French shoemaker Christian Louboutin is known for its signature red-soled shoes, so when fashion house Yves Saint Laurent decided to sell some red-soled footwear, Louboutin sued (and lost).Red-soled Louboutins have become so distinguished and sought-after that women who can’t afford a pair — which sell for upwards of $600 — have gone to shoe repair stores to ask cobblers to take their less expensive footwear and resole them with vibrant red rubber.
See the most expensive shoe stores in the U.S. >
“I have to admit that I don’t own a pair of Louboutin shoes yet, despite my greatest desires,” says Bianca Posterli, the digital and social media director for Tyra Banks’s Bankable Enterprises. “The most expensive pair of shoes I own are Ash wedges that I’m totally obsessed with and have completely ruined from over-waring them.”
Louboutin may have lost its request for an injunction agains YSL, but it might be happy to hear that it has won the top spot on our list of the most expensive shoe stores in America. Despite the imitators and fashionistas giving their shoes a “red sole upgrade,” shoppers are dropping more dollars on average at the Christian Louboutin in Dallas, Texas than any other shoe store in America — an average of $1,108 per transaction.
We established our rankings by looking at average transactions at shoe stores based on millions of anonymized spending transactions from the U.S. government, Citi and other third party data providers during the second quarter of 2011. Since we focused our analysis on shoe stores, clothing stores like YSL, which also sells shoes, were eliminated from our rankings (you can check out the most expensive clothing shops here). We also filtered out shoe wholesalers and manufacturers.
Manolo Blahnik’s New York store, which became a household name after popping up on the Sex and the City TV series, ranked second on our list with shoppers spending an average of $963 per transaction. Miami-based Capretto Shoes which sells designer shoes from names like Lanvin and Prada ranked third with an average transaction of $958.
Prominent shoe retailer Jimmy Choo ranked fourth with $889 per transaction with their Vegas store, and Bally on New York’s Madison Avenue ranked fifth with shoppers spending an average of $741 per transaction. We should note that Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo stores appeared more than once based on transaction amounts, but we eliminated duplicate appearances to avoid a list that had nothing but repeated names, and so we could show a wider range of expensive shoe stores.
Although Dallas has the most expensive shoe store in the U.S. with Louboutin, New York City — the city where TV’s Carrie Bradshaw once admitted she bought $40,000 worth of designer shoes — appeared nine times on our list of 20. San Francisco made two appearances on our list.
Posterli, who lives in New York City, says she would probably ruin any designer shoes she’d buy, or go completely broke taking cabs or a car service everywhere. “Once my lifestyle changes, however, I fully plan on investing in some serious shoes to up my shoe closet quota,” she says.
Until then, Posterli says there are plenty of other options available for fashionable types.
“You’d be surprised how many younger designers there are out there making gorgeous heels, pumps, and wedges,” Posterli says. “Said names might not incite envy immediately among your friends, but chances are the design will. If you are totally desperate fro Loubs, Choos, and Manolos, attempt to hit up sample sales, find deals on shopping websites, and scout Craigslist in big cities — but don’t underestimate the up and coming designers!”
• City: San Francisco
• Average transaction: $492
• Website: http://www.aldenshoes.com/
• Learn more about this merchant: About 1 in 10 customers of Alden Shoe Company are Bachelors. Bachelors typically spend about 40% of their spending on Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories with Alden.
• City: New York City
• Average transaction: $698
• Website: http://www.fratellirossetti.com/
• Learn more about this merchant: About 1 in 10 customers of Fratelli Rossetti are Couples. On average, Couples visit Fratelli Rossetti 9% more frequently than other similarly priced Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories.
• City: New York City
• Average transaction: $963
• Website: http://www.manoloblahnik.com/
• Learn more about this merchant: About 2 in 10 customers of Manolo Blahnik are Couples. Couples typically spend about 23% of their spending on Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories with Manolo Blahnik.
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