paul Stuart stores are highlighting two collections – the traditional PAUL STUART collection and the newer PHINEAS COLE collection. Founded in 1938, Paul Stuart designs and creates an exclusive line of fine footwear that will complement the forest greens, russets and rich blues of the season.
Frankie’s on the Park
2322 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
A boutique marketplace for tweens and teens, Frankie’s on the Park is a great place for girls of all ages to express their individuality through clothing and accessories. Founder Lisa Burik says it is the destination for current and future fashionistas to define their own style by incorporating must-have items of every season – including fall and winter shoes and boots. “Frankie’s on the Park is the “go to” spot for girls shoes ages 8 and up!” says Burik. “We always have the hottest trends in shoes, including sporty casual styles from Dolce Vita slip-ons to Steve Madden girls wedge tennies and boots. Popular back-to-school styles include Yosi Samra ballet flats in all different fabrics and colors.”
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.