Carets Victoria Wingtip – A Minimalist Women’s Brogue That Looks Mainstream

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A top down view of a pair of feet. The left foot is bare and the right foot is wearing a Carets Victoria Wingtip with a superimposed translucent image of the foot inside to show that it fits without toes scrunched
Carets Victoria Wingtip Review – A Minimalist Women’s Brogue

Carets is a barefoot shoe brand that befuddles people. They have artfully combined the features of a minimalist shoe – zero drop sole and wide toe box – with a design that looks very much like a traditional shoe. A faux heel and elongated shape disguise barefoot features for people who want the classic look of a wingtip brogue without compromising their foot health.

Previously, Carets has only produced men’s shoes. But this year Carets is introducing a women’s size range and they are available for preorder now! Today I am reviewing an early pair of the Carets Victoria Wingtip in Oxblood, before they become publicly available.

Carets Victoria Wingtip Review

A top down view of a pair of feet wearing the Carets Victoria Wingtip in Oxblood standing on Concrete

Carets Victoria Wingtip | Leather | $250 | US women’s 5-11 | Ships from US

I have reviewed Justin’s Carets shoes in the past, so am well versed in how they achieved the look of a pointy, heeled shoe without it actually being so. Even still, my mind was malfunctioning when I took the Victoria Wingtips out of the box. The beauty of the shoe was undeniable – the brogue and wingtip detailing, the rich leather, the faux heel, it’s obvious a lot of thought went into every detail of the shoe. But they looked so much like a “regular” dress shoe I couldn’t wrap my head around it! And yet when I put the shoes on I couldn’t deny I had far more toe space than expected.

Besides having a wide forefoot and zero drop sole, the Victoria Wingtips otherwise feel like a regular dress shoe. They are sturdy and hold their shape – there’s none of that flop that many barefoot shoes have – and there is little to no ground feel. The sole does have some flex to it and bends easily in the front (for big toe flexion), but the heel portion is pretty stiff.

A top down view of a hand holding up the outsole of a Carets Victoria Wingtip shoe

Essentially, these are high end dress shoes for someone who doesn’t want to wear pinchy heels anymore, but also isn’t willing to compromise on looks. If you’re looking for a shoe that actually feels like being barefoot, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

*Note that my pair is a pre-production sample. There will be a few improvements between now and final production, for example the Oxblood color will be a little lighter and the laces will quite a bit shorter.

Victoria Sizing & Fit

I got my Victoria Wingtips in a size US women’s 7, a typical size for me in close toed shoes. From my experience with other barefoot shoes, the fit is true to size. I have shallow arches and skinny ankles, so I have a little bit of extra space that I filled in with a tongue pad. I would describe them as fitting medium to high volume best. Even still, the ankle area doesn’t gape so they look classy even on my knobby feet. With the tongue pad added, my Wingtips fit securely without slipping.

I have a wide forefoot and my toes have space to lay flat, but they do brush the sides when splayed. So I wouldn’t advise these for extra wide feet or a square toe shape – average to wide toes should have enough space.

To learn what your foot type is and brands that work best for them, read this!

The Victorias come with a removable insole that I immediately took out. Even though I have shallow feet, the insole took up some precious toe space and I wanted the thinnest sole possible (they are 9mm thick without the insole).

Some have asked if these Carets are essentially just wearing a shoe that is a few sizes too big. But if you were to simply size up in a shoe, then it would be bigger in the ankle area as well as in the toe box. And that’s likely to result in an insecure fit. By contrast, these Carets put the extra space in the front and keep the back true to standard shoe sizes.

Another common question is if the long toe box gets in the way when you walk. I personally didn’t have any issues with tripping over the front of the shoe or snagging it on things myself, and I think that has a lot to do with the secure fit of the shoe. But my father in law, who wears Carets shoes daily to work, has to walk carefully on the stairs or the point of the shoe will run into the next step. There might be some instances when the length can get in the way.

How to Style the Victoria

a collage of a woman wearing a dressy outfit and regular oxford brogue shoes next to a different woman wearing the same outfit but with barefoot oxford brogues - the carets victoria wingtip
My women’s brogue outfit inspiration comes from Lookastic

The Carets Victoria Wingtips are a “menswear” style, but in women’s sizes. They pair well with dress pants, blazers, and pencil skirts, and are definitely the classiest pair of shoes I own. The elongated toe and wide width contributes to the masculinity a little, so don’t expect a dainty pair of oxfords. But if you want that menswear look, the Wingtip is exactly it.

Ordering from Carets

The Victoria Wingtip is available from the main Carets shop. They are on preorder right now at $40 off the retail price, and you can get an additional $40 off with code ANYA-VICTORIA40 until Feb. 10th. After that they’ll go up to $250 a pair. This is a lot if you’re not used to the cost of luxury dress shoes, but if you are already buying those types of shoes you won’t bat an eye. Many luxury shoe brands cost significantly more than this, and are uncomfortable to boot.

Preorders are expected to ship in July. Carets generously accept returns/exchanges even on worn shoes within the first year! You can read their full shipping/return policy here.

Carets Victoria Wingtip Review Conclusion

Carets Victoria Wingtips fill a very particular space in the natural footwear market. They are a high end dressy shoe that looks more like a traditional wingtip than any other zero drop, wide toe boxed shoe on the market. There really is nothing else like it available. If you want something truly fancy that doesn’t look at all like your typical barefoot shoe, Carets is where it’s at.

A top down view of a pair of Carest Victoria Wingtips in oxblood sitting on a wood floor

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Comments

7 thoughts on “Carets Victoria Wingtip – A Minimalist Women’s Brogue That Looks Mainstream”

  1. Hi Anya,

    The link for the carets Victoria wingtip preorder doesn’t work. I’ve tried for a couple of days now but cannot find them to preorder. Just wondering if you could shed some light on this?

    Thanks so much, your reviews are brilliant x

    1. Hmmm, It’s working when I click on it. You can only see it on the US website under the “women’s” tab at the top of the page, so that means that if you are being redirected to the EU or UK website it won’t be there. But the US website ships worldwide, so if you can stay there you should be able to find them.

  2. Hi Anya – I realize we are past the February 10th date for the discount code but just wanted to ask if it’s still possible to use it?

    Really appreciate your reviews and website!!

    1. Hi Amanda, you might get lucky if you reach out to them and say you missed the coupon the first time! It would be up to them, since it was really just a perk they offered to readers here the week the review was published. Thank you for your appreciation!

  3. Hello – firstly thank you for your reviews, your site is an excellent resource and I refer to it often. It has definitely informed many of my purchases including this one! I have pre-ordered a pair of Carets for my partner and myself (thank you for your code). It will be my partner’s first pair of barefoot shoes, but I have been wearing barefoot shoes exclusively for 2+ years and am a bit nervous about lack of ground feel and stiffness being an issue, and whether the shallow counter (due to the faux heel) is very noticeable IRL? If you have worn them more since your review, would you have any additional advice or observations?

    1. For a seasoned barefooter those things are noticeable, there are other shoes that I prefer for all day every day. But compared to traditional dress shoes, they’re just so much more comfortable. And stiffness is relative, they’re not stiff compared to traditional shoes. Just compared to other more barefoot shoes. They’ve been such a great brand for the men in my life who need really dressy shoes for work or church. I don’t really have any additional insight, my thoughts on them are pretty much the same.

      1. Hi Anya – thank you, knowing that they aren’t as stiff as traditional shoes is actually great intel and makes me feel better about my purchase. I won’t be getting these until after June or July I think, so it’s loads of time to agonise over my purchase. If I have anything of value to add once I receive them, I’ll provide an update. Thanks again.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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