BOOKS FOR SHOE-LOVERS

Are you panicking about what to buy for someone this Christmas? Do they like shoes?

Here are my top 5 of the best shoe books available at the moment:

Design Museum Fifty Shoes That Changed The World gives social and cultural context to footwear, without being verbose. It emphasises the impact that shoes have had, and reminds the reader that to be interested in shoes does not mean you are lacking in intellectual capacity.

The font, images, and binding are pleasing in their minimalism. I find this book so compelling that it has been distracting me whilst I’ve been writing this blog post!

Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us is a well-researched book by the highly knowledgeable Rachelle Bergstein. With very few illustrations, the reader relies on Bergstein’s compelling prose to take us through various aspects of the past and recent history of women and their relationships with footwear.

I have been intrigued to watch the growing cult status of Christian Louboutin and his footwear. Anyone who visited the Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum in London, or at the Design Exchange in Toronto will have learnt a little more about the man behind that red sole.

This book is a permanent record of Louboutin’s life, inspirations, and some of his creations. With its faux-leather cover, this is also a beautiful object for your coffee table.

This chunky paperback was published in 1996, and therefore does not refer to the post- Sex and the City era of shoe adoration. However, it explores the history of footwear, goes into depth on subjects such as foot-binding, and footwear fetishes, and provides many beautiful images of old and new shoes to drool over. My copy which I have had for 13 years is rather well-thumbed now.

Do you know a man who obsesses over his pair of Church’s, Cheaneys or Loakes? Perhaps he would like to know more about the many processes and techniques involved in creating his fine footwear.

This book is so good, it’s used by footwear design students. It is a fascinating guide for anyone who wants to know how you get from cow to handmade shoe.

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