Best Boots

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Best of LA, July 2007

The Upper East Side meets Echo Park at Satine (8117 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323-655-2142), where a small but well-curated mix of established and cult labels fills a parlorlike shop. Chocolate brown patent leather riding flats from Lanvin ($890) are displayed in whitewashed French country-style cabinets alongside utilitarian black ankle boots by Jil Sander ($1,040) and a camel-colored pair with low stacked heels from hard-to-find Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato ($450).

Manolo Blahnik was to the ’90s what Christian Louboutin (9040 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-247-9300) is to the new millennium: a modern label that unites design integrity with sex appeal. Here, heels ascend to nosebleed-inducing heights: Fall’s “Lapono” patent leather side-zip booties ($770) are skyscraper tall (they’ve got a five-inch stiletto) and, like the studded black ankle boots “Arielle Clou” ($1,135), arrive in trippy colors. You’ve got to love a shop that displays its wares on slabs of white quartz and in mirrored cubbies; set against plush red carpeting in a shade that matches the Parisian designer’s signature dark red soles, each shoe resembles a delectable bonbon.

At Diavolina (156 S. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-550-1341), designer boots from affordable American labels like Joie and Dolce Vita and European brands like Costume National and Pierre Hardy pop against a leopard-print carpet, low-slung white Regency couches, and a screaming pink ceiling. David Bowie and Joan Jett furnish the soundtrack for scoring fall standouts like Chloé’s nude zip-up riding boots ($1,175) and Gil Carvalha’s peep-toe ankle numbers ($595).

Madison at Fred Segal Santa Monica (500 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-451-2633) carries a selection that would do Victoria Beckham’s closet one better, with 62 styles of men’s and women’s boots from such runway staples as Jimmy Choo, Prada, Nina Ricci, and Stella McCartney. The stark glass shelves and less-than-flattering fluorescents don’t invite lingering, but the sheer volume of boots is reason enough to stick around. The store is touting the moccasin-sock Vanillas ($155) as the next Uggs.

Photograph courtesy madisonstyle.com