ShoesA Louboutin Substitute

img-thingFor my birthday this year, I was determined to splurge and finally purchase the holy grail of footwear: a Christian Louboutin shoe.  I’ve lusted after a pair ever since I saw the elongating effects of the hidden platform, that skinny pindrop heel, and wanted to become a member of the red-soled troops of fashionistas that I so frequently saw during New York Fashion Week.   So finally on August 6th, I made my way to Saks, and requested to try on my first pair: the 5 inch Patent Pump.

In addition to the obvious aesthetic effects, I’ve heard many things about the fit and comfort of his shoes.  “So comfortable I could run in them all day!” I remembered a starlet trilling about in a weekly magazine,  “The hidden platform is the secret!”  With anticipation, I expectantly slid my foot into the shoe, and stood up, expecting to feel air on my feet, and that magical feeling you get when you are wearing a great shoe–the feeling of nothingness and lightness.  Unfortunately, I felt something and it wasn’t very comfortable–the shoe felt stiff and rigid and my feet felt piched and tight. I feel this a lot when I wear heels of a high height, thanks to a wide foot and high arches, but had hoped that Louboutins would be different.

Although I loved the way my legs looked in the mirror (the elongating effects are indeed true,) after a few minutes, my feet begged me to stop prancing around the Saks shoe floor and I conceded that I had to give up my Louboutin dream and could only admire them as works of art from afar.  I left the store, but on the way home stopped by Stuart Weitzman, remembering an earlier print interview that Ivanaka Trump had done, pre-marriage, stating that their shoes were amongst the most comfortable.  If Ivanka, wearer of probably the most beautiful wedding dress I’ve seen in past few years, thought it was good enough for her, it was good enough for me. I started browsing and my eye was instantly caught by the Stuart Weitzman Platswoon Pump for its design similarities to the Louboutin platform pump.

Same rounded toe, same extremely high pindrop height (4 inches), with a sleek design and slight 0.5 built in platform, I was instantly happy with the design (could you even tell that the shoe in the above picture was a Stuart Weitzman and not a Louboutin?)  For my wide feet, I requested for width B, and excitedly slit my foot into the shoe.  I instantly felt the difference between the Louboutins and the Stuart Weitzman’s–the patent leather was extremely soft and pliable, molding to my feet, as I stood up, I felt the foam platform support in the toe, easing the tension in my leg muscles with the 4 inch heel.  The salesperson explained that Stuart Weitzman uses the softest and most durable foam support, so essentially the balls of your feet are resting upon a cushion.

I was thrilled by the way the shoe looked and felt on my feet, and happily accepted it as a substitute to my Louboutin dream.  Just like a great dress on sale not in your size, and although I will miss seeing that seductive, candy-apple red sole on the bottom of my feet, I just had to accept that Louboutins and my feet were not meant to be.  Atlthough pricey at $298, it’s also more than half the price of a typical Louboutin.  The Platswoon currently is available in matte suede and in many patent colors including red, black, and tan/taupe.  Have you had similar experiences with Christian Louboutin or were mine unique?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. shoppingsmycardio  |  10 November 2009 at 8:35 AM

    haven’t tried louboutins, but manolo blahnik has tried to kill me several times. i’ve finally (*finally*) learned to admire from afar. i think you made an excellent choice!

  2. Sara  |  10 November 2009 at 9:24 AM

    That sucks the Louboutins weren’t everything you had hoped for, but the SW’s seem like an awesome substitute! I love SW!

  3. Laura  |  10 November 2009 at 9:42 AM

    I feel your pain–the patent leather in Christian Louboutin pumps tends to be fairly stiff and uncomfortable. Their leather or satin heels tend to be softer but I would agree with you in that their heels are not the most comfortable, don’t always come in my size, and don’t fit my feet that well. However, they still are beautiful and I am still not giving up my quest for Louboutins (ever). That being said, those SWs are lovely and I would try them. What color did you buy? And on a final note, I should mention that Jimmy Choos are fairly comfortable too. Have you tried any of his shoes yet?

  4. Jennifer  |  10 November 2009 at 9:56 AM

    This makes me sad. I long to one day have a pair. I hope that my dreams will not be dashed as your’s have been.

  5. Kathleen  |  10 November 2009 at 10:12 AM

    I think it really differs from person to person!

    shoppingsmycardio–I actually tried Manolos and found those to be really comfortable! Something about the arch I think, and because the soles are pretty pliable and flexible. I don’t necessarily love the styles as much though.

    Sara–love SW, I’m totally a convert now!

    Laura-I ended up buying the black patent, but I really like that red patent in the picture too for an added pop of color. I’ve heard Jimmy Choo’s are fairly comfortable too, will need to try those next! I’ve heard the Clu is one of their best selling styles…which ones have you tried?

  6. Jane  |  10 November 2009 at 12:05 PM

    I still have my eye on a pair of the lower heeled Louboutin Simple 100s. 🙂 But thanks to your post, I’m definitely going to look for other options until I try them on myself! Thanks! And I’m glad you found such an awesome pair!!

  7. Carolyn  |  10 November 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Hi! I own maybe 10 pairs of Louboutins, 6 of which are DEATH SHOES. Not in a good Rachel Zoe, I-Die way. However, ROUND TOE Louboutins are actually quite comfortable. If you’re going to make the splurge, I recommend a pair of round toe, slightly lower heeled pair.

  8. Sue  |  10 November 2009 at 2:56 PM

    I have several pairs of both brands. Thank you for articulating why I always find myself reaching for the Stewart Wietzmans. Louboutin makes a lovely espadrille wedge, in both a sexy high heeled style, and a more conservative lower style (about 2.5 inches). These summer/warm weather shoes allow me to get my “red sole fix”, and still retain the ability to walk! By the way, TDO is my new obsession! 🙂

  9. August6thBaby  |  23 June 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I was also hoping to get a pair for birthday as the Asteroid spike-toe is my wet dream. But I have a high arch wide foot also and was thinking I wouldnt be able to prance on the red sole either. Sad. His shoes are a shoe freaks porn shop times 10!

  10. Nadine Tribue  |  20 July 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I’m so right there with you!!!! I got a pair of peep toe Louboutins for XMas from my beloved husband. I had been lusting after these shoes for 2 years. Imagine my surprise/disappointment to find that these shoes are the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned in my life. They make your feet and legs look amazing but for the price, I am not happy about having to break them in like a pair of cheap shoes.

  11. Katherine  |  8 January 2014 at 11:06 PM

    My dream is to someday slip my feet into the red soles of Louboutins. I have wide feet and will most likely have similar issues. It’s more painful not having them than wearing them . . . it’s an obsession.

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