Top 10 Worst Shoe Designs

Simple elegance is usually the key to dressing well. For men, simple Oxford-style lace-ups as favoured by George Clooney always make a man look smart and sophisticated and a sleek pair of black patent heels can compliment an array of outfits for women. So why is it that so many shoe designers manage to make such spectacular mistakes on such a regular basis? Here are examples of some of the worst shoe designs of recent years:


1. Adidas Slave Shoes

Trainers are usually designed to help their wearer in their sporting endeavours. Soles are made to absorb the impact of running on the knee, for example. One thing, however, that would be sure to impede any athlete would be the attachment of a cheap looking plastic shackle. As well as being garish to look at, an oblique mix of orange greys and purples, the shoe design is, of course, incredibly offensive and a sad reminder of slavery. The item, designed by Jeremy Scott, was described by civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson as a “human degredation”.


2. Gun shoes

Taylor Momsem this yer was seen sporting a gimicked heel which was designed to look like a pistol and straps made to appear like bullet holders. That in of itself would be enough to include it in a horrible design list but the fact the six inch heel was coupled with a four inch platform made the shoes as awkward as they were bad looking.


3. Kim Kardashian’s Snakeskin Thigh High Boots

A target of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for her propensity to wear fur, Kim Kardashian decided to further bait animal rights groups with a pair of snakeskin boots whilst on a trip to Paris. If, as she claims, Kardashian owns over 200 pairs of Christian Louboutin’s then these must surely be her worst – ethics aside, snakeskin boots compliment a total of zero outfits and are, quite frankly, an eyesore.


4. Heel-less Heel

This season wedges have enjoyed something of a renaissance due to the fact that whilst they give all tghe benefits of heels they also offer extra support on the wearers arches. A recent trend, favoured by the brave likes of Lucy Liu, has been to remove all the support from high heeled shoes altogether by not having a heel at all but rather just an angled shoe. The heel-less shoe is more likely to make observers wonder how the wearer is balancing rather than marvel at their design.


5. High Heeled Heel-less Trainers

Willow Smith has taken to wearing shoes similair to the ones described above but with one twist. Instead of a classic heel design fixed in to a heeled position, Willow’s shoes feature, instead, trainers which are melded into this uncomfortable angle. This means they have neither the aesthetic value of classic heels or the practical values of trainers.


6. Justin Beiber’s Bondage Shoes

The Canadian singer has, in recent years, attempted to show he is all grown up from the fresh faced kid who burst onto the scene with Baby. His recent “rocked up” image has been one such attempt yet his proppensity for psuedo-bondage shoes has simply singled him out as a bad dresser instead. Studded, cheap looking boot/trainer combinations look less grown up and more like the design of an overcompensatory twelve year old.


7. Knee High Gladiator Sandals

As seen sported by Rihanna. The Barbadian singer is not renowned for her dress sense, or wearing many clothes at all for that matter, but her knee high gladiator style sandals – replete with interlocking black and white disk shin guard – can be considered amongst the worst designs of modern times.


8. Milly J “Crow” Shoes

Most shoe designs aim to be received with descriptions such as “suave” or “sophisticated” or even just comfortable. What they do not usually aspire to is being tagged as “satanic”. Jodie Marsh, the British model turned body builder, recently appointed Milly J as her official shoe designer and was rewarded with a £500 of black heel which also boast additions such as feathers, a crucifix and a real pair of preserved crows feet.


9. Jodie Marsh’s Teapot shoes

Marsh’s crow shoes were not her only recent transgression into the world of insane footwear. Another pair of heels Marsh has sported in publich which could easily also make a claim for the worst shoes ever made were a pair of “teapot” inspired shoes. The design featured spouts on the front of their design and handles on the back. These were also created by Milly J.


10. Fergie’s Chariots of Fire

Black Eyed Peas Singer Ferige decided to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a green heeled shoe which featured flames as a motif appearing as part of the strap and also bellowing from its behind. Both inpracitcal and hard to look at.



Kieron Casey is a fashion writer and blogger who writes for Barratts Shoes.

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