Shoes by Christian Louboutin, also known as red bottoms, are notoriously hard to fit. While the brand's sizing is inconsistent, that hasn't stopped the shoes from being glamorous, coveted, or high quality.
We’re going to help you figure out your sizes in the most iconic shoes, but first, there a few things you should know. When you buy Louboutins and try them on, make sure you do so on carpet. If the red bottoms are scratched or show any sign of wear, you can’t return them or may need to pay a fee.
Stylist extraordinaire and YouTuber Lauren Messiah also recommends taking your heels to a cobbler right after buying them. “Take them and get the bottom resoled in red,” she says. She recommends getting a red rubber sole, which keeps the entire shoe soles red while adding some grip and cushion to the balls of your feet.
“Louboutins are not a shoe you can just willy nilly purchase online,” Lauren says, at least not for your first pair. If you are buying online, she recommends buying a couple sizes to make sure you find the right fit even though this will be a temporary blow to your credit card. Chatting with Lobuoutin’s personal shoppers can be very helpful as well since they have extensive knowledge on fit and can give personalized feedback.
Often, Lobuoutin recommends getting your heels half a size larger from what you usually wear, but what goes into sizing is more nuanced. Before we tell you sizing tips for five of Louboutin's iconic styles, there are a few other really important things to keep in mind related to sizing.
- The shoe material makes a huge difference in fit. Natural leather will stretch over time and mold to the shape of your foot. Patent leather has its own advantages, like being more durable and waterproof, but it doesn’t stretch or mold to your foot. If your shoes are a tad too tight, you can take them to a cobbler to be stretched, and you’ll have much better luck with natural leather.
- The pitch (or heel height) makes a big difference in comfort and wearability. It can also affect fit because it determines the shape of your foot in the shoe, whether it’s relaxed or squished and squeezed to bend above a stiletto. For reference, Louboutin heels are measured in millimeters. A 100mm (3.9 inch) heel or less is a lot more manageable than their 120mm (4.7 inch) heels, which are notoriously difficult to wear and walk in.
- The toe box is often overlooked, but it can contribute a lot to why you may need to size up or size down. Toe boxes are where your toes go in a shoe, and they can vary in width and length. In Louboutin heels, the size of the toe box varies a lot. Especially if you have a wider foot or slightly longer toes, make sure you ask about the size of the toe box in your Louboutin heels.
Now for the main event. Usually it’s recommended to size up, but there’s a perfect size-up spot for every foot where you will find the right fit without getting the length wrong, which can cause blistering and pain. Here’s what to know about finding your perfect fit in five of Louboutin’s most iconic styles.
Meet the Expert
Lauren Messiah is a Los Angeles-based stylist, author, and influencer.
The Kate is a classic pointed-toe heel with a sleek and sexy silhouette. It’s always good to have a well-made, cute, black heel in your wardrobe. This is what the Kate was made for.
Louboutin recommends ordering half a size up, but for some, a full size up is required. The sole is narrow, and it’s made with a similarly narrow, albeit longer, toe box. If you have skinny to normal feet, you’ll have more ease with these. If you have wider feet, the Kate is one of the harder styles to fit into by Louboutin. Instead, you can think about getting the shoe stretched or look at other styles with a wider sole.
This style is the shoe most people know by Louboutin. It’s an accentuated, dramatized version of Kate with a really high arch. The So Kate flaunts a super high heel with no platform that virtually puts the foot in its most extended tippy-toe position. There’s no platform, and the heels are pencil thin. These shoes offer little support, and while customers love to look at this style, they usually don’t love to wear them.
Like the Kate, the So Kate sole is very narrow. The toe box is shorter and also very narrow because of the dramatically arched position of the foot. While Louboutin recommends ordering half a size up, some people need to order a full size up. All in all, it’s not wide-foot-friendly.
The Iriza is Louboutin’s timeless take on a classic half d'Orsay heel. If you’re buying a Louboutin heel without a platform, this is your best bet for comfort.
For wider feet, this is one of the best styles you can get. It’ll be the most comfortable and easiest to fit a wider foot because of the cutout on the side, which allows for much more room in the shoe. On Iriza, the toe box is pointy and a bit narrow and long. Accordingly, Louboutin’s official fit suggestion for these is that they’re true to size. Because they’re natural leather, they should also fit your foot better over time.
But some people still need to size up or down. If your toes are on the shorter or longer side, that may have an effect on sizing.
If the So Kate and Kate look like torture devices to you, the Pigalle is probably a much better option for you as a classic heel. Instead of a pencil-thin stiletto, the Pigalle stiletto is slightly thicker—enough to support your feet while still looking sleek.
Because the sole is on the narrower side and the toe box is a bit shorter, this size runs small. The toe box is pointed but slightly rounded and a bit shorter than Iriza’s, for example. You probably shouldn’t buy your typical heel size. Instead, Louboutin recommends going at least one half size up.
New Very Prive
One thing to know about a platform shoe is that while it’s higher, it’s probably more comfortable because the platform supports your feet better. For this same reason, the New Very Prive heels are a lot more comfortable than other styles on this list because of their (concealed) platform. Some say these are comfortable shoes, for a Louboutin that is.
These may be comfier and look a bit more roomy, but like almost every other heel on this list, the New Very Prive heels run small. The toe box is a bit narrow, although the peep toe offers just a dash of extra toe space. The sole is narrow on these, similar to a Kate sole, so it’s usually recommended to size up a half size or more.
These five pairs are just the icons, but Louboutin has so many more options and styles. “If you are open to not going with a stiletto, your comfort options open up considerably,” Messiah says. Block heels, like the Agneska 100mm ($745) or the Adoxa 70mm bootie ($995), are a perfect example of a more comfortable, non-stiletto shoe.