Happy Fit Footwear- Introducing Canberra’s First Podiatrist Owned Shoe Store!
Welcome to Happy Fit Footwear
On 11th January 2020, Happy Fit Footwear opened its doors for the very first time, to the tune of Canberra’s 2CA. The ribbon was cut, and the Champagne popped, and our first customers were welcomed into store.
At Happy Fit Footwear you will find a warm welcome, and a unique retail experience. The retail team at Happy Fit Footwear is headed by Deb Betts, and she is assisted by Lizzie and Teresa. For some of you, these will be familiar faces as you may have met them in their other role; ACT Podiatry reception!
Happy Fit Footwear features a carefully planned layout helping to wave good bye to retail blandness. But that’s only the beginning. Take in the atmosphere and soak up the vibe as you stroll past our vintage movie theatre seats and lighting to browse our great range of stylish comfort footwear.
Having worked in Canberra as a podiatrist for nearly 20 years (I came form the UK on a 12-month working holiday in 2003), I am asked almost on a daily basis by my patients ‘where can I find shoes that fit’. Regardless of whether you have any specific footwear needs, or wear othotics, good quality footwear is so important to your long term health and mobility. Taking it to the extreme, think, for example, of the damage to your feet, knees and lower back that can be caused by prolonged use of a stiletto heel. Nowadays, fortunately most of my patients wouldn’t even consider wearing a shoe with a 6 inch heel…but damage may already have been done. The 60’s…. Remember?
The Shoe Pyramid
I describe to my patients (and now to our customers at Happy Fit Footwear), the concept of choosing your footwear based on the activities you intend to use them for. Shoes, after all, are a tool of both fashion and function. So…, how do we need to find the balance?
The Shoe Pyramid, not to be mistaken for Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs… is a model I use to illustrate this concept. You will find supportive/cushioned* athletic footwear, lace up shoes, low heeled boots and closed backed sandals (all worn with foot orthotics if you need them) along the bottom (‘good shoes’). And at the top, the stiletto and I am afraid to say, the beach thong. A beach thong with no arch support is good only to protect the soles of your feet in communal wet areas such as motel bathrooms or swimming pool changing areas. Your toes will be encouraged to claw and grip in order to keep it on your foot. Therefore, a sandal with a strap to enable the heel to be locked in is more preferable. You will see this features lower in the shoe pyramid.
The great thing is, no shoes are banned (although if you actually want to stand and walk more than 5 meters with out the risk of a possible stress fracture of worse, perhaps avoid the stiletto heel!) It is about making sure you wear a shoe that is suitable for the activity you plan to do whilst wearing it.
*When it comes to athletic footwear, used for high work volumes and sports specific activities, it is important you get the right balance of support verses cushioning. Other factors which should be considered when choosing the right footwear should include your foot shape and width, foot mechanics (for example, do they roll in excessively?) and your weight. A cushioned heel, for example, may gradually compress and distort if you are quite heavy.
Professional Footwear Fitting
As a podiatrist owned footwear store, we understand the difficulties many people face when trying to find shoes that properly fit. Our staff training is ongoing as we help our retail team to develop some of the knowledge that Clayton and myself have gained over our combined 50 years in podiatric practice. If Deb and Lizzie are unable to find a suitable shoe for you, they will be able to seek the advice of one of our podiatrists.
A podiatrist will be available instore at least one day each week. Although our retail staff are undergoing ongoing training, if you have any more complex footwear fitting concerns it might be a job for professional advice. We will help you find a shoe to fit from our extensive range, but if we don’t have anything suitable for you in stock, let us order something in for you! It is my mission to be able to find shoes for feet of all sizes and I will be working with the wholesalers over the coming months to source new brands to meet the demand.
Please note though we are not offering comprehensive podiatric assessment at Happy Fit Footwear. The advice you will receive at Happy Fit Footwear is based on our knowledge in footwear fitting for the various foot types. If you need this level of consultation, we can book you in for assessment at ACT Podiatry to ensure your foot pathology is appropriately diagnosed and appropriately managed.
Bespoke Shoe Service
Dr Clayton Clews (Director- ACT Podiatry and Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon) has a long history of prescribing medical grade footwear. So, if you need custom made footwear, let us organise a time to see him for a measure and quote.
Our most popular women’s brands are Revere Shoes, Vionic and Alegria. Alegria, from the Spanish for happiness, are so far proving very popular among our customers. They have a patented anatomical foot bed designed to contour and support your foot, and a rocker sole to reduce forces through the foot. These are great for people with arthritis in their feet and look fabulous too. My favourite is the Paloma, Fandamonia Blues (pictured). Nurses and those in the service industries who are on their feet all day, really benefit from this style of shoe. In-fact, this is how Alegria started… making shoes for theatre nurses.
Revere are also proving to be a big hit with our customers. So much so we have just placed another order for our most popular styles. My pick is the Osaka. The enclosed back, ankle strap (Velcro-but doesn’t look it), removable footbed and soft leather upper make it a great option for people, like myself, who wear orthotics. I wear my black pair most of the time without stockings as an enclosed but breathable cross-seasonal shoe. We started selling our Revere Shoes and Vionic brands in the practice 12 months ago, ordering them individually as needed. We still do this for some styles, but are now moving to stock full size runs in the most popular styles. This includes the Osaka, and the ever-popular Geneva. These shoes also come in a range of colour options making them something you will buy again and again!
We also stock Rockport, which I affectionally describe as the best shoes money can buy. This classic every day casual walker is timeless, and if you have never owned a pair… I would encourage you to come in and try them on!
Most our brands feature removable footbeds making them a viable option for those who need to wear foot orthoses. For those who love thongs, we offer a better option than the traditional Aussie icon. Our Vionic thongs feature a contoured footbed which provides a little more support…not to be worn all the time, but sits slightly further down the Shoe Pyramid Our footwear has been selected for we hope you will be delighted by the range of styles and sizes we offer. We are in the process of training our retail staff so they will be able to offer you high quality service and produce knowledge.
For the gents, we sell a great range of Julius Marlow and Hush Puppies. Revere, Vionic and Rockport also feature in our collection. Clayton Clews (director- ACT Podiatry) owns several pairs of the Julius Marlow as they make very comfortable and supportive business shoes. The removable footbeds in most styles make them a great option for those who wear orthotics. Hush Puppies are proving popular with our senior gentlemen, especially those with wide feet and bunions.
If its sandals your looking for, Noat and Revere and Vionic have you covered with options in various styles and colours. Come and talk to Deb (pictured above) and let her help you find your Happy Fit.
Our School Shoe Collection
We sell Clarks school shoes! We all know Clarks, and most of us have owned a pair at some point in our lives. I remember with fondness as a child, the biannual ritual of climbing up onto the elevated, animal themed seating at our local Clarks shoe shop to try of school shoes. I remember, even then, it was how the shoe looked that determined the discussion! I wonder now, had I been blind folded, how the final choice would have differed! Children want shoes that look good too. And these days children have even more say in these decisions than they did 30 years ago. I know from experience, on the other side now as a parent, if I buy shoes for my children and they don’t like them, unless it is a strict uniform requirement of the school, they will not wear them. And shoes don’t make for good hand-me-downs, so its money wasted.
Our Skobi school shoe range are actually designed by Australian Paediatric Podiatrists to meet the demands of the Aussie playground. They have a range of styles to suit orthotics, children with very sensitive feet, and they have shoes with Velcro closure in larger sizes too.
We are proud to stock the full Bobux range at Happy Fit Footwear, starting with the first walker. These are truly exceptional quality shoes, with Bobux investing heavily in on-going research to ensure your child has the very best shoes for every stage of there development.
Happy Fit Footwear is located next door to our podiatry practice, at 10/146 Scollay St, Greenway. Opening hours are Monday-Friday 09:30-17:00, and Saturdays 10:00-15:00. We are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Visit www.happyfitfootwear.com.au to find out more. We look forward to welcoming you soon!