Pigalle 120 Club: tips on sizing, comfort, and walking with confidence on 120mm

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  1. #1 Aug 6, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
    The 120mm Pigalle is such a CL classic; super sexy, elegant, and eternally stylish! My very first Louboutins were the camouflage pony hair pigalle 120s, and it remains my #1 ultimate favourite CL style of all time . . . and not just b/c it starts with the word PIG . . .! (^(oo)^)

    So, I thought it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to the pigalle 120, where we can swap those little tips that can make all the difference between confidence and despair (^(oo)^)v

    Before we get started . . . trivia time! Now, this image looks familiar, doesn’t it?

    Yup, you probably already know it’s the image on the back of Christian Louboutin business cards . . . *but* did you know that is the silhouette of a pigalle last? Indeed! Just goes to show what a classic style the pigalle is! Woo~! (^(oo)^)v

    Now for some advice! Let's get onto those 120s ladies! :yahoo: To kick off the thread, here are some of piggy’s Pigalle 120 Practical Pointers! (Remember, these tips will also work for other members of the pigalle family, like the Anemone, Plume, Tashaf, Lola, Dorepi and the Lili boot!)

    It’s important to note that the pigalle 120 runs about ½ size – 1 size large. That means you should size down from your “regular” CL size. For example, I wear a 36 in very prive, and a 35 in the pigalle 120. As a general rule of thumb, I would recommend going down ½ size if you have wide feet, and 1 full size if you have narrow feet.

    You’ll want your brand-new pigalles to fit snugly when you try them on at first, as they tend to stretch over time. Two common complaints just out of the box are:
    • Toes that look squished into the toe box, with wrinkling at the base of the toe
    • Vamp seems too narrow horizontally, and the foot “overflows” at the sides of the vamp, usually around the ball of the foot
    If the shoes fit otherwise – the length is OK, and/or sizing up would cause heel slippage, don’t worry about the two issues listed above too much, because the pigalles WILL stretch.

    AVOID buying pigalles that give you heel slippage brand-new – they will end up being too large and you will have a difficult time keeping them on your feet. It’s not worth it, IPHO

    Here’s the key: in my experience, the pigalles don't just stretch, they change shape, rather dramatically, and this change is most apparent in the toe box. over time, the toe box grows flatter top to bottom, and correspondingly wider side to side. This shape change will solve the two issues noted above. Here’s some comparison photos, so you can see what I’m talking about:

    here's a photo of a brand-new size 35 dorepi, BNIB:

    for reference, here's the same BNIB dorepi, next to a size 35 pigalle which is fully broken in. you can see the dorepi toe box is much higher and narrower than the pigalle's

    here's the same shoe, now after approximately 3 wears:

    you can really see the difference in the side-by-side; the dorepi is starting to look much more like its pigalle cousin!


    Band-Aid Friction Block Stick
    If you are not already in possession of Band-Aid’s Friction Block Stick, get one! It will change your life – no really, people have told me that (^(oo)^)v Apply to:
    • back of Achilles tendon
    • tops of toes
    • sides of the ball of your foot (where people usually get bunions)
    Those are the three potential blister points for the 120mm pigalle, so giving them a good coat of friction block has a big impact on comfort. The sides of the foot will need the most application for the first couple of wears; once the toe box starts to flatten out you’ll want to focus your application more on the tops of the toe joints.

    Foot Petals
    After you have broken in your pigalles and they have stretched a bit, you may find that you have some heel slippage. Also, the pitch of the shoe can sometimes cause the heel cup to rub against your achilles tendon and create a raw, red spot at the back of your ankle. There are two good ways to fix this:
    • Strappy Strips – I recommend trying strappy strips first, especially if your only problem is with rubbing from the heel cup. Place a single strip close to the top edge of the heel cup to prevent rubbing
    • Heel Grips – If you still suffer from heel slippage with a strappy strip, use a heel grip instead. Again, you want to position the grip as close to the top edge as possible. The idea is to create a little bit of “pocket” for your heel to sit back into, with the heel grip filling that space between the shoe and the back of your ankle. This will help keep the shoe on without pushing your foot forward too much
    While I love the foot petals tiptoes for other CL styles, I do NOT recommend the use of tiptoes or other ball-of-foot cushions in pigalles if at all possible. If you put in tiptoes, what will happen is, as the toe box flattens with wear, it will exert pressure on the tops of your toes, because the foot pad will be pushing them up from below. This is a recipe for disaster, aka copious rubbing and blisters!! You don’t want blisters, do you? ( ' (oo) ' )


    phew! I think that's enough blathering from piggy for today, wouldn't you say? (^(oo)^) Please feel free to add your own suggestions/tips/queries! Of course, everything above is based on my own personal experience, so YMMV!

    next post will discuss walking technique/strategies and piggy's "pigalle shaped foot" theory (^(oo)^)v

    Attached Files:

  2. Thank you piggy for those valuable tips... Such knowledge girlie!!!:urock:
  3. This is by far the best thread. Ever! Thanks so much lvpiggy for taking the time to take the pics, explaining down to the tee, and breaking down the fear that most have for pigalles!
  4. This is brilliant piggy - thanks :flowers:
  5. Piggy, what a great idea! Thank you for this thread, I am toying between Pigalle 120 and Decollete for my next pair so I am sure this will help me decide.
  6. LizzielovesCL, Jennabee, mrsb74, Charm - just trying to help us all get up on those 120s!

  7. In case the description above wasn't quite clear, piggy made a little diagram! Friction block goes in the areas marked with circles! no friction block in area of piggy-face watermark, please (^(oo)~)


    Attached Files:

  8. if can get some grease paint pigalles i would die~~ pretty
  9. great info piggy!!!
  10. Hi Piggy, this thread is genius! So very helpful - totally love all the pictures/diagrams.

    I have a question... Unfortunately, I have already done what piggy has recommended against - buying a new pigalle with heel slippage. I simply couldn't resist a deal on a mismatched pair of magenta pigalle 120s! :love:

    Okay, I'm a US size 7, one shoe is 36.5 and the other is 37.5. I've been walking around my house like a huge dork in just one shoe, so the smaller one is changing shape nicely, just like your pictures illustrate! :tup:

    The larger shoe, however, I have not been walking around in, cause it doesn't need much stretching, I can already fit my finger in the back. My intention was to stick in a ball of foot pad and a heel grip, but I'm not looking forward to smushed toes if and when the toebox stretches out!

    So finally my question: what's the best way to pad up a new pair of pigalle 120s?
  11. Great thread piggy, thanks for taking the time to do this. By the way I love this, IPHO. lol!
  12. omg, i love the thread. i was just debating if i should get a piagelle yesterday, and i see this post today. it's a sign!! ha ha ha...I love the way 120 height looks, but honetsly, i can't walk in them, so I'm going to look for a lower heel.

    thanks for the info :smile:
  13. Do you think the amount of stretching applies to the 100 height? Would it be less stretching since there is less pressure pushing forward??

    The 100 kid leather I just got has slight heel slippage, and is a tiny bit tight in the toe box. I got them half size up from my US TTS (my old CL size), as recommended on Saks. I can wear them with heel grips right now, and if the toe box stretches it would be more comfortable. But I'm afraid that it would stretch too much, and the shoe will stretch beyond the help of heel grips. But there isn't a smaller size to exchange for. What do you think??

    thanks for your expertise (or anyone else with this experience)!:flowers:
  14. Piggy, it's absolutely your fault that I have a pair of pigalles on the way! It's a style so atypical for me, and I really really prefer round toe boxes... But, I just couldn't resist it. No idea how it will fit! It's on its way from Paris and will be with me on Monday next week! I can hardly wait!!!
  15. Why don't you get a lady lynch if you prefer a round toe box? I believe they are coming out in black patent for fall.

    I love the pigalle 120 but I just can't get on board with the pointy toe.