In conversation with: The Well-Heeled
Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a good week.
Today I’m really excited to start a new ‘In Conversation With’ series where I’ll be featuring interviews with incredible women who are making a difference to the lives of others through their work.
Despite working in the online world since 2014, I’m still amazed to see that there is so much fierce competition among some bloggers and entrepreneurs. Women should support and empower each other. There is plenty of space for everyone.
So, without further ado I want to introduce you to Ele Lentakis and Elouise Carmichael, Australian podiatrists and founders of The Well-Heeled. With a combined 30 years experience in clinical podiatry and footwear design, Ele and Elouise know that every woman struggles at some point to find shoes that look great, fit well and are comfortable. Hence, they made it their mission to arm fellow shoe lovers with the knowledge and tools to broaden their choices while still caring for their feet.
What inspired you to start The Well-Heeled?
Our patients. Elouise and I have a combined 30 years of treating foot and shoe problems, and we’ve seen a lot of women who are frustrated with the idea that all heels and fashion shoes are bad for your feet. As high heel lovers ourselves we get where they are coming from! We believe that with the right knowledge and tools this is simply not true, and have discovered a real enjoyment in helping women navigate this problem. In addition, The Well-Heeled has allowed us to flex our ‘creative muscles’ while still utilising our professional and scientific knowledge. We’re having lots of fun!
As a fellow shoe lover, I know how difficult it is to find heels, which look great and are comfortable to wear. What should we look for when buying heels?
Before even thinking about particular shoe features, we encourage high heel wearers to think about the activity they are doing first. Will you be dancing all night or are you going to a sit down dinner? If it’s the latter you can most likely get away with a higher heel and less ‘comfort features’. Number 2 is to always be sure the shoe is the correct fit – simple, but often overlooked. No matter how many ‘comfort features’ a shoe has, if it’s not the right fit it probably won’t work. A great tip for this is to make sure you try shoes on at the end of the day, to accommodate any fluctuations in size that might occur from normal swelling. And lastly, get to know general high heel features which improve comfort such as a block heel, wider straps, a roomy toe box, thickness under the forefoot (ie a small platform), soft leather and rubber soles.
What is the number one high heels hack we should use?
One of our favourite hacks – try going up 1⁄2 – 1 size in pointed toe shoes, or shoes which are narrow in the toe box. This generally makes the foot sit further back in the shoe where there is more room and width for toes. To counteract the foot slipping forward, add a ball of foot cushion – it’s a great combination, particularly for women with bunions or claw toes.
What is your dream shoe investment?
Ele – YSL cage bootie
Elouise – Ferragamo F wedge
Can you tell us more about the Shoe Equation?
The Shoe Equation was created to remove the guesswork from shoe shopping and trying to pick styles which will best suit your feet. We’ve also been told it’s a great time saver! Every season, we go through 100+ fashion and designer brands and pick out shoes which are better suited to common foot problems, such as bunions and arch pain. We then categorise the shoes so that women can enter in their foot problems, shoe preferences, the event their going to and even price range, and The Shoe Equation will bring up the most suitable options. Besides from being convenient we find that The Shoe Equation is a great educational tool – even if women don’t want to shop online, by using The Shoe Equation they can learn which shoes are better suited to their feet. We even have other podiatrists recommending it now as a tool for their patients! We aim to update The Shoe Equation everyday so that we can accommodate as many people (and their foot problems) as possible.
What is the best business advice you received to date?
The best business advice we’ve received to date is to learn from the mistakes of those that have done it before you. Whether you do this by finding a mentor, or just researching other successful businesses and entrepreneurs in your space – it’s amazing the information you can be given if you just ask the question.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
We find maximising productivity (working smarter not harder!) during work-time creates the space for a balanced social and personal life – we’ve both learned to become very disciplined with time-blocking, stacking and automating small tasks, and reducing distractions during periods of deep work. We also aim to be as realistic as possible in the deadlines we impose on ourselves. We stick to a pretty consistent weekly schedule which includes time put aside for our families, ourselves and our social events – you have to have fun!
What is your favourite self-development book?
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris – being health professionals we have a natural preference for science-based titles, and this book by Tim Ferris is stacked full of life hacks backed by research.
What is on your podcast list?
Always a fan of Joe Rogan – I loved his recent interview with Elon Musk (the master of innovators and entrepreneurs)
How do you measure your terms of success?
As a company, we measure success by the amount of value we are able to add to our customers and readers.
On a personal level, we find success lies within enjoying our work (and the journey!) and maintaining the balance with our social lives and relationships.
Lastly, what are your plans for The Well-Heeled?
Our goal for The Well-Heeled has been the same from the beginning – to provide solutions for women who love beautiful shoes but not pain! So far we have done this via education and free information, and very shortly we will be bringing out our first range of products, which have been designed to make any high heel more comfortable!
Thanks for having us on your blog, Izabela!