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Aspire/Acquire: Gladiator Shoes

One of last season’s big shoe trends, the gladiator shoe, has returned bigger & badder than ever. Many designers have taken it into feel-the-pain dominatrix territory, with spiked or cage heels and seriously complex straps. But how many more seasons will this Roman trend survive? Whether you’re in the market for a splurge or a steal, we’ve rounded up killer shoes for every budget.

L.A.M.B. Tizzy sandals, ($310) pictured center, are totes droolworthy. The patent leather straps crisscross from the toes up around the ankles, and close in the back with a naughty gold zipper that draws the eye down to the self-covered 4 inch stiletto heel. Wear these if you’re feeling a little sparky and just got a bonus at work.

The Type Z Foley sandals ($110) at right also boast a 4.5 inch stiletto, rear-zipper closure and leather straps, but the less glossy finish makes it more doable for daytime and a wider variety of outfits. At the middle price point, it’s an investment that could last you a few more seasons with careful outfit choices.

Mossimo Petrova Gladiator sandals ($30) (left) are surprisingly comfortable despite the 4.25 inch stacked heel. The matte faux-leather will enable you to take these shoes from work to club with just a few accessory swaps. These are an ideal choice for the recessionista wary of spending too much dough on something that might be out of style next week, but still wants to look like she could cause you some pain.

P.S. For those of you wondering about the results from last week's Aspire/Acquire: Lip Stain, the poll results were pretty split down the middle, with some people preferring the Vincent Longo color options & others the CoverGirl applicator. Let us know what you think about this week’s featured products here!

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