It all started with Cinderella and that darned glass slipper… landing herself a prince rested entirely on A SHOE! Ridiculous as it may seem, this fairytale is not far from reality when it comes to the importance that shoes play in a woman’s life. They protect our feet, they get us from point A to point B, and they reflect our personal style. They can be reasonably priced, moderately expensive or obnoxiously costly. The flat ones are considered sensible and good for us. The sporty ones make us feel active and strong. The high ones make us walk a little taller (figuratively and literally) and the really high ones mix toe crushing pain with glamour all in a single step. We protectively keep them in boxes or dust bags, display them on metal stands as if they are sculptures or line them up like little foot soldiers in our closets. Women and shoes… there is no denying the relationship.

But, don’t take our word for it. As reported by the UK’s Daily Express, a 2010 study conducted by British insurance company claims that the average woman will buy 469 pairs of shoes in her lifetime (that’s an average of 7 per year over 67 years), and she’ll spend roughly $25,000 doing so. The survey of 3,000 women also showed that the average woman has about 19 pairs of shoes – three pairs with heels, six pairs of flip-flops, sandals, ballet pumps or wedges, three pairs of boots, four pairs of “foxy-style” shoes for nights out, two pairs of work shoes and another two or so “random” purchases. Sheesh… how big are the closets of the women they surveyed?

So let’s face it, women like shoes. It’s just the degree to which we like, love or obsess about shoes that makes us all different. But, while shoes can be objects of desire, not all are made for walking. Enter Kobi Levi, an Israeli footwear designer. His hand-made “shoes” are much more art than they are footwear. According to the designer himself, “In my artistic footwear design the shoe is my canvas. The piece is a wearable sculpture. It is ‘alive’ with/out the foot/body. Most of the inspirations are out of the ‘shoe-world’, and give the footwear an extreme transformation. The result is usually humoristic with a unique point of view about footwear.”

We were mystified, confused, amused and intrigued when we stumbled onto his collection, and the XXX series made us blush. While we couldn’t imagine actually wearing any of his shoes, we can appreciate them for their impeccable craftsmanship and inventive design. We’d love to see Kobi’s spin on Cinderella’s glass slipper.

These are some of our favorite Kobi Levi designs – Blond Ambition and Chewing Gum. We especially like his Contemporary Chinese Chop Sticks Stilettos in the lead image above. Check out Kobi’s personal blog to see others from his fantastical collection.Kobi Levi Blond AmbitionKobi Levi Chewing Gum