My Travel Shoe Of The Year Is Leather Platform Boot Pilar By Inez – Forbes

My travel boot of the year by Inez is the Pilar platform
As many reflect on the year that’s soon to pass, I ponder my shoe closet: 2023 proved a banner year for my travel footwear collection. At first glance, this might appear a shallow pursuit. Who looks at their platform boots, vegan sneakers, and spindly heels and thinks “well, that was a success!”? Someone who spent three years managing daily bouts of plantar fasciitis is who.
During the pandemic, the universe hobbled me with this painful, acute, resolute condition shared by celebrities such as Tiger Woods. I dreamed of the day I’d shed orthotic flip-flops for a beautiful boot in which I could traipse through Rome’s cobblestone streets pain-free. Well, if The Secret has taught me anything, it’s that manifesting, visualizing, persistence, and positive thinking pay off. As my condition eventually subsided, I found my dream shoe that’s both stylish and comfortable, and her name is Pilar.
The idea of wearing platform boots no longer preposterous, I had started scouting the internet for ideas. Insta spied on my searches and began a relentless stream of ads in my feed for a brand called Inez. Though slightly skeptical of direct-to-consumer campaigns, I couldn’t resist the look of the black Italian calf leather that appeared to fit like a glove, thanks to integrated stretch panels around the ankles. A four-inch heel and 1.2-inch platform, both covered in black leather, beckoned me to investigate. Could these really be comfortable enough to race through airports in?
I love the fit and comfort of this boot whether I’m in the airport or walking through a big city.
Apparently, yes, said everyone on the internet. “Sorcery.” “Cushioned and comfortable.” “Understood the assignment.” Fine. Fine. Fine. I chose leather over brown suede simply because I’m incapable of keeping things clean.
The box arrived and sat on my floor for several weeks as I pecked away on my computer keyboard finishing articles. Finally, as my next trip approached, I took a chance and threw the Inez Pilar boots, tucked inside a branded dust cover, into my luggage, praying they wouldn’t trigger a flare-up in a hotel lobby. I only travel with a small carry-on bag, and I had to trade a known-known for a known-unknown. In other words, if they didn’t work out, I would be screwed for eight days in London with only street shoes for dinners.
The first night in town, I had a group event with several writers. I took a chance and put the Inez Pilar boots on with a silk flamingo printed Tia dress by my favorite designer, Heidi Merrick. I walked down the hall towards the elevator. Nothing. Across the hard marble floor of the lobby. Nothing. A few blocks on the cement sidewalk of the street. Nothing. Not a single flash of pain. Not only were they not painful, but the boots were also legitimately comfortable. Apparently, the Spanish company behind Inez, which crafts all their shoes in small workshops in Spain, has created a proprietary plush insole with arch support that offers the spring of a latex mattress. The almond-shaped toe box doesn’t squeeze or crowd but provides just enough structure to keep your foot in place.
I did a little digging to find out how this shoe was conceived. Inez founders Hannah Spinelli and Tony Musso met in 2003 at Ars Sutoria, a footwear design institute in Milan. They reconnected in 2017 to launch Inez. Hannah is the Creative Director and has designed footwear for over twenty years, working closely with Spanish and Italian factories. Tony is the CEO and spent his formative years learning about footwear manufacturing in his family’s factory in Spain, before pursuing a career in marketing in New York.
Soft and supple leather in a form fitting boot that doesn’t squeeze the toe.
The key to the comfortable insole technology came from the brand’s use of biomechanical engineers who typically work on athletic shoes. Adapting the research for heels, the team tailored the insoles, designed to regulate pressure as one walks, to fit into a woman’s elegant dress shoe. The arch support cradles and stabilizes the foot, while foam absorbs the impact while distributing pressure. Latex mattress. Memory foam pillow. In a shoe. Incredible.
For these reasons, the Inez Pilar in black calf is my travel boot of the year. And next year. And the year after that.