Shoes A-Z by Jonathan Walford – A Review.

by Katie on November 8, 2010

A must-have for any shoe or fashion addict, Shoes A–Z tells the story of sixty years of shoes. 

This fun yet authoritative book covers more than 350 leading women’s shoes designers and manufacturers, and includes a vast range of fashionable styles, from trainers to haute couture. 

Each illustrated entry features photographs, sketches and advertisements, and highlights how shoe designers have become heroes of popular culture.

In recent years shoes have become objects of fanatical devotion, as covetable designs and designers have gained iconic status. From Christian Louboutin’s signature red sole and the Manolo Blahnik heels that helped to define ‘Sex and the City’s’ Carrie Bradshaw to the eco-friendly footwear of the future and the comfort and ubiquity of the Ugg or replica high street ‘Fugg’, shoes are now a fashion statement on their own.  They define a character and identity.  Step forward, ‘Shoes A-Z’.

Designers such as Stuart Weitzman, Gina, Roger Vivier, Nicholas Kirkwood, Maud Frizon and Michel Perry are listed as ae iconic brands of yore, Sacha London and Bata.  This is a must for shoe adorers everywhere and shows brilliant examples of shoes through the ages and a short history of each brand.

Loving the ultra pointed, vintage inspired, Rosa shoes with dominatrix attitude that are now made in Italy under the supervision of Edoardo Amaranti. 
Notable omissions include Olivia Morris, Giuseppe Zanotti and Charlotte Olympia.  Tsk indeed.
‘Shoes A-Z’ by Jonathan Walford is published by Thames and Hudson priced £16.95.  Published October 2010.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan Walford November 28, 2010 at 6:25 am

Hi Katie!
Thank-you for your enthusiastic review of my book! It was a lot of work researching all the various brands and designers from the past 60 years. Thanks for the additional names for future inclusion. I kept finding designers and brands to include but I had to stop before the book began to resemble the Manhattan phone directory!

I don’t know Charlotte Olympia so I will check her out. Olivia Morris came to my attention after the book was finished so it was too late to include her. However, Giuseppe Zanotti is in the book under G because he incorporated his company under his full name which is how he wants to be known.

Thanks again for your review – so many shoes, so little time!

Jonathan Walford


Roger Adams March 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Hi Katie, thanks for making mention of RoSa Shoes among so many to choose from in Jonathan’s book. Just thought you’d like to know that although RoSa Shoes are indeed produced in Italy, they are designed in England, by myself and my lovely wife Sarah, who also has a Blog on Blogspot!
Best regards, Roger Adams


Anonymous April 3, 2011 at 2:16 am

I am an aspiring designer of fine women’s footwear in nyc and am in study mode of this incredible craft. I stumbled across this refreshing modern masterpiece (thank you Jonathan Walford). Your countless hours of research, blood, sweat and tears show as you have given concise histories of countless important designers.
There are I believe several glaring editorial errors that need to be addressed though and this was a bit disappointing, however I refused to allow those negatives to overshadow my overall enthusiasm for this overture!
Kudos to you J.W. for this wonderful effort; it will prove to be a timeless classic.



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