Runway shoes have never been celebrated for their practicality. Instead, designers use kooky — and often sky-high — footwear to convey a sense of theatricality. The end result? A number of scene-stealing shoes that have captivated audiences over the years, each embodying the label’s unique inspirations for the season.
In light of this, we’re taking a look at 10 iconic runway shoes below:
1. Alexander McQueen Spring 2010
One of the most identifiable shoes to hit the runway, McQueen’s Armadillo boots first made their debut back at its spring ’10 show. The style would later be worn by avant-garde style icons such as Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness. Three pairs even fetched $295,000 at a Christie’s auction in July.
Balenciaga Fall 2007
Nicolas Ghesquière’s collection for Balenciaga spawned the quirky Lego heel, which was notably worn by Beyoncé at the 2007 American Music Awards. The style gained so much popularity it later inspired a similar style made by Steve Madden. (Balenciaga sued the company for intentional copying in 2009 and won.)
Chanel Resort 2009
Talk about a lethal heel. Karl Lagerfeld’s “Miami Vice” gun heels made their debut at Chanel’s resort ’09 collection, which he made in collaboration with the house’s footwear designer Laurence Dacade. The style came as a shock considering Chanel’s classic customer, and was worn on multiple occasions by Madonna.
Christian Dior Fall 2014
Though Raf Simons created a number of shoe hits while at Dior, his fall ’14 shoes are a definite standout. The pointy platforms had molded rubber midsoles in vibrant colors and added an offbeat, modern touch to the clothing’s old world glamour.
Vivienne Westwood Fall 1993
You know a heel is too high when a supermodel can’t even walk in them. Naomi Campbell took an infamous tumble at Vivienne Westwood’s fall ’93 show, which featured staggering platform lace-up pumps. But like a true pro, she got up and kept on strutting. No fashion roadkill here.
John Galliano Fall 2009
Known for his theatrical sensibilities, John Galliano took inspiration from Russian folklore and elevated it tenfold with his fall ’09 collection. Lace-up sandals had thick wooden platform soles and fur pompoms along the front.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2010
Afro wigs and shaggy fur boots: That was the look at Marc Jacobs’ spring ’10 collection for Louis Vuitton, which was much debated by critiques. Somehow, the traveler-themed collection gave Jacobs the idea to concoct mid-calf suede boots with shaggy fur tassels — a surprisingly unpolished look for the luxury house.
Miu Miu Fall 2014
Miu Miu’s fall ’14 transparent boots with pin-thin kitten heels can be summed up in two ways: a little bit odd, and a whole lot revealing. Miuccia Prada, who has a knack for offbeat shoes, continued her uncomparable vision with pointy boots that took cues from rain boots.
Prada Spring 2012
Red hot, indeed. Miuccia Prada debuted the it-shoe of the season via her flame sandal wedges. The style eventually skyrocketed to street style fame, and was even sole as a collector’s ornament during the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” exhibit.
Gucci Fall 2016
An iconic men’s style? You bet. Though Gucci’s fur-lined loafers made a splash back at its fall ’15 men’s show, the label’s recent fall ’16 shows saw the style return in full force (for both men and women). It’s undeniably the year’s biggest breakout star.