Comfort is king for Korean shoe brand SPUR Shoes
Hot on the heels of every Korean celeb from popular K-pop biggies like Girl’s Generation/SNSD and Wonder Girls to even actresses Han Hyo Joo, Han Chae Young and Kim Gyu Ri, SPUR is about to be as much a household name here in Singers as it is in Korea!
SPUR shoes are famed for their signature 7 layers of comfort, promising long wear thanks to extra cushioning that will leave your soles feeling the absolute opposite of sore after a long day. What exactly is in the 7 layers of comfort? I got to chat with founder and designer Ikpyo Hong (who also used to design men’s shoes!) over some tea while he was in town and found out more about the science behind the stylish footwear.
What is the fashion scene and current shoe trend like in Korea?
The fashion scene in Korea was known to have been more feminine, but I would say that was up to about three years ago. Now it’s a lot more modern and embracing international and Western influences.
Were you inspired by those trends to create this collection?
I’ve had many influences, usually from my daily life and from observing both the conveniences and inconveniences that women face in their footwear. The fact that they live in the city is also a very big part of the designs in the collection.
How did the SPUR brand emerge?
I actually wanted to create these shoes for my girlfriend at the time (unfortunately we are no longer a couple, haha!), and was highly in tune with what she liked and preferred in order to please her.
What made you want to start on women’s shoes, even though you had prior training in designing men’s shoes?
I liked designing men’s shoes, but realised after a while that the trends are always constant. There was only so much we could do with the shape, design and fabrics for men’s shoes, but when it comes to ladies’ footwear, there’s a much bigger variety.
How would you describe the SPUR girl?
The SPUR girl is lovely looking, and life-loving.
Can you tell us more about the 7 layers of comfort? What’s in each layer, and how have you and the company made the shoes according to those layers?
I did a lot of trial and error to find the perfect match of layers to create the level of comfort SPUR has today. I’m also sort of a perfectionist, so through every process in the shoemaking, I try my best to be involved. The seven layers of comfort include soles that are 1) anti-skid, 2) provide ankle support so one doesn’t tip over easily, 3) provide good balance, 4) have extra cushioning, 5) stay cushioned for at least 2 years despite daily wear, 6) are made of a great long-lasting man-made material and most importantly, 7) provide the utmost level comfort.
What styles from the SPUR range do you think every girl should own?
I think the black-and-white Stripe Wedge matches well with many things and is lovely for dressy occasions, while the Malou Stripe Block Sandals is great for everyday, casual wear with a bit of edge.
Which is your favourite shoe from the collection?
My personal favourite will have to be the Malou Sporty Sandals. They’re well-cushioned as you can see [motions to press firmly into the shoe’s insole] so they are perfect for wearing over long hours, and also the design is simple yet not as casual as a typical pair of sandals.
Do you think SPUR will branch out to making other footwear accessories in the near future to further add to the promise of comfort?
We don’t have plans like those right now, as the materials in our collections are the main priority and they are mainly made for footwear, not accessories like socks or detachable insoles. But we will look into it in the near future and try to incorporate our comfort-enabling techniques to provide a better range.
Well, girls, I can certainly vouch for the comfort of these shoes. I got myself a pair of these wicked awesome gold loafers, and though I’ve got to admit I gave a little bit of side eye to them at my first try (they’re a little on the adventurous side for my taste, if we’re being honest), there was something too cool about them that got me to take them home in the end! My first impressions? You know the old saying, “Bite the shoes before they bite you”? Well, I never believed in that, so I definitely didn’t ‘bite’ my shoes, but I had no first-time-wear blisters of any sort. NADA. It’s like they made friends with my feet and immediately became besties.
Surprisingly, they also go well with plenty of my clothes! Dark jeans like the ones I’m sporting here turn the ensemble into a match made in heaven, but I also think they would look amazing with lighter denim, an all-black look or any casual mish-mash I’ve got going on for a day of errand-running.
If you’re looking for YOUR next favourite pair of shoes, check out the full collection (which also includes key Spring-friendly features like pinstripes, neutrals, metallics and florals) at their stores and online.
SPUR Shoes are available at Plaza Singapura New Extension, #04-32 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839, SocietyA Shoes & Accessories Lounge at Orchard Gateway, #03-07 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858, Takashimaya , 391 SPUR Orchard Road Ngee Ann City Level 2, Singapore 238873 and www.society-a.com