But certainly, this love-hate relationship exists for many.
"This is something we've really never seen before in fashion," said Constance White, a freelance style director and fashion historian who praised the novelty of the look. "And it's hard for women to understand. I mean, we understood the sexy Manolos and the classic round-toed Louboutins. But this shoe . . . is different."
It's hard to pin down the exact moment these boots appeared on the runway, but the first time I ever witnessed partial shoes - picture boots with the fabric cut out from the toes, the heels or the midsection - was in February 2005. Marc Jacobs slipped pumps and wedges on models that were not only worn backward (literally), but featured built-in air-conditioning. The fashion critics howled, saying they were ridiculous.
Nonetheless, it was only a few seasons later that Phoebe Philo began sending her sleeker version of the open-toed bootie down the runway for the girly-chic British line Chloe. Within the next few years, she would show us more after taking over as creative director for Celine. Nicolas Ghesquiere would also show knee-high open-toed boots for Balenciaga's runway. European women went wild.
And as the skinny jeans replaced dresses on European and New York runways, the shoes became more ubiquitous.
But "it wasn't until Alexander Wang did them with fold-over - the Frejas - that it reached a fever pitch," said Julia Kalachnikoss, accessories director at Lucky magazine. The look was a central part of Wang's football-inspired spring 2010 collection that he showed last September in New York.
"Now I'm seeing it everywhere at every price point, so people are a little bit more willing to try it."
Of course, one reason these toe-wiggling sharp shoes are so hot is that the booties help legs look even longer in metallic liquid leggings, skinny jeans, and jeggings.
But another reason is the hosiery, explained Joan Shepp, owner of the same-named Walnut Street boutique, who has been selling the boots for three winters. Today's tights come in an array of stripes, solids, and metallics with zippers, ribbons, and bows, so when these details unexpectedly peek out of a shoe - instant chic.
"Remember when it was so out of style to wear stockings with open-toed shoes?" asked Shepp, talking about the no-no combo that fashionistas began embracing last year, but which the mainstream has yet to accept.
After all, when Joan Shepp first started selling the Rick Owens boot three years ago, hardly anyone was interested. Last fall the store sold several pairs of the open-toed booties, and this year the boots have been selling well all summer.
Kalachnikoss has also seen hipsters wear their open-toed shoes with anklet socks. "It's a styling trick."
It's also a magic move when it comes to finances. These multiseason boots can add a chunky funkiness to your outfit all year round. We saw droves of purple-painted toenails in boots paired with shorts and ultra-miniskirts this summer. And it's safe to wear them (in between snowstorms, of course) through next spring.
So ladies, be bold. Wear your booties with anything, including snug pencil skirts with matching shrunken suit jackets - an ensemble I can't wait to try with my impractical open-toed shoes.
A mild warning: If your chunky boot has suede, grommets and zippers, go more demure with your pocketbook, such as a smooth leather envelope bag. Too much hardware and you'll look like you're going to war, not out for wine.
Contact fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington at 215-854-2704 or email@example.com.