5 Tips for Shoe Shopping

Finding the right shoes can literally feel like quite a pain – we often experience pain, discomfort, blisters, swelling, and more when we end up with an ill fitting or low quality pair of shoes. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ways to make the buying experience a bit easier, and making your feet have a much more pleasant experience.


    1. Shop later in the day/night, when you have been on your feet for awhile. This way, you are getting a more realistic fit. If you shop first thing in your day, then go to put them on later after your feet have swollen they may be too snug! Or, if you shop after they are completely swollen, when you put them on to start your day they may feel too large! Basically, our feet change throughout the day, so you want to find something that is going to work with your body as you wear them. If you can’t buy in person, make sure to take proper measurements, and use them accurately. Meaning, if your foot is 9in long, you need a shoe that is LONGER than 9in – otherwise your foot won’t fit in it!
    2. Choose the best fit – oof this one is difficult! Most of us actually buy shoes that are too small for us, especially when it comes to things like heels. We get used to or want a “snug fit” when in reality you want room for ALL your toes to be flat and wiggle around and you want extra length at the end. Cramped toes, too narrow of shoes and constant pressure on the joints of the toes will lead to bunions, hammertoes, corns and arthritis. But even if you are going to choose more snugly, you still want to keep a couple things in mind: you don’t want to much or too little movement as that will contribute to blisters by rubbing, try to give your toes as much room as possible to move around.
    3. If it isn’t comfortable in the store, it most likely won’t be comfortable at home either. Move around in them – do you feel stable and balanced? Do they lie around too much? Are they too snug? Do they roll in or out? What does the quality feel like? Will the stretch or soften? If you can’t sort the answers on your own, ask for help – if they know theirs shoes, they know the answers.
    4. If you are buying heels, make sure there is adequate padding under the ball of the foot to account for the added pressure to the area. Make sure the heels themselves are properly balanced and sturdy – directly under the ankle. If the heel is too far back, it will not provide proper support. The wider the heel itself is, the more stable it will be. You want your weight to still be distributed throughout the foot, not just the ball or toes. Remember that walking in heels can change depending on the surface, so be prepared! Your stride will be shorter the higher the heel, and make sure you’re keeping the heels vertical so they don’t slip.
    5. Invest in quality products. This can and often means spending more, not something we can always do. But when you can, aim for materials that let your feet breath and are flexible. Things like higher end leathers are going to be softer and kinder to your feet. Plasticy materials or cheap pleathers will often cut into your feet or rub to create blisters.


Size chart B Chorus
Runs true to size, ie: if you normally where a “mens” 40, you would also wear a B 4

Sizing Specifics/Measurements of the last:
*This model has a removable insole so the measurements of the last are LARGER than that of the boot itself

Greenwood Model

Greenwood was the very first model we designed, and the very first name we selected. The design came as a fresh new idea for dance shoes, with bright colors to stand out. The name came easily upon visiting Tulsa for a dance festival (Greenwood Swingout) and learning about this area.

Greenwood District, Tulsa, OK was one of the single most important neighborhoods in Black American history, and it was destroyed in one of the Nations most deadly acts of violence (Some label it a race riot, others a massacre). Known in it’s heyday as “The Black Wall Street” it represented huge growth and change for the Black population of the USA. The Tulsa Historical Society has done an incredible job documenting this event as well as the history of the neighborhood.

We recommend visiting https://www.tulsahistory.org/exhibit/1921-tulsa-race-massacre/ for a more thorough understanding.


About the shoe

Using our A sizing, the Greenwood fits a bit wider in the toe box than many other common models. The Greenwood model comes on a 2.5cm wide based heel, creating a stable well balanced experience.   It has a T-Strap that comes a bit higher on the foot to help keep your foot snug and is snug on the heel cup. The extra cushioned insole makes it easy to wear these for hours, and it runs true to size. For example if you typically wear a “womens 38”, order a 38. The pink version is softer and gives more stretch wise than the yellow or teal models.

Length of the lasts in CM (you lose approx 1cm in the shoe because it is filled by the insole of the shoe):
35 – 23’5, 36 – 24, 37 – 24’5, 38 – 25, 39 – 25’5, 40 – 26, 41 – 26’5

We use a calf leather outer, with a soft goat leather lining. These shoes will gently mold around your feet, but won’t change in size (unless taken to a cobbler for stretching). There is no textile lining between the two layers of leather. There is a heel cap to help keep shape, and the smallest of toe caps to prevent smooshing. With a soft brushed leather sole, this shoes can be worn on or off the dance floor. It currently comes in 3 color options, with the Pink being the softest leather of the 3.

Here are some photos of the shoes, as well as some on Jenna’s feet and with measurements.

Foot Care Video Tutorial

Most of us have been wearing shoes for almost everyday of our lives. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to take care of our feet once we take them out of those shoes. Luckily, we have made a short video to help you learn some various ways to take better care of your feet, inside and outside your shoes. Join Jenna Applegarth, Founder & CEO,on a fun foot care tutorial!

Newport Heel

Newport Beach – The birthplace of Balboa.

Newport Beach was home to the important and influential Rendezvous Ballroom and the Balboa Pavilion. Located in sunny Orange County Southern California, the Balboa Peninsula gave rise to the close embrace, fancy footed ‘dancers dance’: The Balboa (Hop/Shuffle) in the 1920’s/30’s.

Known for being “Sin City”, Newport Beach housed many options for gambling, dancing and despite prohibition; drinking. With its sandy seaside location, and the Pacific Electric Red Car Line (which began at or near Pasadena, winding down through Los Angeles and Long Beach and ending in central Balboa) it was the perfect evening and weekend destination.

Balboa was born at the Pavilion -originally a bath house, and later a bowling alley-, where due to construction and the land it was built on, the “Jitterbug” and breakaway weren’t allowed. Later, the dance grew into adulthood at the Rendezvous, a block long dance hall facing the Pacific Ocean that opened March 24, 1928. Near the pier with a 12,000-square-foot dance floor which could hold over 1,500 couples, a 64-foot long soda fountain traced the dance floor, fitted with couches and tables for listening. The mezzanine, which looked down on the main floor and its dancers, had a second soda fountain and 50 couches. The ballroom was often referred to as ‘the queen of swing.”

It’s come a long way from its original designation as swamp land, and we highly recommend learning more about the villages and the dances that are rooted in Newport Beach.
Check out:

Newport Beach’s Balboa and Balboa Island
By Jeff Delaney
Brief History of Balboa
A Way-Too-Breif History of Balboa


About the shoe

6cm heel with plastic cap, balanced to distribute your weight throughout your foot.
Original color options:
Blue calf suede, very soft to the touch, shoe has a very light textile between the two layers of leather to help maintain the shape.
Snake print calf leather, with light peach undertone. No textile, but has a small toe puff. This one fits a bit more snug than the blue.

Using our A sizing, the Newport fits a bit wider in the toe box than many other common models, with the ability to still tighten the ankle strap as needed and snug on the heel cup. The last is the same as used with our Seneca model, though feels different because of the whole foot coverage, and runs true to size. For example if you typically wear a “womens 38”, order a 38.

Heel Height: 5cm

Length of the lasts in CM:
35 – 23’5, 36 – 24, 37 – 24’5, 38 – 25, 39 – 25’5, 40 – 26, 41 – 26’5

Shoe Introduction and Maintenance

So you just bought a brand new pair of shoes, congratulations!
Here are some tips of the trade to help make sure you keep your feet happy and your shoes looking top notch!

1) Wear them around the house in small increments. This will help your feet to get used to the shoes, and for the shoes to begin to adapt to your feet
2) If you need to adjust their sizing (max 1/2 a size), you can take them to a cobbler to be professionally stretched. You can also try some various home tricks such as wearing them with thick socks, aiming a blow drying at them, filling them with ziploc bags full of water then placing them in the freezer
3) Use a small wire brush, or tweezers or flat razor to remove any build up, rocks or gunk from the soles
4) Always let your shoes air dry – drying too fast can cause the leather to crack
5) Dryer sheets, newspaper, shoe balls, these all help to not only lower the moisture build up, but also with reducing smell
6) Try to prevent the heels (of any shoe) from scratching the uppers. Shoe bags, wrapping them up and being aware while wearing them help with this
7) You can write your name on the inside or the sole so as not to mix up your shoes with someone else’s
8) If you feel any rubbing – you should put on a bandaid, mole skin or blister aid right away to prevent blisters
9) If you find any scratches on your shoes, you can treat them with leather dye or, find a matching nail polish for small touch ups
10) If you prefer wearing socks but don’t want them to stand out, you can check out Gekks, they even work in heels
11) If you want to soften up your shoes, invest in a quality leather oil/moisturizer. Always try it on a small area first to avoid discoloration.


Go forth and enjoy your Applejacks Shoes!

Seneca Heel

Seneca Village, NYC – the largest and most significant area of Afro-American property owners in 19th century USA. Demolished to clear space for Central Park, and almost forgotten about to our modern day society. This neighborhood represented prosperity, opportunity and home for hundreds of people. Please, take some time to go read about this neighborhood in more detail here : http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/seneca-village-site.html

Our Seneca Heel is our first model, setting the tone for all that is to come. With it, we embrace our own hopes, prosperity and our new home in the shoe industry.

It has a 5cm heel, a cushioned insole and comes in 3 color combination options: Purple, Rose Gold/Silver, Red/Cream. The Purple come with dual layer suede leather uppers and leather soles and  the Rose Gold/Silver model come with dual layer soft leather uppers and leather soles, while the Red/Cream comes in a synthetic leather lining, fabric uppers and polyurethane soles. It is important to know that the Rose Gold/Silver ones are a very soft leather (and metallic) so they are a bit more delicate, and with all metallic leathers more easily scuffed. Even with the heel height, they are incredibly comfortable for all types of dances. I even wore these for a whole night of St Louis Shag and felt great.

The Seneca using our A sizing, and fits a bit wider in the toe box than many other common models, with the ability to still tighten the ankle strap as needed and snug on the heel cup. The sizing is most similar to Saint Savoy’s beautiful Grace model, or Remix Vintage Janet, and runs true to size. For example if you typically wear a “womens 38”, order a 38.

Length of the lasts in CM:
35 – 23’5, 36 – 24, 37 – 24’5, 38 – 25, 39 – 25’5, 40 – 26, 41 – 26’5

Below are some photos of Jenna’s photo in the size 38, and some measurements of the inside. Additionally, the uppers of the vegan model and our first drawing.