Thursday, April 5, 2012

The High Heel

Incredibly high heel by Christian Siriano for Payless Shoes

It seems like heel on women’s shoes keep getting higher and higher. It’s astounding how high they have gone. My husband remarked on the towering heels on a TV commercial just the other night. It seems most stylish shoes have a tall heel, somewhere between 2 to 3 inches, but many also have a platform in front. This usually gives the wear about a 3 to 4 inch boost in height. For many of my shorter sisters this is exactly what they need to make them feel lithe and willowy. For me it’s not so good. I’m about 5’8” and with a platform and high heel a 3 inch boost makes me almost 6’. A high heel not only makes me tall but makes for a lot of joking and comments. This was something I heard a lot of in grade school when I shot up and was taller than many of my classmates. I find it interesting that many people still ask me “how’s the weather up there?”

 Steven Madden with a skinny heel

Now I love a good high heel and do wear them on occasion, but heels are getting so high that it seems ridiculous. After all, how is someone supposed to walk in a 4 inch heel? According to an article, Pushing High Heels to the Limit, Christina Binkley, The Wall St. J., Apr. 4, 2012, at D1, designer Francesco Russo for Sergio Rossi, explained that shoes with a heel height over 4 inches do not offer enough flex for the foot. The wearer ends up “clomping” down the street instead of gracefully walking. I’m sorry, but I think I can clomp around with a lot less height then 4 inches. Mr. Russo also points out that the addition of a platform to the shoe allows the heel height to increase without reducing the flexibility of the foot. I guess that means we will clomp a lot less.

 Nice wedges, Christian Siriano for Payless Shoes

The article gives some good tips on shoe manufacturing and what to look for in a quality high heel. This is very important since high heels have a tendency to place more stress on your feet and therefore create more discomfort. Apparently the toe box at the front of the shoe should have adequate space so as not to squeeze your toes. If the toe box is tight, keep looking. They also suggest that you try on both shoes and walk around. If the salesperson says the shoes are made of quality leather and will stretch, look for a larger size or different shoe if it feels uncomfortable or tight. A shoe should fit well from the get go. Additionally, look for a foot bed that has good padding, this will cushion the ball of your foot where most of your weight is directed. I’ve found that adding an additional pad to this area can really help. Even if there is already a lot of padding in the shoe more can’t hurt.

 Notice the thicker heel, Jessica Simpson

Some of the things I’ve learned from buying and wearing high heels include purchasing shoes with a substantial heel. While Mr. Russo states that a steel heel and shank will provide adequate support for the wearer, I prefer heels that have a little width. Those little skinny stilettos while pretty seem a little fragile. A chunky heel gives me a larger rear platform to stand on for more stability. The new spring wedges are a really stable shoe that can add height. I’ll probably spend most of my summer in leather flip flops that have a small heel, they are very comfortable and I can stand in them for hours if needed. I do have some really beautiful and sexy leather high heeled sandals but I’ll reserve those for nights out where I will be sitting a lot. So regardless of your preference, heels can be comfortable or at least tolerable, you’ve just got to find the right one.


  1. where can i get a par of top heels? Im desperate and so in love with them

  2. Payless Shoe Source, Macys has Jessica Simpson and of course Steve Madden at your local mall.