The Continuing Adventures of Shoe Girl

ShoeGirlFull1111Summer Shoe Picks: Festival Edition!

Whoa Summer, you’re disappearing quick! My Facebook has been full of Back To School pictures, the weather is trying to change…But before we dive into falling leaves and pumpkin spice lattes, let me introduce you to a rad “little” business called In Blue Handmade.

In Blue Handmade is a local (Asheville, NC) business that makes leather goods – anything from belts and guitar straps to journals and flasks – and they have spent all summer touring at various music and craft festivals. I interviewed a few of the folks to see what their shoe “must-haves” are for those long summer days full of music, fun, and hustling!

Katie and Mary Claire answered some questions for me about, of course, shoes. What are your must have shoes for: long drives, outdoor festivals, and long days with lots of standing or walking/running around?


For Katie, long drive shoe must haves are shoes that can slip on and off easily, like Birkenstocks. They are super convenient for staying comfy in the car, but practical for rest stops. Mary Claire agreed; her shoes of choice are Toms. “They’re basically like slippers and it’s awesome,” she says. Birks and Toms both have great seasonal patterns, but you can also find basics pretty regularly.TomsRainboots

Outdoor festival shoes for both Katie and Mary Claire include rainboots and Chacos. These ladies have to be ready for anything! With summer thunderstorms and unpredictable weather, rainboots and sturdy sandals should make an appearance in every closet. For long days with lots of time on their feet, they are of course sticking with comfort: Chacos, bike shoes, or lace-up boots with Dr. Sholl’s inserts.







Do you prefer 1 pair of shoes that covers everything, or a few pairs just in case?

Katie: “I’m never going to take just ONE pair of shoes, let’s be honest.”
Mary Claire: “I hope to someday discover the one pair of shoes that covers everything…. Then I will never take them off.”
I personally fully support multiple pairs – though one “do it all” shoe would be interesting!

OnePairWhen it comes to method of purchase, both ladies stressed the importance of trying on shoes in person to be sure the fit is what it should be. Katie said, “I will order online, but only for brands that I KNOW how they already fit.” Mary Claire adds, “And shoes are the one thing I’ll never be a cheapskate about. I think it’s worth it to buy something of quality that’s going to be comfortable for a long time.”

With that said, is there a shoe type or brand that they live in?

RainbowsKatie: “It changes with the season, but in the winter I love my Deerfield boots by LL Bean, and in the summer it is mostly Rainbows or Birkenstocks. I used to have a pair of men’s leather loafers I wore with everything, but sadly we had to part ways.”DZR

Mary Claire: “Usually my DZR’s – they’re commuter bike shoes. They look like sneakers but have spd bike cleats recessed into the soles. So I can walk around in them easily, but still quickly jump on my bike whenever I’m ready to ride!”

Before they got back to their busy touring schedule, I had to ask if they had any summer must haves from their own line of In Blue Handmade items.

Katie: “Well a flask… obviously. Best festival companion one could have, really.”

Mary Claire: “I’m in love with our Market Tote. Perfect for farmer’s markets, picnics, and beach days.”


To check out more of the In Blue Handmade items, visit They would love to customize something for you this or any season!


Shoe Girl’s Alter Ego, Kelli Leach

Kelli is actually a crazy cat lady, but with fun fashion sense.

She recently broke out of the retail business and is now an Event Sales Administrator at PLI in Asheville, NC.  Luckily, her love for shoes is innate, and she is excited about bringing you shoes from a wider range of retailers.

She never misses an episode of Modern Family.

In her spare time she enjoys writing, ballet and belly dancing, zumba, and trying new adventures such as parasailing, dirtbike riding, and zipline-ing.

The words she lives by?  “Hakuna Matata.”

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