Dressing up in Sonoma can be a tricky proposition and Tango shoes by Taos Footwear solves a problem. Much of the county is decidedly rural but many of the sophisticated wineries add a sheen of elegance, while the town squares in the City of Sonoma and Healdsburg, with their fine restaurants and galleries, beg a cut above for an evening outing. A city wardrobe can be too pretentious but not everyone wants to wear cowboy boots. The Taos Tango, a classic Mary Jane style with a low heel and special detailing, does the trick, enhancing the look of both dresses and pants in a casual, yet refined way.
I had the opportunity to test a pair of Tango shoes the past couple of months and the first thing I noticed when opened the box is the sumptuous leather and artistic detail. The full-grain leather upper has a decorative laser cut-out design, with teardrop and round holes, along with a laser-cut design of stylized flowers and other shapes. The soft, pliable leather invites one to stroke the shoe, feeling the yielding leather and softly serrated edge. Every line is precise; there’s nothing sloppy about the workmanship. The crafted decorative button medallion has a special leafy design on the strap, which closes with a Velcro-type hook and loop material.
The “Curves and Podss®” footbeds even have a floral design, and the color of the top surface matches the leather exactly, contributing to the overall classy look of the shoe. On the back of the footbed, which comes out easily, little round shock-absorbing pods provide extra cushioning and is a bit thicker under the arch to provide more support. The flexible rubber outsole has the same floral design as the footbed, only larger, to give the shoe a grippy walking surface.
On the street testing
Sometimes Mary Jane styles are exaggerated and can look too young on me, but the Tango is a sophisticated version. The strap is a little higher, curving toward the ankle, rather than simply arching over the instep. That means that, even in skinny jeans, the strap isn’t too obvious, making a cleaner line. The feminine style looks great with a skirt, too. I tried the classic black color, and with the matte finish and laser detailing that reveals the natural leather color as an accent, found that it pairs equally well with black or tan clothing.
Stepping into the shoe it just feels good, like it’s caressing my foot. The leather feels soft against the skin and the one-inch heel is barely noticeable because the angle is perfectly aligned to curve gently downward toward the toes. The hook and loop strap closure allows for tiny adjustments and yet is secure.
The shoes are comfortable for long walks and they make a good travel shoe when a significant amount of traipsing around is called for. Because the heel is low and wide, and the sole grips the ground the shoes are great on uneven surfaces like cobblestones or vineyard grounds.
Taos Footwear uses a rich spectrum of colors and natural beauty inspired by the American Southwest,. Their mantra is that “Women shouldn’t have to choose between style and comfort“, something we can all relate to. Taking beautiful fabrics and leather, they give them a feminine touch by adding embellishments such as stitching, worked metal and stone. Taos Footwear has an extensive and eclectic line of footwear ranging from sandals to boots.
The Taos Tango, a classic Mary Jane style with a low heel and special detailing, is a comfortable shoe that enhances the look of a casual outing and travels well.
The Tango is available in eight colors. It retails for about $150 at Taos Footwear, Amazon and Zappos.
Disclosure of material connection: I received a test sample from Taos but the opinions expressed are solely my own.