Duty Free Shoes

Well-heeled passengers shop at the terminal – Footwear to fly for

Duty Free Designer HeelsTo mention Imelda Marcos in a shoe conversation would be a cliché although 2,700 pairs is a truly remarkable feat • no pun intended. The designer footwear on the world’s wish-list these days is far more likely to be spotted on the feet of Sex and the City footwear and style icon Carrie Bradshaw.A growing number of airports now contain a selection of top-end designer footwear outlets to compliment their clothing, handbag and fashion accessory stores. Bally of Switzerland, Mayfair’s Kurt Geiger, Salvatore Ferragamo, UGG Australia • the list is as impressive as a teetering Jimmy Choo heel.Whether a department within an existing designer store or shoe specialists in their own right, airport retail and tax-free outlets are increasingly realising that superb offers on current-season designer footwear is a sure-fire way to tempt the fashionistas in • and to send them out with a smile on their face and works of art on their feet. Leading lights in the footwear field include Burberry, Paul Smith, Gucci and France’s finest, glittering Christian Louboutin.

Slip-on ballet pumps might be gleaming leather, soft satin or even zebra calfskin, from the footwear legends at Bally, Jimmy Choo, DKNY, Sergio Rossi, Patrick Cox or Carvela. To treat your feet to some TLC, nip into Diesel, UGG Australia or Cushe to enjoy significant savings on iconic suede UGG boots or easy-wear sneakers and pumps compared to your local high street prices.

The heat then turns up a notch for the ladies in the evening and special occasion department, with prestigious stores bursting with sought-after designers and, more importantly, deals. Vying for your attention are Bally’s bohemian gypsy sandals or ultra-soft suede boots; Jimmy Choo’s vertiginous Crystal Mesh heeled sandals; and a plethora of platform, peep-toe mules from Ellie Bunny. What better way to complement that glamorous new handbag or haute-couture outfit from Gucci or D&G?

Footwear is by no means purely a woman’s realm. Gentlemen, if the terminal’s shoe-shine service leaves your boots lacklustre, take advantage of tax-free deals to grab yourself a bargain. There are designer loafers, high-quality leather shoes, well-cut boots and leisure footwear from Paul Smith, Burberry, Diesel and Chatham Marine to name just a few. Salvatore Ferragamo is another favourite of the discerning footwear connoisseur. Its refined collection of textured calfskin boots, polished leather brogues and sneakers/ trainers (depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on) is a reminder of why Italy remains one step ahead on the footwear front.This is a lucrative and expanding market, so airports’ own websites are improving all the time to list their fashion and footwear outlets. With a bit on online research in advance, you can be sure that your all-important purchase will keep both you and your budget happy. So whether flying off to grace a boardroom, a red carpet or Australia’s Red Centre, it’s easy to turn your walk to the runway into a runway event in its own right, as the best-value place to acquire the best-dressed feet is now just a check-in desk away.

Check out our guides to …

Travel guides for men ….