By Georgea Kovanis / Detroit Free Press
I’ve known many shoes in my day, but a pair of coral-color, calf-hair mules with a kitten heel and an exquisitely pointed toe remains my all-time favorite.
I wore them everywhere for several years. I loved the color. I loved the texture. I loved that I’d gotten them from a huge sale at Banana Republic and no one else I knew had a pair like them. Most of all, I loved them because they made my legs look longer and my feet look especially slender.
And then, like many good things, my coral shoes wore out. They started balding, and, unable to do a comb over, I retired them.
I tell you this because after several seasons of rounded-toe shoes, skinny shoes are back in all formats.
“Toe shape works the same way that necklines work,” says Gregg Andrews, fashion creative director for Nordstrom stores. “A V-neck is more flattering than a round neck. The same holds true for the shapes of toes.”
“What a pointed-toe shoe can do for a woman’s leg is really tremendous because it does elongate the leg,” he says. “It works for women of any age and any figure. You can do it from a very high stiletto to a kitten heel to a flat.”
For some, the sight of pointy toes may be jarring.
“You have to remember that shoes are designed to be seen from the outside profile and from somebody looking at you from head on,” Andrews says. “You’re going to look down and go, ‘Oh my God, what is that thing on the end of my foot?’ But shoes aren’t designed to be seen from your vantage point.”
And if you can buy only one pair of pointed-toe shoes this season, go for a pump, which is the ultimate in versatility.
“You can wear it with jeans, you can wear it with a pencil skirt, you can wear it with a fit-and-flare dress,” Andrews says. “There’s a reason why it’s considered classic. It’s a very clean line. They tend to have that slimmer heel, which tends to be really flattering to the back of the calf.”
Here are a few options to get you pointed in the right direction.
A pointy Mary Jane is a grown-up twist on the schoolgirl classic. Try the Isaac Mizrahi New York Agalia Patent Bow Mary Jane Pump (on sale for $110 at Macy’s).
Mix top trends with a pointy bootie. The Steven by Steve Madden Marshha Bootie ($169 at Nordstrom) comes in a cozy burgundy nubuck.
Made to resemble a patent-leather taxi, the Kate Spade New York Go Taxi ($278 at katespade.com) is a pointed-toe flat that’s great for a woman on the go.
Banana Republic’s Giah Pump ($98) is the most classic of shapes and comes in sexy snakeskin.
Draw even more attention to the toe point with an eye-catching metallic cap. The Ivanka Trump Carla Flat ($100 at Nordstrom) comes in black leather with a silver toe cap.
The Zara Suede Court Ankle Boots ($159 at zara.com) are interesting from every angle and come in a shocking red.
Think pointy toes equal discomfort? Not Earthies Tavolina Pumps ($159 at Zappos.com), which have a cushioned anatomical footbed.