I have a massive penchant for shoes, but since becoming a mummy I have curbed my spending on shoes, specifically expensive high heeled type shoes. The damage to my bank balance over the last few years has been caused by one brand specifically; Carvela. One pair of shoes within my collection is Carvela Alpha, bought especially for a day at the races for Ladies Day.
***What do they look like?***
The Carvela Alpha shoes are described as "a high heeled court featuring quirky contrasting platform. These will add interest to any outfit and the chunky platform balances out the super high heel to add height without discomfort!"
They are available in sizes UK3-8.
The shoes are available in 2 colours nude and khaki. The khaki shoes are green suede upper section with a brown and bright yellow trim around the top of the platform of the shoe. The platform and heel are a matt dark brown colour.
I will be reviewing the nude version of these shoes. These are light beige coloured suede upper, mid beige coloured platform with a gold trim around the platform. The heel section is a light cream colour.
The shoes are a court shoe with an almond shaped toe (a rounded pointed toe) and a stiletto heel. The heel is thin but not as thin as some of the other pairs of high heeled shoes from Carvela range.
The shoes are made from leather upper and a synthetic lining and sole. The heel height is 12cm with a 5cm platform.
***Where can I buy them?***
Carvella Alpha are available in KG shoe stores, KG concessions in department stores such as House of Fraser and John Lewis and are also available online at http://www.kurtgeiger.com/brands/carvela . You can also purchase these shoes from www.asos.com and www.amazon.co.uk .
I purchased these from John Lewis when they were on sale for £90. The RRP for both the nude and Khaki colours of these shoes is £130.00. At the time of writing the above stockists are all selling these shoes for £130.00
***What are they like to wear?***
I was very excited to take these shoes out of the box after purchasing to try on with the outfit I had bought them to match. The scent of the shoes is a very definite new leather smell and to touch the suede is very soft feeling.
The colours on the shoe are very coordinated and the black colour effect of the heel and platform add a funky twist to the very neutral coloured suede. Just by looking at these shoes they have a very expensive look about them and looking closely at the stitching and lining of the shoes you can see that these have been made to a high quality as they are finished off very carefully.
I was very pleased to say the shoes looked great with the light cream outfit I was wearing but also look fantastic with black and brown outfits too and give a twist to these outfits.
Nude coloured shoes are excellent for elongating the legs and I think Carvela Alpha definitely do so because of the colour. In addition to this the design of the shoe is very flattering being a court shoe. There is no bar or straps across the ankle which gives the illusion of long legs as strappy shoes can often make legs look shorter as they draw attention to the space between your knee as ankle.
When I first tried these shoes on they did feel quite tight however after having them on my feet for 10 minutes or so the leather felt a lot more supple and soft and moulded to the shape of my feet. Even after quite a lot of wears the leather has moulded to the shape of my feet but still feels firm enough to support my foot when it is in the shoe and ensure the shoe is not slipping off my foot. I have never had a blister from wearing these shoes or felt that they were pinching at all, even when I wore then the first time for over 8 hours and spent most of this time standing. The shoe has added comfort as it is quite padded under the foot meaning the ball of your foot does not ache if you are spending a long time standing.
I am a regular high heel wearer so find walking in heels this high relatively easy. I do think the Carvela Alpha are much easier to walk in than many other pairs of shoes I own with heels this high, therefore more suitable for those that want to give very high heels a try. The reasons I find that these shoes are easy to walk in are that the shoe grips your foot and you do not feel the shoe is going to fall off. Secondly the heel of the shoe is slightly thicker than many other Carvela shoes with a stiletto heel giving greater stability. The platform is quite a decent size which makes these shoes feel like the heel is a lot shorter.
I have quite narrow feet and find that Carvela shoes fit perfectly across my toes, however for those with wider feet they may find these a little too narrow and uncomfortable. The Carvela Alpha follows this trend but the flexible suede upper does flex and after the first wear moulds to the shape of your foot. My true shoe size is a 4 ½ so I wear a size 4 or 5 depending on the brand of shoe. In the Carvela Alpha I purchased a 5 as I found these shoes slightly smaller in the size than other Carvela shoes.
As with all Kurt Geiger shoes the recommendation for the Carvela Alpha is to invest in suitable shoe care products to protect the shoes. I have used a suede protection spray which I purchased at John Lewis for £4 at the time of purchase. This has protected the suede on the shoes from light stains and general wear and tear but I have had to use a suede brush to brush off light marks which has been on the shoes after wear.
KG advises that in order to prolong the wear of these shoes that they will need timely repairs, in particular to the sole and heels. I purchased these shoes to wear for a day out to the races, and have worn them on about 4 other occasions since. I have walked quite reasonable distances on pavement and there is very minimal wear and tear to the heel of these shoes. The sole of the shoe is also still in very good condition although I have noticed some scuffs on the platform of the shoe. The downside to the dark coloured platform is that scuffs show up easily therefore you need to take care when walking in these shoes not to scuff them
These are a beautiful pair of shoes and look great for more special occasions. Although light in colour the two toned block design gives them a very quirky look and look great with lighter coloured outfits as well as darker colours too.
These are a very expensive pair of shoes at £130.00 especially as I would not consider them an "everyday" style or design of shoe. However the shoes are made to a high quality, the leather is soft supple and the shoes are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Carvela Alpha are a very high pair of heeled shoes however because the stiletto heel is wider than many Carvela shoes and also the shoe has a high platform it makes them a lot easier to walk in. Therefore I feel suitable for someone who doesn't wear very high heels regularly although walking in these will take some practice as the sole of the shoe is very smooth and on certain surfaces does not have much grip. Therefore you need to take care when walking on smooth floors as it can feel very slippy when walking in these shoes.
The downside to these shoes aside from the high price is they require a lot of care in order to ensure they are kept in excellent condition. This is because of the suede material and also the light colour of the suede. It is essential you minimise contact with liquids to ensure the shoes do not get stained. Beautiful shoes so best to stay away from puddles.
At the beginning of the month I received an unexpected parcel since I hadn't ordered anything I was surprised and automatically thought my mother had sent me a few bits and pieces for her granddaughter as this was a regular occurrence. However, on opening the box I found two shoe boxes and a consignment note from Kurt Geiger! My dear other half had only ordered me two pairs of shoes which were on my wish list as a thank you for helping him out with all his admin work over the past year. His admin work was another full time job for me on top of my other job and I still managed to get it done with a baby! My other half is a real gem and his surprise was very appreciated, it is always nice to know that your hard work is appreciated.
I keep a wish list of shoes on the Kurt Geiger website and most of them are currently new releases for this season. The shoes are by Carvela and called Alpha. I had liked their style and they had been on my wish list since I had first seen them. I have far too many dark coloured shoes so it was nice to have a lighter coloured pair.
What Carvela say:
"Alpha by Carvela is a high heeled court featuring quirky contrasting platform. These will add interest to any outfit and the chunky platform balances out the super high heel to add height without discomfort!"
As you can see from the picture the shoes have no added detail as such but what makes these shoes so gorgeous is the contrasting platform which is a bit edgy with its chunky two toned layers. The one platform layer and heel is an off white colour, the lower layer is more of a dark brown and they are edged with a thin layer of gold. The platform is very square in shape and the off white layer is larger than the darker layer. The contrasting platform really makes these shoes look unique. The two toned platform really does suit the buttermilk coloured shoe and makes them quite striking to look at.
The heel height is around 120mm which for me is the perfect height as I find it easily to walk in shoes with this heel height. However, once the shoes are on and you are walking around the shoes do not feel as high because of the substantial platform as this seems to take off a little of the heel height. The heel is a stiletto heel and therefore takes more of the weight and the heel tip will get worn quicker than a heel such as a wedge or cone heel. So far I've worn them twice and there is hardly a mark on the tip at all.
Alpha are made of leather which even when I pulled them out of their box the leather was incredibly soft and of course they had a faint whiff of the new leather smell. As I said I've worn these shoes twice, once to a wedding about a week ago and the other on an evening out with some of the girls from work. They didn't take long to mould around my feet and although the leather is soft it is still strong enough to keep the shape of the shoes. There was no wearing in period for these shoes as the leather is soft enough to give a little within an hour of wearing them. Both occasions I ended up wearing these shoes for a substantial amount of time and although I was pleased to eventually take them off and put my slippers on, my feet hadn't rubbed anywhere, they weren't sore and there was no redness which was great. There is a little padding in the heel and foot bed areas of the shoes which makes the shoes feel comfortable. The inside of the shoe features a synthetic lining which is in a similar shade to the smaller platform layer which again contrasts nicely against the nude colour of the shoe.
Carvela Alpha are available from all Carvela stockists. They come in either khaki or nude (which I had). They are available in sizes 3 to 8 and are available to buy at around £130.00. My other half bought mine off the Kurt Geiger website where all sizes are available.
Overall, these will definitely be a pair of shoes I will spending a lot of time in this spring/ summer as the colour (nude) is definitely not suitable for the winter months unless of course you are attending an event such as a wedding or christening or of course going out on an evening. You just have to ensure you protect the leather and keep them clean. A gorgeous pair of shoes which I love, their comfortable and gorgeous so what more could you want!