Pumped Up Kicks


Tuesday night, Emily returned from her jaunt to Paris with February's Vogue Paris in tow and delivered it to us with a proclamation: “Apparently it’s all about the pointy-toed pump.” She wasn’t kidding—the issue (devoted to New York, ironically enough) holds five fashion spreads as diverse in concept and execution as the city itself. The beauty alone ranges from a daytime, full-'70s smoky eye and soft pink lip [2-3], to Anja Rubik's worn-out, next-day eyeliner and fuschia gloss [6-9], to a strong brow and clean contouring, to Terry Richardson's Serpico-tinged shoot with Natasha Poly. But one element remains consistent throughout: four out of five of the stories feature clean-lined, classic, sky-high stilettos (avec pointed toe), whether in black, white, silver, studded, vintage, courtesy of Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik, modeled by Anja Rubik, Kati Nescher, or Milla Jovovich. The shoe's the same, kids. Ain't that a trip?

(And by the way, a quick Google dive into the annals of street-style blogs will show you that Emmanuelle Alt and stylist Capucine Safyurtlu practice what they preach when it comes to footwear. Can you say "walk this way," en Français?)

It’s enough to make a girl want to streamline her wardrobe/lifestyle right down to her heels, forever. The right pair of heels—simple, high, sleek—is the point here, as pumps can go mumsy in the blink of a blister pad; the key is the magic combination of posture-perfecting arch, leg-elongating heel height, and foot-flattering cutaway, all balanced perfectly so that you can walk, too! (Imagine!) It's a subtle art, for sure, but you know it when you see/feel it.

And before you start crying about discomfort:

A) There's no crying in baseball, and that goes for fashion, too.

B) Refer to our story about the best in Band-Aids from last season

C) Alessandra once trotted around for, like, 12 hours straight in a pair of Manolos originally made for her designer pal Wes Gordon's presentation and said they were shockingly comfortable. This, from someone who wears motorcycle boots every day. Take note.

So, in our ever-humble opinion? Snap up a pair and make sure you can walk smoothy before you leave the house. Here, our best bets for classic heels that will serve you well, day-to-night, office meeting to dinner, fête, and fashion week—both ITG- and Vogue Paris-approved (Anja's red American Apparel beret optional):

The Classics: Jimmy Choo's tangerine Anouk pump and Abel pump

Manolo Blahnik's black BB pump

Sergio Rossi's closed-toe slip on pumps

Boutique 9's red-patent Justine pump

Jean-Michel Cazabat's black-patent Closed-Toe Slip-Ons

Steven by Steve Madden's black-patent Loulu pump

The Metallics: Saint Laurent Paris' silver Escarpin Thorn pump

Feeling Studly? Valentino's Rockstud Noir pump

Christian Louboutin's Pigalle 100mm spiked patent pump in chalk

All images from the February 2013 issue of Vogue Paris; [1, 4-5] by Inez & Vinoodh; [ 2-3] by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer; [6-11] by Mario Sorrenti—subscribe to see more photographs.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • renaphuah

    yay for Pigalle! x

  • Malena
  • Marta E

    Milla rocks it!!!!



  • Annie

    I love your rule a, about no crying in baseball so no crying in fashion! I will definitely remember that next time my shoes are hurting my feet!

  • Joll

    I have loved pointy-toed pumps since I bought my first pair of shoes, in the '80s, which were...pointy-toed pumps. While I flirt with peep toes, Mary Janes, and the like, my heart belongs to a classic pointy pump. Preferably with some great color or detail. Though I won't go higher than about 4-4.5". That's a comfortable walking height for me. And I think anything higher just looks a little excessive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=621425764 Heather Smith

    ALSO -- (because I've loved a classic pointy-toed pump since I was.....barely walking AND I tend to champion quantity over brand), Charles David has a GORGEOUS pair with the sexiest shaped vamp......drool:


    • http://twitter.com/SaraT1011 Sarita

      Those Charles David pumps are a doll!

  • http://www.vintageobserver.com/ Couteau

    Hey, Pigalle pumps and the like don't suit everyone. On me - slim, but latin - they look.... slutty. Not in the good ITG/Vogue Paris sense, more like Amsterdam's red light district... at daytime.... low tourist season.

    I wrote an account of my stupefying shopping expedition to one of Louboutin's Paris store: http://www.vintageobserver.com/2012/12/red-soul.html

  • http://iamturquoise.wordpress.com/ iamturquoise

    i love the pointy-toed pumps but some reason I cant combine them with anything in my closet. I feel like they make me look older:)


  • Lucy Apted
  • http://reddysteadygo.tumblr.com/ Sindhu R.

    For me to pull off the pointy-toe pump it's all about foot cleavage! I like 8, takes the sexy to a whole new level.

  • Lennox St

    Phew! My systematic replacing of platform heels with pointy toed pumps over the last few months, is now validated!

  • Lavang

    I am in total agreement of a single sole (not sure if I am using the right terminolgy) heel. Platforms, while making one extremely tall with comfort, just remind me of Kardashians and Forever 21, and all not in a good way. Plus, I think they throw people out of proportion, as in petite women wearing platforms - not pleasing to the eye. A simple heel, as in these pointy-toed pumps, not only look elegant, but elongate what legs you have. Plus I think these are way less hooch looking than platforms. I am currently on the lookout for my classic heel, so thank you for your suggestions!

  • Shannah

    The pointy-toed pump is unmatched with regards to sex appeal, there's no doubt about that. I nearly lost my shit when months ago talk of "shorter heel heights" as being "on trend" were going around - you know, as the economy's going back up, heel heights are going back down? Something like that. Anyway, I couldn't bear to visualize (shudder) kitten heels on the pages of i-D and Vogue Paris, so thank goodness Emmanuelle Alt is the dictator of all that is chic and that she is forever the goddess of skinny jeans and pointy-toes. Amen to that.


Christian Louboutin Pigalle Spiked Patent Red Sole Pump Chalk
Sergio Rossi
Sergio Rossi Closed-Toe Slip-ons
Steven Loulu Point Toe Pumps
Yves Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent Paris Escarpin Thorn Pump
Boutique 9
Boutique 9 Justine Pump
Jean-Michel Cazabat
jean-michel cazabat closed-toe slip-ons
Valentino Rockstud Noir Pump
Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo Abel Pump
Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo Anouk Pump in Tangerine