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Rubber Soles: What Do You Think?


It is inevitable, in the course of human events, that some phenomena will not only leave a person cold, but befuddle her entirely. Twitter, for example. Striptease classes. Rachael Ray. At the moment, however, the trend that’s really got me out of step with the zeitgeist is jelly shoes. Don’t get me wrong—I think most of the new jellies are quite chic, in particular the See by Chloé pair Kate Bosworth wore at Coachella and the gladiator sandal introduced this season by Givenchy, which I’m informed sold out at Satine in a single afternoon. Aesthetically, I get the appeal. And I get the appeal, too, of seeing a pair of not-on-sale Givenchy sandals priced, coolly, at $177. But here’s the rub—and I do mean rub. I wore jellies as a kid, and the main thing I remember about the jelly sandal summer of ’83 is the sound “squish, squish.” I mean, it’s rubber! Your feet can’t breathe in rubber! Now Kartell has come out, this week, with a pair of sleek-looking rubber ballerina flats designed by young Italian designer Normaluisa, and I’m dying to know: Am I missing out? Has plastics technology improved that much? Or, as the first hot weekend of ’09 descends, will girls be slipping ‘n’ sliding in their jelly Givenchies? Comments, please.

Photo: London Entertainment/Splash



  1. Valerio says:

    I don’t get you wrong Maya, I totally agree with you. But perhaps the economic downfall (the recession) has something to do with it. For what ever woman, if it is a celeb or the average girl on the street of whatever city it’s not flattering. But we don’t have to close our eyes for the promotions some brands make, a lot of people will buy these sandals only because there’s a famous name on that little piece of rubber. You can buy these sandals for the beach (at high costs for a little rubber) but not for the average street wherever. Just like I said before it’s unflattering if you would walk on Fifth Avenue and visit the shop of Gucci, Versace or Armani with these kind of ‘shoes’ on your feet. It’s in one word not fashionable and stylish for the cosmopolitan woman. I’m sure that a lot of woman (who know what stylish is) don’t ever will wear this kind of footwear. Arriverderci

  2. ilovevince says:

    i agree…

  3. Screengem says:

    These are awful to wear… not kind to your feet and basically uncomfortable. Sure these high end designer jellies look good but if style is the thing you can get ones with a good look that cost closer to $1.77 than one-hundred-seventy-seven.

  4. beckyjane says:

    Jellies are cute but for a price. Frankly, I find a pair of stilettos more comfortable. Your feet can’t breathe, you get blisters, and they make an awful noise when you walk. If you are going to pay for the torture of jellies, don’t buy ones that are $177. I got ones for $16 at Urban Outfitters and they provide the same amount of comfort (or lack thereof).

  5. cherylsantos says:

    I bought the alexander herchcovitch for melissa flats (with the inside in lace) and absolutely love them.
    But I agree, they are so difficult to wear, specially to go to work with.

    I would not use them in everyday activities

  6. anghiari says:

    Thanks for the article. I have been thinking the same thing…but guessing perhaps they have found something new that eliminates the rub, the perspiration and the blisters. I suspect if they lined them in an ultra suede or some appropriate fabric? until then I will let the unsuspecting or the fashion divas do the deed.

  7. barbage says:

    Melissa has been makind this shoes with brazilian designers for almost 10 years now… the first ones were, as you say uncomfortable and sweaty. But the actual ones are comfortable and come with insoles. I´ve seen breathable boots with perfume a couple of years ago.
    The thing is they are still rubber, so you probably love them or hate them.
    I love them!

    if you are interested check

  8. undertaste says:

    i remember wearing my jelly shoes with little white ankle socks. i think that was fairly comfortable, but i can’t imagine wearing plastic/rubber shoes without socks. pain city!

  9. sdickie says:

    i also bought a pair of the melissa flats late last summer and i have worn them a lot (hot, warm and cool weather) and they are really fantastic. they have some new technology in the insole that doesn’t smell, is some sort of antibacterial thing. if they start to smell, i was instructed to wipe them with a damp cloth and place them to dry in the sun, but no bad odor so far. i just wipe them out every few wearings. the flats are fairly open and my feet have never sweat in them. i assume if you have a more closed shoe then there may be problems. however, comfort and no smell + stylish jelly = very happy girl. the jellys of the ’80′s have gone high tech.

  10. jA_1 says:


  11. allaboutkateth says:

    i remember the good old days of me running around in just my knickers and wearing these running down the beach. when i was a toddler obviously! i loved them so much, i had a range of colours. i bought a pair a few years ago but had to shave the back of the plastic to make it more comfortable but i love the look! very cute!

  12. shirjuli says:

    Maybe I don’t remember the details about wearing them in my childhood enough, but the jellies have a nastalgic appeal to me. Its enough to make me sort of want to buy a pair :)

  13. PEliason6190 says:

    Def an interesting feel im sure…very well designed though!!

  14. mineucant says:

    I disliked the jellies the first time were here 20 years ago!

  15. TrueEvilChic says:

    I think it’s uncomfortable to wear those for street, I think those are totally beach or at home footwear. In my opinion the little piece of rubber is too much pricey. Yes, rubber sandals are not stylish at all ^-^

  16. luv2love says:

    i dont think these things are good for ur feet but i do think it may have something to do w/ the recession but either way:theyre uncomfortable,un-breathable,tacky,and not worth all that money–if u want some cool designer shoes for cheap go to marshalls’ or something and something reasonable and stylish!

    these are all my opinions, however…

  17. Hessie66 says:

    Ah! The eighties revisited! Next to the wonderfull Melissa’s I see the Yamamoto open sneakers of 1984 again. And the jelly shoppingbags too. These days silver-ions are put in the pvc so bacteries (= the odor of swetting feet) is gone. True Veganist footwear too. Only be so good to recycle these shoes together with all the plastic garbage, will you?

  18. DUSTINL says:


  19. hollisgolightly says:

    Jellies are cute for the summer. The question is are they worth the sweat and blisters? The other issue is price. Sure, they’re cheaper than the normal designer shoe, but they’re still pricy for plastic. I guess it really depends on the person.

  20. dougl1ka says:

    i kind of think they’re amazing. kenzo has a pair that i’m quite possibly obsessed with at the moment.
    if i had the money, i’d have one in every color.

  21. amyMk says:

    NO no NO, nothing has changed. a few weeks ago i bought the tory burch jellies. yes they look amazing and i love them, but jelly has NOT changed, my shoes go “click clack” and squish squish” (and my feet dont even sweat at all!). dont let this stop you though, maybe it is worse in a jelly ballerina than a sandal….

  22. Makeup5 says:

    LOve these gladiator sandals


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