I’ve never been a “sneakerhead”. In fact, sneakers are often the last style of shoe that I reach for. No disrespect meant for anyone that loves sneakers, they’re just not typically my aesthetic because I consider them to be a lot more sporty / athletic and I am, well… not. 😜 I do own a few sneakers: a pair of Stan Smith “lifestyle sneakers” that are more fashion than function, a pair of floral print Keeley sneakers from Loeffler Randall (again, fashion > function), a pair of Native molded EVA foam Jericho sneakers that look similar to Keds that I love to wear especially on rainy days or beach days (they work super well as water shoes), and a pair of J.Crew x New Balance 620 sneakers that are cute and functional for more athletic situations. That was the extent of my sneaker “collection” until I discovered these Freda Salvador Eda d’Orsay sneakers.
Before I get into the details of the shoes, I want to share a couple of tidbits about Frēda Salvador because the information made me feel better about my purchase — not only to justify the price, but also knowing where my money is going.
Two factors that I love about the Frēda Salvador brand are: (1) the company is female-founded and led (gotta support small women-owned businesses!), and (2) all of their products are handmade in small batches by artisans in Spain or El Salvador with the finest premium leathers sourced from the best tanneries throughout Italy. All of this means that the brand can ensure the highest quality, create less waste, and the pieces are made to last. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
The way Frēda Salvador describes this shoe is perfect, so I won’t even try to rephrase it: “A classic sneaker, reinvented. The Eda shoe in white calf has our iconic d’Orsay cut out, vulcanized rubber sole, and ultra comfortable padded leather footbed. Our first low top was designed for everyday style and pound-the-pavement wearability.”
I personally find this shoe to be the perfect feminine sneaker. The cutout of the d’Orsay style creates a silhouette that makes it super versatile for any wardrobe. The design moves easily from pants to skirts / dresses and everything beyond. These shoes are effortlessly casual while still having some intention and design interest to them; I’m truly in love.
I’ve only had these sneakers for two weeks at this point, but I feel extremely confident in writing this post because I’ve been so impressed.
As you can see in the photo above, there is no shape to the insole so not a lot of arch support if that’s a concern for you, but these shoes are still very comfortable for long periods spent on your feet. I would say that the sole does a good job of cushioning your foot and providing shock absorption.
These shoes were comfortable from the moment I slipped them on. I expected there to be at least some break-in time, but they ended up not requiring any! I also haven’t developed blisters at any spot on my feet while spending hours walking around in these shoes and I often get blisters on my heels or on my pinky toes in other shoes. So impressed!
I have heard people say that this shoe runs big and they recommend sizing down a half size, but I haven’t found that to be the case. Maybe I will agree after having had them for a while as I know leather can stretch out — I will update here if I change my stance. I took my usual size and they fit great!
So, the whole shoe is made of leather (with the exception of the sole, obviously being vulcanized rubber). I love that the lining of the heel is soft (slightly textured / roughed-out leather?) so there isn’t a smooth surface to create any friction that would lead to blisters. This is amazing news since you can’t wear socks with this shoe design.
Both the interior and exterior of the shoe are made up completely of leather so it doesn’t make your foot sweaty like other materials can. I wore them all afternoon recently while running errands, including spending a long time walking through the aisles at Target, and they were perfect.
I think the best part (aside from the beautiful style) is the slip-on aspect. I can’t believe how important this was regarding shoes at the end of my pregnancy and if we have any more babies in the future, these shoes (paired with the laces that I am sharing next) are going to be a godsend.
When I shared these shoes on my Instagram Stories, a few people messaged me to ask how I comfortably wear my shoelaces without tying a bow on top (for a sleeker look). In the photos I shared I still had the original laces on them (as you can see in the first few images in this post), but I like to use these handy silicone “no tie” laces because there’s no excess that you have to uncomfortably jam into your shoe. They’re comfortable because they have some flex to them, have texture so they look like real woven laces, are easy to clean, and make sliding into your shoes a cinch!
The shoes only require five “laces” apiece, but the silicone laces come in nine length options so you can customize the fit to your preference (tighter or looser, respectively). I recommend starting with the holes closest to the toe box and working your way up the tongue from there. I will say that putting the laces on requires a bit of finesse… I had to use a pair of tweezers to jam the silicone strips into the lacing holes of the shoe, but with a little patience I was able to get both shoes “laced” up. This aspect made me feel confident that there’s absolutely no way that these laces are going to pop out while I’m walking around, so even if it’s a little frustrating at first trying to figure out how to get the laces in you can trust that they won’t be coming undone — once they’re on, they’re on. It took a little bit of trial-and-error to get the silicone laces in, but once I got into a groove with the process it was pretty easy.
I mentioned that the combination of these shoes and silicone laces would be ideal for pregnancy, especially in that roly-poly third trimester, but they’d also be amazing for going through any TSA checkpoints because they’re a breeze to slip on and off and would be so chic for travel!
For routine cleaning, I plan to use Magic Eraser Sheets for both the leather and the outer sole, but the Frēda Team recommends: “To keep the leather clean, moisturized, durable, and elastic, your shoes should be polished once a month. If excess dirt gets on your shoes, take a slightly damp soft cloth, paper towel, or clean makeup sponge and wipe gently. If the stain is tougher, try leather cleaner. Keep in mind, never use leather cleaner with acid or detergent as it will age the leather and shorten the lifespan of your shoes. Please test the cleaner on a small portion of your shoe to make sure there will be no discoloration. In general, it is also highly recommended to take your shoes to a cobbler to be professionally cleaned.”
*If you are local to the Seattle area, this is the shop where we take our shoes for repairs / cleaning.
I also found this white leather shoe cleaning guide which provided some helpful advice!
Since these are the perfect feminine sneaker, these d’Orsay beauties can literally be paired with any outfit… jeans / pants, shorts, jumpsuits, dresses, skirts — you name it!
Here are just a few ways that I plan to style them with items in my wardrobe, but honestly the possibilities are pretty endless. Can you tell that I’m excited about these shoes!? haha
When searching for another d’Orsay sneaker alternative I came across this style that isn’t quite the same as the Freda Salvador version, but I thought I’d share since it’s a lot more wallet-friendly for a similar look (that being said, I do think that the Frēda Salvador version is 100% worth the investment!).
I tried to cover everything that I could think of in this post, but please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the Comments section below.
Happy shopping, friends!
Sending hugs —