Six questions with Aetrex Sandalistas designer Susan Ryder
by Leslie Meyer, Louisville Accessories Examiner
Aetrex recently unveiled their Spring 2012 Sandalistas collection. Among the newest Sandalista designs are the cork comfort collection and the customized comfort collection. Not only are the sandals beautiful to look at, and unbelievably comfortable, but they also have numerous health benefits. To learn more about this beautiful collection, I interviewed Sandalistas designer, Susan Ryder, and was able to find out what sets these sandals apart from others in the market.
LM: What are Aetrex's latest styles, colors and trends tor 2012?
SR: We went all out designing sandals and peep toes for Spring '12. We made them in four different heel heights that span from casual to dressy styles. our trend focus is what it always is at Aetrex. timeless. elegant. and with an eye towards making shoes that are investment pieces. We want our shoes to be worn for years and still look current. Colors are neutral mixes with texture as the visual interest. I also couldn't help but put in some reptile prints. I love the mixes of colors in snake prints.
LM: How did you come up with the idea for the Sandalistas collection?
SR: Aetrex is known for making great orthotics. Millions of people wear them. Unfortunately, you can't put an orthotic in a sandal. There's no where to put it. So we built the Aetrex orthotic shape right into the footbed of each sandal. Look closely at the arch and you will see our most popular orthotic shape built right in. We also add plenty of cushioning underfoot. The feeling of putting your foot into our sandals is extraordinary and unique. You never want to take them off.
LM: I love the look of the cork styles from the cork comfort collection. How did you decide to use cork, and what are the benefits of using cork?
SR: Cork is an important part of the shoe's structure. Its firmness gives the footbed its distinctive orthotic shape especially in the arch and makes sure that shape doesn't deform over time. Cork works together with the foam components that are also in the footbed. The three materials provide long lasting support, cushioning, and comfort.
LM: What are the health benefits of wearing Aetrex footwear?
SR: We say, at Aetrex, that these are the healthiest shoes you'll ever wear. The key is the combination of cushioning, support, and the way we treat the interior environment of the shoe. We use minimal seaming inside, firm heel counters, the shoes flex where the foot flexes, and we treat the interiors with Aegis system. Of course, if you suffer from a medical condition, it is always a good idea to consult a medical professional.
LM: Can you tell me more about the memory foam footbed, what that means, how it works?
SR: The benefit of memory foam, Which technically is called an impregnated urethane, is that it takes a slow compression and has a slow recovery. We put memory foam on the top of our footbeds, right under the leather. When you step on it, your foot sinks into it in a very luxurious way and the footbed takes on the shape of the bottom of each person's foot. In effect, it is customizing the top surface of the footbed to each person's shaped foot. That characteristic helps eliminate pressure points, or hot spots, and is the ultimate in comfort.
LM: How are Sandalistas different from otiher sandals on the market?
SR: The Sandalistas line from Aetrex all have our orthottc shaped arch built right into the footbeds. They also all have soft, but supportive materials that make up the bottom of the shoes. Some of tile Sandalistas have thick foam footbeds that can be removed and customized. Those feature gel pods that can be moved around to relieve pressure under different parts of the foot. For instance, if a person has heel pain, the gel pod under the heel can be removed and the pressure will be relieved right under that spot.
When it comes to style, health and comfort, Sandalistas reign supreme. For more information about Aetrex footwear or to shop online. visit their website.