This heel may be an unconventional choice for fall, so I wanted to get a review out early in the season, while we’re still getting high temps in LA. (The reason I risked including it in my capsule this season is because we might have high temps for a while.) The particular shoe I have is the Marais USA Jane mule in Napa blue leather, a very pretty periwinkle hue that’s currently not available. However, Marais just currently has this style available in camel and lavender suede. All of Marais USA shoes are made in USA, and they’re all really pretty.
I actually am a little worried this color might be too unique to be super versatile in my closet. I know I can wear it with neutrals, blue, red, and pink, and when I list all that it doesn’t sound that bad, but it might not play as well with all my green. Because it’s more of a formal shoe, I think that’s okay anyway. The heel is 2.25,” which is super walkable, even for me, but high enough that I feel like I’m dressing up a bit when I’m wearing them. So far, I like to pair them with denim for casual balance. Bonus: the brand’s Creative Director Haley Boyd provides endless outfit inspiration on her Instagram. I will probably wear these to weddings for years to come if they prove danceable once broken in.
This shoe runs around $235, and all Marais USA shoes are in the $200-250 range. The brand rarely has sales, although you might occasionally find a discount though another retailer like Need Supply Co. (where I did) or Garmentory on older inventory. The pricing seems reasonable for the quality of the shoe, and the fact that it’s made in USA. The vibe is so cute, and I don’t know if I’m cool enough to fully pull them off. The simple strappy design is laid-back, and the color is playful. They’re somewhat tomboyish, for heels. I feel very “Californian” in them.
MATERIAL + QUALITY:
These are obviously beautifully made shoes, with perfect stitching and high quality leather. The heel feels super solid. There’s a little bit of padding in the sole, but I wouldn’t say they’d be comfortable for heavy trekking all day long, as they have no arch support. The straps are stiff out of the box and cut into my little toes when walking, but I think it’s just a matter of breaking them in. The sole is synthetic, and I have no issue with that. There’s a tiny bit of glue spillage on the inner arch of the sole, but it’s pretty hidden. These shoes are definitely not waterproof, so I will have to treat them if I ever risk rainy days, but they wipe clean easily if you catch a mud splash early.
This fit is very small. I normally wear a 6.5, and was dismayed when the only size left was a 7.5. But after reading a lot of reviews that these shoes run a half size to a full size small, I decided to take the chance, because I figured they’d have decent resell value if they didn’t work out. They fit like a glove out of the box. My feet are pretty narrow, and they fill these shoes out width-wise–they might not work well for wide feet. I imagine that I could probably wear a 7 because the leather will likely soften and loosen over time, but these are definitely serviceable. The brand recommends sizing up a half size. My feet are also very flat, and I notice that these shoes really accentuate that flatness and make them look very long, which I don’t mind because my flat feet are a little quirk I like about myself.