You’ve seen them on my blog, you’ve seen them all over social media, and you’ve probably considered treating yourself to a pair of these bow bedecked beauties. There’s a good reason why these sandal heels are so popular, looks aside. I’ve been a proud Loeffler Randall bow mule owner for three years now, and I can tell you with all certainty that these are the most comfortable, most versatile heels you will ever wear! There is some mystery concerning the sizing of these heels, as reviews and guides are at odds everywhere you look. In this post, I’m giving you the scoop on why I love these shoes, what’s not so great about them, and of course, how to choose your size in the Loeffler Randall Penny, Camellia, and Emilia bow mules. **As of 5/23/22 the beautiful BLUE Camellia is on sale for over half-off if you follow this link! Sign up for texts to get an even deeper discount.**
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My first pair was this candy stripe version in the Penny silhouette. Penny has a 3.5-inch high cylinder heel and signature bow knot vamp. This is the pair that completely sold me on these shoes! From first wear, they are worn-in-comfortable; no blisters, no break-in time, no pain at any point. The arch is positioned further back than most heels, and thus hits at exactly where my natural arch is. It literally feels like they were custom made! The lame (pronounced la-may) fabric that constitutes the entire upper portion is not stretchy, and will not loosen over time nor will it move as you walk, so you don’t have to worry about the bow coming undone, or looking slack. Despite appearing rather insecure for walking, the vamp covers enough of your foot that it is – and feels – completely secure, and does not budge from your foot as you walk, twirl, or dance. After 3 years, my Penny knot mules look just as good as the day they arrived!
My second pair was the pleated floral fabric Emilia. Nearly identical to the Penny, Emilia is distinguished by her low 2-inch heel. I don’t normally go for low/kitten heels, but I am always passively watching for this designer to go on sale because it doesn’t happen often, so when these were marked down I jumped! This was at the end of summer so I have only been able to wear them around the house, but so far I can say these are much more comfortable and supportive but wear similarly to flats. The low heel makes these incredibly walkable but at the same time, they’re not so flat that there is no support. These are made of floral printed polyester instead of lame, and are just as comfortably snug as my Penny. Emilia now has a sister with an ankle strap, the Dahlia! With all the low heeled ease of the Emilia, Dahlia comes with a bit of insurance in the form of an ankle strap that is akin to the Camellia. Shop all Dahlia colors here!
The Camellia is my newest addition, as I’ve been wanting a solid color for the longest time. The Camellia is similar to the Penny with a 3.5-inch wrapped cylinder heel and bow vamp, but what sets this one apart is the ankle strap. Typically I shy away from ankle strap heels as for a petite, ankle straps can appear to shorten the leg, which is the opposite of what I want my heels to do! Nevertheless, appearance took a backseat to comfort in my mind, and I went for these in the color Bermuda Pink. Just as comfortable as the Penny and Emilia, Camellia’s adjustable ankle strap provides additional support to keep these heels perfectly married to the foot. Between the two high-heeled styles, I didn’t notice much of a difference in walking as far as keeping the shoe on but mentally, knowing there was a strap to keep them on freed me to walk at a quicker, more at ease pace. It’s worth noting that the Bermuda Pink color was much darker in person than in the hundreds of photos I’ve seen online and on social media, where these appear to be a true pink leaning towards full value blush. I was actually stopped in my tracks when I opened these to find that they have a much stronger orange hue than any photo I’d seen would suggest. Perhaps this is due to the gold shimmer throughout the fabric – also, could not discern this from photos – because in pure bright daylight they do look a bit lighter, more akin to the photos online. Either way, the Bermuda pink color is unique but also neutral enough to work beautifully in spring, summer, and perhaps early fall styling. Camellia now has a platformed twin called Natalia and she’s gorgeous! I have been eyeing the cream shimmer color and think these are the most elegant execution of a rather risque shoe style out there.
How to choose the correct size
Reviews seem to be at odds concerning the size and fit of these shoes. Half of them say size up, half say they run true to size, and a few say go up a full size! I highly suggest understanding how sizing works for you, personally. Can you order a size 8 in nearly any designer/brand and it fit comfortably? Are nearly all of the shoes in your closet the same size? This is what true to size means, that whatever size you normally wear, you would also fit in these. I agree and disagree with these reviews, and the designer recommendation that they run true to size. In the Penny and Emilia, I bought the size 8 which fits like a glove with no excess room at either the toe or heel, and if you look at the designer’s images of how they’ve styled them, the models appear to be wearing their true size with heels all the way covering the back of the shoe. However, after ordering the Camellia in a half-size up (8.5) I do notice the bow strap is a bit more roomy and I like that for these, as the ankle strap provides extra security. While I like the fit of the Penny in my true size – as it is more snug across the vamp and thus feels more secure – I will buy my next pair or Emilia in a 8.5, as it is more of a flat and I could use a little extra space in the instep. As far as needing to size up a half or full size, I do think a half-size up would work well for most ladies! If you’re still unsure, you can always buy two sizes and send the ill-fitted pair back. Once you’ve figured out the sizing, these heels are an absolute treat to wear and so worth the price tag (even more so on sale)!