Sneakers, whether they be athletic, slip-on or casual, have been popping up everywhere from street style looks to couture runways. Fashion sneakers are making big waves in the world of footwear, and with any sort of resurgent popularity comes both the lovers and the haters. For this week’s TalkShoes Asks, we want to know which side of the fence you are on when it comes to fashion sneakers.

I’ve come to realize there are three type of sneaker people out there. The first type loves sneakers and will wear them as often as they can. The second type hates sneakers and wears them only when absolutely necessary, like when it’s raining or they’re actually exercising. Then you have people who fall in the middle ground; those people wear sneakers to offer a different feel and attitude to their look. I fall in the last group of the three, and I have a feeling in the upcoming months, when more fashion sneakers become available, I may develop an even deeper love for sneakers.

The only downfall to fashion sneakers typically lies with their high price tags. So, what are your thoughts on the rise of fashion sneakers?

Buy the Valentino Macramé Lace Sneaker for $745 via Barneys.

We all love all kinds of footwear, and while stilettos are some of the sexiest shoes to look at, they don’t always make for the best walking experiences. Behind every shoe, there’s a story to tell, and today we want to know: what was your worst shoe experience?

For me, my worst experience came from wearing a pair of sky-high black pumps back in college. While living in Staten Island, I traveled with my friends to NYC for dinner and drinks. Even though the dinner portion of the evening was fine, add a night of dancing, cocktails and needle-thin heels, and let’s just say I have never been so happy to see a yellow cab.

Otherwise, I would have thrown my shoes away and walked barefoot (and if you live or have been to NYC, you know how desperate I must have been). That night was just one of those crazy nights I’ll always remember, and even though my shoes were mostly to blame, I look at it this way: my experience made for a story to tell, so the experience was worth it (even if it is a few years later).

What was your worst shoe experience?

Finding a pair of shoes, both in your size and on sale, is a major score, and buying them can feel like the ultimate victory. It makes the acquisition experience all the more pleasurable for both you and your wallet. Every time you wear the shoes, you never forget of your little victory at the register and can’t help but treasure the shoes just a pinch more. With our weekly round up of Shoe Deals coming up tomorrow, I had a thought. As I’ve been browsing around, trying to choose the best picks for the round up, I started to think about my best shoe deal, and now I really want to know: what was yours?

One of my ultimate shoe deals happened last summer when I bought a pair of jelly BCBGeneration sandals that were originally $59 for the low, low price of $7! Macy’s was having a huge one-day sale, and I used a Macy’s coupon on top of the existing discount, making my savings almost 85% off. I’m not a math person overall, but give me discounts and percents and I’m like a human calculator.

So let’s hear it! What was your ultimate shoe deal?

Our shoe collection is ever-growing, so shoe closet organization is crucial. Whether you like all your shoes displayed openly for practical (or gawking) purposes, or you prefer to keep your shoes tucked away in their boxes, when it comes to closet organization, we all need a method that best suits our daily needs. With spring cleaning upon us, I’m wondering how all of you organize and store everything, from Jimmy Choo stilettos to Nikes.

Whenever I explain my closet problems to family and friends, they always tell me to stop buying shoes (never going to happen), or as an alternative, every item I buy something, I must also get rid of one item (again, never going to happen). When I remodeled my shoe closet last summer, it took a lot of research and planning, and to be honest, it was a lot more work then I had realized. I don’t have my dream walk-in closet (yet), but when I was planning how I want to store my shoes, I knew I wanted all my shoes easily visible and accessible. I decided to put my shoes to rest under my rack of clothes, so I bought shoe organizer unit where each pair of shoes rests in its own individual cubby. Visibility and accessibility: check!

There are countless ways to organize your closet, and I’m curious to hear them all! Do you use pictures outside shoe boxes to showcase which pair is inside? Do you house them on all on a shoe shelves? Do you place them in shoe cubbies? Maybe I’ll even be influenced by your responses and I’ll want to redo my shoe closet again!

We all remember our first. The first time opening the box in the store and rummaging through all that tissue paper. The first touch, when think about how it will be yours forever. We’re talking, of course, about your first designer shoe purchase. For this edition of TalkShoes Asks, we want to get a bit personal. It can be hard for many people to make this daunting first purchase, but when you do, you always remember it. We want to hear about those memories.

In college, I was the weekend manager at LOFT, and our employee hold closet was the best perk of the job, by far. Before merchandise even hit the sales floor, we were able to put a hold on anything we fancied (and to this day, I still have a colossal amount of LOFT merchandise). When this particular opportunity came, I had just started working at LOFT and was doing my best to make sure everyone liked me, as well as respected me as a manager. Sam Edelman sells a capsule collection every season on LOFT’s website, and one week, someone returned a pair Sam Edelman Tacoma Open-Toe Pumps to the store.

Even though I had just started, it was very clear to the associates that I was into fashion and had a deep love for all kinds of accessories. One of my fellow associates, Christine, put the returned pair on hold for me, and when I went in for my shift on the weekend, these beauties (in my size!) were waiting for me. When I tried them on, they were perfect in every way. The heel was high, but still very functional, and they were the perfect shade of nude to match my skin tone. It was this little act of kindness from my fellow employee that really sticks out to me every time I wear these shoes (and, I’ll admit, I also remember the amazing employee discount I got when I bought these pumps.)

We all have a great story to tell, and now I want to turn it over to you and hear how all of you came about your first pair of designer shoes!

Shop similar Sam Edelman styles through Bloomingdale’s.

We’ve been running TalkShoes Asks polls for a while, but today marks the first time we’ve ever had an actual poll where you can cast your vote, and it seems appropriate to vote on two of the most iconic shoe brands on the luxury market: Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik. Both of these brands have a lot to offer. Louboutins will give a girl some staggering height with its killer heels and platforms, where Manolos have a classic-yet-sexy allure in all of their single-sole glory. It’s a tough decision, so choose wisely!


TalkShoes Asks: Are You a Louboutin or a Manolo Girl?

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As aesthetics go, punk rock is among the easiest to identify. Punks love things that are extreme, industrial, dark and a little bit dirty – studs, safety pins, black leather, excess hardware, heavy boots, aggressive heel heights. Saint Laurent has been heavily mining that look since Hedi Slimane joined the brand several seasons ago, and now the Saint Laurent Studded Pumps are trying to make punk work on a conservative shoe, with somewhat mixed results.

Shoes have been the highlight of Saint Laurent’s accessories business since Slimane took over, with rocker must-haves like stiletto pumps and chelsea booties dotting the lineup. All of those shoes have sold incredibly well because the shoes’ structure and their look matched up, which is in stark contrast to the studded, strappy take on the kitten heel that you see above. Kitten heels are an inherently conservative look, especially with a closed toe; they’re functional and demure, two words that you’d never use to describe anything remotely punk.

Slimane’s really bought into this aesthetic, though – kitten heels were all over his Spring 2014 runway, and now they’ve arrived in stores. Do you think they work as a punk wardrobe staple, or should Slimane stick to stilettos and boots? Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1,295.

This isn’t the first time we have seen Knee-High sandals, butRené Caovilla brings a wholly new, more glamourous perspective to the bold structure. The René Caovilla Knee-High Crystal Sandals are definitely a show-stopping sandal, but are they a bit too much?

With these shoes, René Caovilla posits that gladiator sandals don’t have to be edgy; maybe they can be traditionally beautiful. These sandals are definitely a work of art with the intricate cutout detailing, covered in Swarovski crystals. I’m a fan all things crystal-embellished and pink, but I’m not sure how to incorporate these shoes into my wardrobe or what event would warrant wearing such a shoe. I’d feel like a total princess in these sandals, without a doubt, but is it worth the hefty price tag?

Buy your René Caovilla Knee-High Crystal Sandals through Neiman Marcus for $2,995.

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