Update since 2009. I thought about changing the photos, but these shoes are still in style here in Paris.
This is a nice store, but the sales people leave a lot to be desired. I bought two pairs of shoes here in spite of their unfriendliness.
The styles are very classic. The flats pictured here are an inspiration of the late Roger Vivier, my favorite shoe designer from the 60's. For shoe lovers, Manolo Blanik's shoes are very much in the style of Roger Vivier, including the last he uses. The last time I was in Paris I saw that the Parisian women were still wearing this style in flats or heels.
What to buy: Shoes
What to pay: Over 100€
When you visit Paris, you always must walk extensively. Therefore, you must wear the most comfortable possible shoes.
What to buy: If you have easily sore feet, this address might be a heaven for you!
"Confort pieds sensibles" are specialized in shoes for the tender footed!
French shops are more formal than their American counterparts, especially designer shops.
When you enter a shop be sure to greet the owner with "Bonjour Madame" (or Monsieur) and *then* ask if she/he speaks English.
Touching store displays are frowned upon so ask for assistance and preface your request with "s'il vous plait".
A nice pair of slacks, a jacket, a fashionable top, and a comfortable pair of walking shoes are classic shopping gear for the sophisticated Parisians -- shorts, sneakers, etc, are a definite 'no no'.
Store Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Department stores remain open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays or Fridays and are open on Sundays during the Christmas season.
Shops in tourist areas, museum shops, etc. are open on Sundays year round.
6 rue mahler, 4th
tel: 01 48 87 68 14
This gem-sized petite boutique seems like a private address for some of the greatest European shoes, but it is indeed open to all shoe fans out there. A selection of the hottest names in Italian & French footwear (Pierre Hardy, Bruno Frisoni, Michel Vivien, etc.) are on display, alongside a choice selection of handbags. Last time we were in, we came across a couple of models, straight from the Dior catwalk, snapping up the latest Chloe flats. This is obviously an address for those “in the know.” The best part? Store owner Miguel claims to tests out all the shoes for comfort (himself! although he does not normally wear women’s shoes…) before he will sell them in his boutique.
Most shops do not carry footwear as imaginative as this, but you will see elegant shoe shops all over the more upscale neighborhoods. On the whole I've found the funkiest shoes in the Marais, although this display was more in the Grand Boulevards area.
What to buy: Well I'd spend an hour trying them on, but the prices ... ooooo la la!
The cheaper past-time is to window shop and admire the Parisian creativity in displaying ordinary objects!
Shopping in Paris is most conveniently done by arrondissement, which are the 20 legislative areas that divide the city. Almost every arrondissement is literally a city within the city, with its own character and features.
Fancy a small-town feeling with original little shops -go to Marais. In search for young talents and alternative funky fashion go to the 10th, 11th, 12th and 18th arrondissement. Want deluxe designer wear? The 8th arrondissement with its avenue Montaigne and rue du Faubourg St-Honoré won’t let you down. Most of us however sooner or later end up in the 1st and 2nd (St-Honoré and Etienne Marcel) or 6th (St-Germain).
What to buy: If you only have time to shop in one area – go to the sixth and seventh arrondissements (St-Germain). Here you find shops in every price range and every taste, and if you share all fashionistas’ obsession for accessories and shoes, this is as good as it gets this side of heaven. The artery of the district is Boulevard St-Germain and the square around the ancient church St-Germain des Près. On the North side of the boulevard, towards river Seine, you find small antique shops and boutiques mixed with some of the most renowned designer shops such as Lagerfeld Gallery, Missoni and Christian Dior. It’s however on the opposite side of boulevard St-Germain you will spend most of the time. The streets that make St-Germain worth a journey are however rue Grenelle and rue du Cherche-Midi. Especially for the shoe-aholic.
Bata shoe store is a chain across a few european countries and they offer a wide selection for men and wom.n and the prices are very reasonable.
In the event you actually didn't listen to all those packing tips that said to bring along comfortable shoes, you can go to Bata and walk out in a causal and comforable pair.
You get 15 days to exchange or return the shoes that don't work out for you.
What to buy: Sales occur at least four times a year. I was there in June and got a bargin on a pair of platform open-toed shoes
What to pay: 29 euro
Whatever you needs are to give your best ballet performance, this shop will have it for you. An absolutely fascinating place to visit.
One of the Parisian shops vending the famous Mephisto shoes.
These boots are made for walking ...
What to buy: Walking shoes
What to pay: For Mephisto you must pay a lot.