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My whole (dress shoe) life I have been judging last shapes and never really knew it. Whenever I was going to get a new pair of shoes (when I was back in Seattle), I would grab the shoe, toe sticking out perpendicular to my body, and hold it at my side looking down at it’s toe shape. If the shoes’ shape did not pass the test of how I would like looking at it whilst it was on my feet, then it was not going to get purchased, no matter how cool the style/design was. Thinking about this, I believe that everyone else must do this too, at least that is what makes sense to me. If you have a pair of shoes on your feet, the only way that you can see them (without looking into a mirror) is by looking down at the shape of the toe box. This toe box shape is ultimately derived from the last shape, the shape that for me, makes or breaks a shoe, no matter what! Therefore, when you see shoes on the net, and you get these side views, it can be deceiving as you are only really seeing the design of it, but not it’s last shape. Now this shoe by Alfred Sargent is no doubt a beautiful interpretation of a derby and it’s last shape is also nice too, but be weary of buying any shoe online without knowing what it’s toe shape looks like. If you do, you might regret it…..

4 thoughts on “The Side View Of A Shoe – Is It Deceiving?”

  1. You’re right of course, although I’d say the reverse is also true: I want to see the side view as well, to assess the elegance of the shoe’s lines.

    The worst pictures are the ubiquitous single shots, facing the shoe straight on at a 30 degree angle to one side, from 30 degrees above. I know why photographers/graphic designers do it – to show the maximum number of elements in one shot. But unless you spend a lot of time on your belly, it’s one angle you will rarely see a shoe from in real life!

    I tend not to buy any shoe online, unless there are also pictures straight down from the top, from the side, and of the complete sole flat on as well, to understand better the way it’s likely to fit.

  2. It’s certainly not easy to take proper photos of shoes as unlike ties or shirts, I reckon at least 6 different shots are needed at minimum; top-down, bottom-up, left side, right side, front, and back.

    Amazon has the largest capacity of any seller in the world, but having spoken to a few smaller purveyors, hosting so many images(especially with close-ups) can be daunting.

    However, being small has its advantages, as I’m often able to sort out my sizing queries with an expert, instead of a random person who thinks fiddleback sole has to do with violins.

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