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On the right footing: Samanta Shoes offers more than just a good look.

In the Guyanese household where Samanta Joseph grew up, she was expected to have a professional career. She studied and found work in computer information technology. Three years ago, however, Joseph, 29, decided to fulfill a designing passion she developed at 6 years old and launched Samanta Shoes with her husband, Kelvin, a CPA. But by now, she also had a mission in mind: helping professional women feel comfortable in stylish shoes. It is possible, Joseph says. "It's all in the design."

"Most women have flat feet, and most shoes are constructed from a high instep mold," explains Joseph, who is also flat-footed. That forces the foot unnaturally into the narrow part of the shoe and applies pressure to the top and the ball of the foot. Samanta Shoes are made from a hybrid mold designed to accommodate a flat foot and a high instep. "It allows for more comfort and support." The shoes are made with extra padding, and the company also has a firm rule on heel height. "We don't go beyond three inches," says Kelvin. "Anything over three inches has been proven to cause discomfort and the possibility of back pain."

Quality and comfort have not, however, given way to style. With sizes ranging from 5 1/2 to 13, Joseph offers a wide variety of leather, cloth, and suede designs and styles appropriate for business, evening, and even bridal--all reasonably priced. Shoes are $125 to $200 and boots range from $200 to $350. The designers have developed a growing following of women who wear their product with great ease including Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Christie Brinkley, and Sanaa Lathan.

How can you ensure a great fit? The Josephs offer several important points:

Make sure your shoes are all leather.

The term "leather uppers" is often misleading, explains Joseph. It usually means that only part of the shoe is actually leather, "Leather inside of the shoe allows your foot to breath. If not, your foot sweats and causes friction, which results in bunions and corns."

Always try on both shoes, One foot may be larger than the other, or the design on one of the shoes may be flawed. "Also walk around the store. It may look good on your foot, but it should also be comfortable for walking."

Be honest. No matter how much you're smitten by a pair of shoes, never buy if they're too small or too tight. "Never fool yourself into buying something that makes your foot look small or cute."

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Title Annotation:Samanta Joseph
Author:Alleyne, Sonia
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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