The Heart and Spirit of Courage

As Coco Chanel would say, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Courage comes from the Old French corage, meaning “heart and spirit.” In other words, courage is an innate, internal quality that resides within the core of your being.

I love contemplating the definition because most people tend to equate courage with the physical sense of the word—like walking confidently onto a stage or battling a dangerous beast, like a lion. But if we look at courage as meaning “heart and spirit,” it may be more accurate to equate courage with listening to your inner voice and doing the right thing, no matter what the consequences.

Courageous people:

  • Guide their own destinies
  • Stand up for their heartfelt values
  • Spend time reflecting and going inward for answers
  • Ask probing questions
  • Encourage others
  • Love deeply and forgive easily
  • Speak their minds
  • Leap beyond their comfort zones


I’m a fan of pairing gladiator sandals with leather pants for a daring and powerful look. Jambu gladiators shown here with leather leggings by Alice + Olivia and a color-block shirt from Rag and Bone.

For me, courage is an intention that I hold internally and step into physically—and there is no better way for me to anchor an intention than by actualizing it with a shoe that represents the quality I am seeking to manifest. If you haven’t watched my TEDx talk on using shoes as a spiritual tool, click here.

The gladiator sandal represents the quality of courage. After all, the sandal was created for the daring fighters of the Roman Empire, and it continues to offer courage to those who dare to harness the power of this historic shoe design.

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
The gladiator sandal is prescribed for individuals who want to increase their sense of courage. Originally designed as footwear for gladiator fighters, the sandal has a hard, protective sole that is attached to the foot with leather straps, cords or braided thongs. Many styles are embellished with studs to provide security and act as a weapon.
A gladiator sandal is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: cowardice, spinelessness, fear, inability to stand up for oneself or speak one's truth, feelings of dejection and/or weakness of spirit, gutless thoughts or actions, urge to flee uncomfortable situations.
May inspire bold behavior, even when you’re scared to death! Wear can create an increased sense of bravery, greater nerve, gallantry and valor. Discontinue use if you develop a dangerous desire to wrestle lions.

Click to read full shoeology of the Gladiator Sandal

Jambu uses a sport-wedge design that makes the Sugar an all-terrain sandal—I’m not kidding, it feels supportive enough to wear hiking.

Sugar sandal by Jambu is a unique type of gladiator—one that represents both physical courage and the heart and spirit. While it appears to be a statement shoe, it’s remarkably comfortable and supportive. When I slide them on I feel as if they support both my physical and spiritual paths. It’s as if they hold me through the twists and turns of life so I can discover new places, out in the world and inwardly. All of that, and they look pretty sweet, too…

A memory foot bed makes the Sugar a perfect choice for people who spend a lot of time standing – like hair stylists, anyone in the food service industry, nurses and yes, fashion stylists!

What does the heart and spirit of courage mean to you? Message me or comment below. I’d love to hear how you plan to step into your courage this week!

*Photography by SRGKRPNKO


Dress as Well as You Want to Feel


· feeling alone      · insecure
· sense of heaviness    · self-doubt

Outer: Smoking loafers by Miu Miu.
Inner: I’m fully supported and loved. I have great friendships that remind me of who I truly am.

warningWARNING Wear may lead to a boost in energy, enthusiasm and overall mood.


The day I met my husband, I wasn’t feeling great. In fact, I didn’t want to go anywhere at all, let alone meet the love of my life. That afternoon I was wearing frumpy sweatpants, un-brushed hair randomly gathered in a ponytail, and a pair of Ugg boots that my big toe had pushed a large hole through. I’d recently been laid off from my job, was worried about paying my bills, and still quietly moping over a break-up that had happened over a year prior. I felt like a mess, an unlovable mess. Why should I even bother “going out?” I mean, what was the point?

My roommate of several years came into my bedroom and demanded that I get up. She saw my sadness and said, “You look awful, no wonder you feel so horrible. Go take a shower and leave the rest to me.” I came back to find a simple, but elegant, black dress (which was hers) next to a pair of red heels that I’d forgotten I owned, and a hairdryer, curling iron, and makeup laid out on my bureau. She smiled and said, “We all have our low spells, girl, but I have a secret: a fresh hairstyle and a good pair of shoes can turn any situation around.”


I reluctantly sat down and watched as she blew out my hair and carefully wrapped it around the warm iron. As she proceeded, I couldn’t help but notice my mood was shifting. By the time I slid my feet into the bright red stilettos, I felt like a different person. I didn’t feel frumpy anymore. Heck, I felt hot!

I’d long understood that the way we dress affects the impression we make on others, but up until that moment I didn’t realize how it affected my own well-being. Many applied psychology studies have proven that everything about a person’s clothing, from color to fit, affects one on a psychological level. I was proof that changing one’s appearance could shift one’s mood.


My girlfriend’s secret worked. I oozed confidence the evening I met my husband, and we’re now approaching 10 years of marriage. Her trick was simple but powerful—she reminded me of my self-worth and beauty. I still have days I don’t feel 100%. On those days, I head to my medicine cabinet, a.k.a. my closet, and prescribe myself an outfit that looks the way I want to feel. It’s not always easy, but as I step into my shoes, I intentionally step into a more positive and loving mindset. Intentions are meaningful, and our clothing can be used deliberately, whenever we choose.

Using fashion in a positive manner is an act of loving oneself. It is the responsibility of all of us to take care of our physical vessels, to keep them in good repair and running well. I dress the way I want to feel, everyday, no matter if anyone will see me or not. And I do my best to be the kind of friend who shows up with a curling iron and a pair of shoes when someone I care about is feeling blue. A little love can go long way. What does your outfit say about your mood today?

I Am Beautiful Revolution!

I’ve loved receiving your responses to my article I Am Beautiful. So many of you shared photos of yourself via Facebook, twitter and email. You are all incredibly beautiful! Each one has touched me deeply and I am grateful to be having this conversation.

In that spirit, I wanted to share a blog (inspired by my article) from the amazing handbag designer Emily Rosendahl:

I am going to say it… I think I am beautiful. No, I am not being a complete narcissist by saying it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying those three little words out loud, “I am beautiful!”

This topic stems from my girlfriend and “Shoeologist” Shannon Bindler’s recent article. She is the bees knees and has openly touched the sensitive topic of beauty. Well done girl! Over the years media and exposure has made women become so judgmental not only of ourselves, but of others. Shame on us!

There is not a single person on the planet without a flaw. I see flaws as unique characteristics, like a birth mark. Yes, I wish my ass would stay put and defy gravity. Yes, I wish I would stop getting pimples at 34. Yes, I wish my tummy didn’t have a little extra love hanging over my bikini. Guess what, I don’t care about any of it and I’m still going to wear a bikini, jiggly ass and all!

I work out 4 -5 days per week to feel fit and healthy, which is exactly how I feel, fit and healthy! I have curves that I love, I have scars that remind me of adventures, I have stretch marks from a growth spurt, and I don’t want to fix any of it. I am completely comfortable in my own skin, and I’m a firm believer that confidence is the absolute sexiest quality a woman can possess.

I will say it proudly, openly and honestly. I know that true beauty comes from the inside out. I think I am beautiful!

– Emily

Emily Rosendahl sole prescription
Emily traveling through Africa

I’d love to hear more of your stories and see pictures of your beautiful selves. Please feel free to shoot me a message via facebook or twitter with the hashtag #soleprescription. Let’s keep this beauty revolution train rolling!

You are beautiful.


So are these handbags by Emily Rosendahl:


Friday Sole Candy

All photographs by Hadrien Lacoste

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m moving into August summer mode. There are things my mind believes I should worry about, but I’m finding it easier than usual to set them aside and enjoy some family, fun, and of course fashion.

In that spirit, I wanted to share something playful and colorful, something that fits my current mood. And I found just the items.

My friend Hadrien Lacoste from A Private Collection hits all of the important fashion shows throughout the year, and I love checking out his behind-the-scenes photographs and musings. He recently took some fantastic street shots while attending Paris Fashion week and agreed to let me play with and share some of them here.

They conjure feelings of boldness, joy, and power. What do they bring up for you?


Check more street style accessories from Paris Fashion week here

Have a sole-ful weekend!


Women + Their Shoes

Images used with permission from Mark Schwartz

When I found out Andy Warhol’s protégé, painter Mark Schwartz, launched, I became engrossed by his work. After years of only sharing his paintings with private individual clients (think Oprah and Madonna) and designing for Barneys, Bergdorf’s and other elite boutiques, Mark Schwartz has finally made his famous shoe art available online for public viewing.

Schwartz’s paintings explore the intimate relationship between women and their shoes. For the past twenty years, Schwartz has been capturing the essence of his female subjects, one provocative stiletto at a time. His colorful high-heeled art oozes sexuality, while simultaneously encapsulating pop culture.

“I have always been fascinated by beautiful high-heeled shoes; the shape, the movement, and the mood that they create entirely on their own; they scream sex and they are whimsical.” – Mark Schwartz

Schwartz has a long list of celebrity clientele that includes Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Stone, Katie Couric, Madonna, and Natasha Richardson. Each bespoke painting reveals an incredibly personal relationship between the subject and her beloved footwear.

Looking at his paintings made me wonder what shoes I would commission to be painted if I could and why? Would I ask him to immortalize a pair of black stilettos that I received from a lover alongside tickets to my first Opera? What about the pair I wore on my wedding day? Or how could I ignore the ballet flats my father-in-law sent upon the birth of my daughter? They all represent a meaningful time period in my life.

I’m curious, what shoes would you have him paint, and what’s the story behind them?


* note all images have been cropped for this post. Please visit the artist’s site to view full-scale images

Shoes, Sex + Biology

It’s hard to deny that shoes can be sexy, but the female species may spend more time thinking about them than I previously imagined. A recent study conducted by the online retailer says that women think about shoes and fashion 91 times per day—once every 11 minutes and 23 seconds—which is more than men think about sex per day!

Wait, what? Women think about fashion more than men think about sex? Do we think about what we wear because it makes us more desirable to men, who are thinking about sex? Or is there some other evolutionary reason?

These types of questions led me to one of my favorite shoe-purchasing rationales, which is that my attraction to shoes is, in part, biological. You see, in the earliest human societies, women were gatherers; and I think it’s still in our nature to put valuable objects in baskets and bring them home. It brings us satisfaction on a deep, possibly ancestral level.

Some part of our brains might be “programmed” to think about, gather, and store footwear. We can’t help it; it’s in our DNA—or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself…

I’m curious, how often do you think about fashion?


Forget your bags? No worries, these shoes have you covered: