Christian Louboutin shoes

The new range of nude heels from Christian Louboutin


Christian Louboutin has no doubt made many shoe-loving women happy today, with the news that he is expanding his ever-popular nude shoe range to cover a wider range of shades.

We all know that the word nude can be used to describe more than one shade of skin, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise so uniformly beige are most of the 'nude' shoes on the market.

But thanks to Mr Louboutin, this is about to change. Nude shoe enthusiasts will now be able to purchase the classic Louboutin styles in five shades, ranging from 'fair blush' to 'rich chestnut', with the designer adding two more skin tones to his collection next year. All seven shades will be available from Bergdorf Goodman.

And while this is undoubtedly great news in terms of diversity, over here at InStyle HQ, we're still not convinced by the nude heel. Are they a modern classic and an essential wardrobe staple, or should they be banised from our feet for evermore? Two InStyle writers make their case...

Maxine Eggenberger gives the case for:
Being a self-confessed shoe addict, I've never met a heel I didn't like. From sexy lace-up sandals to Taylor Swift-style heeled loafers, I've given them all a go and the nude court is certainly no exception. 

I like to think of myself as a girl who knows fashion and in those circles, this confession is the sort of thing worthy of a group therapy session. However, I think we've all been quick to judge the quiet nude heel — not only do they come with leg-lengthening superpowers built in but they're also more than happy to take a back seat and let the rest of your outfit shine. 

For example, for my own wedding day last year, I tried on hoards of different heels but none seemed to work with my figure-fitting nude gown which was adorned with more beads and jewels than A Big Fat Gypsy Wedding dress — just with less fibre optics. From Bionda Castana's to Louboutins, nothing seemed to work. Then less than two weeks before the day, I walked into Topshop, tried on a pair of its nude patent courts and I knew they were the one. 

Now, not every outing calls for a show-stopping dress but even with the most subtly statement of outfits, you can always rely on your trusty nude courts. In short, they're kind of like your mum — they bore the hell out of you from time to time but every now and then you're reminded just how reliable they really are.

Olivia Marks gives the case against:
Skin-coloured tights, frock coats, job interviews, hen dos, Kate Middleton. Just a few of the things that come to mind when I hear the phrase 'nude heels'.

The nude court shoe has become all-pervasive, thanks in large part to the Duchess of Cambridge's penchant for a beige mid-heel court, but also owing to their ability to lengthen the leg, allowing all of us to have a Gisele moment, however brief. And yes, they do make your pins look miraculously longer and svelter, but you only need to slightly screw your eyes to see they also kind of make your legs look like they end in pointed, patent stumps rather than feet. Like something akin to a trotter.

But the main problem with nude courts isn't really how they look, but rather what they signify, namely a lack of imagination. Next time you're at a wedding or on a night out or waiting to talk to someone at the bank, lower your eyes to the floor and note how many feet are clad in shoes that match the skin. Chances are you'll lose count. And where's the fun in (quite literally) blending in?

Yes, nude shoes are safe, they're reliable. They're trustworthy. But my God they're boring. The barely there shoe with its simple two straps – one that wraps round the ankle, the other lying across the toes – does exactly the same job as those nude heels, but is infinitely chicer.

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So next time you head to the shops to replace your well worn nude heels, let your hand pass over them and reach for something new. So what if those brightly block-heeled sandals don't make your legs look longer: we guarantee you'll be walking taller in them anyway.