Hi there Folks, Joan and I received an invitation to try out Backup Soles the Rollable Portable Flats a while back. We both received two pairs to test and review on our blog. Joan will post her review in a separate post, when she is done with hers.
Looking at the Backup Soles site, I found myself drooling over the metallic red backup soles. Makes me think of the story “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen. How fun it would be to wear such a lovely color on your feet?
I received one pair in black and one in silver, in size Medium (US Women’s Size 7-8), these came in cute little boxes with two little pull-string totes, one for your rolled up Backups to go into and a larger one is made for you to place your shoes/heels in.
With my disabilities, especially with the nerve pain down my legs to my ankles and feet, I am not often in heals. However I do often wear slippers around the house, my favorites being my little leather ballet slippers so I was excited with this alternative to real ballet slippers. My poor old ballet slippers are wearing out after years of wear, so I need to replace them, yet they can be hard to find and expensive to buy. I tried on my Backup Soles and I was pleased that they were as I imagined, a lot like ballet slippers.
The few points about the Backups that are different from ballet slippers, some good some bad.
Instead of the pull string to tie at the front end of the ballet slippers, they have elastic encased around the edges of the slipper. This is good as many times the draw string on my ballet slippers come untied and it never fails one of the strings makes it’s way into the ballet slipper and irritates my foot.
The bow on the top of the Backups is there just for decoration, and it actually looks great as it is made out of the same material as the main body of the slipper. I would love to see them mix and match the bows for a nice contrast, I can see the black Backup Soles with perhaps a silver or gold bow on top, this would give more variety of looks for them to sell.
The outside of these Backups are a thin vinyl like material and the bottom of them are a nicely textured rubbery no slip surface. The material isn’t to weighty so it’s nice and soft and the soles are extra nice for safety, as compared to the slippery soles of suede bottom on ballet slippers.
My one problem with the Backup Soles is the way that the heel is sewn, it’s not sewn like the back seam in a ballet slipper. In a ballet slipper the seam is sewn so that the edges would be outside the slipper, then covered up with a sewn on strip (of the same material) on the outside of the slipper, leaving you no irritation from the seam. So for me the seam on the inside of the slipper is irritating and the elastic encased area of that seam is the big problem for my feet as it pinches into my heel, and leaves a noticeable dent/red area there .
The picture above shows the twisted seam in my backup soles (in this one the bottom of the seam is sewn to the sole on the left and the top is sewn into the elastic encased area to the right).
Also that inside seam is sewn to the sole of the slipper with the raw edges going one way at that seam and going the opposite on the top by the elastic encasing seam, causing an area with a bump as it tries to twist in the slipper again adding to irritation. An Easy solution, though perhaps a bit more time consuming maybe to lay open the seam prior to sewing that area shut, so that there is less bulk in the encasement area. This may not be a problem for most people… I however have nerve pain from a back & hip injury that goes all the way down to my feet, top that off with Fibromyalgia and we have a problem.
Edit my afterthought:
About the irritation on the back of my foot? These slipper like shoes are made for short term wear, not for slippers… so I must add in that at first they were very comfortable, but after about an hour the pain started up in the back heel area. So perhaps, it is that these are made for slipping on your feet for the return or going to the place that you have to wear shoes that can be uncomfortable.
The handy drawstring bags for the Back up soles are great, and the large bag for your heels are nice too. The drawstring can be looped over your purse strap and bring the bag through before placing your shoes in this roomy bag… however the drawstrings are tied and for me the first time I did this it came untied on me. What I would advise is old school clear nail polish placed over the knotted part to help keep it together or to go to a sewing/craft center and look at the notions and pick up 2 pull string stays, the kind I am talking about have a spring in them that will keep the drawstring in place, the drawstring being a soft one you may need a skewer to help aid you on pulling the two sides of the drawstring through and this will get rid of this concern.
Above is a picture of the drawstring stay that I attached to the drawstring that came untied on me.
All in all, I believe that these slippers are a great idea, and would work for short term wear to get you out of those heels. I feel that these were not made for wearing like slippers, all day around the house, since I did find some irritation. However if some attention was played toward the back heel area, I feel these could be improved and comfortable enough to wear as slippers.