Fashion Me Fabulous Pages

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Naturalizer Naya Review

I've been ogling these Naya McCloud sandals from Naturalizer since they appeared in the the catalog this spring. I wanted a yellow pair, but they sold out long ago. I happened to be at the Naturalizer store in my area the other day when I noticed a pair of black ones on the clearance rack. They said size 10.5. While that's actual size shoe I wear, Naturalizer shoes have been running small over the last few years--as well as dropping in quality some--so I've been wearing an 11. I tried them on anyway. They fit!

Not only did they fit. They possess quality and craftsmanship that I thought had long left the Naturalizer brand. Years ago, the shoes weren't quite as cute, but I could usually find something to suite me and everything fit perfectly. They had less variety but more sizes and width. Now, I have no trouble finding shoes I like, but the quality isn't what it used to be and many shoes come in limited sizes. Don't get me wrong. Naturalizer is still my go-to shoe brand. It just ain't what it used to be--until Naya.

This new, eco-friendly line uses the best, most earth-friendly materials possible. I was worried the shoes would be more about easing my footprint on the planet than actually making my foot feel good. They manage to do both and stay super cute at the same time. I held them up to my 5-year-old favorite pair of Naturalizer wedge sandals, and they almost seem to be made from the same mold. The quality it really back (if only it was back in the whole store).

The price tag is a problem though. These shoes were originally $125. I had to wait for them to come down by 50% to even consider trying them on. I would compare these in quality to high-end Clarks and Indigo by Clarks shoes. Those shoes cost $60 - $100 for a nice pair of sandals and I can usually catch a good pair on clearence, just like I catch most of my Naturalizers on clearence. Naya shoes do have one thing Clarks don't--a size 10.5. Many quality shoes are too big or too small because they run true to size an rarely made a 10.5. But that only benefits the small portion of shoe lovers who need that size. I understand that being eco-friendly costs a little extra, but it has be looking elsewhere for shoes and waiting for clearance only.

I'm anxious to see how their fall shoes will be priced. I may be more open to the higher price point for boots. (And I want these to go on clearance).

Has anyone else tried the Naya shoes? How is the long term comfort? Will you spend the extra money for them or are you camping out for clearence with me? Also, is anyone else concerned that "biodegradable foam comfort system" could translate to "breaks down easily with long term wear?" (My biodegreable frying pan only lasted 3 months).

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