One Pair of Shoes with Two Heels? Is This the Ultimate Travel Shoe?

travelshoereview

As a location independent entrepreneur I’m always on the move and looking for ways to bring as little as possible in my luggage.

One of my major pain points for travel was choosing which shoes to bring!

I need a comfortable pair for walking, and a nice pair for going out at night, and usually a flip flop or something for the beach.  But which shoe to bring for evenings out? I always ended up with flats.  It just seemed too inconvenient to wear heels in case we’d be walking a lot in the evenings.  But then some nights we’d go out to a nice restaurant or bar and I would be wishing I had heels.  But it always seemed excessive to bring a pair of heels along just to wear once or twice on the trip.

So I stuck with flats.  Until now.

Recently I came across this company who makes high quality shoes with – get this – interchangeable heels!

That means you can carry one pair of shoes, but have two different heel heights – flats and heels all in one!

Honestly I was super skeptical but also very curious.  I mean, if these shoes actually work like promised, it would solve all of my travel shoe stress!  (Yes, it can be stressful packing such few pairs of shoes to go with all of your clothes and activities for a trip!  Frequent travelers will know what I’m talking about.)

As a full disclosure, I was provided these shoes free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  So I’ve tried them myself, swapped out the heels, worn them, travelled with them, and these are my honest thoughts on the product.  I’ll keep this post updated as I wear the shoes more.  You can check out these shoes yourself at Mime et Moi.

Mime et Moi Shoe Review

What are Mime et Moi Shoes?

Mime et Moi are a German company who make innovative, luxury shoes with an interchangeable heel.  There are 3 heel heights to choose from.  Each pair comes with a flat block heel, plus you can choose an additional pair of heels either 7cm or 10cm in block or stiletto style.

Mime et Moi Shoes with Interchangeable Heel

Mime et Moi Shoes with Interchangeable Heel

These are truly a luxury shoe.  They feel well balanced and stable, with high quality materials and a soft suede insole.  The packaging is also gorgeous (which doesn’t affect the shoe, I know, but makes the whole experience better!)  Your shoes are also shipped with two satin storage bags, one for the shoes and one for the extra set of heels.

How Does the Interchangeable Heel Work?

If I’m honest I was nervous I was going to break the shoes the first time I changed the heel.  But after contacting the company they assured me that was not possible, and sent along a helpful instruction video in English.  Whew.

There’s a lever at the bottom of the shoe that you flip to release and remove the current heel.  Then push the lever closed again.  Now slide on the new heel, put the shoe on your foot and step down firmly.  You’ll hear a click and the new heel is attached.

What was amazing to me is how the footbed of the shoe adjusts from flat to heel.  I was skeptical this would work, but it does.  I have the 10 cm block heel and when it attached it feels just as stable as a regular pair of heels.

Here is the video on how to change the heel in English (there are two versions, for when the shoe is on and off your foot):

How Do These Shoes Travel?

Travel is where these shoes really shine.  I love the travel bags for the shoes and the heels, and simply carrying an extra pair of heels saves a lot of room over carrying a separate pair of high-heeled shoes!  Plus if you attach the ‘flat’ heel before putting in your suitcase, they pack very flat beside each other, taking up even less room than if you had the heels attached.

Since these shoes are all sandals, they’re best for warmer climates or when you’re going to be wearing sandals!  Otherwise you might wear the sandal in the evening but not make the most out of the flat shoe.

I have the black suede shoes and because of the nature of suede, they do pick up dust – so I’ve learned it’s best to store them in the satin travel bag.

Also, the strap across the toes is quite thin, so this may or may not work for your foot.  The strap cuts on me just before the widest part of my foot, which depending on the shape of your foot could emphasize a bunion or large toe bone.  Again, this will completely depend on your individual foot shape.

I do find these shoes really comfortable though.  The ankle strap is well fitted and comfortable, and no cutting into my skin from either the toe or the ankle strap.  So far I’m really happy with these shoes and feel confident to pack them in my suitcase as my only evening shoes.

Who Should Buy the Mime et Moi Shoe?

These shoes are great for the frequent traveller to cities and in warmer climates (or during the warmer months!)  Because they’re luxury shoes, I wouldn’t wear them wandering around dusty roads and villages – the flat sandals could certainly stand up to it, but I wouldn’t want to damage the look of the shoe when I wanted to wear them out at night!  So this shoe would be perfect for city breaks, business trips, girls weekends, or any other time when you’re going to want a chic day sandal, and then heels to wear out in the evening!

I only wish these shoes had existed when I used to do lots of business travel for work in my corporate job!  Sandals wouldn’t have worked in the office, but for evenings, dinners out and other events they would have been perfect!

For the non-traveller, I’d recommend these shoes if you want a high quality luxury shoe – with a variety of looks.  You can treat yourself to one pair and get two or more pairs of shoes out of it.  I noticed on their website that there are heels with different colors and patterns, so theoretically you could buy a couple pairs of shoes and a few heels, and easily have an entire shoe wardrobe!

But for those of us who are frequent travelers, I think a pair in a neutral color (I chose black) with two heel heights works amazingly well to save space and give you some stylish shoe options on your trip.

Where To Buy Mime et Moi Shoes

You can order Mime et Moi shoes directly from their website.  At the moment, shipping is only available within the European Union.  Their website is in German, but my web browser (Google Chrome) automatically translated it for me.  And they do have instructions and videos in English if you ask!

Mime et Moi Shoes: The Verdict

I really love these shoes and they’ll be a regular addition to my suitcase during any city breaks.  I’m not going to save them only for travel though.  These sandals are comfortable enough to wear in my daily life, and they’ll become part of my regular rotation of evening heels.  If you travel to cities and you like to wear heels sometimes (but not often enough to justify packing separate pairs of heels), I highly recommend getting a pair of these shoes.  If you predominately travel to rural or rugged areas, if you’re traveling in the winter (when you couldn’t use the flat sandal heel) or if you don’t feel the need to wear heels, then these aren’t the best travel shoe for you.  But if you’re like me, and have ever thought “I wish I had a pair of heels to wear tonight!” but didn’t have space in your suitcase for them – these shoes could just be the solution!

Market Tour: Bowrington Road Market, Hong Kong

BowingtonRdMarket

Oh Hong Kong, why do I love thee?  Since my first visit to Hong Kong as a tourist 5 years ago, I was struck by the contrasts in this city.  Or like a recent friend visiting said: “It’s like visiting 4 places at once!”  One minute, you feel like you could be in midtown Manhattan, and then you turn a corner, and it’s like old shanghai.

Bowrington Road Market in the Wan Chai neighborhood leans more towards Old Shanghai.  And I love it.  Let’s explore…

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All Change.

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Since arriving in Hong Kong almost five months ago, it feels like all of the pieces of my daily life have been thrown up in the air – and they’re slowly coming back down to earth – just not fitting together the same as before.

Moving countries is a major change.  (That’s an understatement!)  I’ve done it twice before (first when I moved to Paris, and then London).  But both times, I had the rhythm of a corporate job to tether me and give structure to my days.

But this time, in Hong Kong, aside from early-morning client appointments, my days are my own and I feel this intense pull to explore.

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Thanaka Wood the Burmese Beauty Secret

ThanakaWoodVintageAmandaI smiled at the woman sweeping the sidewalk.  What WAS that yellow stuff on her face?  Trying not to stare, and unable to communicate, but also ridiculously curious, I pointed at my cheeks and gave a questioning shrug. She pointed at her yellow-swirled cheeks and then pointed at the sun.  Aha!  Sun protection?  From beautiful swirls of yellow on her face?  I had to know more.

I was visiting herbalist Homprang Chaleekanha at her traditional Thai Herbal Medicine school outside Chiang Mai, Thailand.  So the next time I saw Homprang, I just had to ask about the yellow swirls.

Turns out, the yellow swirls were a traditional Burmese beauty treatment made from Thanaka wood (pronounced “Ta-Nah-Kuh”.)

Yes, we were in Thailand, but the popularity of Thanaka wood as a natural sunscreen and beautifying treatment had made its way across the border.

So on my continuing mission to rediscover traditional remedies and beauty treatments, I had to try it myself.  (Not that this one needed “rediscovering” – it’s still very alive and well in Myanmar!  But it was new to me, so I had to try it…)

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Finding My Center (again) in Hong Kong

FindingCenterInHongKong

Humidity. People. Noodles. So. Much. Tea.

More people, above and below and around.  Everywhere.

Markets.  So many markets!  Bursting with fruits I don’t recognize, endless green leafy veggies, and dried herbs that pique my curiosity and desire to learn some Cantonese.

I’m in Hong Kong.  And the VintageAmanda adventure continues, here on the other side of the world.

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coconut oil

VintageAmanda-CoconutOil

Over the past couple of years, coconut oil has transformed from a saturated fat laden demon to a must-have ingredient in every health-conscious foodie’s pantry.

But long before the recent coconut oil obsession, it was used for health and beauty in tropical regions around the world.

If you’ve ever used coconut oil, you’ve probably noticed one unique property: it melts on contact with the skin.  So while it can be solid in the jar (at least here in the cool temps of London!), it melts almost instantly as you apply it on the skin, making it perfect as a face or body moisturizer, massage oil, lip balm or in my classic deodorant recipe!

Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory, slow to oxidize (meaning it will last for several years without going rancid), and has a deliciously tropical scent (if you like that sort of thing – and I do!)  Here’s how to use coconut oil in your natural health + beauty routine.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

VintageAmanda_AppleCiderVinegar

Vinegar and beauty don’t really seem to go together, do they?

But apple cider vinegar has a long history of being used for health and beauty.  Even today there are books (and numerous websites) devoted to extolling the virtues of this common kitchen cupboard ingredient.

So why would you, the modern woman, want to add apple cider vinegar back into your beauty routine?

Oh, let’s see… glossy hair and comfortable skin, to start.  Cider vingear is inexpensive, all-natural, lasts forever, and can be easily infused with herbs and flowers to customize it for your skin type.  Still skeptical?  Read on…

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Kitchen science experiments: Violets and pH

VintageAmanda_ColorChangingVioletSyrup

Let me tell you a story about a sunny afternoon walk… that turned into a major research project.

Oh what a sunny, gorgeous day in early March.  Dragging myself away from the computer, I headed outside, only to stumble across what can only be described as a carpet of violets in the grass.  Immediately inspired, I thought back to the gorgeous violet syrup I’d seen in Toulouse, and thought I’d just pick a few violets and whip up a bottle.  After all, a syrup is really quick and easy to make – it would take me 30 minutes tops.

How wrong I was.

It’s not the syrup’s fault.  You can see my violet syrup recipe here if you’d like to make some yourself.  The syrup was sweet and captured the powdery scent of violets, that was great.  The problem was the color.  It was green.

And violets (as the name implies) – are, well, violet.  So the syrup should be at least a deep pink.  Why was my syrup greenish blue?!

But I carried on – I figured, well, homemade violet syrup must just look different – and I proceeded to spend ages doing a full photoshoot of my violet syrup (and even making a violet martini!)

After cleaning up the sticky syrup from around my kitchen and tidying everything away, I decided to ask the oracle of google my question: why was my violet syrup blue?

And there the science experiment began…

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Violet Syrup

VintageAmanda_VioletSyrupTitle

That gentle, spring, powdery scent of fresh violets.  It’s an old-fashioned smell.  It reminds me of powdery old-lady kisses and victorian valentines and heavily-curtained, doily-covered sitting rooms.

But violets also remind me of spring.  That first burst of gentle spring, where you can’t quite believe that these delicate flowers are actually pushing up through the so-recently-frozen grass.

Fast-forward to modern times.

The tricky thing about wildflowers with a short season, like violets, is how to preserve their wonderful scent and properties to last for the year.  (Fact: This isn’t always possible.  I’m learning sometimes it’s better just to immerse yourself in a short season of flowers and enjoy it while it lasts … a once a year treat can be better than a slightly sad imposter for the next 50 weeks…)

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An early spring forage in London

VA_EarlySpringForageLondon

If you live in chillier climes (say, the North Eastern United States) where you’re still fully in winter’s grasp, let me apologize in advance for this overly optimistic, springy, green post.

Despite my regular comments about the gray English weather – Spring is officially underway here in London.  It’s such a relief after months of gray drizzle to see bursts of green along the sidewalks and in the parks, little sprouts of prickly nettles along the Thames, carpets of violets dotted with tall yellow daffodils and my favorite masses of sticky green cleavers.  I think I’m going a little crazy about it, honestly.  On every walk outside I’m looking for more signs of Spring, urging the nettles to grow faster so I can make nettle soup and just smelling all the green-ness, like perfume!

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