Thursday, July 23, 2009

Badass Gladiator Heels

If you haven't already noticed, my taste in shoes tends towards the extremely girly side: I want bright colors, soft fabrics, delicate heels, and bow, if you don't mind. I see something like these J.Crew Lyla Suede Peep-toes, $119.99, and I just swoon.

But lately, I've noticed a shift in shoe trends. Girls have been stomping around in gladiator sandals for a few years now, and it was over a year ago when Carrie Bradshaw spent 80% of the Sex and the City movie wearing those killer Dior heels. True story: I went to see the movie with my mom, and everytime Carrie wore those shoes, my mom would lean over and say, "Ugh, I hate those!" And then afterwards, when we were discussing the movie, she said, "Yeah, I liked it a lot, but Carrie's shoes were so ugly!"

And I admit, when I first saw these last summer I didn't quite get them. But this summer? I'm dying for a pair of over-the-top, aggressive, mean, extreme gladiator sandals for myself. No more ladylike pumps or slingbacks; I need a pair of badass shoes. But--since I'm pretty sure that this trend won't last more than a few more seasons, I don't want to pay more than $100 for a pair. Here are the options I've found:
Nine West Balboa heel, $88.95. I think these are a good place to start because they're not too extreme. The stacked platform and cone heel make them look tough, but Nine West is great at making shoes you can actually walk in. And the gladiator design is almost like a modified T-strap, with just a few extra straps of leather added.

Boutique Nine Vivacity, $69.99. The oversized silver buckles make these shoes stand apart from the crowd; I'd love to wear them with one of those exposed zipper skirts or dresses that are so popular right now.
Athena Platform Pump, $26.80. Forever 21 never met a trend it didn't like, and the gladiator heel is no exception. The leather wrapping around the ankle reminds me of a motorcycle jacket--that's a lot of toughness for such a small price. And that 4.5 inch heel isn't fucking around either.
Miss Sixty Clara Heel, $99.99. From Urban Outfitters, this shoe is probably the closest to the Dior heels Carrie Bradshaw wore. It looks a lot like a bootie with cut-outs, but I think it shows just enough skin to qualify as a heel, instead. I'm obsessed with that architectural cone heel--it's so cool without trying too hard. And the silver studs on the leather are rockin', as well.
Also from Urban Outfitters, the Sweet Life by Dolce Vita Lace Heel, $69.99. Are you a wallflower? Well then, get the fuck out of the way before I smash your toes. That is a five inch heel of pure fierceness right there, and I don't even have the words to describe how hot the corset-like lace-up front is.

Nine West Valenka Boutique 9 Heels, $59.99. These are a little more my style. The contrasting colors of leather are funky but not too wild, and the criss-crossing straps add just enough interest without looking like bondage shoes. I'm not crazy about how high up the back ankle support section goes, though--it's cut like a bootie but the rest of the shoe is decidedly sandal-like.

Modcloth Liz Sandal, $39.99. Here's the gladiator trend with a bit of a vintage twist. The basket-woven leather straps are fun and bohemian, and the caramel brown color is naturally less intimidating than black leather. But these are still guaranteed to get you attention; even if they're not maneater shoes, they're at least man-nibbler shoes, right?


Bex said...

Of those, I like the first ones best, but I got an awesome pair of Katela cage heels that I love and are amazingly comfortable from Shoe Carnival. I think they were around $40.00.
Here they are in tan, but mine are black.

Bex said...

Sorry, mine are by Delicious. Katela is the style name.

Ella Deneuve said...

We have a category called "that cow died for a good cause." I'd just like to draw attention to that.

Francesca said...

Funny, I didn't like them last year either and this year, I have to have a pair! Here's the one I opted for:

Still ladylike (not too agressive) but with that rocker vibe. Just enough to give my outfits that edge.

Sally said...

I'd go with the Forever 21 pair, myself (though I'd probably kill myself in the 4.5 inch heel). I love the biker-ish styling you mentioned, and the purple insole even though I'd be the only one who saw that part of it.