About Parallel Shoes
Have you ever found the perfect pair of shoes only to find that they didn’t come in your size? Parallel Shoes founder Melissa Welsh faced that exact problem time and time again when shopping, and ultimately decided enough was enough. After struggling to find menswear-inspired shoes for herself and seeing friends going through the transitioning process not be able to find gender-fluid shoes, Melissa set out to fill this apparent void in the footwear market – with a timeless, sleek shoe that could work for everyone.
Founded in January 2018, Parallel Shoes is guided by one major belief – style shouldn’t be limited by physical parameters. Therefore, every pair of shoes is intentionally designed for those with smaller feet, offering sizes not available at traditional department stores or boutiques. Ranging from a women’s size 5.5 to a men’s size 8.5, all styles can fit men, women and even youths with a passion for style. To ensure that each pair can be worn by anyone, Parallel Shoes are made in sleek, classic colors in gender-neutral styles like a quintessential plain toe and a funky winged tip toe. All styles are also handcrafted with 100 percent vegan materials, including leather and cork soles, providing socially conscious shoppers with chic, high-quality footwear that doesn’t harm the environment.
To give back to the community that inspired Melissa and Parallel Shoes, one dollar from every pair sold will go directly to LGBTQ youth programs in the Los Angeles area, where the brand was founded. By doing so, Parallel Shoes hopes to not only bring light to some of the unknown struggles LGBTQ members face, but to also connect with those who could truly benefit from the brand.
Want to learn more? Read about Parallel Shoe’s team below.
Melissa Welsh is an entrepreneur and shoe designer based in Orange County, California. In January 2018, Welsh began designing a new brand of gender-fluid, men’s-inspired footwear out of her apartment. Inspired by her personal frustrations with the lack of menswear-style shoes available in smaller sizes, Welsh intentionally designed the new brand, Parallel Shoes, for those with smaller feet, offering sizes not available at traditional department stores or boutiques. Prior to launching Parallel Shoes, Welsh spent 16 years working in the service and customer relations industry, creating an incredible work ethic and knowledge of how to give customers exactly what they need.
Kimberley Fitch is the creative partner and brand director of Parallel Shoes, where she is responsible for everything from directing product photoshoots and wardrobe styling to designing marketing collateral and managing social media campaigns. Based in Orange County, California, Fitch has vast experience in visual effects and production. Prior to joining the Parallel Shoes team, she spent the past three years behind the camera as a visual effects coordinator on well-known movies and television programs including “Westworld,” “Bright” and “Jurassic World.”