This whole story began with one shoe—specifically, a single heel from creative director Demna Gvasalia's debut collection for Balenciaga. After spending hours drinking in and dissecting each look under Gvasalia's new vision of the nearly century-year-old luxury brand, from the pulled-down puffers to the exaggerated boxy silhouettes, it was this stiletto planted underneath both patent boots and satin pumps (see above, top right) alike that had us riveted. The shape itself wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but how it was positioned was something to note—it was awkwardly and deliberately angled inward to create the illusion that it was broken. Subtle, discreet, yet completely fascinating.
And from there, we tasked ourselves with finding the most interesting heels from the fall 2016 runways. There were those unforgettable billion-inch-high skyscraper platforms from Marc Jacobs with a trunk of a heel that widened ever-so-slightly at the bottom, Rodarte's pearlescent pointed cone, and Dries Van Noten's wonderfully cylindrical heel—some draped with pearls, while others were blanketed in a shocking shade of violet. After a season of having to choose between a skinny or a block arrives a delightful buffet of heels in every shape, size, and form. But don't just take our word for it—scroll through to see them for yourself.