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You know that part at the back of your flats that cuts into your heel? We redesigned it. We call it the v-cut heel counter. It just works. Also, we use triple drummed full grain leather which is the softest leather that exists.


The Leather
Leather comes in different forms. Genuine leather is the worst. Top grain leather is better. And full grain leather is the best. We use full grain leather. But some full grain leather is softer than others. The difference between soft full grain leather and rough full grain leather is determined by the thickness and the way it’s drummed. Penner leather is the thinnest full grain leather that exists. And it’s been slowly triple drummed. Which means it’s been carefully drummed 3x as much as most other leather. You can feel the difference on your feet.

The V-Cut Elastic Heel Counter
The part at the back of your shoe is called the heel counter. It helps keep your heel from slipping out. But the top edge will often exert high levels of pressure on a single point on the back of your heel. We redesigned the heel counter with this in mind. After over 20 iterations, we now have a v cut elastic heel counter that both keeps the heel in place and allows the heel to move and bend without the top edge cutting into the back of your heel.

The Heel Padding
Everybody’s heels are a slightly different shape. Even with soft leather and a v cut elastic heel counter, rubbing can still occur. Therefore we have included a thin layer of high density cushioning between the lining and the upper along the back of the heel. This cushioning provides additional give and flexibility in order to accommodate different heel shapes.
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You know how heels are obviously bad for your feet. Well, it turns out that "zero drop" shoes are actually really good for your feet. There is quite a bit of peer-reviewed scientific research on this topic. We follow the science.


The Evolution of Feet
Homo Sapiens have been walking on two feet for about 200,000 years. Our foot has been designed by evolution to walk on a variety of different surfaces without shoes. But modern humans wear shoes to protect their feet from disease, from weather, and for style. When we wear shoes with a lot of cushion and support the muscles begin to atrophy and the bottoms of our feet become soft. This presents a difficult challenge for all footwear manufacturers. Do we coddle the feet or encourage them to grow stronger. To make the challenge even more difficult, many women spend years wearing heels and shoes with pointed toes that deform the feet and cause chronic pain. And finally, some feet have abnormally high arches and some are abnormally flat, simply as a result of genetics.

The Biomechanics of Feet
In all the testing and research that we’ve done, we have decided to build a shoe that focuses on making your feet stronger and healthier. When the footbed is flat and the shoe is flexible at the forefoot then the body can stand and walk in a way that encourages the development of proper gate mechanics and stand in a way that encourages the proper development of the muscles and tendons in your feet, ankles, and legs. Penners are designed with all of this in mind. While still providing a little extra support under the heel because most people live their entire lives walking onto of an inch of foam and their feet are weak because of it.

The Solution
We pre-cut slits in the midsole along the forefoot to provide additional flexibility for the metatarsal as your foot bends through each step. We also placed 2 elastics across the instep. These elastics also provide additional flexibility along the metatarsal, allowing your feet to bend and flex naturally through each step.

A Little About Us


Hi, I'm Andrew, the founder of Penner Footwear. My wife, Auri, gets blisters in all her flats, so I told her I'd create a pair of flats that wouldn't give her blisters, that wouldn't take time to break in, and that would be the most comfortable shoes she owned. She was doubtful, as she should have been. As a man without firsthand experience with the dreaded heel cutting design of virtually all flats (really all sock-less shoes), I underestimated how difficult these problems would be to solve. In 2015 I attended the London College of Fashion to study shoemaking and design. Then I spent the next three years developing a perfect shoe for Auri. Countless prototypes later, Penners are now Auri's go-to shoes! The only pair of flats Auri has ever worn that don't give her blisters without a long break-in period. So when you put them on and you think, "Dang, these really are comfortable", you can thank Auri for going through the very real pain of testing dozens of iterations. We truly hope you love them.