Not only are high-end designer shoes a symbol of a luxury lifestyle and enviable fashion sense, these long-established and respected brands bring with them assured quality, which in turn provides unparalleled comfort and durability. The difference behind these designers’ shoes in part comes down to the craftsmanship and materials behind them. And when this is paired with accomplished design and a wealth of experience in the fashion industry, the result is a pair of shoes that are coveted and worn with great pride. This is why we think the most expensive shoes can often be worth the extra cost.
Established by the couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo and Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon, this fashion brand has become synonymous with luxury high heels. The Alia 85 crystal-covered pointy toe pump ‘Cinderella slippers’ were created to celebrate the release of the film. Designed by Creative Director Sandra Choi, these shoes re-imagine the story’s glass slipper, and are decorated with 7,000 Swarovski crystals, with an additional crystal cluster on top. These shoes are priced at $4,595.
Having worked as head designer at Givenchy for a number of years and founded his own label, the British designer Alexander McQueen was considered one of our fashion greats for his daring collections. The Hobnail Ankle Boots, which are priced at $3,550, are crafted from patchwork floral embroidered material, with an embroidered leather heel, thick leather sole with hammered studs, and a zip and buckle ankle strap fastening.
Red lacquered soles are the signature touch of French designer Christian Louboutin. He is credited for helping to bring stiletto heels back into fashion in the ‘90s and is now one of the world’s most iconic shoe designers. The Brondiriza 100mm half d’Orsay high heels are made in ivory crepe satin and embellished with opaque crystals. Owing to their materials and craft, the shoes are priced at $1,995.
Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaïa is revered in particular for having independence from what’s going on around him in the fashion world, as well as for his passion for understated luxury. The Alaïa laser-cut suede and patent-leather ankle boots are a signature design of the label. And these can be bought for $1,930.
This Paris-based collective was established out of a desire to break away from the continuous fashion cycle of seasonal collections, instead creating singular items that make an impact. These Vetements + Manolo Blahnik waist-high satin boots have been handcrafted in Italy from bright orange satin and lined with smooth beige leather, and were worn by Rihanna when she performed at the OVO Fest in Toronto.
Established in 2006 by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, The Row aims to reflect relaxed and timeless elegance in ready-to-wear items. This brand led to the founders twice being named Womenswear Designers of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The label’s Ambra glossed-alligator ankle boots have been hand-crafted in Italy from glossed-alligator, and lined with smooth leather, then set on a block heel. These boots are priced at $7,500.
Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is celebrated most for his exotic prints and leather goods, and as a result his shoes are coveted worldwide. These wedge sandals, priced at $1,120, feature straps that enhance the ankle with mignon leather knots, and a heel that’s embroidered with an exotic flora and fauna design.
As a label that’s instantly associated with luxury shoes, Manolo Blahnik is the name behind notably feminine shoes that blend elegance and experimental design with dedicated craftsmanship. The label’s Celesta boots are made from black suede and embellished with elaborate hand-stitched beading. These boots are available for $3,595.
This fashion house was founded in 1854 by the French designer Louis Vuitton, and the label has since become one of the world’s most revered. While the brand is famed for its leather bags, it has also found success in designing and making shoes. The label’s Pokerface High Boot combines an exotic python front in gold with a black calf leather back, plus a flower-cut heel and petal-shaped back, which were inspired by the brand’s iconic monogram flowers. These boots are priced at $2,252.
As a well-established maker of luxury fashion and leather goods, it’s no surprise Gucci has a reputation for producing high fashion shoes. Gucci’s leather studded sandals feature glass pearl and crystal studs, a centered jewel encrusted bee, and a 25mm silk-effect galvanized gold heel. These sandals can be bought for $2,004.
The British luxury fashion house Burberry focuses on ready-to-wear items, with a distinctive checked pattern that’s familiar worldwide. Some of the brand’s shoes take on this pattern too. Burberry’s leather and snakeskin cut-out platform boots incorporate Italian-crafted brogue detail, a high block heel, and a corset-inspired lace-up closure. These boots are sold for $1,612.
Italian luxury fashion house Prada was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, with a focus on leather goods and shoes, in addition to other clothing. These Prada satin point-toe slingback pumps have a T-strap, hand-embellished stones and sequins and a 55mm heel. These are priced at $1,388.
As the son of Sergio Rossi, Gianvito grew up with an immersion into shoe making, which instilled a passion for this craft in him. The label’s cocktail bootie is crafted from silver lambskin silk, with 7,000 hand-applied neon Swarovski crystals, and a 105mm heel. The high heeled sandals cost $3,310.
Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti opened his first boutique in Milan in the year 2000, and now the label has outlets across the globe. The Giuseppe Zanotti leaf stiletto sandals are embellished with sparkling crystals, with a caged sandal design on a 120mm heel. These highly desirable heels are priced at $2,016.