Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Similar, But Different

Anyone who runs in the shoeclub circles is aware of ShoeDazzle's Amour. It comes in Pink/White, Black/White, Aqua/Gray, and Brown/Blush. I have the Brown/Blush combo - which you see here. They are a really pretty shoe and, in my opinion, pull off the color blocking trend very well. They are a faux suede fabric with a smooth-ish finish. They do run 1/2 size small - even a full size on some wider feet. In fact, they are one of the only ShoeDazzle shoes I've ever had to go up in. They are pretty high - 5.25" but the 1" hidden platform makes them wearable. They are only $40 - I recommend you grab a pair.

BUT!!!!!!! If you want to spend a little more, or get lucky and score a pair on eBay or a flash shopping site, get the Penny Loves Kenny Tetra's instead. The shoe that 'inspired' Amour. (The Tetra's, in turn, are a knockoff of a Louboutin, but since this is a bargain blog, we won't go there) I have the lavender Tetra II that you see here - but they come in about a dozen color schemes. These retail for about $90 on most sites, fit almost exactly like Amour, and are real suede. They run a little more true to size, but on the narrow side. I lucked up and got these bad boys 1/2 size up for $27 on eBay. So deals can be had if you look for them.

As for how the two stack up, side by side, they're the same stature - exactly. To the untrained eye, they're the same shoe. But there are definite differences. The material is the main one. The Tetra has a very supple brushed suede. It's very soft and buttery. The Amour has a faux-suede material, while nice in it's own right, is definitely a downgraded material over the Tetra. But the shoe retails for about half the price, so that's entirely expected. The fit of the two are also remarkably similar. They're both narrow and not very tinger friendly.

The most obvious difference is the shape of the toe and the layout of the studs on it. Tetra has a much tighter pattern in the studs, and the toe seam is higher quality. There isn't a single stud out of place on my Tetras. They are also polished, and all the same patina. On Amour - the brass is tarnished to a varying degree and the stud placement looks a little more haphazard. But, without having seen the Tetra's up close, it would never have even occurred to me that there may be an issue with Amour's studs.
Now, a funny story. I missed the original aqua/gray Amours when they were released last spring. I just wasn't into the color-blocking trend and never really regretted it. But, in September, when ShoeDazzle re-released Amour in this color combo and the black/white, I jumped. I hadn't seen the PLK Tetra's on sale anywhere and figured I'd be happy with Amour for $40. So I got them. Then I found the Tetra's on eBay and sent Amour back the same day they came in. I thought there was no way I'd like Amour when I could have the original. But, when ShoeDazzle restocked Amour in December though, I realized they really aren't the same shoe and I could justify having them both. I've also got a brown sweater with pink edging that they'll look totes adorb with. So I reordered them. They came in today and I love them.

Although they're very similar, they aren't so similar that I can't recommend both. I know most women would wonder why in the hell I have ONE pair of stud-toe two-tone pumps, much less why I have TWO. But chances are I'm the only one, other than my Sole Sisters, that will ever even notice that they're even close to the same. My honest recommendation is to get Tetra if you like one of those colors/materials and/or get Amour if you like one of those color combos. Or get both. Or multiples of each. I don't judge.

End Note: Tetra is also available in fabric - that though I haven't seen in person, it looks to be linen. I've never heard anything bad about it. There are tons of other knockoffs of Tetra by other brands on the market. I have not tried any of them and don't plan on it. I think my need for stud-toe color-blocked pumps is satisfied.

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