Published:  15 November, 2011

New ‘safe’ ballet style pumps are this year’s must-have school fashion footwear! A new craze for Mary Jane style ballet pumps is sweeping the UK as teenagers begin to heed warnings about the long-term dangers of the standard fashion ballet shoe. Teenagers are now seeking alternatives including The Premier Shoes For Girls from, which have echoes of the Mary Jane styles that took the US by storm with their classic and timeless look.

Podiatrists have warned for years about the dangers of continually wearing ballet shoes, especially for growing feet. Spine, leg, hip trouble, and even arthritis are only a few of the problems that could be in store in later life.*

Despite recent reports suggesting that Pippa Middleton had sent that sales of ballet shoes rocketing**, it seems teenagers are getting smart to their feet, and setting their own fashion trend, too!

“Its great news that teenagers are now more concerned with the health of their feet,’ said ItsGotSoul owner and shoe designer, Teresa O’Driscoll.

“My own daughter developed back problems from wearing ballet shoes all the time and I have heard so many mums say the same. Even women wearing them every day can suffer back, knee, and joint pain. For growing feet, they are a disaster.

“Sales of ballet shoes - beloved of Pippa Middleton, Victoria Beckham - were reported to be going through the roof and many mums took a collective sigh. Buying school shoes is every mother’s nightmare and these women are style icons.

“Now it seems teenagers are getting into the whole Mary Jane craze all over again and being both wise to fashion AND the health of their feet. We even have university students ordering them!”

The Premier Shoes for Girls are a Mary Jane pump in three different styles called Fonteyn, Giselle and Markova.

They were designed with help of podiatry experts from Northampton University.

“The beauty is they have an added strap across the top and heel support for comfort and durability. This make them safe to wear every day!’

The Premier Shoes for Girls also have Vibram soles which are a slip resistant, non-marking and shock absorbent. Vibram is the world leader in high performance rubber soles for the outdoor, work, recreation, fashion, repair and orthopedic markets.

Its Got Soul Limited is a member of BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd in Northampton, the town being the home of shoe and leather making in the UK. 

At the Technology Centre the shoes and leather were rigorously tested for durability and shock resistance to meet performance and legislative standards.

The Premier Shoes for Girls are priced at £60.00 and new styles will be added over the next few months.


Mary Janes
Mary Jane was a character created by Richard Outcault for his comic strip,  Buster Brown, which was first published in 1902. Mary Jane was the sister of the title character, Buster. In 1904, Outcault traveled to the St. Louis World's Fair and sold licenses to up to 200 companies to use the Buster Brown characters to advertise their products. Among them was the Brown Shoe Company, who later hired actors to tour the country, performing as the Buster Brown characters in theaters and stores. This strategy helped the Brown Shoe Company become the most prominently associated brand with the Buster Brown characters. The style of shoe both Buster Brown and Mary Jane wore came to be known by her name, The Mary Jane. These styles became especially popular in the States in the late 1990s and early 2000s, within punk rock, psychobilly and goth subcultures.  Many times the wearers would accent the look with knee-high knit socks in dark-colored stripes or patterns and/or some form of hosiery, and often complete the look with a plaid, pleated schoolgirl style skirt.


Note to editors:
Teresa O’Driscoll shoes are for sale at . The shoes are designed with the advice and guidance of the School of Podiatry at the University of Northampton.
Its Got Soul Ltd is a member of the BLC Leather Technology Centre LTD, where the shoes underwent chemical and physical testing work to ensure that they meet performance and legislative requirements. The shoes took 18 months to design, have Vibram soles and are priced at £60 each.

Footwear Focus

Student from Moda Footwear partner DMU to design shoe for Duchess

Entrance Exam and 'New Membership Application' special offer £50 (for limited period only)

Click the logo for more information


"How would you prefer to read Footwear Today?"

LJR Footwear button LJR Footwear