Q&A: Black Pumps

kay* asks: i’ve been wanting to invest in a pair of classic black pumps for the longest time and think i’m going to do so…i was thinking jimmy choo or louboutin – what’s your pick for the best classic black pump (any designer..but not a round toe please)? would love to get your opinion!

Hi Kay*! I love this question because I am obsessed with black pumps. I seriously can not stop buying them, although I should stop because I think I’m becoming quite boring. Hopefully the Manolos I just bought will help bring color inspiration to my shoe wardrobe!

My picks for you!


I wasn’t sure how high of a heel you were looking for so I just chose shoes that I would wear but most are in the 3.5 to 4 inch range.

Top Row:

Jimmy Choo
empire $485
tinsel $595

Jimmy Choo is hands down my favorite shoe designer. Their shoes never vary in size, when I’m ordering online, I always know that a size 5 will fit. All of my pumps by Jimmy Choo are really comfortable and I even wear them out shopping! The leather they use is really soft and basically molds to your feet.

You can go with the classic ones on the left which I think look great at the office but are also pretty enough to wear out to dinner. I’m a big fan of his cut out pumps like the ones on the right because I love that when they peak out of my dress trousers, you can see the bit of design at my toes.

Second Row:
Pigalle $585
Platform $700

Louboutin just makes damn sexy shoes. They just make your feet look gorgous. I don’t tend to wear my Louboutins to work mainly for that factor. Especially being in a position and industry like mine (dominated by men), you don’t want to give too many wrong ideas, but I do occasionally sneak them in when I wear wide leg trousers as I love the pop of the red sole as I walk.

Size wise, Louboutins vary within a 1/2 size for me so I’ve only ever bought them at the store because I need to make sure that they fit. Comfort wise, they are not the most comfortable because of that factor I mentioned above. The sexiness comes from the arch of the shoe which surely make your feet look hot but it’s not a natural way to arch your feet for 8 hours a day. Also, Louboutins always give you toe cleavage which I adore, but I know some people hate.

Third Row:
Studded Heel $495
Stud Plate $595

Burberry has been killing it with their shoe collection this season. I have been loving everything from their boots to their flats. These pumps are perfection with the little bit of detail added. Although I adore leather pumps, I believe every girl should also have a pair of patent pumps. Sometimes you just need that extra bit of shine in your day.

Fourth Row:
Cole Haan
Carma $295
Roma $565

Cole Haan is my go to shoe for traveling. I do not believe in traveling in sweats and tennies, even for those 19 hour flights to Singapore. I like being well dressed at all times but of course I want to be comfortable on the plane as well. These shoes are part of the Nike Air line that gives them the cushioning that they use in the Nike shoes. They really are that cushy, what a genius idea to combine the two right? Another great thing is that the price of their shoes is fantastic for the quality.

Gucci always has a brilliant twist on their pumps like the bamboo detail on the heel of these shoes. Love the platform front too, it makes wearing that high of a heel just a little bit easier. One thing to watch, Gucci sizing is a bit wacky. Sometimes the fit is right, but then it’s too tight in the toes, so I always recommend trying them on in person or if ordering online order your size and the half size up, just in case.

A great trick that works for me when the toe part is a bit too small is I stuff it with gym socks for a few days and the leather will loosen up and you’ll be able to get your foot in comfortably.

One thing that I do to almost all my designer shoes is to resole them after a few wears. I don’t know why but I like to wear the original soles for a little bit and then take them in to get resoled. But make sure to do it while they are relatively new! Don’t wait until the soles are completely weared out or else they might not be able to do it. I take almost all my shoes to Nordstrom, even if I don’t buy them there. They just do a great job and are relatively fast. If you don’t live near a Nordstrom, I’m sure you could find any shoe repair store near you to do it. The cost is usually less than $20 and worth every penny.

Kay*, I hope this helps you and come back to let me know what shoes you end up getting!

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  • kay*
    October 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Great selections & tips! Thank you so much for answering my question – and with an entire blog post too! Very cool.

    The choo ‘empire’ and louboutin ‘pigalle’ are actually the two I had narrowed it down to. I like a bit of toe cleavage which both seem to have – I may have to try them both on to see which looks better on me, since I think I have wide feet. (okay I started responding before I read your entire post – so excited – and now am reading that you like toe cleavage too – yay!)

    Hmmm…based on your thoughts I think I’m leaning slightly towards the louboutin’s because (1) while I want them to be comfortable they don’t have to be 8 hour work day comfortable (I likely wouldn’t wear them to work often – mostly out for special occasions, dinners, etc.) (2) for that much money – I’d rather pay an extra $90 for that flash of red when I walk (3) they just look seeeexy

    Also doing a close comparison of these photos I like the toe-box to be more straight (like the louboutins) as opposed to curved…I know, I’m anal about details

    Now to keep my eye open for online sales – I’ve got to head over to those online resources you posted about!

    Thanks again!

  • kay*
    October 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    sorry for the long response. oy.

  • lookrichbitch
    October 29, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Ok.. Why do you get your shoes resoled again? Just the front part of the shoe right?

    I’m starting to get an itch for fancy shoes again. I need a pair of Loubs! Can you believe I have none?? I should smack myself. Shame!

  • dolcechic
    October 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I love the Jimmy Choos (top right)!

  • Songy
    October 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

    This is a great selection of classic pumps. I’m partial to choo although it’s hard to afford a pair.

  • Savvy Mode SG
    October 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    i try to resole my pricey shoes before i even wear them.

  • Rachel
    October 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    What great advice and love all your pics!