Social media is a powerful platform. In fact, plenty of us are addicted to checking our feeds (I know I’m guilty). I feel like I don’t have the time to keep up with everyone I would like to as regularly as I would like to, so I love that social media still keeps us all connected despite the barriers of time and distance. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) social media marketers have also honed in on our compulsion to check in and check out each notification that buzzes through our devices. I’m pretty conflicted on how I feel about targeted advertising, but love it or hate it, it’s effective. Companies like Third Love and Rothy’s have doubled down on their social media marketing efforts, and as a result we see them every time we log in to Facebook or Instagram. Hands down, the most frequent question Amanda and I get at East Coast Inspired is, “Are Rothy’s worth it?”
It’s a great question. There’s no doubt this new company, which makes washable shoes from recycled plastic, produces a super cute and stylish product. We absolutely love the full spectrum of playful color options and the sassy silhouettes. Rothy’s are touted to be one of the most comfortable shoes on the market with a seamless knit exterior, ultra lightweight profile and flexible outsole that moves with your feet. They are also made from recycled water bottles, are completely recyclable themselves AND they’re machine washable! The more we learn, the more excited we get. But they also come with a price tag of $125–$165. Which brings us back to our initial question: Are they worth all the hype or is it just effective marketing?
Rothy’s are available in four shapes: a rounded flat, pointed flat, loafer and sneaker. We opted for the loafer for a wear-to-work look. We paired them with a green Favlux jumpsuit, available at Blush Bridal in their new spacious, bright and airy South Portland location.
There’s also a lot of buzz about using Rothy’s for a formal footwear alternative. We were really excited to try out this trend, and opted for the pointed flat as our wedding-guest alternative to heels. We were amazed by the selection of dresses available for all occasions and budgets at Blush, but we ultimately settled on this G1K cocktail dress to complement our pink Rothy’s. Pairing burgundy and blush makes my heart swoon.
I entered this experiment knowing the body of the shoe was made from a knit material, but I was unprepared for the degree of stretch that this manufacturing method produced. The shoe felt akin to a heavy duty ace bandage. What I love about this is it allows for a comfortable fit across a broad spectrum of sizes. I ended up sizing up a half-size due to the narrow vamp (or front part) of the shoe, but the knit upper still hugged my heels and prevented slipping despite the added length from sizing up. Amanda found she only needed to size up in the point, not the loafer. It’s also important to note the knit exterior produced a very breathable shoe. I was worried about odor, ventilation and sweat as these are made from recycled plastic. Plastic shoes don’t breathe. However, these did. Magic.
Another fun feature Rothy’s incorporates is accessorizing your insoles. Each shoe comes with an insole that coordinates with your purchase, but for $10 you can buy additional insoles in a rainbow of colors and options. This is a fun way to add pep to your step and ensure the cushion in your footbed stays plush. I have worn mine for a full eight on-my-feet hours and found them to be quite comfortable when compared to a traditional ballet flat or loafer. However, when compared to brands with more focus on blending structured support and classic shoe materials, such as Cole Haan, they do not offer quite the same degree of support and comfort over an extended period of time. That said, my feet are still quite happy.
So are they worth it? As with all things in life, that depends on your lifestyle, needs and priorities. If you require Dansko-type support, then probably not. If otherwise you are committed to sustainability, slowing down the fashion industry and still looking cute, then yeah. I’d say go for it. We love the colors, we love the silhouettes, we love the playful versatility of simply crafted items, and we love the commitment to recycling and reusing resources.
Amy Power and Amanda Whitegiver are co-founders of East Coast Inspired, a fashion and lifestyle blog. Amy is a mother of two (and the model featured in this column’s photos) who spends her days dreaming of the ultimate craft room and intending to go for a run. Amanda is a lifestyle family photographer who adores dark chocolate and singing with her two daughters.