Have you ever wondered which heel is the highest, which character had the most releases, when they started or just how many different heels there's been? Well this fun (but informative) post contains everything you'll ever need to know about the Irregular Choice character heels. Though the history may be brief, there's a lot that's happened in that short period and it's all documented here. I've taken photos of every single character (and concept) heel I currently own. You've perhaps seen them individually, but I've never gathered them together for a group photo before. I've also linked to my previous posts (they open in a new window, so you won't lose your place here) for you to see the shoes in more detail if you haven't before and included some current 'in stock' links if you wish to add to your own collection.
Irregular Choice are no stranger to statement heels, previously giving us flashing lights, carved wooden structures, see-through heels, cut out and "heel-less" wedges and even ice-cream cones. However two and a half years ago, there came news of a special edition. So exclusive it had it's own release date and time, rather than launching with the rest of that season's collection. Quite rightly there was a real buzz surrounding this style, because not only did it look extraordinary, it was unprecedented in the affordable footwear sector. In March 2013, available in two styles, the Flopsy shoe-boot and Thumper mary-jane each came in two colourways and revolutionised the meaning of 'statement heels'. This was because the heel was shaped like a bunny. A proper bunny rabbit! I bought the blue polka dot Flopsy and to this day, they remain one of my favourites. I'll never forget that initial excitement, realising I could possibly own something so amazing. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I'd be able to afford something like this or that it was even possible to merge wearability with such innovation.
Back then, I naively thought the bunnies would be a one-off. How wrong was I?! A whole new category of footwear had been unleashed and with the already impressive ingenuity and boundary crossing traits of the brand, the concept was bound to flourish. So in August of that year, I heard murmurs of gnome heels. While I'm not scared of gnomes, I'm not particularly fond of them either. In all honesty, I didn't imagine the shoes would appeal to me, but then again, IC have this way of making the odd and freaky, totally tempting. The bright, shiny gnome was a world away from the pale, matte, chunky bunny and I think it was at this point that I realised the endless possibilities of animals or objects that could be transformed into wearable heels. Chuckles as they were called, came in black or burgundy and I totally fell for them. Oddly and I know those of you that know what's to come will be surprised at this, I think these could be my favourite. Or one of! Yes, I'm not fond of gnomes, but that cheery, brightly coloured chap against the gorgeous polka dot velvet uppers with big patent hearts, just makes me feel so joyful every time I look at and wear them. They cause utter chaos when worn in public. Loving chaos, but chaos nonetheless. In October, another version, Thunderella were released in two colours. Had they launched at the same time as mine, I just might've bought them instead as I loved the embroidered animals (though I now love mine so much, I couldn't imagine passing them up). However, I wisely realised more was to follow and I had to limit myself to make room for completely new styles.
Which had actually already happened, as I was contacted in September with a very mysterious and exciting email asking if I'd like to get my hands on the next character before it was formally released. Hearing the magic word "Santa" was enough for me to commit (yes, even before seeing them) and along came Dreamy; Father Christmas heels. They were officially released in November, just in time for Christmas. The mould is exactly the same as the gnome, but there are various details (not just the clothing) that transform him into Santa. At the end of the month there was a special release of Flopsy for winter. This time the uppers were cream or black tweed with little gold ribbons around the rabbit necks.
In February 2014, it was like my dreams actually materialised, with the news of unicorn heels! It was top of my list of things I hoped they'd attempt. The heel was in a similar form to the bunny, but instead was just a head with a gold sparkly horn and no body. This was the biggest release so far, with 7 different colours and styles. Lace up shoe-boot Rupiez, buckled shoe-boot Full Of Grace, fringed mary-jane One Who Charms and star adorned court Eternal Friend. The names perfectly described the magical, mythical creature and seeing as I'm crazy about unicorns (and the styles were all so different) I allowed myself two purchases. Black Eternal Friend with shimmering gold stars and One Who Charms.
Just a couple of weeks later, there was another pal to add to my growing collection, an adorable vintage looking kitten. There were two colourways of Mouse Trap (black and cream, I got the latter), then floral Little Puss and two versions of the peep-toe Paw Print. Again the heel took on an almost wedge like appearance (body and head this time) with a ribbon around it's neck like Flopsy. This was the first release of a character heeled sandal.
By May, there was word of another unicorn coming. One Who Charms that I'd bought in cream, were to be released in black. It coincided with a matching bag, which I simply couldn't resist. With hindsight, I probably wouldn't have bought the earlier version too, but the fact this had a matching bag swayed it for me. I suspect many of you are surprised the unicorn heels aren't my favourite character heel (as unicorns are my 'thing'), but I find IC manage to change your perception of things you thought you would dislike or wouldn't work and continue to present the unexpected.
The first week in August we saw another new character, a fawn. Much more colourful than previous animals and very curvy. Cherry Deer came in black or blue and featured large cherries on top of deer print fabric. Angel Cakes in grey paw print fabric featured a large claw across the toe. I bought one of each and the black Cherry Deer are definitely another favourite of mine. I have the scarf in the same fabric (from several seasons before) and then got the matching bag too. The material is utterly beautiful and the cherries and deer really appeal to me, I love them.
A week later, we were all shook up with an Elvis-esque heel, an actual 'human' head instead of an animal or character. There were two variants of Uh Huh, though there's since been other colours available in the US and also ankle boots released a little later called Heart Breaker. This was the first one that didn't really appeal to me. While I can appreciate it (and it's one of the few that look a million times better on the foot), it just wasn't for me and I was actually glad of that. It would be boring if we all liked the same things and as I'm not into collecting just for the sake of it, I've never felt the need to own one of every colour or every character heel ever made. My collection is not for show, it's built up of styles I genuinely adore. Two weeks later another special unicorn heel was released. This time it was an online exclusive, Eternal Friend in white with rainbow accents and bright blue sparkling stars. They were extremely popular, very limited and sold out almost immediately. Given that I already had three unicorn heels by that point, I resisted. A couple of days later some more fawns were released, black glitter and floral glitter Fawn and grey or black Jambi with fur trim. We'd seen a big variety of styles and characters up to this point, but something magnificent was to come. The ballerina heel in October 2014. There were three versions of Glissade (I got green metallic) and the pearly ankle boot Balletomane.
Instead of the ballerina as the whole heel, there was a wooden framed wedge. The cut-out section contained carved perspex, so it looked like a display box. Inside that stood a little metal ballerina, like in a jewellery box. That in itself was stunning to admire, but there was more. A key hidden in the sole, which you wound up to make the ballerina pirouette. Ballet was a huge part of my life (I danced for over 15 years), so I was just blown away by these. The concept of the heel was amazing enough, but knowing she rotated and seeing how it looked like an encased piece of art, that could actually be worn, was just mesmerising. As if that wasn't enough, news broke that it actually played music! Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner for the most adventurous, breathtaking shoes ever made!! Obviously all of these elements made this a world first and totally unique. I have to admit to treating these like the most precious and fragile shoes in my collection (whole collection, not just IC). I'm very delicate with them and haven't plucked up the courage to wear them yet, but they'll perhaps surprise me and be more robust than I give them credit for!
A couple of weeks later (ok, now it's becoming clear why I'm permanently broke), IC changed tactic and reinvented past favourites. Bunny and unicorn were both back in another massive launch with 7 styles and colours. This time the heels were made in mirrored gold, no shading, no additional colours, just shiny metallic. The bunnies came in the form of polka dot sequined Fluffy Tail (complete with actual fluffy tail) in black or pink (I got pink) or Disco Bunny shoe-boots in black or green sequins. The sequins could be turned to reveal another colour on the underside and Schuh also sold an exclusive rainbow version. The unicorns were called Trixy, a court shoe in a floral brocade type fabric with large glitter bow, in coral, black or turquoise (I got black). Both of these are absolutely stunning to look at and I think, more formal than previous styles. Again a bag was released to coordinate with Fluffy Tail, which I also got. I could look at them side by side all day!
At the end of November, Santa was released in a new form for Christmas. This time a velvet shoe-boot called Jingle in black or wine. The heel was exactly the same as the original. Into 2015 and four new styles were released for pre-order. This time each heel in the pair was different. They were 'wedding' shoes with a bride on one heel and a groom on the other. They were officially released on Valentine's Day and are a popular style to not just get married in, but to wear to weddings. Later in January, to celebrate Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep, a lamb heel made it's debut. I loved the vintage feel and pretty pastel colours used, so bought Lammie with huge bows. The same style came in black along with Baah Baah a court with embroidered lettering in black or pink. This was to be the first of the 'mid-heeled' character heels at 3 1/4", noticeably lower than previous designs. Again two bags were released, which could match with the shoes. I bought the pale one and once more could gaze at them non-stop.
By the end of February we had another mid-heel, this time a panda. Although this was actually the first heel to combine two in one, with an adult and baby bear in each heel. This was probably the most life-like animal interpretation so far, with realistic colours and shading. Yang Guang (the male panda at Edinburgh Zoo) came in the form of a purple or black mary-jane and Pin Yin a shoe-boot in decorated bird fabric with beading at the heel, in black or yellow. As you know I tried both Pin Yin, but found the style I liked most in Tian Tian (the female panda at Edinburgh Zoo) which weren't sold directly from Irregular Choice. I bought both the black and metallic pink versions. These are probably the most plain but 'wearable' of all my character heels.
Which leads to one of the craziest, dinosaurs! No more sweet, little animals, a gigantic, roaring dinosaur with towering, rubber platform launched in March 2015. Dino a strappy sandal came in black or pastel dinosaur print, while Roarsum were a buckled sandal come ankle boot in black or patent floral. I'd fallen in love with that floral the previous winter, so knew they were the style for me. This was one of the most surprising love matches for me, because I just went weak at the knees when they arrived. I'm not even mad on dinosaurs, but they just work and are one of those styles you feel so lucky to own. I almost cried with happiness when I slid the box open. Like the ballerina (5 1/2" with 1 1/2" platform), the heel was higher this time at 5 1/2" with a 2" platform.
A couple of weeks later, Irregular Choice reinvented the style that I suppose led the way for character heels; the ice-cream cones. They came in two styles (four colours), Nicka Bock Glory or Ninety Nine, but I have one of the originals, Flamboyant Vampire.
In July, the panda was back. Kinda. Squeezy came in two colours brown or black. Both featured fluffy uppers with bear faces and googly eyes. The black included the panda heel we'd seen previously, however the brown, with the same mould were in mirrored gold. It therefore looked more like a bear, than a panda. I was really excited about this release, because the uppers were so brilliantly kooky and I saw the heel as a bonus. Personally, I like the more unconventional styles and feel that's the ideology behind Irregular Choice, but I think some were put-off. Knowing people find them childish or ridiculous honestly only makes me love them even more! These are most definitely one of my favourites.
The next release in August, like the ice-creams were more a concept heel than character and involved dice. There were four colours, a court shoe called Throw A Six in red or black or the ankle boot, Poker Joker in black or green patterned sequins. I opted for the maddest of the bunch, the sparkling boot. They are a thing of beauty, though admittedly I don't quite feel the same affection for dice as I do the animals!
Which brings us up to date to last month and another concept heel, a heart. It brought together two IC favourites, carved perspex and lights! It was another big release with 5 colours. Strawberry Fudge a polka dot court came in pink or black, Heart Stopper a metallic floral shoe-boot or black, pink or white True Love complete with puffy heart and holographic wings. The white pair featured a special pink heel and were part of the bridal range. I bought the pink True Love. The heel is red and momentarily the lights flicker as you take a step.
Like I've said, there have been many 'special' editions over the years; the pink Glissade, heart (instead of stars) and the current sequins Eternal Friend, pink Chuckles, brown Cherry Deer and more colourways of the deers and the bow shoe-boot Bashful Brenda with gnome heel, to name a few. Some were only available in certain stores or country specific and there are also various styles which didn't make it into production but can sometimes be found on eBay (samples in a size 4/37). There's already been so many, but there is much more to follow. Like I said earlier, with the imagination of Irregular Choice, the possibilities are simply endless. I'd absolutely love to see a doll heel with removable, interchangeable fabric clothes and a mermaid (I have dreams of it being like a snowglobe with water and glitter too).
We already know of the Star Wars collection at the end of the month, which will feature several character heels. There will possibly be bride & bride heels in the style of the mixed couple shoes we've seen this year (due to requests) and I've seen a preview of the new Santa heel for 2015 (which is so exciting and an absolute MUST). When you love each purchase and aren't buying to sell for profit or gloat that you own something "rare", it's really hard to narrow down your favourites. It's something I'm asked about a lot though. Obviously there are those you wear more than others (and given my incapacity the past couple of years, I've not had the opportunity to wear most of mine), but because all the uppers, heels or special features differ so greatly (my pet hate is people saying all character heels "are the same") they appeal in different ways. If forced, I'd say Chuckles, Squeezy, Cherry Deer, Flopsy and Roarsum (in no order) are my top pairs. I still feel incredibly fortunate and appreciative to own one pair, nevermind 20, but I sincerely hope my collection continues to grow. The uncertainty of what could be is thrilling and I love the colourful and eclectic variety we've seen thus far. How many of these did you recognise, how many do you own? Do you have a favourite, what would you like to see in the future?
Post contains some affiliate links. No items were gifted.