Feature

Italy: You'll know by our stilettos

A new study of shoe-purchasing habits has identified which Europeans buy which kinds of shoes.

Rosalina SalemiLa Stampa 

The hard data is in: Italian women love high heels, said Roselina Salemi. A new study of shoe-purchasing habits by the research group Euromonitor has identified which Europeans buy which kinds of shoes. The result? Italians may not be the most spendthrift women in Europe when it comes to shoes—“that honor goes to the French”—but we do choose the chicest styles. Italian women have an average of 12 pairs of heels each, and they’re all different. More than anyone else, we opt for standout shoes with ribbons or rhinestones, paint or python skin. “Luxury is sexy.” It’s no wonder that the how-to manual of stilettos, A Lesson in Heels, was written by an Italian, Roberta Rossi. The French, meanwhile, prefer tasteful lower heels and ballerina flats. The Spanish, “as expected,” prefer wedges and espadrilles made of cork and rope. And in Holland and Belgium, “where everyone has an inner bicyclist,” women buy comfy sneakers made with eco-friendly materials, “colored, of course, with vegetable dyes.” Practically every European stereotype has been confirmed. There’s just one thing science can’t tell us: “why the shoes that fit great in the store start to pinch the moment you get outside.”

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