“Like many great ideas, the idea for Soul Studio was conceived over a glass of wine,” says Soul Studio co-owner Julie George.

“Myself and Paula McDonald, who have been friends as well as next-door-neighbours for many years, were having a casual dinner one night last fall when it came up about how hard it was to find a good pair of shoes in the city anymore.”

As business owners (Julie with The Golden Tulip Fine Jewellery, and Paula with Nu Image Design Salon and Spa), they decided to pair up. Soul Studio is located on the ground floor of 351 Water, the new office tower on the West end of Water Street.

“With over 50 brands from all over the world, we’ve put together as fine a collection of men’s and ladies’ quality footwear as you’ll find anywhere in Canada,” says Julie.

Now with winter closing in, Soul Studio has boots from Blondo, Geox, Valdini, Rieker, Joseph Siebel and Clarks. “We have boots that are waterproof, stain-resistant, insulated, and breathable, not to mention fabulous-looking as well,” says Julie. “If this winter is anything like the last, we’ll need them!”

Starting this fall, the shop will also be featuring designer sealskin boots and purses from the Canadian fur company North Atlantic Fur Group, based out of Clarenville.

“Just because the surroundings may be nice, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the prices have to be high,” says Julie, who stocks names including Cole Haan, Peter Kaiser, and Michael Kors, with a savvy sales team to back up the brands, and provide advice.

“If a woman was looking for that perfect ‘go-to’ fall shoe I would probably recommend her getting a ‘shootie’, a low-cut ankle boot that is really a cross between a shoe and a bootie,” says Julie. “Perfect to wear indoors or out, with pants or leggings and just as fabulous with a dress, shooties are very hot this fall! Dekode, Hispanitas, and Everybody have some gorgeous little examples of these for the fall.”

For something special, Julie suggests Beautifeel, “an Italian shoe that strikes the perfect balance between unbelievable comfort and high fashion”. She also places France Mode and Un Tour Un Ville, both out of France, very high on the list with inspirational design and creative colour combinations and material.

In the footwear biz, Julie sees plenty of trends that she would like to see kicked to the curb. “The main footwear fail that I see in people’s habits is that they are sometimes tempted by the wrong shoe for their needs. If you spend a great deal of the day on your feet, for example, then don’t be tempted by those high heels! As gorgeous as they may be, it is probably not the wisest choice!  Look instead for something with a shorter stack heel and cushioning that offers a bit of height as well as stability and comfort. Your feet will thank you for it later!”