Top 10 Holiday Shoes That Are To Die For: 2019 Gift Guide

Reading: 10 Holiday Shoes To Die For

Fashion & Beauty

10 Holiday Shoes To Die For

You can wear an old faithful dress if you have the hottest shoes at the party

By Tanita S. Gray

I was watching television with my kids when I noticed that the day after Halloween the commercials went straight into Christmas and holiday promotions. Thanksgiving had been pushed aside for immediate holiday sales. In my local shops not a single turkey or cornucopia could be found. That jolted me out of my habitual holiday procrastination. I thought, geesh, I better get out my holiday shoe list before it’s too late!

In reviewing the fall/winter 2019 collections, I have seen some bold footwear trends. Cowboy/Western boots have hit the shops in all shapes and colors; retro chunky sneakers continue to be on trend. There is a revival of glamorous house slippers (for those work-at-home bosses?), as well as gender-fluid flats. Stilettos, which have seen a downturn in the market, seem to be just right again for holiday parties. So here it goes; my top 10 shoe obsessions that absolutely must be satisfied by 2020!

#10 Take a Big Bow

Star Heel

Star Print Open Toe Heel from Aminah Abdul Jillil

With lower heels and sneakers continuing to dominate the market, stilettos have once again become high-ticket special-occasion shoes. Bows capture that “living in the moment” feeling and garner the attention of everyone in the room. So if you stumble into a holiday party, shout “I am HERE!” with this larger-than-life open toe, bow heel from Aminah Abdul Jillil. These super-sexy numbers — bona fide conversation starters — come in an array of colors, sparkles, and prints.

#9 Best of the Wild Wild West

cowboy boot

Rodeo Black Eel from Tamara Mellon

I noticed cowboy boots all over the fall/winter runway shows. That same trend reverberated across music, with Old Town Road (by Lil Nas X) topping the charts as the #1 song in the country this year. The boots cropped up on #instagood OOTD (Outfit Of the Day) travel looks, especially with the increase of Coachella-style festivals sweeping the US. My prediction is that in 2020 this trend will stay strong in a variety of wearable options. Western-influenced looks like this classy eel-skin version from Tamara Mellon can easily pair with a classic pantsuit or A-line skirt.

#8 Moc Trial

Leather Moccasins

Flavia Leather Moccasins from Fabiana Filippi

I was in Milan once and found myself drawn to this designer and her use of diamond-cut chain accents. Plus, their customer service is fantastic. This versatile soft leather moccasin, part of Fabiana Filippi’s newest collection, is a great way to look amazingly chic and effortless.

#7 Feeling Mule-ish?

Tabby Mule from Brother Vellies

Tabby Mule from Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies designer Aurora James is starting to become known for her signature frills, ruffles, and flounce applications on mules. This same design was also featured during the Batsheva Spring 2020 runway show during NY Fashion Week. Imagine unboxing these velvet beauties as a personal gift to yourself! Bring out your inner prowess with just the right touch of meow.

#6 Heavy Metal

gold snakeskin boots

Paris Texas snakeskin effect boots

I’ve never met a metallic boot I didn’t like. These over-the-knee boots from Paris Texas have a fantastic block heel for stability, and the height is great with a mini, midi, or maxi dress.

#5 Clearly Stunning

Meta Heel from Cult Gaia

Meta Heel from Cult Gaia

There is nothing more eclectic than plexi (see-through) shoes. These golden globe heels with plexi straps from Cult Gaia are already giving me holiday resort vibes. After following this brand for a couple of years, I am drawn to the almost spiritual flow of the pieces. Although, being a fellow FIT alumnus with the designer, Jasmin Larian, might make me a bit partial. 

#4 Your Uber Ride is Here

riding boots

Edgar boot by J.J. Gray

If you are like me with dreams of winning the Kentucky Derby, or if you enjoy a good day at the stables, why not try these everyday equestrian riding boots by J.J. Gray (unfortunately, no relation!)? Artisans in Andalusia, Spain, use a traditional leather tanning process that makes these soft calfskin boots element-withstanding, while the leather insoles create a comfy, custom-like fit.

#3 Perfect for Every Betty

Nike Air Max 98 Sneaker

Nike x Olivia Kim Air Max 98 Sneaker

During my lifetime in the footwear industry, the name Nike has become synonymous with successful brand marketing across multiple categories, including urban culture. In the late 90’s the Air Max 98 was one of Nike’s best-selling nonfunctional running shoes. They were actually not good for athletes, but they played a pivotal role in artistic sneaker culture. This year Nike produced another iteration of the Air Max 98 for sneaker collectors, this time with Nordstrom’s VP of Creative Projects, Olivia Kim. The sneaker has some interesting throwback appeal, with an urban tip of the hat to comics star Betty Boop. Perhaps gift these to a youngster to show how cool you are.

#2 The Real House-shoes of Atlanta

Birdie slippers

The Songbird from Birdies

Post-holiday relaxation and recovery starts at home! Missing the family? Slide on these velvet crystal-encrusted house slippers by Birdies for some added drama.

#1 Bootie Call

Christian Louboutin boots

Christian Louboutin Delicotte 100 suede and leather ankle boots

Finally, I cannot leave you without finding a gem in “Uncle Christian’s” collection. These super soft suede boots come complete with a jaw-dropping red bottom price tag, a classic silhouette, and love-to-watch-you-leave golden details.

When Tanita Gray isn’t traveling the world discovering where shoes are made, you can find her designing shoes, teaching a class, wrangling her five children, giving her husband a fist-bump, or eating french fries while writing for her footwear online magazine Follow her on Instagram @lastreport and Facebook @lastreportmag.


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