You’ve heard, I’m sure, of the power suit, the power bag, even the power haircut. May we now present you with the power shoe. Prada’s fall show was romantic, yes, the clothes quietly dishevelled, the cinched waists feminine, yet they were anchored by soles so weighty, the models’ stomps echoed through the noirish venue. Girly gingham is checked by industrial heft. These shoes were made for striding: through city streets, office corridors and raucous cocktail parties. Miuccia Prada was self-referencing here (at a certain height of fame and acknowledged genius, this is allowed).
In spring 2011 she created her jolie laide creeper, a men’s brogue with a raffia and rubber sole augmented by a rainbow stripe. As our eyes got used to them—even Rihanna had a pair—the chunky sole became an antidote to both the sexy stiletto and the saccharine ballet flat. But this year Prada amped up the ugly-pretty mode by looking at another inventive Italian, Vitale Bramani, who created the first lug sole in 1936 as a practical mountaineering shoe. It was brought to market a year later with the backing of Pirelli Tires—the tire inspired the design. Similarly, this season’s lug will get you mountain tall, while safely gripping the road.
Clockwise from left: Carven, $1120, carven.fr. Miu Miu, $950, Holt Renfrew. Aldo, $160, aldoshoes.com. Rochas, $695, in black at lagarconne.com. Carven, $1250, carven.fr. Walter Steiger, $825, The Room at Hudson’s Bay, Toronto. Attilio Giusti Leombruni, $495, agl.it.