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Aera Vegan High Heel Review

The Sally

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The shoe needs of summer—lightweight and ready to party at any given moment—are so much more fun than the shoe needs of its opposite season (winter = waterproof = boring).

I’ve figured out my go-to flat sandal, as well as my white sneaker, but a heel that could work for the office and a summer wedding has been my Achilles’ heel. A vital supporting-actor role in the stage that is my closet, to be sure, but I just couldn’t find the right candidate for the job.

Enter, Aera’s Sally Heel. Why’s it so great?

Firstly, it’s eco-friendly.

This is a factor that’s becoming increasingly important to me: In my older, wiser years I’m more willing to spend extra on items that were made ethically.

Aera is the brand-new vegan shoe line from industry-vets Jean-Michel Cazabat and Tina Bhojwani (the former has had an eponymous shoe line for years; the latter, senior-level positions at major fashion houses). Both are committed to using vegan materials, but also recycled products wherever possible (and skipping things like all the crazy amounts of plastic stuff you find tucked in a new box of shoes).

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Off-setting any unavoidable bad is also part of its thing. There’s no denying that the production process requires water, for instance, but the quid-pro-quo setup means the company puts funds toward restoring water to natural areas in the U.S. that are in critical need.

My sweet Sally is just the right height.

Blame it on becoming a proper adult, blame it on the continued popularity of sneakers: I just don’t really wear heels anymore. That said, there are certain dresses or situations where something more polished than my favorite velcro Vejas are required, and, finally, I’ve got my answer.

Three inches seems to be the magic number. Any higher and you start to teeter or ache; much lower and you’re into kitten-heel territory (which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t). At exactly three, Sally is just right.

The skinny straps feel a little ’90s (in the best way).

I’ve never gotten fully on-board with the ’90s resurgence, but there is one vibe I’m willing to dip my literal toe in: the sexy, barely-there sandal. The single strap and slingback are something that’s so easy to picture on Cher Horowitz or Carrie Bradshaw (ideally worn with a slip dress—or whatever passes for a dress per Calvin Klein).

The throwback feeling is subtle enough, though, that you’re not running the risk of getting tired of Sally. Comfort- and looks-wise, it’s the sort of shoe you’ll keep coming back to.

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