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About Us - Update 04/15

Created for go-getters, dreamers, and ambitious women driven by a sense of purpose, Protégé is the first of its kind truly painless stiletto heel. Step out in long-lasting comfort and confidence with our wearable timeless design. 

Values

At Protégé, we believe in innovative solutions obtained through curiosity, open-mindedness, and unceasing determination. We are life-long learners with a mission to advance the industry in ways thought to be impossible.  

Mission

We have made it our mission to disrupt the $37.8 billion high heels industry, as women’s comfort has never been a consideration for the majority of the market. We combine technology and wearable high fashion to elevate your journey every step of the way. 

Groundbreaking Mechanical Engineer, Designer, and Founder of Protégé Candace Chen shares, “Protégé means student in French. To me, the brand is all about approaching problems with a fresh perspective, consistent innovation, and constantly pushing the boundaries. When someone says it can’t be done, prove them wrong.” 

At Protégé, our goal is to empower a confident and truly comfortable walk so you can focus on presenting your best self.

woman jumping in protege heelswoman sitting wearing protege heels

HOW IT STARTED

Most women have to choose between more practical footwear, or being forced to be uncomfortable in their heels. Founder Candace Chen always dreaded this choice, having especially sensitive feet that would blister and bleed after a night out in heels.

As an MIT graduate with a decade of experience in product design, development, and operations, Chen made it her mission to design and develop high-end heels that were actually comfortable and stable. She shares, “Many of these high heels are designed by men, and are simply not meant to be comfortable.”  

So she went to prototyping and designing her own product. Starting with tearing apart countless thrift store heels, only to discover their lack of comfort padding (most were made with just a thin layer of plastic or cardboard) she was even more determined to innovate a model that had never been done before.

After 18 months and 67 iterations engineering her prototype, she landed on “The Painless Stiletto” – designed to reflect the most popular, classic, and timeless high heel styles worn from the Met Gala to the upscale W Hotel Lounge.

The innovative design of “The Painless Stiletto” has been acclaimed for its innovation, providing support on multiple areas of the foot, without sacrificing style. Be one of the first to experience a true difference! 

Our Tech 

comfortfeaturestech

Deep Heel Cup