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Best Foot Forward

To kick off this season of strappy sandals, sporty espadrilles, and crisp white Vans, we asked five shoe-obsessed local tastemakers to share what they will be stepping out in this spring. Their personal styles run the gamut from classic to cowboy to sneakers—so from heels to high-tops, we’ve got you covered.

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Niraj Mehdiratta | Owner, Apothecary Café and Wine Bar

The Sneaker Freak

Potent espresso drinks, a simple menu of freshly prepared foods, a carefree spot to sip wine and a dog-friendly patio create a laid-back atmosphere at Apothecary Café and Wine Bar. It’s no coincidence that this vibe matches owner Niraj Mehdiratta’s personal style, which he describes as clean and minimal. “I gravitate toward brands that emulate this aesthetic and focus on fit and construction, labels like A.P.C., Acne Studios, Our Legacy, and Public School,” he says. “A great pair of sneakers, like the ones from Common Projects, can get me from an early photo shoot in the morning to behind the bar at Apothecary in the evening to promoting and catching a show with my Holy Mountain crew at night.” (Mehdiratta is also a co-owner of the music venue Holy Mountain.)

White Vans ($45) zappos.com When it comes to classics, nothing says spring like a crisp pair of white Vans. They’re easy to wear with anything, look great as they age, and are super-affordable.

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Anne Campbell | Style Director for Gotidbits.com

The Party Girl

There are worse things than a job that demands attending a steady stream of fabulous parties. That’s the lucky charge for Anne Campbell, the style director for gotidbits.com, a website that delivers “the inside scoop for the gal about town” on everything from lipstick to cocktail spots. Campbell’s functions and fetes require shoes that are both fetching and comfortable.

Suede-Heeled Sandals ($59.90) zara.com I find I’m wearing these Zara suede sandals with everything! The blue serves as a neutral, and the lower heel gives me height (something I desperately need!) without being uncomfortable. These shoes easily go from day to night.

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Evan Voyles | Owner, The Neon Jungle

The Urban Cowboy

As a kid, Evan Voyles divided his time between Austin and his family’s ranch in the Hill Country. So it’s no surprise that the talent behind the Neon Jungle, a custom shop devoted to the iconic imagery of American roadside signage, is almost always clad in cowboy boots (custom-made, created from his own designs). But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t succumb to seasonal whimsy. “For spring I will switch to my green pair of boots, and retire the winter reds for the moment,” he says.

Custom Cowboy Boots (from $1,095) kimmelbootcompany.com Kimmel Boots

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Wendi Martin | Owner, Kick Pleat

The Minimalist

With regular appearances in Lucky and Vogue, Wendi Martin has created a local niche and a national following for Kick Pleat, her urban-chic boutique. Her flawless eye for classic pieces (from both up-and-coming designers and internationally known brands) have made her a favorite with local fashionistas. Kick Pleat’s newly expanded shoe section is an extension of Koletar’s well-edited aesthetic. “I am a casual person, and while I love to wear beautiful things, they have to be comfortable,” she says. “For spring I am drawn to a shoe that is simple, works with many items and dimensions, and of course works with our weather.”

Robert Clergerie Frak Platform Sandal ($520) kickpleat.com The platform shoe can elevate many outfits. I like that they’re casual and comfortable, but still stylish. They’re flattering on the leg and wearable with pants, skirts, dresses, and jeans. If I have a difficult dimension to deal with, like an oversized pant, I just add these guys and it all works.

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Christopher Bykowski | Owner, Dandy's

The Southern Dandy

As the owner of Dandy’s, a downtown boutique that specializes in turn-of-the-century gentlemen’s wear (think suits, bow ties, even ye olde mustache wax), Chris Bykowski knows a thing or two about channeling your inner Gatsby. His proclivity toward classic, timeless construction will transform any dude into a proper Southern gent, and extend well beyond wildflower season. “I’m not the type of guy to wear linen shorts, bright colors, and canvas deck shoes in the spring,” he says. “I wear boots all year long. It’s a lifestyle.”

The Christophe Spat Boot ($199–$299) dandysuit.com Boots that are as cozy as socks, and a style you don’t see around anymore. Plus they’re casual and affordable. Dandy’s reproduced the first ready-to-wear button-up spat boot on the market two years ago.


Photography by Jessica Pages

Styling by Ashley Horsley

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