“Is this worth the hype?” Or “is this item legitimately good?” “Is it overpriced?”

It’s natural and we all do it. As consumers, we want the best for our money, but it’s hard to know exactly where to turn for answers regarding quality.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a few pair of designer shoes in my closet, but they are insanely uncomfortable. I’ve always heard that designer shoes are better than everything else when it comes to comfort and worth paying the steep price tag. That led me to ask:

“What is ‘comfortable,’ and are designer shoes superior to a nice pair in the $100 range? Why are they so expensive?”

It’s hard in this day and age to separate the truth from the noise. Now, I’m not saying that my opinion is fact. It’s just that- an opinion. But, that being said, I’ve built my blog on honesty and bluntness- I always try to be real and authenitc with you. So keep in mind there are many other people that don’t share my views. To each his (her) own.

I decided I was going to investigate these questions on my own with a review. Picking four designer pumps in a mid-range heel height and nude color, I compared fit, quality and appearance. Here are the shoes I’m reviewing:

Manolo Blahnik “BB Pointy Toe Pump
Christian Louboutin “Apostrophy Pointed Toe Pump
Prada “Pointy Toe Pump”
Jimmy Choo “Romy” Pointy Toe Pump

I compared them all to my standby BCBGeneration pumps. I’ve had them 3 years and LOVE them. The closest thing available now is this style. On sale for $63. (!!!)

Let’s look at each pump individually, shall we?

Christian Louboutin “Apostrophy Pointed Toe Pump

The prettiest of the group. That red lacquered sole is ionic and I love how they create the illusion of a skinnier heel with the red split heel. They run a half size too big, which is weird because all of my other Louboutins fit normally with my correct size. Not the most comfortable, but not unbearable. Absolutely gorgeous. Professional and ladylike with an edge.

Prada “Pointy Toe Pump”

The feel sturdy, but aren’t as pretty as the others. They’re comfortable, but they aren’t amazing. They felt less cushioned than the Choo and the Manolo’s. I didn’t like the longer toe box, as they felt a bit too pointy. I have small feet, but I imagine most women don’t want to elongate the appearance of their feet. Prada does, however, have the best packaging. It felt like a designer experience from the moment I picked up the box and opened it. The shoe quality is impressive and I would reckon these soles would last ages longer than the other three. I wouldn’t dare wear the others on a rainy day, but these would wipe clean.

Jimmy Choo “Romy” Pointy Toe Pump

Pretty, but also a bit large for my normal size. The other Jimmy Choo’s fit fine, and I’m sure these would fit better with an insole and heel liners. I loved the simplicity of the smaller toe box and the cushioning of the sole. They were quite comfortable considering the heel height. Timeless and lovely. Always a great choice.

Manolo Blahnik “BB Pointy Toe Pump

So, they’re in blue because WHY NOT, and also, the nude color was back-ordered for 2 months and I wanted to get this post up! They were the best fitting of the bunch, the least expensive (relatively, obviously), and quite comfortable. These are my choice because of the price, heel construction (directly under the foot), and angle of the sides. All in all, a winner.

To prove how similar my BCBGeneration shoes look to the Jimmy Choo’s, I thought I would do a few side by side pictures:

Crazy right? If you get super close you can tell differences, but to an untrained eye, they are near-identical. One was $100, one was SIX times that. When I was wearing both on walking around, there was no discernable difference- which I feel like is a strike against the Jimmy Choo’s. Initial quality was similar, although the entire appeal of buying designer is that the craftsmanship is superior so they will last for years, not a season or two. Comfort-wise, you still feel like you’re wearing heels. They’ll still hurt after a while, as all heels do. (I’m so sorry to burst the bubble!)  😉

Verdict:
These shoes aren’t magical. They still present the same issues that all heels do (feet hurting, calves aching, etc.), but they do have superior craftsmanship. My final decision, if you want something that will last for years as a wardrobe staple (or just want the name), buy designer. If you’re looking for something to wear to work/on the weekend, just get something similar to the BCBGeneration pumps. (You can buy a lot with the $500 you save.)

Are they worth it? Yes and no. The Jimmy Choo’s and Manolo Blahnik’s were the most comfortable out of the four, but the Prada were a close third. Christian Louboutin isn’t known for comfortable shoes, rather, wearable art, so that’s not a surprise that they ranked least comfortable out of the four.

If you want a “wow” factor, buy the Louboutins. They are STUNNING and they have the design that separates them from the pack. This is why I’ve chosen those as my designer of choice when it comes to shoe splurges. I’m not going to wear them all day for meetings, but when I want to make an impact they certainly do the job.

I hope this helps you with your decision to purchase designer heels! (Or to not. Either way.) Also, read reviews! Nordstrom has some of the best reviews that are consistent with my personal findings. If 300+ people love the shoe, that should tell you something. It all comes down to your budget and what you need out of a shoe. Be realistic about how well you care for your shoes as well. If you see them as an investment piece and take good care of them, you won’t be disappointed. In the era of the capsule wardrobe and purchasing fewer items of a higher quality, these are worth the investment.

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Adriele