Party Shoe Road Test

To reduce your foot pain this holiday season—while maintaining your fabulousness—I instructed the three women I employ (Jill, Jackie and Alonna) to suffer on your behalf! (I’m thoughtful like that.) I had them order about 50 pairs of party shoes and stand around the office in them for as long as possible. If any woman’s feet throbbed, if she complained of numb pinkie toes or just plain fell over, the pair was returned to sender. Wow, that was a fun day at the office—for me! Here are the 5 styles that passed their distress test. (For the record, nobody in our office holds any financial interest in any of these brands.)

Party Shoe Road Test Clinton Kelly

The Most Versatile

Oaklee by DV by Dolce Vita, $80

Of the top five, this shoe scored the highest style marks across the board. Alonna was most attracted to this shoe’s versatility; she noted that in addition to a holiday party, she could wear these with dark jeans for date night with her husband. All three had no problem standing for long stretches of time – but – they all agreed you should order one half size up from your normal size.

Party Shoe Road Test Clinton Kelly

The Most Comfortable

Octavia by Ralph Lauren, $109

Jackie flat-out refused to even try on this chunky heeled shoe (“It’s so 1994!”) but she finally relented. Surprise: It looked a lot better on the foot than in the box! While Alonna and Jill still prefer a thinner heel for the holidays, all agreed this stacked option would be a good choice for the stiletto-wary.

Party Shoe Road Test Clinton Kelly

The Biggest Statement

Kopycat by Madden Girl, $49

This d’Orsay style, in a knockout combo of hot pink and suede, almost caused a fight to break out by the water cooler. D’Orsay refers to a shoe with a cutaway by the foot arch (sexy) that is also cut low on the toe box. Everyone agreed the heel height was manifique, but Jackie felt the toe box was just a smidge too tight and that her toe cleavage was slightly too pronounced. Jackie clearly has a complex about her feet. This was the all-around runner-up for its intense pop of color as well as comfort.

Party Shoe Road Test Clinton Kelly

The Most Trendy

Ornella by Anne Klein, $89

It’s all about the exposed zipper for this shoe. It’s on trend and damn sexy. While Jackie and Jill worried their feet would look like sausages oozing out of leather casing, the shoe was surprisingly lovely when on. Sure, the leather tie was a little too long and came undone a few times, but Alonna suggested having it shortened by a reputable cobbler. All reported it was easy to wear and stylish, but Jill was wary that her feet would feel a chill on cold winter evenings.

Party Shoe Road Test Clinton Kelly

The Most Glamorous

Camya by Nine West, $89

It’s glittery! It’s gold! It’s like a Christmas ornament on your feet! What it doesn’t have is a roomy toe box. Yes, Jackie was grumbling about that again. But it’s a fair point. The platform made up for the extreme heel height and the peep toe was a plus for all. The consensus: These glam pumps are a holiday hit.

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