Nude Pumps for Non-white Skintones: an ALLY Shoes Review

A mainstay in work and dress attire is a pair of low-contrast pumps or flats that do not cut the legline nor compete with your outfit. Many style experts recommend a pair of nude pumps with an almond or slightly pointed toe, but few retailers realize that calling that beige shade “nude” is racist and disregards a major portion of the US population. I was happy to find ALLY Shoes, which offers five different “nude” colors in a classic pump perfect for work or social situations.  Not only that, ALLY Shoes are designed by a podiatrist to ensure they are not only stylish but also comfortable.  

About ALLY Shoes

I was introduced to ALLY early in 2020 and they were kind enough to send me a pair to try out. That pair arrived right when the whole world shut down and I didn’t think it made sense to review a pair of pumps at that time. But now as the world is reopening and I have had a chance to take these pumps for a few laps around my home, I’m happy to share this brand and share how comfortable these shoes are. In fact, to get into this post, I put my ALLY pumps on before opening up my computer!

Samantha Dong was hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro when she injured her foot. After the foot injury, Dong struggled with wearing heels and was frustrated with the options on the market. Dong teamed up with podiatric expert Dr. Roxann Clarke and in-demand shoe designer Sara Jaramillo to design comfortable and stylish heels for all women.

Dr. Roxann Clarke, a Podiatric Surgeon, created a patent-pending three-point comfort system design for ALLY Shoes to address the common problem areas felt in heels. The ALLY team makes heels that are scientifically engineered to alleviate pain while bringing great style to powerful women. ALLY shoes come in four different widths (hello D width in chic shoes!) and half as well as quarter sizes 4 to 12, designed in New York City and are handcrafted of high-quality materials.  Not sure your size?  Check out ALLY's Fit Finder.

You can try ALLY shoes no risk: Pay $0 upfront and try ALLY heels at home. Fill out their online questionnaire with your size and color preferences, and their fit stylist will curate a box of 1-2 pairs of shoes to be delivered right to your doorstep. Keep the ones you love and return the others. Returns and exchanges are free. We will include a return label in the package to make the process seamless for you. ALLY also encourages potential customers to contact them directly about fit issues so you can receive custom personalized advice on the best shoe for you. For more details about the at-home trial, visit this link.

ALLY Pumps: Five Skintones and Several Colors and Finishes

Currently, ALLY offers only a 3” pointed-toe classic pump. It’s the kind I love and regularly recommend.  It's a pump that isn't so high you’re teetering but high enough to elongate the leg, lift the rear, and look great with skirts and trousers in a variety of lengths and widths. The way these pumps are designed they are more comfortable than shoes an inch shorter. ALLY offers five “nude” colors plus bridal/formal fabrics and a variety of colors and prints that change with the seasons. I know that ALLY is looking to expand their selection with a new style of shoe, what it will be is TBA but I really hope it’s a flat or 1” heel for all of us who have feet that do not feel secure in heels after months of being at home barefoot or in flat shoes and slippers.

ALLY Shoes Review

I received the ALLY pump in “Bossy Beige.” I like that it's not a golden tone, and appreciate the fact that all the “nude” shades that ALLY offers are varied, as people don't all come in the same tone as well as shade.  I did the ALLY Fit Finder and it said I was a 38.5/US 8 and C width.  This sounds right as I vary between a 7.5 and 8 shoe, usually desiring 8 for closed-toe styles, and wide whenever possible.  I found the wide to be a tailored fit; often with pumps a wide fit gapes at the back of the heel and along the sides of the foot.  The shoe didn't slip when I walked, and I also found thanks to the insole, my foot didn't get sweaty and slide, shoving my toes forward. The padding and shaping on the insole hit at the right places for my foot and toes. The shoe is a soft leather that molded to my foot with more wear.

As with all reviews I feature on Wardrobe Oxygen, this product was tested by me beyond a photoshoot.  I wore these shoes for several hours of standing, walking both on carpet and outside on concrete and asphalt, and then just sitting as my desk as many of us do in an office setting.  If you have also tried ALLY Shoes I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments! 

For more information on ALLY Shoes please visit:

This is not a sponsored post.  ALLY Shoes did send me a pair of shoes earlier this year as a gift without any expectations.  There are affiliate links in this post; if you do click and make a purchase I may make a small commission.  

11 Comments

  1. zaeobi
    June 21, 2020 / 11:38 pm

    I love the idea, but agree with the others that the heel height could be lower. Also I wonder why some shades are in suede but others are smooth leather? Suede gets dirty easily – would prefer leather options for all of the skintones!

    • June 23, 2020 / 10:13 am

      I think as a small business they’ve made a great start. I look forward to seeing what they add to their offerings as they grow. I hope they get the business to do so, they have an amazing business concept!

  2. Alison
    June 17, 2020 / 5:14 pm

    Love the range of colors and sizes, I’ll join the crowd saying I look forward to a lower heel, 1 or 1.5 is my ideal.

  3. Bette
    June 17, 2020 / 4:15 pm

    Love the different skin tones and think the shoes look beautiful on you. With that said, I can’t believe a medical doctor endorsed a pointy-toed heel. I think it’s a case of making the best of a situation where fashion trumps function, rather than the other way around. The doctor will continue to have an unending stream of women needing foot surgery until pointy toes and high heels go the way of corsets and foot binding.

  4. Karen O.
    June 17, 2020 / 2:32 pm

    Those shoes look really nice on you. It’s good to hear that they are comfortable too. I can’t wear 3″ heels anymore, unfortunately. If Ally is taking suggestions I’d love to see a 2″ or less block, or otherwise chunkier, heel. I’d love to have a great dressy shoe. As it is now, I’ve got a pair of “fancy” clogs that I wear with my dresses. They’re the only 3″ heel I can walk in for any length of time. https://www.bryrstudio.com/collections/all-styles/products/miranda-peep-toe-high-heel-3

  5. June 17, 2020 / 11:30 am

    I cannot do 3″ heels any more, not really even 2″, so it will be great when they get to the 1″ or flats! I would definitely buy a pair then!!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Cynthia
    June 17, 2020 / 11:18 am

    The shoes look great on you. I have never had nude shoes because I could never match my skin tone. I’d love to try these but a 3″ heel is not workable for me. I’m glad to hear that Ally is working on other options.

  7. E E Deere
    June 17, 2020 / 10:54 am

    Thanks for this post. I am desperate for polished looking heels in a narrow. Can’t wait to try them.

    • Barb
      June 17, 2020 / 11:07 am

      Thank you for this post! As an Asian woman I have trouble finding an appropriate “nude” shoe. If I am able to find a shade I like it is usually not very comfortable. I truly appreciate your effort to make a change on your blog and your thoughtfulness. I look forward to each and every post!

  8. Leu2500
    June 17, 2020 / 10:14 am

    A shoe made on a last that recognizes that many women have a heel narrower than their toes. Finally!

  9. Pat
    June 17, 2020 / 9:38 am

    They look great on your feet. Will look into them. Comfort is important to my tender feet.

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