Inspiration: Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance

The lovely Leah writes:

My friend is getting married in September. She has the lovely and classy wedding dress in ivory and champagne (see link). The length of the dress has been measured for a 2 1/2″ heel. She would love to find a beautiful and classy shoe to wear with this wedding dress. In red. Oh, and no wedges, please. While I find them comfortable, my friend has a dislike for the wedge style which I don’t quite understand but have given up trying to overcome.

Her wedding dress can be seen here. Please ignore the fact that the model is doing her best Kim Cattral ala Mannequin impression, and also disregard the Spanish bolero in the final picture as it won’t be worn in this ceremony. My friend looks devastatingly beautiful in this dress, possibly due to the glow on her face when she wears it. Awwwww….

I have tried to use the resources available to me in the links of the Manolosphere, however my amateur self has been overwhelmed in my red shoe search by the silly, funky, daring, whimsical, exotic, and just plain tacky offerings. I turn to you, the professionals, to help me pull the beautiful and classy from the piles of other. Can you help? I know at the very least you can inspire.

I, like the Manolo, love the shoes, even if I do spend most of the year puttering around the house barefoot. While I don’t spend a lot of time shoe shopping, I do spend a lot of time looking! That’s why, out of all of the problems I figured I might have fulfilling Leah’s request, I never imagined that it would be heel height of all things that tripped me up.

That’s right…I said heel height. Even when I searched specifically for a 2.5″ (or a 2 1/2 inch) heel, most of the results I got had higher or lower heels! I found many a lovely and towering shoe and sandal that would have caused an unattractive gap between Leah’s friend’s hemline and her aisle runner. Likewise, there are gorgeous flats and kitten heels that would have left said friend’s gown dragging dejectedly over the carpet. Furthermore, I considered centering my search around silk and satin shoes, but the heel height once again got in the way.

BRUNO MAGLI - Pulsano (Red Patent) - FootwearLumiani - Greta (Red) - FootwearMarc by Marc Jacobs - 683511 (Red Patent) - Footwear
Gabriella Rocha - Micaela (Dark Red Suede) - FootwearFitzwell - Carlina (Red Kid Suede) - FootwearKate Spade - Cybill (Ruby Suede) - Footwear

Instead, I decided to focused on patent leather and suede so Leah’s friend might at least get some idea of the shapes, shades, and styles she finds pleasing. The problem with patent is avoiding giving the appearance of a stripper, but I think these heels from BRUNO MAGLI, Lumiani, and Marc by Marc Jacobs do the trick. The suede heels hail from Gabriella Rocha, Fitzwell, and Kate Spade. Across the board, the prices vary quite a bit.

Women's shoes: Caparros Zander - Red satin

The most traditional shoe I found is a silk and leather sandal from Caparros. The color is right, the heel is right, and it’s delicate enough not to compete with the bride’s beautiful gown.

While I can’t begin to say that any of the shoes I have chosen are right for Leah’s friend — I’m not the Manolo, after all — I do hope I provided the requested inspiration! If the bride-to-be in question is searching for something more traditional, I’d suggest looking into dyeables, as chintzy as they can sometimes be. She might have better luck finding a shoe she loves that is the right height if she doesn’t have to worry about finding it in red.

11 Responses to “Inspiration: Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance”

  1. I just bookmarked those Fitzwells. They are to die for, and they come in wide!! Thanks for the tip.

  2. KTB says:

    I just bought these: and they are comfortable, have been easy to break in, and may just be the perfect shoe. And they’re very, very red!

  3. Toni says:

    I have the perfect solution, ballroom heels! The ones from ekclothing are very reasonably priced, and you can specify heel height, including the option of 2.5″ You have to click on each style to see the colors offered, since most of them come in multiple colors, including lots in red. I own these in both the leopard and the red satin and love them.

  4. JR says:

    I have those Caparros in off-white. They are good for standing and dancing.

  5. At the bottom of this post ( is a photo of the red shoes my friend Ilene wore when she got married. She danced all night long.

  6. Colleen says:

    I second the ballroom shoe recommendation! Tara Tango Shoes are beautiful and several of them are very 40’s inspired, which I love.

  7. JaneC says:

    I had a real problem when I wanted red shoes for my wedding, too. I thought at first that leather wouldn’t look right, but I finally ended up with non-patent, raspberry-colored leather, and it looked beautiful with my ivory satin gown. Of course, my gown was just long enough that no one even noticed my shoes until I started dancing at the reception. Don’t be afraid to try regular leather even if it’s not traditionally considered to be as formal as satin or patent leather.

  8. Ash says:

    I recently had a hard time locating red strappy sandals for a dress – everything out there seems to be heavy or wedgy. I finally found something in patent on sale at Amazon by Issac Mizrahi. Not a big help, but I can definitely sympathize!

  9. Jennie says:

    I went to Zappo’s shoes, typed in 2 1/2 heel, red and 5 pages popped up. Some were wedges but there were so gorgeous heels and sandals. Did the same on DSW’s site.

  10. Colleen: Those Tara Tangos are YUMMY!

    JaneC: I will admit that I shied away from straight leather because I thought it would look too plain.

    Jennie: I did the same thing, but when I poked into the results I found that a lot of the shoes that came back actually had higher or lower heels for whatever reason! I tried to narrow the search results with quotes and such, but that appears to break their search engine.

  11. Never teh Bride –

    Thank you so much for this! And thank you everyone for your suggestions! I’m super excited to look through everything – Leah even made me an AMAZING spreadsheet with all of the shoes she found. It’s on my wedding blog if you feel like stopping by.

    Thanks again so much!