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Poppy Barley Makes Custom Cheerleading Boots for the NFL

5-minute read

Ready, OKAY! Over a course of six months (and now, regularly), we worked with the Poppy Barley studio in León to make custom cheerleading boots for two NFL cheerleading teams—the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiderettes.

We know what you’re thinking: how did a brand new Canadian made to measure shoe company come to make custom cheerleading boots for such a niche—and public—sport in the US? It all started with a Google search for “custom boots” and a simple email—self-described as a “weird request”—from Keely Fimbres, director of special events at the St. Louis Rams, asking if making boots for a cheerleading squad was a possibility at Poppy Barley. Apparently, it was. Almost immediately, images of kicking, jumping, twirling, knee-high white boots—made famous by cheerleaders all across North America—began floated around in our heads.
Custom Cheerleading Boots - Poppy Barley for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Poppy Barley offers custom boots and shoes sizes 5-15 in a variety of boots, flats, and ankle booties.Custom Cheerleading Boots - Poppy Barley for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Poppy Barley offers custom boots and shoes sizes 5-15 in a variety of boots, flats, and ankle booties.
At that stage, we had been open for less than six months. As a startup, we were surprised, but mostly excited, and after researching deadlines (the NFL season started in August), and thinking big at our little studio in Mexico, we concluded: why not? Custom Cheerleading Boots - Poppy Barley for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Poppy Barley offers custom boots and shoes sizes 5-15 in a variety of boots, flats, and ankle booties. Soon after taking on the contract with the St. Louis Rams, we received another request, this time from the Oakland Raiderettes cheerleading team. In total, we made 86 pairs of custom boots. For continuity, we used last year’s boot design already owned by the Rams and Raiderettes, but made some component improvements, like padded insoles and custom measurements on the calf. Our biggest challenge in accepting the contract was meeting tight deadlines. By the time the Rams and Raiders found us, we only had three months till game time, and still had to develop samples before even beginning to manufacture the 86 pairs of boots. Sometimes extra-pressure (and telling our artisans exactly who these white leather boots were being made for; believe us, delivering the news has been half the fun) is exactly what you need to make something amazing happen.

Custom Cheerleading Boots - Poppy Barley for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Poppy Barley offers custom boots and shoes sizes 5-15 in a variety of boots, flats, and ankle booties.

Laura, our Mexico Operations Manager, visited 18 tanneries in two days in search of the right type of leather (one with a plastic coating, similar to the material used to make sneakers), so that the grass wouldn’t stain the boots. Lupita, our Studio Manager, digitized our lasts so that our lasts, insoles, and soles could all be made at the same time, rather than sequentially, which is the typical process. Jeanette, a manager with the Raiderettes, took a measuring tape on-location at their bikini shoot so that she could measure calves before each cheerleader’s photo session. Custom Cheerleading Boots - Poppy Barley for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Poppy Barley offers custom boots and shoes sizes 5-15 in a variety of boots, flats, and ankle booties. One of the biggest highlights from the experience was Keely’s visit to Edmonton from St. Louis, Missouri in June. Keely is one of the warmest people we have been privileged to work with. While the weather did not cooperate (a hailstorm and tornado alert!) we took advantage of Edmonton’s great local restaurants like The Marc, Corso 32 and Tres Carnales, for some amazing dining. (For the record, we did not take her to West Edmonton Mall.) Naturally, we decided to work off all that food by trying desperately to be cheerleaders. Keely took us through a Rams dance routine that the girls have to learn at tryouts. As you’ll see from the shaky video below, we are mostly a group of runners and not used to moving that way—with the exception of Breanne who, to no one’s surprise, used to be a pompom girl. The end result was a super-cool experience and two new favourite NFL teams for Poppy Barley. We continue to work with these two teams to create their boots. And now... the three most pressing questions we had for Keely:

1. Do cheerleaders have to do their own hair? (If yes--dance abilities aside--this alone would keep me from making the team.)

No. They get full hair and makeup done before each game.

2. Do cheerleaders date the players?

This depends on the team, but for the Rams this is strictly a no. A girl will get removed from the squad if she dates a player.

3. What is the most important quality you look for when selecting the team?

Professionalism. Above all, each cheerleader is an ambassador for the team and needs to behave in a manner that reflects well on the team--at all times. For this reason, the interview component is weighted the most important, while dance skills are considered teachable (provided a decent starting point). Who wouldn't want professional ambassadors to be ambassadors for your made to measure shoe company? Go team!

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The Harley Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How To Measure:
The Harley Heeled Sandal: Take a tape measure and wrap it around your foot, right below your ankle bone as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 26 cm
5.5 26.5 cm
6 27 cm
6.5 27 cm
7 27.5 cm
7.5 27.5 cm
8 28 cm
8.5 28 cm
9 28 cm
9.5 28.5 cm
10 28.5 cm
10.5 29 cm
11 29 cm
11.5 30 cm
12 30 cm

The Esther Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How to Measure:
The Esther Heeled Sandal: take a tape measure and wrap it around your ankle, above the ankle bone, as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 23 cm
5.5 23 cm
6 23 cm
6.5 23 cm
7 24 cm
7.5 24 cm
8 24.5 cm
8.5 24.5 cm
9 24.5 cm
9.5 25 cm
10 25 cm
10.5 25.5 cm
11 26 cm
11.5 26 cm
12 26 cm

Belt Sizes

Natural Waist Measurement Typical Jean Size Belt Size for High‑rise Pant Belt Size for Mid‑rise Pant Infinite Belt Size
23-25" 23/24 26" 28" 1
25-26" 25 28" 30" 1
26-27" 26 30" 32" 1
27-28" 27 30" 32" 1
28-29" 28 32" 34" 2
29-30" 29 32" 34" 2
30-31" 30 34" 36" 2
31-32" 31 34" 36" 2
32-33" 32 36" 38" 3
33-34" 33 36" 38" 3
34-35" 34 38” 40" 3
36-37" 36 38" 40" 3
38-39" 38 40" 42" 4
40-41" 40 40" 42" 4
42-43" 42 44" 46" 4
43-44" 43 44" 46" 5
44-45" 44 46" - 5

Sizing Note: For the most accurate fit, measure around your body where you plan to wear the belt. Choose the closest belt size to that measurement.

Belt Diagram Accent Belt and Complement BeltThe Accent Belt, The Polished Belt and The Complement Belt size measurements start from the beginning of the leather to the middle hole.

Belt Diagram Infinite BeltThe Infinite Belt size measurements cover the entire length of the leather.



Belt Measuring Guide

Belt Measuring Guide

A - High-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt around your natural waistline, wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of your midsection. Then, add 3” to determine your high-rise belt size.

B - Mid-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt lower than your natural waistline, you will require a dierent size. If you have a particular pair of bottoms you intend to wear your belt with, wrap a measuring tape through the belt loops while in a relaxed position.

When wearing your belt in your preferred style, it should fasten in the middle hole. The belt will relax with wear allowing you to cinch it tighter, as needed.

If you plan to wear the belt in both the high and mid-rise styles, you have two options:

  1. Select your high-rise style and fasten it more loosely when worn in the mid-rise style.
  2. Select your mid-rise style and fasten it more tightly when worn in the high-rise style.