(Sensible) Shoe Shopping: Cole Haan

Combine the comfort of your Nike cross trainers with the fashion sense of Cole Haan heels and what do you get? Exactly what Easy Spirit was going for all those years ago; something that looks like a pump, but feels like a sneaker. Now, If the thought of absolute comfort doesn’t convince you I bet this next sentence will. 

Oprah loves Cole Haan Nike Air high heels! Winfrey interviewed Gordon Thompson III, the Executive Vice President/Creative Director of Cole Haan and innovator behind the Cole Haan Nike Air collaboration. Here’s what he had to say about women and the comfort versus style dilemma:
“As most women know, it’s quite a bit of work to walk around in a high heel. Testing showed that the weight transfer onto your foot in a heel is significant. In fact, walking in heels causes you to exert almost the same amount of pressure under the ball of your foot as if you were running! Your body weight is actually coming down with the same force as it would if you were running. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Research shows that cushioning in a high heel could counter balance the body’s weight enough to make a significant improvement, just as it does with running shoes. Specifically, to counterbalance the pressure while walking requires cushioning under the ball of your foot, while counterbalancing the pressure while standing requires cushioning under your heel.”

Each Cole Haan Nike Air collection shoe has a strategically placed Nike Zoom air bag, at the ball of the foot and heel, to alleviate the stress and pain caused by the weight transfer from the raised heel to the toe.

I wonder if the participants of the Glamour Stiletto Run High Heel Race, knew of Mr. Thompson’s latest venture.

The winner of the race in Moscow (Photo courtesy of Manolo’s Shoe Blog)

Here’s footage from the race in Moscow.

Women compete in a high-heel sprint in St.Petersburg July 21, 2007. Some 100 women took part in the race wearing high-heeled shoes with a required minimum height of 9 centimetres (3.5 inches) to compete for a shopping voucher worth 50,000 roubles (about 2,000 U.S. dollars). (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

Footage from the race in Amsterdam.

Race Held August 19, 2006, in Berlin. (Courtesy of About.com Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)-

Winner of the Berlin Race Nadine Sonnabend finished the 100m (328 feet) race in 12 seconds wearing 7cm (2.75″) heels. Her prize was 10,000 Euros to spend at Berlin store KaDeWe. Race Held August 19, 2006. (Courtesy of About.com Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)

Below are screen grabs of a small sample to be found on Cole Haan’s site for both men and women.

Women’s dress shoe selection.

Don’t worry guys, you too can get in on the fun.

Men’s dress shoe selection.

As I was wirting this post I couldn’t help but remember that ad campaign from Easy Spirit “Looks Like a Pump, Feels Like a Sneaker,” and I couldn’t find a commercial from the late 80s / early 90s with that exact tune in it, but there’s a fun blast from the past from Easy Spirit anyway. Also seen here.

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