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Empowering Women, One Step at a Time: The Origin Story of ALLY Shoes

Posted on February 28 2024

Empowering Women, One Step at a Time: The Origin Story of ALLY Shoes


I'm Samantha Dong, the Founder and CEO of ALLY Shoes, and I'd like to share our journey with you. At ALLY Shoes, we're not just a fashion brand; we're a movement created by women for women. My passion lies in empowering women through fashion, making luxury footwear accessible for those on the move.


Born Out of an Accident, Literally.

Ally Shoes was born out of my own personal frustration with uncomfortable and painful heels. Having worked as a management consultant in the past, I became accustomed to wearing heels regularly. However, after sustaining a foot injury, I found it difficult to find dress shoes that not only looked good but felt good as well. This inspired me to team up with designer Sara Jaramillo and podiatric surgeon Dr. Roxann Clarke to create a line of heels that are both stylish and comfortable. We wanted to offer women a solution to the discomfort and pain that often comes with wearing high heels.


A Team of Trailblazers

What sets ALLY Shoes apart is our diverse and dynamic team – a trio of trailblazers united by a shared vision. Sara, Roxann, and I hail from different corners of the globe, each bringing a unique perspective to the table in design, medicine, and business. Together, we challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of footwear design, all while championing the needs of modern women.


Putting Empathy into Practice

Our journey is rooted in empathy – a profound understanding of the daily struggles encountered by women. Our progress and innovation owe much to our community, the "Ally Circle", where women engage with and critique our latest designs. I initially began by hosting intimate gatherings, inviting friends to discuss work, life, and of course, shoes. These conversations illuminated the widespread issue of heel discomfort among women and the struggle to find shoes that fit, prompting us to expand our size range to 4-12 in half sizes, and in narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide widths. Additionally, we recognized the significance of offering nude shoes in inclusive shades, addressing a glaring gap in the market.


Crafting Comfort, Elevating Style

At ALLY Shoes, we set out to redefine the high heel experience by combining style with unparalleled comfort. Our patented, ergonomic internal support structure takes best practices from podiatry and sneaker design, re-balancing body weight in the heel and bringing unparalleled comfort all day long. Each pair of ALLY heels is meticulously handcrafted with premium leather and a special stretch lining to maximize flexibility, minimizing the need to “break-in” new shoes.


It's been an exhilarating journey since the inception of ALLY Shoes in 2018. From our initial Classic Pump, we've diversified our offerings to include various heel shapes and heights, as well as flats and boots. Despite the challenges posed by a global pandemic, which served as a humbling experience, it only strengthened our dedication to our cause.

As our narrative unfolds, let's always remember the profound impact of women banding together to uplift and inspire. At ALLY Shoes, we remain steadfast in our mission to empower women, step by step.

Together, let's stride towards a future where every woman exudes confidence, comfort, and unwavering resilience.



The ALLY Team


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