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HomeFashionThe Slingback Is Summer’s Sexiest Shoe

The Slingback Is Summer’s Sexiest Shoe

Whenever I trot around the city in a pair of my white Tom Ford-era Gucci slingback sandals with a kitten heel the size of a pencil eraser and a buxom display of toe cleavage, I feel unstoppable. Powerful! Sensual! All it takes is the reverberating sound of that click-clack and the sight of the thin yet firm strap that traces the back of my ankle to make me feel like I can slink through any situation. In a sea of sexy summer shoes on the New York City streets, where there are hordes of bare, manicured feet splayed out in thong sandals or strappy sandals that encircle the ankles, my slap-the-ground slingbacks truly radiate an element of undeniable seduction.

I’m not the only one who appreciates the shoe. There are really great scenes of slingbacks in film–and with an erotic tinge. In Unfaithful (2002) and Basic Instinct (1994)—both outfitted by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick–there are slingback heel sightings that are sopping with sex. Diane Lane portrays Connie in Unfaithful, a hot and unhappy Connecticut housewife who has an affair with a suave Frenchman named Paul (Olivier Martinez) who lives in downtown New York. While Connie is getting ready in her humble upper-middle class rustic home to meet her buff Soho paramour, her sweater-vest-donning husband Ed (Richard Gere) casts his gaze downward next to the floor and sees two shoes that Connie has set aside next to a chair: a rumpled standard black pump, and then a Dolce & Gabbana black slingback with a leopard print insole. At that moment, Ed knows that Connie is en route to have a steamy affair. A few scenes later, like clockwork, Connie has sex with Paul in the now-closed bathroom of Café Noir.

More of the come-hither effect that you get with a slingback is on display in Basic Instinct (1994). Remember that iconic blink-and-you-miss-it crotch-flashing moment from Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) as she’s getting grilled by a slew of filmy detectives at the police station? Tramell, who embodies both murder and an orgasm, is also wearing an optic white slingback pump with her itty bitty white dress. Those men are at her–and her slingback’s–mercy. That’s evident after the spread leg moment, when Tramell shakes her leg ever so slightly. While you can’t see her full foot bobbing up and down, we can imagine the heel of the shoe playfully softly hitting her heel. It reminds me of a kitten pawing at a dangling ball of yarn.

So why are the hottest women always in a slingback? It comes down to how the shoe reveals the foot. The heel is accentuated by the little strap. The tiny strap and its delicate-yet-firm emphasis on the heel means that the foot has to be manicured. (Imagine going to a date showing off a heel akin to a barnacle—Well, actually, don’t!) A slingback begs the questions: Is the heel buffed? The foot moisturized? And just how soft is the skin? A heel in itself says a lot of how a woman takes care of herself. A slingback ultimately highlights that fantasy of a woman thoughtfully primping herself in preparation for a date. The idea of a woman who takes the time to make sure her heels are butter smooth? There’s nothing hotter.



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