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Our Worldwide Obsession With Footwear

You know the world is in trouble when a person makes the nightly news for the number of shoes they own. As silly as it may seem, the world is obsessed with shoes! Some of the most influential men and women around the globe admit to uncontrollable shoe addictions. Oprah Winfrey, a self-proclaimed shoe-aholic, often classifies her footwear with time codes: one-hour shoes, two-hour shoes, etc. This is based on the amount of time the shoes are comfortable to wear. Her frequent guest and friend, Tina Turner, is also her partner in crime when it comes to shoe shopping. Winfrey jokes, "We have all the shoes. There is not another shoe left to buy in the world." But the one that tops them all is Imelda Marcos. With over 9,000 pairs of shoes to her name, Marcos has gone so far as to open a shoe museum with the majority of the exhibits coming from her own closet.

What is it about footwear that drives us crazy? For the answer, we must look to luxury and classic shoe designers such as Ralph Lauren, or Manolo Blahnik.

As leaders in luxury shoe design, these trendsetters create new styles that keep the world lusting after their footwear. From season to season, high-fashion stylists produce shoes for every moment of our lives. Using the finest materials and the most eye-catching embellishments, it isn't surprising that royalty, celebrities and the wealthy look to Jimmy Choo, Versace and Tod's to put a spring in their step.

You can look for these famous footwear designers to add their special touches to new styles.

  • Sergio Rossi - Italian-inspired dress and casual shoes with classic styling. Tasteful embellishments add panache to special-occasion shoes.
  • John Lobb - A gentlemen's shoemaker of English origin creating tailored styles custom-fitted to each customer. John Lobb also offers traditional styles of women's shoes and sandals.
  • Gucci - Look to Italian shoemaker Gucci for everything from casual rubber thongs to eccentric designs adorned with buckles, zippers and other trimmings. From women's dress pumps to men's loafers and sandals, the Gucci shoe line runs the scale between stylish and trendy..
  • Prada - On the edge of every fashion craze, look to Prada for more vogue styles than others offer. Anchoring their lines with tasteful designs of timeless pumps, loafers and more, Prada has something for everyone.
  • Ferragamo - Tasteful yet modern, Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo caters to men and women with casual and dress footwear of lasting beauty and the highest quality.


Men's Shoes: Less Enticing?.

Admittedly, women's shoes seem to be more habit-forming than men's shoes. But even men's shoes have a certain draw. Ask silver screen legend Cary Grant. "I'm reminded of a piece of advice my father gave me regarding shoes: it has stood me in good stead whenever my own finances were low. He said, it's better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones." - Cary Grant's Biography, by Marc Eliot

This seems to be the mindset regarding men's shoes. While many men do purchase numerous pairs of shoes apparently on a whim, the general tendency is to buy more expensive, high-quality shoes.

A New Trend In Shoe Buying

The Internet offers shoe shoppers an entirely new experience. Footwear lends itself easily to online buying. With clothing, sizes may not always be standard, the fit may be slightly off or the fabric might not hang just the way you prefer. But shoes face none of these drawbacks.

Other than slight variations in color from monitor to monitor, footwear represents itself well on the Internet. Shoe sizes are very standardized meaning, if you wear a 10 and you buy a 10, it will fit. With dramatic improvements in digital photography over the last few years, webmasters can quickly and accurately upload pictures that can easily be enlarged providing the customer with greater detail.

In addition, many new online shoe stores offer great discounts on even the most expensive shoes. Due to lower overhead, online stores are often able to reduce their fixed costs and pass that savings onto their customers. So before you trot off to your local mall for a new pair of shoes, search the 'Net. You might discover excellent discounts you didn't know existed!

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Obsession with shoes