The jokes about women and the love for their shoes have always sort of been on lost on me — eight months out of the year, the ground where I live is covered in snow/ice/slush/salt or some combination of the four. In this climate, my relationship with shoes is more function than fashion. That doesn't stop me from drooling over the latest pumps and platforms and dreaming of a shoe wardrobe even Cher Horowitz would envy. For even the most conservative dresser, shoes are the part of the outfit that has always been fine to have a little fun with, and use to go a little bit bolder. Even if you're in head-to-toe black, a bold shoe can completely change the tone of your outfit and make a huge statement. And shoes certainly made a statement in 2014.
In a year in which the normcore fashion trend seemed to reign (clogs and Birkenstock sandals were the summer shoes of choice for many), the eccentric footwear collections did not heed the request to "dress normal." From flats to stacked heels, this was a year where pretty much anything was game — and designers really committed to making their shoes as wild as possible. Experimenting with the craziest colors, textures, materials and even themes, no crazy footwear was left behind this year. Oh 2014, you laid it all on the line when it came to shoes. And we couldn't have been more pleased. It's quite possible that several shoe designers had that drunk uncle moment in the last 12 months. But you know what? I loved them for it. Who really needs another tasteful black pump? While lingerie certainly got a little out of hand this year, you haven't seen anything until you've seen these kicks.
1. THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW'S INTENSE SHOES
In a show known for its ornate bras and mesmerizingly complicated angel wings (that take a year to create), you'd think they might want to tone it down a bit with the other accessories. You know, like "take off one thing before you leave the house." Nope, the angels strutted down the runway in colorful and almost entirely bedazzled footwear by Sophia Webster.
2. MORE IS MORE
Have you always wanted your foot to look like a Kawaii fever dream? If you have, this is the shoe for you. In just one shoe, Irregular Choice managed to pack in a clear heel, the dangling charms, a polka dot bow, and some felt — because at this point, why not? There's a lot going on here, but don't worry about combining these shoes to your outfit with the matching purse. Irregular Choice, you're always looking out for us.
Trinkletina, $135, irregularchoice.com
3. FIGURINE HEEL
Sick of standing on a plain ol' sole? Try standing on a pompadour-headed gentleman or maybe a cute baby deer with one of the most playful trends in footwear this year: figurine heels. Definitely sure to make a passerby do a double take whilst adding 100 percent extra weirdness to your shoe game. The cute kind of weird though, I think.
Fawn, $190, irregularchoice.com
Uh Huh, $260, irregularchoice.com
4. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Animal lovers and eccentrics, rejoice: you can now wear your love for all creatures from fluffy to scaly on your feet. Or, you know, just wear some super ridiculous shoes. Whether you're wanting to let everyone know you're a cat lady or are just bored of wearing shoes shaped like shoes, there's a pair for just about any animal you could imagine — you can build your own shoe zoo!
You and Meow Forever Heel, $65, modcloth.com
Pinky Perky, $135, irregularchoice.com
5. THE SUPER PLATFORM
OK. Stacked heels are in and creepers have been a staple of the stylish neo-goths for years. Obviously, the combination of the two has equated to making a shoe even cooler, simply by adding a few inches. Throw in Hello Kitty and rainbow stripes for good measure, and you're golden. I guess? I can't really picture these seeming appropriately in-context anywhere and after the great ankle roll fiasco of 1999 when I tried to wear some Spice Girls-esque platforms, I think we're done here.
Jeffrey Campbell Wishing for the Weekend Flatform, $200, modcloth.com
6. SOLES BARED
We already share everything through social media, so why not give a little TMI with your footwear? These wedges can hold your afternoon snack, spare tampon stash, a lock of your beloved pet's hair, or maybe some pictures of your grandma. The possibilities are endless, really, making this a timeless piece sure to be in in style for centuries to come.
Jeffrey Campbell Window to Your Wonder Wedge, $315, modcloth.com
7. FOODIE FOOTWEAR
Food-themed clothing was everywhere this year — from playful accessories to high fashion. Why should your feet be left out of the fun? Whether you're claiming your status as a burger aficionado or channeling a juicy summer fruit, I'll be over here letting your shoes make me hungry.
Flying Burger People Eater Heel, $65, modcloth.com
Charlotte Olympia Nice Melons, $1195, charlotteolympia.com
8. FURRY FEAT
While I have said that the faux fur trend is one I'm not giving up in 2015, these shoes from MSGM give me the major "no" feeling. First of all, I can just picture them acting as a very efficient little broom, picking up all the filth of the sidewalk as I go about my day. Seriously, those things are going to get dirty. Secondly, why wear something that looks like a slipper if you're not gaining any additional comfort. Shut it down.
9. THE QUIRKY CUTIE
Just when we thought we'd shaken the "adorkable" Jessica Day aesthetic, we were wrong. If you want to look as twee as possible, pair these pencil-shaped flats with a puffy circle skirt, cardigan, and thick-framed glasses. Or maybe just watch a New Girl rerun and call it a day?
Jeffrey Campbell Pencil Me in Flat, $100, modcloth.com
Shoes: they can pull your outfit together or turn it into a hot mess. The craziest shoes of 2014 are getting me hoping that 2015 will bring even more bizarre styles and more creative and ridiculous concepts, though. Stay weird, fashion.
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