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Top Picks in Books about Shoes


For shoe lovers, shopping for shoes is the best. But when we're not shopping, we love to read about, and look at photos of, the shoes we adore -- it's also far less expensive than buying every pair of shoes we want.

Below are some of my favorite shoe books.

'Beth Levine Shoes' by Helene Verin

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This is easily one of my favorite shoe books. It serves up lots of eye candy via its gorgeous, full-color photographs, and there is enough text that when I was done reading, I felt as if I'd really gotten to know the late designer.

If you've ever seen any of Beth Levine's creations, then I don't need to tell you that you'll want this book. If you're a fan of shoes, but unfamiliar with this designer's work and the Herbert Levine label, then you really need to see it, as Mrs. Levine was the creative genius behind many of the 20th century's most impressive footwear innovations.
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Manolo Blahnik Drawings

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Featuring introductions from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, and Italian fashion writer Anna Piaggi, this book showcases more than 130 of Manolo Blahnik's elaborate shoe sketches. A must-have for any shoe lover, this book would also delight many fashion, art, and design enthusiasts.
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'Vintage Shoes' by Caroline Cox

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If you have a passion for vintage shoes, or even a passing interest in shoe design, then you must get your hands on Vintage Shoes by Caroline Cox. Divided into decades and notable footwear eras, this book covers all of the major women's shoe styles of the 20th century, and has enough text and photos to please readers and browsers alike.

And if all of that isn't enough to convince you to check out this book, there's also a forward by Christian Louboutin, shopping resources, and tips on collecting vintage shoes.
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'Manolo's New Shoes' by Manolo Blahnik

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This is the second book devoted entirely to Manolo Blahnik's fabulous shoe sketches, and I say, keep them coming. The book's chapters include sketches that fit a specific design theme, such as Marie Antoinette, modernist, Christmas, or Russia. All-in-all, the book features more than 150 sketches, and is definitely a must-see for fans of the legendary designer.
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'The Seductive Shoe' by Johnathan Walford

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As a fashion historian; founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and avid shoe collector, Johnathan Walford is undoubtedly one of the world's leading experts on shoes. Naturally, any book he writes on the subject is going to be worth picking up, and this one is no exception.

Covering four centuries of fashion footwear, this hefty book still manages to be extremely readable, as it's broken into smaller sections that highlight footwear trends and innovations throughout the years. And even if you never read one of this book's 285 pages, it would be worth the price just to see the vast array of intriguing photographs.
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'Shoes' by Judith Miller

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This chunky little book is filled with color photographs, and sprinkled with brief profiles of prominent designers, top shoe brands, footwear innovations, and women's shoe styles. It's one of those books that's great to flip through any time you have a few minutes to spare.
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'Shoes: A History From Sandals to Sneakers'

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Essential reading for anyone who is interested in the history of footwear, this book was edited by Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil; and with more than 400 pages, it's far and away the largest book in my shoe library.

While it does contain lots of gorgeous photographs, this book is also very heavy in text -- and given its mission, it would have to be.
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'New Shoes' by Sue Huey and Rebecca Proctor

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Fans of artistic, contemporary footwear should love this one, as it includes chapters on modern designers and brands like United Nude, Chie Mihara, Nicholas Kirkwood, Bruno Frisoni, and Diego Dolcini. Each chapter features a designer profile, and several full-color photos, but for me, the real treat is the design sketches that are sprinkled throughout the book.
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'Blahnik by Boman' by Eric Boman

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Filled with 150 full-color photographs by Eric Boman, this large coffe-table book features shoes designed by Manolo Blahnik as the focus of amazing still-lifes and artistic photos. This title will be adored by lovers of designer shoes, and fans of art photography should enjoy it as well.
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