Shoe fetishism is the attribution of attractive sexual qualities to shoes or other footwear as a matter of sexual preference, or an alternative or complement to a relationship with a partner. It has also been known as retifism, after the French novelist Nicolas-Edme Rétif (1734–1806), also known as Rétif de la Bretonne, who wrote a novel about it (presumably based on his own penchants) called Fanchette’s Foot, which preference or penchant seems to have been if not “all the rage” at the time at least known to have been practiced or suffered by more than handsful of somewhat important individuals of that period (pre-Revolutionary France).
Individuals with shoe fetishism can be erotically interested in women’s shoes. Although shoes may appear to carry sexual connotations in mainstream culture (for example, women’s shoes are commonly sold as being “sexy”), this opinion refers to an ethnographic or cultural context, and is likely not intended to be taken literally. Another fetishism, which sometimes is seen as related to shoe fetishism, is boot fetishism.