2024-05-30
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The Benefits, Design and Success of Convertible High Heels

Discover the revolution in the world of footwear: High heels convertible into pumps

The Benefits, Design and Success of Convertible High Heels
Photo credit: pashionfootwear.com

Have you ever tried to walk for hours in high heels only to find yourself at the end of the day with sore feet? It’s definitely not a pleasant experience. We often find ourselves preferring flat shoes to avoid this annoyance, sacrificing the elegance and slender effect that only heels can give. However, there is a solution to this problem that you may not know about. A young woman in her twenties has come up with the “convertible high heels“.

You might be wondering: what exactly are these convertible high heels? Well, these are high-heeled shoes that can be transformed into comfortable ballerinas thanks to a heel closure mechanism. A real revolution, isn’t it?

Let’s explore together the features of these shoes, find out who is the mind behind this brilliant idea and what was the inspiration behind these innovative heels. Behind them lies a truly fascinating success story. Read on to find out what exactly it is.

When convertible high heels were born and who invented them

Solving the problem of comfort related to the use of high heels was Haley Pavone, a young entrepreneur with a passion for innovation. In 2016, at the age of just 20, while attending California Polytechnic University, SLO, where she was about to graduate with a degree in business entrepreneurship, an epiphany came to her during a college party.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
Haley Pavone
Photo credit: Pashion footwear website

While dancing, like many girls, she took off her heels to move more freely. But it was at that very moment, when her bare feet were involuntarily stepped on by a stiletto, that the brilliant idea came to her: to create shoes that did not need to be taken off to dance, but could simply remove the heel.

Thus was born Pashion Footwear, based in San Luis Obispo, California, now internationally renowned.

Over the past year, Haley Pavone has been included in Forbes’ Under 30 list  and has featured her convertible high heel shoes at Shark Tank, then bringing this trend to TikTok as well. However, the success was not immediate. The young CEO faced numerous challenges and overcame numerous rejections before leading the Pashion Footwear brand to its current success.

Pashion Footwear’s convertible high heels

Soon after the incident, the young Haley Pavone began to design these shoes after conducting a market study and discovering that in  the United States the main cause of foot and back pain is high heels.

In a short time, Pavone involved two of his fellow students in the project: Tyler Unbehand, a specialist in industrial technology, and Seiji van Bronkhorst, a mechanical engineer specialising in shoe design.

Pavone forms a team of footwear experts and is committed to creating a comfortable heel that can accompany women at any time of the day, from work to the stadium. Its goal is to empower women and give them the chance to no longer have to choose between style and practicality. She refers to her team, which is made up  of 80% women, as a “fashion tech” company created by women for women.

His team first submitted the concept at Cal Poly’s annual Elevator Pitch competition, winning both first and second place. Over the next few months, they developed the first prototype and submitted it to the annual Innovation Quest competition, where they won another $15,000 grand prize. Soon after, the team was accepted into the intensive three-month “SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator” program to help start-ups with their development.

In the years that followed, Pavone went all out and raised $1.7 million in funding from early investors, including Forrest Fleming and Entrada Ventures, allowing the brand to launch in 2019, despite the challenges it encountered, such as $80,000 in debt and only 30 days to recover. With extraordinary determination, Haley was able to secure a $1 million deal within 30 days, securing the capital needed to get the company back on track.

Since then, the brand has achieved considerable success, despite the difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, increasing sales by 160%. In 2021, Haley Pavone has the opportunity to present her brand in the television series “Shark Tank“, a reality show where start-ups expose their business plan and meet the financiers (the sharks).

She refuses the backers’ agreement , despite the fact that she was 90 days away from running out of funds, because she did not consider it beneficial for her brand. So the entrepreneur is committed to doing her best to continue driving the growth of Pashion Footwear and to date, as she herself writes on Medium:

I’m incredibly proud to say that since my time in the tank, I got back up, dusted off my heels, and raised over $1M in *royalty-free* funding for Pashion. We formally crossed our $1M net revenue mark, grew our team to 6 full-time employees, grew our daily sales average 300%, welcome thousands of new #Pashionistas to our high heel revolution, and launched multiple new products… putting every single dollar back into the business so that we can continue on our mission to bring convertible high heels to women across the globe. Long story short, that 50% off sale isn’t happening anytime soon 😉

Other brands that have proposed convertible high heels

Pashion Footwear isn’t the only brand to have invested in convertible high-heeled shoes. Mime et Moi, was the pioneer in the launch of convertible high heel shoes in 2016, offering women the ability to choose between 5 different heel types for a single shoe model. However, due to the difficulties encountered during the pandemic, the brand ceased its activity.

What until recently might have seemed like just a sketchy project or with little availability on the market, has now become reality: convertible high heels are beautiful, fashionable and functional.

Here are some other brands from which you can buy these innovations in the footwear industry:

Tanya Heath, a French designer who, after years of experimentation and study, has created a unique patent: a quick and comfortable convertible high heel system for pumps, sandals, ankle boots and boots. In addition to the ability to remove the heel and turn it into ballet flats, the heel is also interchangeable with a wide variety of models and colors, as well as different shapes and heights.

Nothink Shoes, on the other hand, has launched a collection that allows you to switch in just 8 seconds from comfortable shoes with low heels to those up to 10 cm high. A wide choice of sizes, colors and shapes, all with the convertible high heel mechanism. The shoes, of Italian origin, are handmade with particular attention to the materials used.

Vice-Versa, a newcomer in 2021, offers convertible high-heeled shoes featuring a unique innovation: the stiletto heel emerges from an opening in the back of the shoe and can be easily hidden inside the midsole with a simple click, turning the shoes into ballet flats. Made in Spain with materials sourced from all over the world, these footwear feature a sturdy yet lightweight and durable aluminum heel designed to prevent wear and tear.

Interestingly, there are always women at the helm of such companies, which shows that it is women who are thinking about the needs of other women. This commitment has led to the creation of revolutionary products that can improve everyone’s lives.

How are convertible high heel shoes made?

These shoes have a unique feature: the ease with which you can change the heel, just a simple click, a 90-degree clockwise rotation and that’s it, you remove the heel and midsole. But the innovation doesn’t stop there. All the brands mentioned offer not only the possibility of transforming shoes into ballet flats, but also of replacing the heel with the one that makes us feel more comfortable.

Pashion Footwear, the brand that has revolutionized this sector to date and brought to light the existence of these footwear, offers a range of unique designs, ranging from boots to sandals to classic pumps.

Features of Pashion Footwear’s convertible high heel shoes include a  removable patented sole support, known as the Stem™, which provides stability when walking in heels. A button placed on the heel not only adds a touch of design, but also keeps the heels locked in place. The cushioned sole, similar to that of a sports shoe, absorbs impacts, making the shoes comfortable both with heels and as ballet flats. Plus, the flexible outsole conforms to the foot for unparalleled all-day comfort. The models are made of knitted fabric, velvet, leather and suede.

Pashion heels are subjected to rigorous testing, including those conducted according to Heeluxe’s industry-leading methods, which include force plate analysis, durability testing, and fit evaluations, ensuring the highest quality and comfort for their customers.

Different models of convertible high heels

As we said, Pashion Footwear offers a variety of convertible high heel shoe models to suit different tastes and occasions.

The “Pashionista” collection is ideal for everyday wear, featuring a single toe strap and thin adjustable ankle straps. These sandals are available in plain versions or decorated with rhinestones and bow-shaped ornaments on the heel or toe, allowing you to choose according to your personal tastes.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
The Pashionista
Coal Leather Block 4″

The “D’Orsay” collection, with a sophisticated and chic look, and the “Pump” collection, classic and elegant, are the classic pumps and feature a traditional toe. The “D’Orsay” collection includes an ankle strap, while the “Pump” are strapless for an easier fit.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
The Pashionista
The Pump | Latte Knit Stiletto 4″
Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
The Pashionista
The D’Orsay | Sand Transparent Rhinestone Stiletto 4″

The “Boots” collection presents a masterpiece of design and functionality. These ankle boots feature a sleek tapered toe, and the stretchy, weather-resistant ribbed knit material make it a flattering choice for any occasion.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
The Pashionista
The Bootie | Coal Knit Block 4″

Of all the models, this is the most appreciated and considered the most comfortable in the collection. It represents the exact demonstration of how the concept of convertible high-heeled shoes can be successfully applied even to completely closed models.

Finally, the “Sandal” collection, also perfect for everyday use, characterized by wide adjustable crossed bands that wrap around the foot to ensure maximum comfort. This model is particularly known for being one of Pashion Footwear’s best sellers.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
The Pashionista
The Sandal | White Leather Stiletto 4″

If Pashion Footwear’s convertible high heel shoes do not meet your needs, you may find interesting the proposals of the Vice Versa brand, which offers a wide selection of 25 models of convertible high heel shoes, including pumps and sandals.

These models suit a wide range of tastes: from women who prefer a classic style with sober colors and traditional lines, to more daring ones who are looking for a sophisticated and trendy style. For women who like to stand out, a particularly fashionable model is the “Everyday heel“, made of mesh with rhinestone details and open at the back.

The best seller of this brand are the “Publicist pump“, a spectacular shoe made of silk with an elegant flare. These pointed pumps feature a crystal ankle strap and are equipped with soft internal pads for optimal comfort. Handcrafted, these pumps are perfect for everyday wear.

Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
Everyday heel | Viceversa
Convertible High Heels | shoestechnologies
Publicist pump | Viceversa

The success of convertible high heels

 Social media has played a vital role in Pashion Footwear’s rise in the fashion world. Thanks to platforms like TikTok, the brand has reached a large audience without having to invest large resources in advertising. This has allowed Pashion Footwear to gain visibility globally, opening the door to new international markets.

In the past, Pashion Footwear’s convertible high heel shoes were not as well-known as they are today. However, thanks to the brand’s ability to create engaging and viral content, the public has begun to pay more attention to this innovative solution in the fashion landscape.

In particular, Gen Z has shown a strong interest in Pashion Footwear’s shoes, being known for its focus on trends and unique designs.

Convertible heel shoes offer fashion enthusiasts the chance to express their personality through versatile style. The ability to transform heels into ballet flats quickly and easily has appealed to those looking to combine comfort and elegance in everyday life. In addition, support from renowned influencers and publications has helped to increase public awareness of convertible high-heeled shoes.

Pashion Footwear’s TikTok page  has over 331.5K followers, who turn to the brand for styling advice and reviews. Thanks to positive reviews and media exposure, Pashion Footwear’s shoes have gained considerable popularity.

Today, the brand offers a wide range of stylish options, including customizable kits, which, while they may be considered expensive, continue to attract consumers who appreciate the quality and innovation offered by the brand.

When to Wear Convertible High Heels

These shoes adapt perfectly to multiple everyday situations. You could choose to wear them to work in heels and then turn them into comfortable ballet flats for an aperitif with colleagues after a long day. Or they could be the ideal choice for a special event, such as a wedding guest, when feet tend to suffer from heels.

If you are a bride-to-be and want to maintain the elegance of your heels throughout the day, convertible high heel shoes could be the perfect solution: you can opt for heels during the ceremony and then convert them into comfortable ballet flats for the reception.

Essentially, the possibilities of using these footwear are endless, and it’s up to you to decide when and how to make the most of them.

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