A Most Important Relationship

Leandra Medine | April 3, 2012
Chanel pumps, Current/Elliott jeans. Photos by Naomi Shon

This week in a new installment called Shoesday: green cap toe, navy body, subtle glitter, dark wood. While working on my Russell co-Branded bookie wookie, I got to thinking about the relationship we have with our feet and the shit that goes on them. Maybe you remember the corresponding tweet attached to this sentiment. I have a few theories and speculations about why we’re willing to drop such large loads–brands will only make their footwear as expensive as the consumer can handle and loads of these guys run up some $3,000 price tags–on the little leather, often uncomfortable critters ultimately meant for no use more imperative than to drag across floors. Across floors.

Many a time, they’re even in fact overlooked in the grand scheme of presence. But my theories are just, you know, theories and they include the usual roundabout confidence, suspension of disbelief, strive to role play as a means of escapism, you know how it goes. Sex and The City penetrated the notion of a woman’s relationship with shoes quite heavily during the course of its six season run. In one episode, Carrie Bradshaw went so far as to fake nuptials with herself so as to regain a pair of lost silver Manolo Blahniks. In another, she had a pair stolen off her feet, literally. I’ll argue she deserved that one for not knowing where Houston Street was but that’s another beast to tackle at a later time. More recently, an entire movie–God Save My Shoes–debuted during fashion week to outline the female attraction to expensive footwear. I saw it, I liked it–quite a lot–but somehow, I still find the question unresolved: what is it with us women and our shoes?

Would love to hear what you think.

  • i have no idea what is with us, but i do love my shoes! yes, I blame sex and the city too.. ;P
    xo, Tina

  • this girl went to becky-bloomwood-esque measures to finally get her hands on a pair on isabel marant willows, and i can proudly say that it was worth not only the 4am get up, but also every last dollar spent. why? for me, shoes are the platform on which we stand, both figuratively and literally; they are the fast track to feeling invincible.
    so excited for the book!

  • It's definitely a hard thing to unfurl, but I think it helps that, no matter what size the rest of one's body, shoes always fit and are a must. You can wear the same black shirt and jeans every day but really show your style with a different pair of shoes. It's kind of like when you wear a uniform growing up– shoes are the woman's way of showing her personality, no matter what else she's got on.

    Good luck with your book– I can't wait to read it!!

  • They're an object of reverie and envy – so they're like the female equivalent of a pissing contest but prettier – who has more expensive ones? Who pair which shoes with their outfit better? You have your blend in shoes that are out of necessity but the way I see it – what your wear on your feet, is the like a modern ladies bindi.

  • Shoes are the opportunity for women to feel slutty sexy, without giving too much away. I can put on a suit and wear my favorite pair of fuck me pumps to the office and no one but be will know I'm a sexy goddess.

  • Well can you blame us? Look at those, if I had no bills I'd buy them even if I couldn't walk in them "curb to cab" I love those!

  • Because you can gain a few pounds and maybe your fave jeans or dress don't fit the way you like, and you can age (trust me you will) not feel like you can rock that Leger bandage dress (and let me say that literally no one over 30 or more than 112 lbs should try) or those skinny jeans anymore, but if you can still walk in heels, a pair of Choos or Louboutins or Manolos or anything with 4 inches on the heel will still make you feel young and skinny.

  • Sort of like men and watches, or cars.

  • love your shoes always!!


  • They're just so beautiful, how could we not obsess over them. They're like works of art on our feet.

    La Vie à Mon Avis

  • I think we like the way they make us feel but unfortunately that doesn't always match how they feel on us (owwiee!)


  • Don't know either, but I know I'm one of 'them shoe-crazed gals'

  • we could be naked, we could wear a man's shirt, we could wear a potato sack. Shoes are what MAKE the outfit!!

  • my first post I did on my blog was about women and their shoes. If you would like the answer to your question, you can read it.
    http://www.chicmilano.com/2009/10/28/why-this-fascination-with-shoes/ enjoy!

  • The chick flick In Her Shoes has the line "Shoes always fit". Many women have body images issues, which are certainly promoted by a beauty industrial complex that says you need to have a flat stomach and big (but not too big!) boobs and a skinny waist and long legs and perfect pores, but rarely do we have feet issues. You and I can have different bodies, but we might both be a size 6.5 shoe. Shoes are the most universal of accessories and the possibilities are endless!

  • Shoes have always been a thing of beauty!


  • Anonymous

    I love shoes and Sex and the City has nothing to do with it, I mean it hasnt been a major influence on me.
    Me loving shoes has a lot to do about being a girl a seeing my mother and grandmother wearing high heels, always looking gorgeous and the way I felt back then imagining what I would wear when I would grow old. I am addicted on shoes. I think I'm a shoe addict on rehab ( I'm fooling myself). I dont buy as much shoes I would want to, and think very carefully about buying shoes. This is a way to avoid spending money and to avoid buying a shoe I can only use one time because it hurts my feet. I hate blisters and pain in my shoes.


  • I do love my shoes, but after reading the review of God Save Our Heels, I don't feel like an obsessive at all.


  • Shoes do a lot for our fashion psyches that clothes and other accessories just can't match. As a good friend of mine says, you never feel too fat to shop for shoes. And it's true. No matter how battered your self-confidence might be on any given day, shoe can make you feel better. Shoes are pretty. They come in lots of fun colors. They can turn even plain old jeans and a t-shirt into a hot outfit. And have I mentioned what they can do for your legs? Bottom line: shoes make you feel sexy and beautiful, no questions asked. Even when they're giving you blisters. And who could possibly put a price on that?

  • I've read it in some of the other comments as well, but it certainly is true: shoes do indeed always fit (Okay, I am an exception to this rule as my feet are different sizes, but I think you'll understand what I am trying to say). As a girl who is not even close to size 0, I sometimes feel that the clothes I would want to wear, don't look good on me. Shoes do, they always do.

  • the shoes phenomenon will probably stay unsolved forever haha
    and gosh I love the shoes you posted. gorgeous color combination!

    X, Annie

  • You're absolutely right, Leandra. I can think of numerous examples of women who have or have had love affairs with their shoes (the several hundred pairs of Marie Antoinette, Dorothy's ruby red slippers), but it's nearly impossible to pin point why. What I can tell you though, is that not every woman has the shoe gene. And those who don't, in addition to most straight men, are perplexed and cannot relate whatsoever. The judging eyes of non-shoe purveyors are intense to say the least!

    Thankfully, there are plenty of those who understand the obsession. Thank you!


  • Shoes are consistent. No matter what else is going on….your favourite jacket is dirty, your hair sucks, can't be bothered with makeup…shoes are pretty much the low-maintenance cousin to all of the other things we adorn ourselves with. Even when they are high-maintenance they are still much less work than, say, something taffeta.

  • I think NYC girls (well, a lot city girls in general) have the answer: wear your cute flats on the way to work, change into heels when you get there.

    Best of both worlds: our much-loved, comfortable flats *and* heels/pumps get some love.

  • xo to shoes. What about what I noticed most about this post were the cropped/cuff denim? I'm somewhat hellbent on finding the PERFECT pair at the moment that will showcase summer heels.

  • Hi, my name is Nicole and I'm addicted to glitter.

    Hi Nicole.

  • don't know why nor what it is… I think it's in my blood! for me it's not a competition about what other girls are wearing at their feet (because I don't really care what they're actually wearing!), but it's more the way I can express myself through the shoes!
    and in other news, not every woman has this kind of 'relationship' with shoes…


  • Anonymous

    Great response! I fully endorse it.

  • Please don't make me think about it. If I'm aware of the problem (and yes, it is indeed a problem), I might have to do something about it… And I don't want to.

  • Nora

    I AGREE!

  • Shoes are the girl's best friend! LOve those from the first pic!



  • I really like to have the answer to your quesitons but mines are also speculations… It doesn't work. Well, I've been saving money for monts just to buy some pairs of Miu Miu (but fantastic) shoes. I really liked them but I guess it's insane… yes, I know it is. Anyway, it's up to us to decide what do we use our money for, doesn't it? Some people spend millions of dollars in their new Ipad whatever and we does on buying some new expensive (but fantastic) shoes! That's it? That's all I can think about this thing, just for today.

  • Anonymous

    Shoes are a girl's best friends. It may be superficial but that's it.

  • i think it's because no matter how big your thighs or stomach are, shoes always fit. just a guess.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • I can't say I know the answer to this question either! But shoes seem to be a common attraction for women who are into fashion and even women who aren't so much. There are so many different styles and options. A really nice pair of shoes can make an otherwise boring look, fashionable acceptable. A great pair of shoes is just essential.



  • First can I just say, I freaking adore your shoe collection. Please post more pictures!

    On shoes: People, more specifically my dad, can’t flummox the attachment, “ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river,” – you might get it by now – to my shoe ‘thing’. “We’re in Love,” I say. Back since I’d jammed my wayward into flip-flops, sneakers, wedges, I remember my momma stopping at Sergio Rossi (mid-nineties, mind you). She all but bought out the store (and now, don’t get me started on being kicked out of our hotel room slash wandering St. Peter’s Square until 3 am – but we had the shoes!). To enthuse such fate, such fortune, I cried tears and tears (Grappa can be a real bitch sometimes) at the blackened bottom of my espadrille flats. The bottoms. Yes, the soles. MY soul. Thick or thin. Small or large. Wait. Backtrack. So yea, though thick or thin, my shoes fit ME. I don’t need to fit them. It’s that special feeling, a requited love, Shake Shack with no line, Mcdonalds and the McRib, Kermit and Miss Piggy.

  • Posture always gets better and the strut gets a little stronger. And totally agree with Lauren's comment above…no matter the shape of the rest of ya, shoes can always look like pure sex 🙂



  • i love them. so amazing!!!


  • Whenever I put on a pair of heels, I immediately stand up a little straighter and I no longer get called shortie by friends. For me, heels give a sense of satisfaction that I'm not wearing a pair of beaten up sneakers and that I'm no longer the shortest person in class. Plus, they look amazing on.

  • It's funny too because a lot of women, if addicted to a key piece in their closet, are addicted to shoes. I don't begin to understand our intense only semi healthy relathionship with our feet and what we wear on them, however I have noted that often what you wear on your extremities is often key and sets the tone for the rest. Although hats are not nearly as addictive as shoes, they can give an outfit a whole new air, and come in spectacualr shapes and colord (all your need to do is check out Advance Style to know what I'm talking about). Anyway that's my odd theory on fashion.
    Material Fixations

  • Yes, across floors. Those Chanel pumps are almost too fabulous to be put on any floor, unless, of course, the floor was made of gold… then maybe…

  • I'd take a pair of Chanel pumps over a man ANY day.

    -Living Mannequin


  • those shoes are fab.

  • agreed too !!!!!!

  • these are divine, loving both paired, cannot even decide which one is my favourite


  • A beautiful pair of shoes can uplift my mood and posture, therefore it is better than therapy.

  • I once read a college admission essay in which a girl wrote about her favorite shoes – a pair of bright yellow flats – and how they allowed her to express all the joy, brightness, friendliness, etc that she was too shy to express in words or actions, and how they made her feel secure and happy whenever she had them on. In this way, I kind of think that that -favorite- pair expresses something we see in ourselves, but can't necessarily act out. At least for me, shoes are something of an alter-ego. I like them high and sharp. My favorite pair is a 5.5" platform bootie knockoff of the Balenciaga harness boot, but it has HAIR. yay hehe.

  • i am totally digging the proenzas. thanks for posting!

  • haha, "the most important relationship" – loving your posts as always and waiting for the book!

  • Totally adore those Proenza´s! Great post and agree on everything, I love my shoes!


  • I love the first pair of shoes!

  • I'm in love with the 2nd pair! The crochet look is stunning. I adore the first pair though too. Very simple but elegant.



  • I absolutely love the Chanel pumps. I love the color combination. Not only do they look great with jeans, but they'll also look great with tuxedo shorts.

  • Your body might change, but your foot size stays the same forever (except maybe when you're old and shrinking.) You buy a shoe and you know you'll have it forever.

  • I love my shoes and i dont even have Carrie to blame

  • They always fit.

    And I think Carrie turned it into a trendy thing. i don't remember people being so into shoes years back. But I could be wrong.

  • For me personally I never feel fat in a pair of heels, that is an amazing feeling. One will never eat one too many cakes and not fit in their most treasured heels. Where as I may eat too many cakes and struggle with the zip on my jeans…


  • Shoes and bags: they're the two items that will never make you feel fat or ugly, or be too tight here or too loose there. Shoes will always make you feel confident, they never disappoint.

  • Anonymous

    I think the love of shoes all goes back to Cinderella …. she slips into The Glass Slipper & then magically lives Happily Ever After.

    With a hot prince, no less.

    Any other questions ?


  • My desire for shoes is insatiable. I think because they easily transform an outfit. I often decide what shoes I will wear first then the clothes. Shoes are taking over my office. It's a problem. If you find a solution/answer, please let me know!


  • So, should I write about shoes to get into Swarthmore?

  • It's because we are always looking down. I feel like I spend a lot of time looking at my shoes.

  • really really love the classic heels above. they are beautiful! i want ones like that. thanks for sharing this 🙂
    xx, http://wordbyjessie.com/

  • Because men can't have them (beautiful heels, that is). They belong solely to us. Get it? Solely? Ok I'm done

  • ~A

    I'd kill for your shoe collection. Mostly joking homicidal comments aside, there is nothing sweeter than starting your day by looking at the fab pair of shoes on your feet and thinking, "yep, I look gorgeous."

  • As a proud owner of more than 100 pairs of shoes , I think we easily spend tons of money on very expensive shoes because it is the easiest thing to buy that makes us feel really good . A great pair of shoes can make any outfit, even a $10 t-shirt and simple jeans look great and feel luxurious. Shoes almost never make you feel fat, so any time you try them on they will look amazing!!! hehe so you buy them! And you can also wear them for more than one season, in comparison with a dress for example, that you only wear a couple of times and feels old. Makes me happy even just looking in my shoe closet! It is a great investment :))

  • A


  • Anonymous

    "What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?"

  • Shoes and bags: they're the two items celine outlet:http://www.celinebag.net that will never make you feel fat or ugly, or be too tight here or too loose there. Shoes will always make you feel confident, they never disappoint.

  • Anonymous

    Baylor has celine outlet relied heavily on national celine luggage player of the year Brittney Griner and celine bags all-american point guard Odyssey Sims to be their winning connection throughout the season, but an unlikely source provided the spark on Sunday night.

  • suchhh great shoes


  • I think you may have meant "God Save My Shoes".

    Nevertheless, I know for me it's their ability to allow me to be whoever I want to be at the drop of a hat [shoe].

    I can be wearing leggings and a white tee – throw on some chunky lace up heels and be a vixen, doc martens and be a tom boy, stilettos and be a lady. 3 seconds and I'm a new me. And I never look like I'm trying too hard, because – hey, they're just shoes.

  • Anonymous

    I do not understand it either. I am among the group of women you who would spend 600 Euro in flats! Flats! Amazing flats, in neon, macrame, whatever! I need to walk, I love walking, so I do it in shoes that make me look amazing and poweful. Ok, my butt looks better with high heels, but my butt will look even worse if I did not do the walking…I just think my DNA did not include the "i can wear high heels no matter what whithout crying" gene.

  • That makes me wonder too! Oh my, I really enjoy reading your articles.

    en la moda

  • i adore my shoes as well!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I guess I'm not your typical female. I have to say that I do not own even one pair of high heels! Love'em on others, really do, but I hate them on myself! It's not only that I am walking like in the Ministry of Silly Walks when wearing heels, I just don't feel comfortable and I guess it shows too. Nevertheless, I am the proud owner of quite a collection of loafers, flat boots and oxfords. Ha, maybe the male part of me is represented in my footwear. Who knows. I wonder how it is that we pay so much attention to this one detail of the whole outfit! For me great shoes are essential. Interestingly enough though last summer I observed a new trend on the streets: people walked barefoot! In the city! I can't understand it, maybe someone can?

  • Relationship between girls and shoes is about highness power of seduction … and the price. What is the most important to remind is that a girl should really know the reason of her choice.


  • It's the attitude you gain by wearing high heels!

    love those PSs <3


  • Caitlin

    Epic comment, I think I will live by this.

  • This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.

  • Here is a quote from Seinfeld that I love: "Men are obsessed with cleavage. Women are obsessed with shoes. It’s the same for both sexes. It doesn’t matter how many times we have seen these things, every time these objects are presented to us we have to look. We cannot not look. To men cleavage is the nearest thing to a nearby UFO landing. If women buy a pair of shoes that they really love – this is like boarding the alien ship. It’s entirely possible that aliens have landed, but they haven’t been able to get our attention because we’re so occupied with cleavage and shoes."

    love your blog.

  • I wish had more of a love affair with my shoes…they're often an after thought for me once I am fully dressed, accessorized, coat on…and then I need to choose some shoes. I am all about the jewelry, leaving little time for shoes. Trying to work on that! Those Chanel pumps are to die for!

    My jewelry blog: joliejouel.blogspot.com

  • Love the proenza heels.

    Egocloset.com Giveaway!

  • Because shoes make you look better and no one wants to look like a mole.

  • ohh I love these shoes!

  • The better the shoe the better to walk "the walk" with! A good pair adds and extra spring to your step. LOVE these!

  • Josephine LaRue

    A few weeks ago I bought 14 pairs of shoes in one sweep…Prada/Givenchy/Dior etc…the reason? Because they were all soooooooo freaking marvelous! Each shoe you own/buy should more than likely have a story to tell about you. That about sums it up.

  • Anonymous

    i appreciate that you try and bring thoughtfulness out of your readers and really make them think.

  • Stefani Stoyanof

    o ma gawd shoes!

    Well, I'm gonna have to bring good ol' grandmother into this response , but you end up buying whats a "necessity in life"…. kinda like water and bread. Yes, i realize i am comparing shoes to food (which is NOT a joking matter) but honestly, have I ever eaten cans of tuna or ramen so i could save money to buy a fabulous pair of heels? I will take YES for 1000 please! It may or may not be the smell of leather that seeps into your veins when you first open a shoebox. It may or may not be that once the shoe is on your feet you look down and say " wow. i would totally do me if i was a guy all while keeping my shoes on". It may or may not be the fact that shoes will never ever let you down. Its one of the greatest relationship in life that a woman can have. Unlike men, they are always patiently waiting for you in your closet, they always make you feel like a super-powered being, and well lets face it they don't ever cheat on you with other shoes. Okay, there may be certain moments of disappointment, like when they don"t carry your size at the store. But, in the end they somehow magically appear in front of you. So I say, women continue to have this so-called obsession with inanimate objects on your feet! Its healthy, its sexy, its what we do. And yes, I realize that I've answered your question all while comparing shoes to men, but hey this is the man repeller site 😉

  • 1) they change the game. shoes punctuate an outfit and frame it. there is nothing like a shoe to take a look up and away.
    2) they alter your walk. you satisfy escapist tendencies by immediately giving you a different gait and form. there is also the confidence and thrill of mastery that comes with managing to actually "work" such teetery instruments.
    3) they got curves. shoes are tightly constructed. they arch and bend and are cut in ways that excite the imagination.
    4) they are small and therefore breed a collecting mania usually reserved for ornamental (and not functional) objects. there are no boring parts of a shoe. the entire thing is constructed with the leathers, colours, cuts, buttons, zippers and conceptual turns to inspire delight and devotion.

    Thats enough for me to go cray cray.

  • Charlotte

    I think, of all the parts of our bodies that we could choose to fixate on, feet and hands are the most important. They're the ones that we use the most to explore the world around us. We don't like to restrict our hands; when we put things on them, we always play with them or wait for the first possible time to take them off, and when rings or gloves inhibit the movement of our fingers, we readily remove them so that our hands can have the freedom we want them to have.

    However, we're very comfortable with our feet covered — more comfortable than when they're uncovered, actually. Wearing shoes ensures that our feet, which have enough pressure on them already, won't come against anything that's more hot or cold or sharp than they want to handle. Also, everyone's are different and we notice it, the same way we notice other people's hands and faces and bodies. We look at our feet and we're fascinated by their complexity as well as their functionality. We've mastered their use, the way we have our hands, and we are freaking excited! However, that's only why we like feet.

    I'm going to agree with Miss Ghesquiere here and say that we like shoes for essentially the same reason we like jewelry. And hats. They're small enough that you can add a little bit of something, but large enough that people will notice them. They're also the only type of "clothing" (using the term loosely…) that can take quite so many shapes: beyond the basic construction of the top of the shoe (which is pretty much analogous to clothing: it can cover a little or a lot, have gaps, embellishments, be tall or short), the heights of both the heel and the toe of the shoe can be played with to give your outfit — not to mention the way you move your body — an entirely different effect. We spend money on shoes for the same reason we spend money on bras: the right ones make our bodies feel great. And look great. …Although I can't say that I'm going to adopt the bikini top fashion quite yet. 😉

  • this is so great!

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Easy:

    1. Shoes never make you look fat
    2. A pair of shoes looks the same on your feet as it does in a magazine or on the run way
    3. You can always see your shoes (as opposed to a pretty top or a nice necklace).

    Shoes are the best.

  • I am 6feet tall and wear heels. I guess that makes me a man repeller.

  • Hmmmm women and shoes, shoes can make or break an outfit and they can turn men of and on, two quite important things right?? =)




  • Anonymous

    i smell a book chapter!!!!

  • JPS

    The Proenza Schouler heels are so hot!

    feel free to check out my blog:

  • OMG, Love the first pair of shoes… I want theeeem! :'(

  • Go for it. College admissions love that stuff. My friend wrote about her hair and got into Stanford. true story. Good luck 🙂

  • Anonymous

    it's because you can't lose shoes! you can lose expensive bracelets and your favourite tshirt but when you go out in a pair of shoes you come home in the shoes.

  • Shojib Ashrafi Na Ashrafi

    Wow! Burns are the most painful thing in the world, second to nothing! These poor people to be burned alive while
    conscious, unimaginable! My heart goes out to the families. And especially to those that survived and witnessed this!
    May God give them peace!!!!

  • adit

    It’s definitely a hard thing to unfurl, but I think it helps that, no
    matter what size the rest of one’s body, shoes always fit and are a
    must. Artikel Kesehatan Kecantikan