Kigo Star shoes

Working women who’d like to walk to the office: Now comes a pair of eco-friendly, comfy shoes that will let you avoid that funny pencil-skirt-with-tennis-shoes look! Kigo Star shoes are lightweight footwear that look as cute with an office suit as they do with weekend jeans.

Marketed as “completely portable footwear,” these Mary Jane style shoes have uppers made with recycled PET from used plastic bottles and a rubber outsole. The flexible shoes are bendy — and are actually made to fold in half to wallet-size via a little decorative strip-with-hole and the heel and an elfin pointy hook at the toe.

4129289724 548acbc81d m Kigo Star shoes: Eco friendly, foldable footwear for women on the goI tried out Kigo Stars for a walk-and-bus combo trip last week. I put on the Kigo Stars (right), packed my heels, and took a very comfortable walk to the bus stop -- then got on an extremely slow bus which made me late and ended up sprinting the last block to the event — definitely not something I could have done in heels. However, I ended up never putting on the heels I’d carefully packed because I didn’t have time to change shoes....

In any case, Kigo Stars get high marks from me for cuteness and their comfortable, lightweight, barefoot feel. If you haven’t been willing to walk to work (or to the bus stop) because you didn’t want to sacrifice style, Kigo Stars could very well get you out of the car and put some spring in your step.

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The one feature I just don’t see myself using, however, is the shoes’ foldability, mainly because the shoes basically take up about the same amount of space whether folded or unfolded — though certainly the shape of the space taken up changes a bit. The foldability’s a unique and interesting feature — but not really a useful one for me. Because the shoes are so light and squishable, they’re easily portable, folded or not.

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I was also a bit puzzled by the biodegradable shoe bag that the Kigo Stars come with — mainly because I had an extremely difficult time actually even getting the shoes into the teensy bag. Plus, if Kigo Stars are made for walking to work before changing into dressier shoes, the bag really needs to be big enough to contain the dressier shoes you’ll be carrying into work. As you can see, my size 6.5 basic black heels were way too big for the bag.

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According to Rachelle Kuramoto, director of marketing for Kigo Shoes, the bags are made small on purpose so that the shoes fit in snugly without falling out. But she added that Kigo’s eager to get feedback like mine about the shoes and bag — and that the company’s also planning to make a bigger shoe bag available soon.

The main downside of the Kigo Stars is that they’re made in China. But working girls will be happy to know that Kigo Footwear is run by a trio of women — Jan Kuramoto, president and CEO; Kristin Parker, director of business development, and Rachelle. That said, boys too can enjoy Kigos! The Kigo Shel — made with similar materials but with a girlish design — are available in both men and women’s sizes.

Both Kigo Stars and Shels come in a variety of colors and cost $49.99 a pair at the Kigo Footwear online store.

Photos by Siel