Monthly Archives: May 2015

#FreshSOLE – Luke Johnson

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We caught up with dancer and model Luke Johnson to find out what excites and motivates him to push himself to the limit for his art. While modelling our summer range, he chatted to our team about where his love of dance originated and which shoes are essential to his journey.

How long have you been on the dance scene?

I’ve only really been dancing for three to four years; I studied Performing Arts at college, then went on to do a Dance & Fitness course at university. I’d always been interested in sport and fitness, but I’d never really done much dancing before. Once I’d left university, I started training with some studios in London and it all took off from there really – I met a really cool bunch of people who helped me out a lot at the start of my career.

What are the professional achievements you’re most proud of?

There’s probably three – I performed with Nicki Minaj at the EMA awards which was amazing! I was also on stage with Ariana Grande at the 2014 Victoria’s Secret show and at the X Factor final 2014 in Wembley stadium. The X Factor show was the first time I performed at one of the big London arenas and was a great experience.

What made you want to become a professional dancer?

I’m a very active person anyway and found that it was just something that I really enjoyed doing. To me it seems natural. I’m one of those sorts of people that just can’t stay still and this job allows me to be constantly moving and pushing the limits of my body. I also love that it’s one of those things where the more you put in, the more you get out. That kind of ethic really appeals to me.

What’s your favourite type of music to dance to?

I like all sorts of music, I’ve got a pretty varied taste. I like hip hop, R&B, jazz funk, commercial stuff too. It all depends on how I’m feeling on the day.

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Which artists would be at the top of your list to work with?

There’s loads I’d love to work with – Beyonce, Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson. I’d love to dance with Little Mix – I’m friends with a lot of their dancers, so I know it would be a great atmosphere to do something with them.

Do you have an all-time favourite shoe?

I love a fresh pair of black Timberlands – it reminds me of music videos in the US, I love that whole look. I used to have a pair of Nike Dunks that were all different colours, like red and bright blue, they were pretty special. I love the old school sneaker brands like K-Swiss and FILA too.

Do you prefer dancing in shoes or barefoot?

Always in shoes – I prefer trainers, Nike are always great. Sometimes it’s comfier than barefoot anyway!

Do you have any big passions outside of dance?

I don’t know if I’d call them passions, but I love playing sport, catching up with friends, just the usual things. It’s good to do things away from dance sometimes, as it can get a bit intense. I love golf, I grew up playing golf with my dad.

Finish these sentences:

If I wasn’t a dancer, I’d be… a personal trainer.

I wish I was able to… fly.

I could never wear… a skirt.

I would love to meet… Michael Jackson.

My biggest indulgence is… Yoghurt – I can eat tubs of it at a time. I would swim in it if I could.

My favourite place on Earth is… my bed.

The first thing I do when I wake up is… check my email for work.

The secret to a happy life is… smiling.

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You can catch Luke in our FreshSOLE videos all this week, with the chance to win the shoes he’s wearing in the vids. Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your chance to win.

Sandals or Mandals?

Sandals or mandals? That’s your million-dollar question this summer. Call them what you want, men’s sandals are nothing short of controversial.

Do you wear them at work and risk total social carnage? Should you prepare your feet beforehand? How hot does it have to be to wear shorts without receiving barely-concealed disdain in public?

We understand your concerns, which is why we’re here to help you through all the essential styles you’ll be seeing this summer.

This year, it’s all about natural shades of colour – think black, tan and brown.

When it comes to style options, there are a few key designs to choose from, with some unconventional options for those seasoned sandal pros out there. Let us pair you up with the mandal match of your dreams:

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Woven – This guy is all about the aesthetics. You’ll find him hanging out at the latest wine bar or lounging on the lacrosse field. Perfectly teamed with a pair of chinos, a buttoned up blazer and the smug satisfaction that only someone wearing mandals could enjoy.

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Dr. Martens – These heavy duty mandals are the shoe equivalent to a string vest – a real statement maker. If you’re all over the latest trends, then grunge it up in black leather and buckles. Whatever floats your boat.

BENA

Pool Slides – This one is all about chilling with his friends, poolside or not. You’ll catch him at the latest celebrity haunts at the weekend, that’s when he’s not enjoying a cheeky Nandos. If you can’t be doing with buckles and laces, this sandal keeps things nice and simple.

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Classic flip flop – We’ve landed back on safe territory here. If you just want to wear some flip flops down to your local or on holiday, keep it easy in these Superdry toe-post flip flops. Not everyone was destined for mandal nirvana, and there’s comfort in sticking to what you know.

SHOP ALL MEN’S SANDALS >> 

The Birkenstock debate

The Birkenstock is a must have sandal for your wardrobe. This “geek-chic” option, once renowned for comfort over style is now a member of the fashion elite squad, with celebrities like Alexa Chung leading the way.

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After being particularly popular in the seventies and frequently papped on famous feet emerging from Fred Segal and Kitson, the Birkenstock underwent an unlikely revival at Celine’s S/S 12 show under the disguise of “furkenstocks.” Similarly Giambattista Valli and Marni fashioned their own bejewelled takes on the Birkenstock sandal. It was no surprise then that people would return to the original brand.

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Photos by Susanna Lau

If you’re wondering how to wear the sandals that embody the age-old fashion vs. function dilemma, fear not – we’ve got your back. These are our fail-safe ways to walk the line between comfort and class:

The Arizona sandal

These two strap sandals look great with some distressed boyfriend jeans, a casual tee and leather jacket. Perfect for grabbing your mid morning coffee.

The Holographic sandal

This glamorous colour way takes inspiration from this season’s metallic trend – it would look great with a floral print dress and a barely-there summer glow.

The Madrid sandal

This Birkenstock is a perfect option teamed with skinnies and an oxford shirt, great for after work drinks.

The Almere sandal

This sandal is your summer festival must-have and looks best teamed with raw edge denim shorts and a slogan tee.

Finally the Sydney sandals are great for globe trotting adventures; wear yours with a smock cami for a laid-back holiday look that is at home on the beach as it is in the city.

New York Way of Life

Shop all women's DKNY

Us Brits don’t get an easy ride of it during the summer months, but why not take style inspiration from our energetic neighbours across the pond and dress for New York City. The latest collection from DKNY has just dropped here at Soletrader and we think it’s the perfect way to say “Oh, it’s raining? I hadn’t noticed!”.

Shop all DKNY trainers

Like the SS15 ready-to-wear collection, which was all statement prints and kiss curls, this season’s footwear is bold, distinctive and effortlessly chic. Mainly monochrome and with no-nonsense details, such as the signature DKNY lettering across towering concealed wedge trainers, these are shoes for girls who make their own rules.

Shop DKNY women's trainers at Soletrader

While the real gems in this collection are the statement sneakers, Donna Karan understands that there are some occasions where only a sandal will do. Make yours a longer lasting impression with stand out typographic prints and casual cork footbeds.

DKNY women's sandals at Soletrader

If you’re lucky enough to be going somewhere sunny this summer, then a pair of DKNY sandals will end the day-to-night footwear dilemma and couldn’t be further away from the socks-and-sandals Brit stereotype. Look like you’ve just stepped off the subway in these sidewalk inspired flip flops. There are worse things than getting mistaken for a New-Yorker, right?

Shop all DKNY flip flops

Show us how you style up your DKNY shoes this summer by tweeting us a picture @soletrader or tag us via instagram @soletrader_shoes