Rockport Now Open on Newbury St.

Comfort and fashion rarely go together. And while Rockport shoes have been a local brand known for ridiculously comfortable and well crafted footwear for close to 40 years, style has not always been their natural forte. Until now, that is.

Last week I attended the grand opening of the brand new Rockport show retail boutique – or freestanding concept store, in their words – at 218 Newbury Street, between Exeter and Fairfield St. The store is more quaint and cozy than the shop that they had up the street at 83 Newbury until about a year ago, and their use of space is well defined. Cleverly hidden stock is available on the floor, to minimize the time floor associates spend riffling around in the back for your size shoe.

Styles are available for men and women and I was equally impressed with them both.  I am even more particular with men’s shoes than I am ladies, and Rockport really appears to be delivering.  In fact, their DresSports line of cleverly stylish men’s’ shoes are so comfortable gentlemen have run the NY Marathon in them to prove their worth. Styles run from rugged hiking and work boots to slick and well polished dress shoes.

After taking in the men’s’ selection, I perused what they offer for the ladies. Generally when picking out a pair of shoes I am trapped between the sensible “what I need” shoes and the frivolous “what I want shoe,” with the latter usually winning in the end.  The joy with Rockport was that I didn’t have to choose sensible over fashionable. Everything was remarkably comfortable, whether donning ballet flats or high heeled knee high boots. As a woman who has tortured her feet mercilessly over the years, it was a remarkable revelation.

I ended up walking out with a pair of truWALK Emmas – a black sueded knee high wedged boots.  They are waterproof, ultra light and designed for walkability – Rockport’s well suited tag line. I have had a chance to test them out in these early season nor’easters we have had as of late and not a drop has penetrated my cozy socks inside. And on comfort… well, I can just say, I wish my slippers at home were this comfortable.

Location: 218 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston 617.859.3127