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Ask Belle: Black Patent Pumps for Winter

Dear Belle,

I live in black pumps and tights all winter long.  Can you help me find a pair of patent leather heels for under-$125?  I prefer kidskin, but in the wet weather, patent is preferable.

Thank you.  Best, Liz

Patent leather is a great choice for winter weather.  I learned that lesson after losing a pair of leather heels to snow and rock salt during my first D.C. winter.  Rough.  Here are some suggestions in your price range:


Michael Kors Flex Pumps ($99)

These Flex Pumps are incredibly comfortable.  They’re as close to a pain-free heel as I’ve ever owned.  They also come in a kitten heel height.  I also like these Cole Haan patent heels with a 3″ heel and a clean shape.

Need something under-$50?  These Madden Girl heels have a round-toe and a classic look.  These Ivanka Trump pointed-toe heels are seriously marked down at Off 5th.

You can wash your patent leather pumps in a mild soap and warm water.  Most sites recommend that you also invest in a patent leather conditioner to help keep your shoes shiny.



  1. Allie says:

    Thank you for this one! My black patent pumps are on their last leg too.

    November 10, 2014/Reply
  2. Michelle says:

    Belle – I have these shoes with the round-toe. Are there any “rules” about wearing black opaque tights with patent pumps? In the past I’ve stuck with suede shoes with tights, but I’m wondering what you think about patent with tights. Thanks!

    November 10, 2014/Reply
  3. Katie says:

    Just a warning – the MK flex pumps are a little narrow (I got a pair of the kitten heel style last week and will be returning them). The Cole Haans are much better if your foot is even the tiniest bit wide and you can sometimes get them on sale at

    November 10, 2014/Reply
  4. yousaucyminx says:

    I love the Flex pumps. I have them in several different colors. They’re comfortable, well made, and they hold up really well.

    November 10, 2014/Reply
  5. e says:

    These are patent leather but I have been very happy with Massimo Dutti shoes and just ordered these in black and brown

    November 10, 2014/Reply
    • e says:

      These are *not* patent leather

      November 10, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Oh wow. Those are REALLY pretty and functional. Even though they’re not patent, I think they would look just as good with opaque tights in the way that regular leather doesn’t. Looks like they have a fairly sturdy heel too.

      November 10, 2014/Reply