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Intelligent Life Boot

August 12, 2014

To request high res images please email: jane@traceyneuls.com Intelligent Life teams up with iconic shoe designer to kill off the killer heel Do women have to suffer to look good? In a survey of Intelligent Life readers last year, the overwhelming answer was,“No…except for high heels.” Intelligent Life, the award-winning culture and lifestyle magazine from The Economist, set out to find out if it was possible for a shoe with a heel to be stable, but also stylish, interesting and relatively fashion-proof. They turned to London designer Tracey Neuls, whose footwear collection is intended to make women feel “empowered, not impeded.” Together, they created the Intelligent Life boot. Many of society’s cultural icons have glamourized the notion of high heels -- from the women of American sitcom Sex and the City to the Christian Louboutin-wearing celebrities splashed across daily tabloid newspapers. Some women say they feel empowered in heels. Others say it is misogynist. Some podiatrists believe heels are so bad for women’s health that they compare the long-term effects to the consequences of smoking.  Many women purchase shoes that are too small, leading to compression on the bones and tissues of the feet. The soles can often be too thick or stiff, affecting the ankle. The height of the heel is often the biggest offender, causing the foot to tip so far forward that other parts of the body need to compensate. Over a period of many months, Neuls and Intelligent Life editor Rebecca Willis traded ideas about how to make a stylish and comfortable shoe with a heel. The first decision was to create a boot –boots by their very nature are more supportive and durable. They discussed the ideal toe shape, ankle fit, and shape of the heel; not to mention the most stylish colour, height, and materials for their design. After taking the new prototype out for a test drive and making a few modifications, Willis and Neuls believe they have developed the – if not perfect, then almost perfect –shoe: the Intelligent Life boot. The new boot even passes Willis’s challenging Gallery Test: to be able to wander around an exhibition in a pair without thinking about your feet. The Intelligent Life boot will go on sale to the public from the 12th of August at both Tracey Neuls stores in London and online at traceyneuls.com.  The story behind the design is featured in the upcoming issue of Intelligent Life, on newsstands in the UK and Europe from 18th August. Intelligent Life’s deputy editor, Isabel Lloyd, Rebecca Willis and Tracey Neuls are all available for interview. The Intelligent Life boot is ankle height with a 6.5cm heel made from special leather that has glass beads melted onto the surface for a 'robust luxury', the boot often catches the light and is incredibly hard wearing. The boot comes in sizes 35-42 and costs £395. Tracey Neuls, who designs primarily for the wearer rather than the viewer, commented on the idea behind designing the Intelligent Life boot: "Good design is something you feel as well as you see. While fashion should be fun, it should never be painful." Working with the shape of the foot, not against it, the Intelligent Life boot is engineered for comfort and style. Over the past 14 years, Tracey Neuls has carved out a loyal following for designing shoes that are beautiful yet wearable. The way Neuls designs is also getting rarer. She does not simply choose readymade, pre-fab components off a factory shelf. Instead all toe and heel shapes are originally sculpted and signature to her. The Tracey Neuls flagship stores can be found in London's Marylebone & Shoreditch, with stockists worldwide. - ENDS-




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