Side cut-outs, stitching details, and a spotted print give these flats a playfully sophisticated feel. This All Black Footwear style is also available in black leather. Photos by Martin Boling


When Mirth opened its Fountain Square storefront in 2018, co-owners Amanda Forgas and Kelly Jennings weren’t sure the shop had the space to carry shoes, but they knew they wanted to. “Kelly and I are both lovers of shoes, so we knew if we could offer footwear, we would do it,” Forgas says. 

Last spring, Mirth began carrying a curated selection of 25 to 30 styles of higher-end footwear. Forgas and Jennings feel it is an important alternative to national chains that have dominated Bloomington’s retail shoe scene since independent businesses Sole Sensations, Smith’s Shoes, and Relish have all shuttered. 

“If a woman wants quality and comfort in shoe fashion, we felt like it wasn’t being offered, so we decided to take that on with a small collection,” Forgas explains. While the volume may be small, the styles are diverse, ranging from boots, flats, heels, and sandals to high-end athleisure sneakers, including well-known international brands.

See below for more photos.

(l-r) Mirth owners Kelly Jennings and Amanda Forgas.
Tennis shoe meets dress loafer in this upscale sneaker from high-end comfort brand All Black Footwear.
This stacked-heel lace-up boot is handmade in Mexico out of thick, high-quality leather. The Bed Stü brand uses sustainable shoemaking practices, including midsoles made of cork and recycled leather shavings, and nonchemical, vegetable leather tanning.
A dramatically notched sole gives this slouchy ankle boot a distinct look. From L’Amour Des Pieds, it is also lighter than it looks, and soft to the touch.
This platform Oxford offers the elevation of a heel without the risk of a painful slant. From All Black Footwear, it is made of nubuck with patent leather accents.
Bueno footwear is made from soft, hand-worked leather by artisans in Turkey. For this shoe, low-cut sides, a high ankle strap, and a stacked heel with an easy height combine for a casually dressy look. (Also available in navy.)
While the look may be as chunky as classic Doc Martens, this leather combat boot by L’Amour Des Pieds is extremely lightweight. A staff favorite, each of Mirth’s owners has a pair, and will vouch for the comfort of its arch support and buttery soft leather.