Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Blake BrodyIn-Studio Footwear

If I tell you a secret, will you promise not to judge me?

About a year ago, I realized that the ball of my right foot was a little tender when I walked. Upon closer inspection, I was horrified (and a bit disgusted) to find out that I had a plantar wart! How could this be? I wear shower shoes if I take a shower in a public place... I am adamant about using my own yoga mat, and it's not like I walk around barefoot! Wait a minute ... I do walk around barefoot. Every time I go to a yoga studio, I leave my shoes on a outside the studio door (because it's a sacred space) and I wander around looking for a nice spot to unroll my mag. Just think of all the germs I encounter during that walk! How many other bare-footed folks had walked there that day? I guess it was only a matter of time.. I'm all bet
er now, but I never want this to happen again--to me or anyone else for that matter.

Luckily, there are products out there to diminish the risk. When I first heard about Blake Brody's In-Studio Footwear--a shoe meant to be worn ON your mat--I was skeptical. Sure, they're adorable vegan ballet flats, I thought, but there are reasons we practice in bare feet, right? As usual, I caved to the cute and agreed to try these bad boys out to see if they could be as functional as the website's description says they are. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the shoes provide extra grip for my feet on my holey, worn out yoga mat making standing poses more stable, it also offered a unique support for my feet unlike anything I'd experienced before. My feet are flat, and the arch support in the shoes reminded me to ground through all four-points of my feet. For some reason I can not explain, these shoes also made it easier to roll over my toes as I moved from Up Dog to Down Dog, which is something I've always had a little trouble with. The only negative I could come up with is that practicing in shoes that are so fitted does make it a little more challenging to lift and spread the toes. So when that's the practice, I'd recommend taking them off and putting them to the side (in a clean, dry spot, of course). But given the extra support, cuteness factor, and hygienic value I'd say they're well worth the $98 price tag (some styles go up to $135). Plus, wearing them reminded me of taking ballet class when I was little, so I'll give an extra bonus point or two for nostalgia. All in all, I think I might have stumbled upon the next trend in yoga fashion!

Read more about Blake Brody and her amazingly cute yoga shoes at blakebrody.com.

What do you think? Would you ever try in-studio footwear? Have you ever gotten a wart or Athlete's Foot or some other horrible foot ailment from a yoga studio? Would you admit it if you had?