Serena Williams
© Emilie Seto

I’m the girl who’s obsessed with heels. They make me feel hot, they make me feel sexy, and they change my walk. When I was younger I used to say that the only time I wore tennis shoes was on the court. I even wore heels during my pregnancy.

I got realistic. I was like: “Alright, I’m eight months pregnant, I need to start wearing wedges or flats.” And with Covid, we don’t really go anywhere aside from the grocery store, so I’ve told myself, “OK, I’ll just have to wear heels to the grocery store then.” 

Serena Williams at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Serena Williams at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party © Larry Busacca/VF15/Getty Images

The first pair of heels I can remember buying were a pair of four-and-a-half-inch stiletto sandals when I was a teenager. Height-wise I usually go for four or five inches. I don’t think I even own a pair of kitten heels; it’s either flat or all the way. Nothing in between. I love heels that are comfortable, but I don’t need comfort. I need a look. It’s great when you get both, but a girl’s got to have her pair of seven-inch heels, too. I don’t want to lose my sexy heels because I need a comfortable heel, right? But I’ll be savvy and pick out a pair of flats to put in my bag. 

I like my heels strappy, or with a closed point. Not overly pointy though – just enough. The pair that I love the most are The Boots: my thigh-high Stuart Weitzman ones. They’re genius. I have a thicker calf and for years I struggled to find a pair of boots that fitted me comfortably until I bought these on a trip to Rome. I’ll never get rid of them. 

At the BoF West summit in 2019
At the BoF West summit in 2019 © Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Business Of Fashion

My closet is bananas. I’m nuts for colour coordination. I start with black heels, then I go into nudes, then colour – I have a lot of pink and gold styles – and I finish with pattern. It’s fun, but I wouldn’t say that mine is on a level with some of the closets I’ve seen. Having homes elsewhere keeps everything from getting too crazy as I’ve spread my collection across my different closets. 

I have so many stories for so many shoes, that’s why it’s hard for me to get rid of them. I keep the pair that I wore to my first Golden Globes at my home in Los Angeles; and I still have that first pair of designer heels. I also have shoes that don’t have any stories at all yet, ones where I think, “This is a shoe that I actively love but I’m yet to wear because they make no sense.” I have a couple of those. I wanted them so bad but I didn’t really need them. I’ve also got a couple of heels that are out of control. Luckily my husband is very tall. 

Out and about in New York in 2019
Out and about in New York in 2019 © Startraks Photo/Shutterstock

It’s funny, when I go on photoshoots, people often think I’ll be more comfortable in flat shoes because I’m an athlete. I say, “No, put me in heels, please, guys.” I once did a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar where they photographed me playing tennis in a pair. Listen, I’m gonna tell you, it was very difficult, but I was taller! It was a totally different perspective. I remember thinking, “Oh my god, if I were just a little bit taller my serve would be even more crazy!”

Serena Williams is global spokeswoman for Stuart Weitzman.

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