Shoes ... they're not just what goes on your feet, especially when you're a celebrity with access to designers who view footwear as tiny little works of art. And we're not talking about "it" designers like Brian Atwood or old standbys like Christian Louboutin or even Manolo Blahnik (RIP Carrie Bradshaw).
Here, you'll see celeb shoes that took fashion to the next level. Penis pumps? Got 'em. Pistol heels? Yep. Gravity-defying, backless platforms? Those, too.
A few made us wonder what the hell these ladies were thinking, while others had us coveting our own pair. But kids, we beseech you -- don't try this at home.
Rihanna's Gladiator Boots
Rihanna donned a pair of Balenciaga you-know-what-kickers for a TV appearance. The black and white boots are stunning, but if you look at the busy pattern too long, you might find yourself with a case of vertigo. All those straps and buckles make us wonder a) If Rihanna's toes turned blue from the lack of circulation; and b) Just how long it took her to get those things on and off. Fabulous? Yes. Impractical? Absolutely. One, two, buckle my shoe ...
Victoria Beckham's Neckbreakers
At first glance, Victoria Beckham's black stilettos look like your standard pair of impossibly high heels. But upon closer inspection, you'll see the Spice Girl and mom of four is teetering on dangerously thin spikes. While the shape and silhouette of the actual heel is breathtaking and petite, one misstep and she's red carpet roadkill. These are what we call "neckbreaker" heels -- the wearer is bound to wind up in the ER if she's not careful when tiptoeing in these bad boys.
Jennifer Lopez's Boot-Pants Combo
Jennifer Lopez is known for her skyscraper heels, but this strange pair she wore for an MTV appearance back in the '00s defy explanation. Strappy is supposed to be sexy, but when your boots look like an extension of your pants, it's a fashion miss. This look is too busy -- the stripes on her pants and the straps of her shoes are competing for attention and the result is anything but ghetto fab. As with 'Gigli,' we have to ask ourselves: What the hell was she thinking?
Willow's Reverse Platform Sneakers
One word: ugly. We know Willow is a pre-teen, but her mother Jada Pinkett Smith is a stylista -- so she should've warned her daughter that you don't wear sneakers on a red carpet, no matter how "street" your style is. These reverse platform kicks, which have no back, require the wearer to balance on her toes and thus present quite the walking challenge. While Willow is still getting her fashion legs under her, this was the fauxest of pas.
Lady Gaga's Perfume Bottle Heels
Lady Gaga shamelessly self-promoted her Fame perfume at a launch event by wearing custom-made shoes with the heels shaped like the fragrance bottle. It's actually sort of brilliant, especially since the round shape of the bottle made for a chunkier platform heel, which are much easier to walk in than reed-thin stems. While these particular shoes didn't do much to elongate Gaga's gams, they were certainly one-of-a-kind. One suggested design enhancement: Make them spray the fragrance as she walks, negating the need for Odor Eaters.
Britney Spears' Cankle Makers
Black patent leather platform peep-toe booties. That's the description of an undoubtedly sexy shoe, right? Not so much. Britney Spears got it all wrong at the 2011 MTV VMAs, when she paired these booties with a shiny black mini. But since the height of these glossy shoes visually shortened her legs, she ended up with with rather unfortunate cankles and a bad case of lower-leg muffin-top. Brit's made many a fashion mistake during her career, but this was one of the worst.
Madonna's Gun Show
Shoes with pointy heels are often considered weapons; these were were actual weapons. Back in 2008, Madonna was a pistol packin' mama when she paired a simple black dress with a pair of Chanel pumps featuring gun-shaped heels. Much like Lady Gaga's perfume bottle shoes, these would have been that much cooler if they'd been tasers or at least filled with BBs. Maybe then the paparazzi would've thought twice about following her around as much as they do.
Lady Gaga's Penis Pumps
Leave it to Lady Gaga to don a pair of penis pumps -- and to do it on national TV. She wore the shoes with phallic-shaped heels during her May 2011 mentoring appearance on 'American Idol,' and promptly sent the censors into cardiac arrest over what essentially amounted to dildos on her feet. Again, given the rounded shape of the head, er, heel, we're left wondering how she was able to keep her balance in these things. (But one thing we won't recommend this time is that they shoot anything.)