I was so flattered when I was asked by Poppy Barley to talk about my love of their shoes and how I incorporate them into my daily professional life. Where to start??
I first came to love Poppy Barley because they solved a long struggle to find stylish tall boots that I could zip into easily over my pants or jeans, would fit my wide feet (9.5 wide) comfortably, yet wouldn’t bunch at my ankles. (I also liked that I could get more than the plain black tall boot that fit perfectly.)
But likely the most prevalent reason is that I live with ongoing issues due to fracturing my back in a terrible car accident, so supportive flats or very low heels have been a necessity for me for many years. Unfortunately, most supportive shoes are usually too casual for my profession, or too plain for my personal style. I am an academic family physician with a special interest in Palliative Care, and I am on my feet a lot when seeing patients. I also use a sit-stand desk set-up because of my back injury, and so comfortable shoes are a must to help with back pain. But I also like to express my personal style at work, and not have to pay for it with pain!
What I love about my Poppy Barleys are that they are very stylish, dressy and unique (definitely not plain!), yet so supportive with the cushioning and arch support that each style has. And they always fit my feet like a glove, so there’s no pinching, slipping, digging into the Achilles tendon or blistering right from the get go. (I no longer get blisters on my feet for my child to point out!) The leather even softens with time, so the fit gets even more comfortable with wear, if that’s even possible.
I love the original designs and cool leathers that you can’t really find anywhere else. Regardless of whether I’m seeing patients in clinic or hospice, teaching at the medical school, or presenting my research work, my Poppy Barleys are always appropriate, functional, and my favourite part of my outfit! They really are the perfect union of form and function! The cherry on top is that with my large, wide feet, I was always self-conscious that flats made my feet look wider or larger. But somehow my Poppy Barley flats actually make my feet seem smaller and possibly daintier than the 9.5 wide they are!
I am lucky to have a career that requires travelling to conferences to present on my research or medical education work. It’s a great part of my job. I just pack a couple of my PB flats in my carry-on, and either wear my brogues or boots onto the plane and I’m set for the trip! I like to walk a lot when I travel, and I have found that I’m able to walk comfortably around town in the same chic PB shoes or boots that I dress up in to give a presentation or to network. In fact, my Marsala brogues (I think they are my favourite at the moment!) are literally the best business trip shoes ever! I can wear them with skirts, and dresses, as well as jeans, and I can’t describe how comfortable and supportive they are. My special Gotham Grey Zipper Bootie with the 2.5” block-heel are great because of the stable mid-height heel; I have run through airports, and after my child while wearing them without any back pain! I love the versatility of these boots, and love how I feel wearing them – and they’re heels! At Poppy Barley, my shoe-wearing options continue to expand (comfortably and stylishly).
Even better though, I love supporting a local Albertan company with a great story that gives back to the community. The customer service is fantastic, as they get to know you as customers personally, and deal with any issues that may arise efficiently. The co-founders, Justine and Kendall, are not only the nicest people, but also inspirational in their entrepreneurial and creative spirit. The company is always incorporating their customers’ feedback, and striving to be more innovative while upholding their ethical standards. What could be better than investing in and supporting such a great Canadian company with fantastic beliefs and products?