Footwear Beyond Basic Black

Black shoes don't have to be boring -- three styles that pop

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Merrell Tetra Launch boots ($150) are not only the footwear equivalent of a Michael Jackson-style military jacket, they're also waterproof, even though they're 100 percent leather. Thinsulate insulation and a low heel makes them wearable in pretty much any condition. Plus, on Oct. 27 only, place an order with Piperlime and get a $25 gift certificate toward your next purchase. Plus, 1 in 100 orders will win a $100 gift certificate. Also available in cherry brown.

These Roderick pumps by L.A.M.B. are half-off right now ($172.50; were $345) at ShopBop -- which means if you're interested, act quickly. Side cutouts and an ankle strap add a sexy modern touch, but the silver band across the toes adds some '40s pin-up girl flair. Just a warning: The 4.5" heel is not for the faint of heart. Also available in nude/silver. 

Lillybee's Salma pumps ($175) have a triangular heel and unexpected touches of shiny brown leather against the black suede. Their label, lillybee, comes via local shop SimplySoles (1438 Park Road N.W.). Writes SimplySoles owner Kassie Rempel: "When I wear heels (which is admittedly not that often), I like them to be bold and beautiful to offset the fact that they slow me down. These are all that and more -- stylish, sassy, and striking." Also available in orange.

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