Shoes of Prey Materials for the 12 Seasons

“Design your own shoes and get exactly what you want.” is the tagline for this ingenious website.

Orange & Gold Fishskin and Shiny Gold Snakeskin. With the shiny gold heel, these are probably best for True Spring, either Dramatic. Other Yang types could possibly wear them as an accent. Photo by Shoes of Prey.

Orange & Gold Fishskin and Shiny Gold Snakeskin. With the shiny gold heel, these are probably best for True Spring, either Dramatic. Other Yang types could possibly wear them as an accent. Photo by Shoes of Prey.

That’s exactly what you get. Like having a genie in your shoe closet, the site delivers from start to finish. You can design your own shoes, choosing among 12 basic styles, constructed from a beautiful and extensive range of high quality materials.  The options for detailing allows you to bring forth your inner artist, including overlays, trim, straps, and many other decorations.

You will be as impressed as we were when you look through the galleries (notice Work, Evening, and Janie Bryant along the left side). Be sure to click through Shop By Color too. 

With worldwide shipping (free to Canada) and a generous returns and remake policy, that amazingly includes covering cost of certain adjustments in your own city, there is very little to lose. Revisions may take several weeks as the shoes are being custom made for you, one at a time. Even for fun, try designing a shoe for yourself. The amount of choice is impressive.

Sizing options are customized, with a wider range available than many standard shoe stores carry. Rachel has worked with some of you who can hardly find shoes large or small enough. This could be an avenue to having more (and more beautiful) options.

Retail stores (click Stores in the upper right) exist already. More will appear, exclusive to Nordstrom. 

Black suede, black soft leather, black patent, and bronze shiny soft leather, and might be a lovely choice for Dark Autumn Yin Classic. Photo by Shoes of Prey. 

Black suede, black soft leather, black patent, and bronze shiny soft leather, and might be a lovely choice for Dark Autumn Yin Classic. Photo by Shoes of Prey. 

A Few Limitations


Not every style supports every option. For instance, flats with pointed toes are not among the selections.

Snakeskin cannot be used on skinny heels or straps, nor anywhere where there are small cuts, such as in the more decorative oxfords, because the leather is too delicate.

Colours appear brighter on your screen than the swatches are in real life. However, the images of the leathers when you hover over the material are quite good.

Vegan options are somewhat more limited, however there is an array of silks, cottons, and vegan leather, and the glitter leathers are also synthetic.

Though the sizing options are excellent overall, the bases of the shoes cannot be made more narrow. However, they can accommodate some people who need a more narrow width by modifying the shape of the upper. For those with extremely narrow feet, this still may not be enough.


We have no personal experience with having shoes made. Feedback to Rachel was that the quality is very good and the company is responsive to questions.

This is a really fascinating video for those who want a peek into how Shoes of Prey makes their shoes.


Construction Information for the  Shoes in this Issue


Of the 9 items shown, the two that were made by Shoes of Prey are indicated. The picture is linked to the product page in the same way that the other images are linked to the retailer sites.

When the link opens, you can see the boxes containing images of the construction materials for upper, trim, heel, lining, and any other, under Add to Cart. When you click on Add to Cart, you will see the checkout page sample on which are the same image boxes of the materials. Hover over each box for the product name of each specific material. These boxes will enlarge when the cursor hovers over them. In many cases, they provide a more accurate representation of the material than the shoe itself does.


Black Soft Leather and Black Snakeskin, any Winter Yang Gamine.

Black Soft Leather and Black Snakeskin, any Winter Yang Gamine.

Your Colours


Shoes will not be seen with face/makeup/hair. They will be seen next to clothing hems. The question to be answered is: Which colours can participate successfully with wardrobe items in a category composed largely of neutral colours? Of course, your shoes must harmonize with your entire wardrobe, but pants, skirts, and coats are very often in our fashion neutrals.

In some ways, the choices may become a little wider for shoes. The viewer doesn’t expect or require perfect colour matching as they might in a blouse. Black and white are predictable in how they accept other colours. Navy is easy to get along with and will adapt even if it’s close. The viewer will understand the colour to be navy blue and create a pleasing combination with many colours.

The colour gray is harder to harmonize to one Season, whether as a fabric, garment, or shoe. This can work in our favour. Often, it takes on the colours around it in a beautiful way, as eyeshadow for instance. Neutral gray eyeshadow may look intentionally and perfectly mauved or blue if worn with those colours in clothing or other cosmetics. The place to be cautious is that the gray in the palette not be altered by the gray of the item you might purchase. The reason is because the palette grays comprise many of the colours in your skin and eyes. If the item for purchase is making the palette grays seem green or yellow, the same will happen with your skin tones.

Grays in the palette should read as gray next to the shoe, and vice versa. Be cognizant of the two-way relationship. If the gray shoe looks greener when you hold up the palette, don’t choose it. If palette grays look very blue or pink, that’s how the pants will look. You may find that the gray of your clothing or shoe looks clean and gray next to the warmer options, but is less attractive next to the cooler neutral colours, if you are a Neutral Season. A gray shoe might be fine with the yellow or pink grays, but not the blue or green ones, depending on the palette if you are a True Season. If a black shoe looks gray, as black suede might next to Bright Winter colours, it might still work if the gray remains pleasant with the other colours.

In your Signature/STYLE newsletters, items are often recommended for more than one Season. One reason is that the colour will work well with either palette. The other is that when we shop online, everyone is taking an educated guess. In the case of these shoes, we were working with real swatches (more below). This allowed us to be more specific and confident with the Season recommendations.


Pastel Blue Snake and Silver Shiny Soft Leather. The silver is a bit blingy, but I could maybe see it as a party shoe for True or Light Summer Yang Natural. Photo by Shoes of Prey.

Pastel Blue Snake and Silver Shiny Soft Leather. The silver is a bit blingy, but I could maybe see it as a party shoe for True or Light Summer Yang Natural. Photo by Shoes of Prey.

The Swatches

A small (2 x 1 inch) piece of the materials is available for purchase at $3 apiece. We found this to be an incredibly valuable asset. For the swatches, as with your palette, just because all the colours are harmoniously the same doesn’t mean that you would wear any combination together in accordance with the occasion, your taste, and the outfit that the shoe will complete.

By owning the swatches, you can anticipate what the shoes will really look like. You may also create beautiful combinations that your eyes might not have noticed on the computer screen. Even if you never buy a pair of shoes, there is great value in seeing your colours expressed in different materials, as leather, suede, snakeskin, and so on.         

Shoes of Prey Colours for the 12 Seasons

Below, you have a master list of materials and colours divided according to Season. All 12 Seasons are included in case there is a material that interests you. There are still a few options that have not been swatched at all, and new colours continue to be added. In fact, as we were preparing this issue gorgeous new shades of faded soft leather have been added

Thank you to Cori Johnson in Seattle for swatching the cotton, vegan, and silks.


True Spring

  • Snakeskin: Green, Turquoise and Gold, Orange, Yellow, Darker Cream (we were surprised and pleased! that we chose this independently, with no alternative choice).
  • Fishskin: Orange and Gold (great with many neutrals and colours, though overall better harmony with True Autumn).
  • Silk: Gold.

Light Spring

  • Snakeskin: Pastel Green, Pastel Yellow, Pastel Turquoise.
  • Fishskin: Cream.
  • Shiny Leather: Silver, Gold.
  • Silk: Dark Peach, Silver.
  • Vegan: Light Blue, Tan.

Bright Spring

  • Patent Leather: Green.
  • Snakeskin: Shiny Gold, Green, Turquoise and Gold, Orange, Yellow, Pewter.
  • Shiny Leather: Silver, Gold.
  • Silk: Light Blue Polka Dot, Blue Stripe, Cream and Black Stripe (not online).


True Summer

  • Soft Leather: Silver
  • Snakeskin: Pastel Blue, White.
  • Suede: Grey, Blue, Black.
  • Fishskin: Light Blue and Silver, Bright and Light Green (darker), Shiny Pink Maroon (darker).
  • Silk: Light Grey.
  • Vegan: Pink.
  • Faded Leather: Blue.

Light Summer

  • Snakeskin: Pastel Turquoise, Pastel Blue, Blue Brown Tan (nice with many neutrals), Pastel Yellow (warmer).
  • Suede: Light and Bright Green (intense), Grey.
  • Fishskin: Light Blue and Silver, Tan and Gold.
  • Silk: Light Blue, possibly Light Peach, Silver, Light Grey.
  • Vegan: Gray, Red.

Soft Summer

  • Soft Leather: Silver, Light Pink.
  • Snakeskin: White and Black (contrasting),  Blue Brown Tan, Pearly Beige.
  • Suede: Grey, Dark Blue, Black, Blue, Cream.
  • Fishskin: Chocolate, Tan and Gold.
  • Silk: Dark Grey, Light Pink, Mauve.
  • Faded Leather: Black, Dark Blue, Blue, Tan, and Cream.


True Autumn

  • Soft Leather: Brown/Dark Tan.
  • Patent Leather: Nude, Pink (A happy surprise. We agree that this colour did not swatch even slightly into Spring, Summer, or Winter, and was most attractive with the True Autumn palette, and not at all with the other Autumns. Not unlike a True Season PCA.)
  • Snakeskin: Green Black Gold, Dark Yellow.
  • Fishskin: Orange and Gold, Tan and Gold.
  • Shiny Leather: Coppery Bronze.

Soft  Autumn

  • Soft Leather: Very Light Blue.
  • Patent Leather: Nude.
  • Snakeskin: Pink Apricot Gold.
  • Suede: Greyish Brown.
  • Faded Leather: Green, Red, Tan, Yellow.

Dark Autumn

  • Soft Leather: Yellow, Brown/Dark Tan, Chocolate Brown, Light Green, Red, Dark Blue, Olive.
  • Patent Leather: Dark Olivey Grey, Midnight, Yellow, Apple Green.
  • Snakeskin: Bronze, Gloss Grey and Ivory, White&Black (cool).
  • Suede: Red, Chocolate Brown, Black.
  • Faded Leather: Black.
  • Shiny Leather: Dark Silver, Coppery Bronze.
  • Vegan: Brown.


True Winter

  • Soft Leather: Dark Grey, Pink, White.
  • Patent Leather: White, Orange, Red.
  • Snakeskin: Pewter, Purple Pink Black.
  • Suede: Blue, Dark Blue, Pink (very bright).
  • Fishskin: Magenta, Shiny Red.
  • Shiny Leather: Silver.
  • Cotton: Black and White Polka Dot, Black and White Stripe, Pink Stripe.

Bright Winter

  • Soft Leather: Dark Grey, White.
  • Patent Leather: White, Red.
  • Snakeskin: Pewter, Shiny Gold.
  • Suede: Blue, Dark Blue, Pink, Purple.
  • Fishskin: Green, Dark Blue, Magenta, Shiny Red.
  • Shiny Leather: Silver, Purple, Pink, Gold.
  • Cotton: Black and White Stripe, Yellow Stripe, Red Stripe.

Dark Winter

  • Soft Leather: Chocolate Brown, Dark Blue, Dark Grey, White, Silver, Pink.
  • Patent Leather: Dark Olivey Green, Midnight, Dark Blue, Green, Dark Purple, Red, White.
  • Snakeskin: Pewter, White and Black (warm side), Dark Blue, Purple and Black Snake.
  • Suede: Red (warm), Blue, Chocolate Brown, Black.
  • Fishskin:  Bright and Light Green, Shiny Pink Maroon, Shiny Red.
  • Shiny Leather: Dark Silver.
  • Cotton: Red Stripe.

Colours We Couldn’t Harmonize

Snakeskin: Shiny Purple, Brown White Black, Brown Gold Purple, Black Brown Tan.

Fishskin: Yellow (the only one with a different outcome, R saw W and C saw Su, probably just fine for DW, TW, LSu, TSu, esp as a detail or a summer shoe) ;  Violet (weak with the Winter palette but dominating to the Summer, perhaps a good option for both depending on its use).

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