Aesthetically speaking, nothing makes me feel more invincible than a pair of shoes I love. For me, it’s the difference between simply walking down the block and marching down the street on a mission. I am particular about the shoes I am going to invest in and, at this point, only acquire ones that I know will make me feel tall (heel or not).
I recently purchased a pair of handmade leather laced mules from the Nigerian brand Kkerelé for my birthday. About a month after purchasing them—and emailing back and forth with their incredible customer service team—they arrived and, to my absolute joy, were everything I dreamed of. When I put them on, I actually skipped. Shoes that make you feel tall don’t need to have a heel (though these have a two-inch one). They need to ignite something within that gives you confidence.
I know shoes don’t do this for everyone. For others, it’s a handbag, a great necklace, or no material good at all. But I collected seven friends—from chefs to TV anchors to creatives—who share this same sentiment about shoes. From sneakers to boots to mules to flats, each shared the shoe that makes them feel like their boldest and tallest self.
Crystal Anderson, Head of Creative at a very good job
"I love the Nicole Mclaughlin x Crocs collaboration booties because they are truly the coolest and most comfy shoes I own. If you know me, then you know how much I love Crocs. They're not just a gardening shoe or a grocery store run shoe for me. Once I heard Nicole Mclaughlin (who is one of my fave artists) was going to do a collab, I was first in line. This shoe makes me feel downright happy and free. And I dare you to make fun of me for wearing them to my first event post-Covid."
Lakiesha Herman, Head of Content at a very good job
"These are the first proper 'designer' shoes I own, and even though they're super colorful and outside of my usual taste, they still make me feel like myself. I mean, these shoes make me physically taller for one. I love how much space these shoes take up. They are chunky and colorful and want to be seen. I also love them because they were made by a Black designer, Kerby Jean Raymond."
Alex Hill, Cooking Instructor and Founder of Just Add Hot Sauce Blog
"There are a couple of reasons why these over-the-knee boots are my favorite. One, I have pretty large feet. I’ve been a size 11 since 6th grade, so it’s hard finding great quality and sexy shoes other than sneakers. I also suffer from hyperhidrosis (overactive sweat glands), so open-toe shoes are not my jam. I still absolutely love a cute heel but, because of my hyperhidrosis, my feet sweat. Most of the time, I'm slipping and sliding in open-toe heels, which, as you can imagine, is not the most comfortable. I have always wanted the Stuart Weitzman Highland boots because they are sexy and can be dressed up or down. A bonus: they’re really comfortable. I feel my absolute best when I wear these. Most importantly, they never droop like some OTK's do."
Emma Zack, Stylist and Founder of Berriez
"I chose these Labucq boots because they make me feel like a badass b*tch every time I put them on. I mean, look at them. Not only are they stylish, but they're also comfortable (and I refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes these days). These boots go with everything: jeans, leather pants, and even a plaid wool skirt."
Jo Rosenthal, Writer and Artist
"I chose these shoes because I can’t live without them. I got them about two years ago and haven’t taken them off my feet. I’ve even fixed the soles twice. They make me feel like I can do anything because they are comfortable yet classic, and I’ve never found boots quite like them. They also make me taller, which is a plus."
Louisiana Mei Gelpi, Visual Editor at Teen Vogue
"Once you break them in (very important), they make you feel like you can do anything. Work an entire Sunday shift at a cafe? Yes. On set for a photoshoot? Easy. Looks good with anything? You know it. I love how they are so effortless and make me feel put together at the same time."
Lindsay Tuchman, Reporter and Anchor at NY1 News
"As a field reporter in New York City, boots are essential in the winter. That said, it’s tough to find winter boots that are comfortable, warm, and fashionable. Most often, it is either style over warmth or comfort over style. That is until I discovered the No. 6 Shearling Clog Boots...I’ve had these boots for two years, and I wear them nearly every day from October through March. Not only do my toes stay warm, but I feel more confident when I wear them. The slight heel gives me a little extra height, but they are not so high that I can’t jog down a snow-slicked street to get an interview...I've recommended them to every person I know as boots that make you feel put together and confident that you can still get a job done safely."