Before gaining notoriety as author of the first Simpsons episode, cartoonist Mimi Pond produced a slim volume called Shoes Never Lie (Berkley, 1985), the funniest monograph-cum-humor book ever written about footwear and lust. If you're a regular FA2L reader, you've seen it quoted here before. On the subject of red shoes, Pond waxed poetic:
Red shoes are possibly the darkest of all secrets that women keep from men. Though men are frustratingly immune to the lure of most footwear, red shoes are a different matter altogether. They allow you to hold the opposite sex in your sway. At the sight of them, men become befuddled and confused. They stammer and perspire and must pull at their neckties like some poor cartoon character. The funniest part of all is that they think it's your perfume, or your personality.
Christian Louboutin's own fame post-dates Pond's book, but the man knows from red shoes: his signature soles are lacquered a glossy, candied-apple crimson. He's also stretched heels to astonishing new heights, and, in the process, gained thousands of followers who attend each new collection like Delphic pronouncements. It's easy to imagine anthropologists of 2075 writing about Louboutin as the leader of a veritable cult, just as Roger Vivier, Charles Jourdan and Manolo Blahnik were before him. Meanwhile, some clever fashion student will probably find a way to combine vertiginous stilettos, shiny red soles and enough rocket fuel to launch late-21st-century stylistas into orbit.