I’ll be honest with you all: the teeny tiny itsy bitsy wee ickle Barbie and FR feet make me twitch. I know that it means I can find 101 shoe options for those bodies, but I can’t help it. I love the larger, more proportional hands and feet on my Jem and Color Infusion dolls.
But Tara, I hear you say, where can I find shoes for them? It’s true, the shoe options are limited. Integrity has simple pumps that are packaged with each Jem doll in a variety of colours (including a half dozen different shades of pink), and has sold two Color Infusion Style Lab shoe packs at the last two conventions, as well as CI fashions including shoes and boots. But that’s still not a tonne of shoe options.
However, if you’re willing to look at Playline shoes, this widens the pool of shoe options considerably! Here are some shoes that you can find on the secondary market that, while not always a perfect fit, do allow for more redressing possibilities for your Jem and CI girls.
Currently on the market are Hasbro WinX and Mattel’s Monster High. The upside is that these shoes are vinyl, and can be softened with boiling water to conform better to your dolls feet. The downside is that the styles can be a bit too outrageous, even for the truly outrageous Jem girls. However, the pumps and sandals offer a good fit, and can be paired with tights or stockings for an even better fit in the heel. Also, the open-toed shoes fit very well, though the CI toes peek out a tiny bit more than the Monster High Ghouls.
Second option are discontinued lines like Mattel’s Stardoll, MGA’s America’s Next Top Model, and Spinmaster’s LIV. LIV can be tricky, but the pumps in particular work beautifully, even if you do need to use the boiling water trick for them. Likewise, Stardoll boots and ANTM sandals may be my ultimate fave, as they are chic, fun styles that are more complex than WinX or LIV.
Lastly, Sherry Shoes from China are beginning to release shoes designed for the Jem/CI feet that are right up there with Integrity’s shoes for design and quality, however they suffer at the moment from poor fit. The slouch boots are an entire centimetre too long (think of it like this: would you wear boots that extended 5 inches past your toes?) and the pumps can be too wide in the heel and similarly a touch too long to fit tightly, or have heels that are too long for the dolls to balance and stand without a doll stand. While this is not an issue for everyone, caveat emptor.
However, as these bodies have only been on the market for the last 3 years, here’s hoping that we’ll see more and better designed alternatives crop up in the future.