For women, having to choose comfort over style has caused the premature ending of many a footwear love affair. It's not easy to find shoes that feel good and look great, especially for those who require special orthotics. When she opened Perfect Fit Shoes (5012 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 456-5993) last December, physical therapist Virginia "Gini" Davis made the choices a little less painful for women in the metro area.
With a specialization in foot and ankle problems and as owner of Crescent City Physical Therapy, Davis saw a real need for attractive footwear that could accommodate orthopedic needs.
"I'm somewhat of a shoe freak myself, and I knew these shoes existed," says Davis. "They just weren't available in New Orleans." So she did some research, found a few quality lines, and about four years ago, began hosting trunk shows for her patients three to four times a year.
Though her plan to open a full-service specialty shoe store in the fall of 2005 was thwarted by Hurricane Katrina, Davis says the storm itself only increased the demand for orthopedic shoes. "We had people calling us every day asking, 'When are y'all going to open?' Many of them had lost all of their shoes in the flood."
Davis says that the store is for all women, whether they need orthotics or not, and that each shoe she carries must have two features: "There has to be something stylish about them -- maybe the color or the shape -- no matter how orthopedic they are," she explains. "And they must be comfortable, with a special feature built into the shoe." Some styles include built-in foot support; others save room for a prescription orthotic insert.
One of Davis' favorites is an Italian-made line from Milan called Thierry Rabotin.
"These are just gorgeous," she gushes. "The flats are not just flats; they have great arch support built into them. They also have beautiful heels and sandals. You put them on your feet, and you don't want to take them off."
Perfect Fit Shoes carries primarily women's shoes, but there is one line, MBT, that also offers shoes for men. The store is located next to the Metairie location of Crescent City Physical Therapy, which also has offices Uptown and on the West Bank as well as in Hammond and Laplace. For more information, visit www.crescentcitypt.com.
- Physical therapist Virginia Davis says all the footwear in her Perfect Fit Shoes store must be stylish and comfortable.