STEPPING OUT in Comfort and Contemporary Style with Lloyds Shoes in Carmel

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WORDS: Ana L. Roman

PHOTOS: Provided by Lloyds Shoes

Three years ago I came to a decision. While the edge of my skinny high heel was stuck in a subway grate in the middle of 42nd Street Times Square –Manhattan and the Western World’s craziest pedestrian intersection– I announced under my exasperated breath “I’VE. HAD. ENOUGH.” Or was it a proud proclamation? With that, I hailed a cab and shuffled my corns, bunions, aches, and pains back home. I remember that humid, fetid day in NYC with my little toe bleeding profusely  just like it was yesterday. That’s when I declared freedom for my feet. Yes, the world of skinny, unsexy, and painfully high heels had run it’s sell-by date for me.  Who was I wearing these for, exactly? Well, my confidence was already in tact, I’ve radically excepted my petite height, but now my lower back was starting to give out! Enough is enough. Thus began my foray into booties, wedges, comfortable platforms and…..here it comes…..flats. You see, Flats are my horrible secret. I only wear them around the house or while writing, NEVER in public. Ultra Stiletto High Heels I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and running shoes? For gym-eyes only! While horribly picky at my own style, and even harder to please inside shoe stores, I never thought in my wildest dreams I would find a one-stop shop shoe oasis such as Lloyds Shoes in Carmel.  I walked in and a wash of all my wildest shoe visions came over me. It’s rare that I encounter a shoe store that ranges from casual and comfortable to highly contemporary. So if you’ve had enough of pain, are bored and in a  style rut, or just looking to up your shoe game, this stylist and fashion editor has just the right medicine. Now we’ll let Tess, manager of Lloyds Shoes do the talking!

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Can you tell us about the Lloyds Shoes brand or philosophy?

Lloyd’s was started in 1975 and is a family owned business, run by my father and myself. We are committed to providing our customers with a truly unique and personalized retail experience. We pride ourselves on offering merchandise based of the highest style, comfort, function and quality. I think it’s our very thoughtful mix of products that stands out to our customers and that is what we hope differentiates us from other retailers.  We spend a lot of time on buying trips in Las Vegas and New York looking for fresh and exciting brands. We aim to have something for every shopper — whether that is the trendiest new style of the season or the best shoe for your next vacation, it is our mission to find it for you.

What are the most popular designs or brands among your clientele?

We currently sell over 50 brands; our bestsellers are Aquatalia, Arche, AGL, Bed Stu, Dolce Vita, Frye, Jeffrey Campbell and On Running to name a few. For handbags, our Rebecca Minkoff and Foley and Corinna lines are very popular. Our bestselling styles continue to be ankle booties, chunky heels, anything that laces up from a ballet to a sandal and, of course casual, slip on sneakers.

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Does the Peninsula have particular look or shoewear style philosophy that’s different from the rest of the world? How would you describe this?

We are a very casual community, it is part of what makes Carmel so charming. You can literally show up to dinner in anything. We are here to show you you don’t necessarily need to be in stilettos to look sexy.  Perfect jeans, a pretty top and of course the right shoes are all you really need.  Women in Carmel are active, you can still look put together in leggings paired with the right casual footwear. Women here want to be comfortable but still look feminine and feel good, I think that should be the philosophy everywhere.

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Where do you see the trends of Shoewear headed?

Ankle booties especially Chelsea boots, over the knee boots and even a little bit of western influence for fall.  Sneakers continue to dominate the marketplace. Whether it’s a casual white bottom slip on or the newest, most innovative sneaker, they are everywhere. I am anxiously awaiting the next big shoe trend, as much as l love booties I am ready to see what this industry has to offer next.

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What are some of the qualities that make an ideal Lloyds Shoes customer?

Our customers are looking to have fun, and enjoy our relaxed but attentive, friendly approach. A lot of our customers are traveling from out of town, they have that vacation mentality of being free and really enjoy taking their time to look around at all of our products. Our local customers are loyal and come to us to help them look and feel good; they are confident and stylish, but sometimes rely on us to take them to the next level. That is the best part of my job, meeting so many amazing people and helping them find what they are looking for — which often is the complete opposite of what they had come in for!


Lloyds Shoes has an amazing range of styles from transitional, modern, casual, to high-end. What’s the one style in particular that is a go-to favorite?

 I have two go-tos, Arche’s (handmade in France), a high heeled ankle wrap sandal which is absolutely the most comfortable and stylish heel you will ever put on your foot. For casual, right now it’s Swiss engineered ON Running’s sneaker, appropriately named Cloud because that is what it feels like. My favorite feature is that the laces are elastic so you can just slip them on and go. You will abandon your other running shoes.

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What piece of advice would you give for someone looking to break out of their shoe or style rut?

Look for something that is going to give you a new look but that isn’t so drastic you won’t reach for it in your closet. A beautiful color in a shoe, a variation of a bootie, we just got in an open heeled version from Dolce Vita, will give you a new edge. We always say, if you can see yourself wearing a shoe with five different outfits, buy it! 

Finally, where do the fabulous employees of Lloyds Shoes love to wine and dine in Carmel after a long hard day?

For a drink, it’s Grasings, hands down the best cocktails especially when Ira is working. Carmel Belle is a daily stop for all of us, they have the best coffee in town not to mention house made almond milk, delicious and healthy food. The gluten free peanut butter cookies are to die for!

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