Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Heels are Alive...

One of the reasons why I thought of starting this blog was after seeing so many women having this issue: badly walking in heels. After countless times seeing a woman walk in front of me with her ankles twisting, I feel like I have to say something about the topic of heels.

Height of the Heel
Heel height is often debated. Is there really a limit? Well, for work, maybe. Generally speaking, a shoe that has a heel of more than 3” will have a tendency to draw weird looks from other women. Is that really an issue? Well, that all depends on how you want to portray yourself at work. In my opinion, 3” is pretty much the max that one should go with for work.

Walking in Heels
Next thing of importance, again in my opinion, is whether you can walk in those heels or not. Not everyone can walk in high heels. It’s no big deal. You really don’t have to. But if you do wear them, make sure that they are not hurting your ankles. Seriously, seeing the wobbly ankles twisting with each step makes me cringe. And consider trying them out while at home and walking in them for a bit if they are on the wobbly side so that you can hopefully get used to them and lessen the wobbliness.

If you aspire to wear higher heels but feel that you can’t, there’s hope, by the way. It’s really a habit to get into. You could buy a coveted pair of heels and wear them at home and get in the hang of walking in them. Or you can purchase increasingly higher heels.

One thing to keep in mind: we all generally still walk heel-toe in our heels because that’s how we walk in flats. However, if your step is wobbly in doing that or if you are encountering uneven grounds, consider switching to walking toe-heel instead. This will give you more surface on which you are putting weight, especially if the heel is rather thin.

Thickness of the Heel
Speaking of the thinness of the heel… One thing that thoroughly helps is having a chunkier heel, the higher it is. For example, a kitten heel for something 1” or lower versus a thicker heel for something that is right around 3”. Another example is the pair of sandals that I just bought (depicted just above). The heel is a total of 3” and with a 0.5” platform so that means that the raise of my foot is about 2.5”. The heel is chunky enough that I can walk in them without any wobbliness in my feet.

Shopping tips
Here are a few shopping tips to keep in mind:
  • Since our feet generally swell during the day, shopping for shoes after 4 pm is a great idea! Your feet will have swollen to some extent and if the shoe fits well, it will pretty much any time. Or if you move your shoe shopping towards the end of your shopping time, that will work too.When we’re at work, we often carry stuff with us while walking.

  • Depending on your job and your job situation, you will carry more or less weight with you. (For example, most people nowadays where I work have to carry their laptops with them everywhere; they generally do that with a rolling bag.) So do try carrying weight while trying on shoes. Most women’s purses will be heavy enough for this but you may want to add more weight by carrying an extra bag or two. You may notice that this will change the way that you walk with the shoes… so make sure that they’re still comfortable even with the added weight.

  • Walk enough when trying on the shoes. Don’t take just one or two steps to see the look in the mirror. Walk a bit more. The clerk won’t mind. Pay close attention to where there might be some unwanted rubbing on your feet. For example, my feet are extremely sensitive and, with sandals specifically, I have to pay extra attention to where the skin might get pinched or if there are cutesy decorations around the toe area as they might rub on the skin of my toes.

Comfy yet Stylish
There are a number of shoe resources that now provide very comfortable yet very stylish shoes. Generally, these are companies that, previously, you wouldn’t want to try on until you were well into your 50s. They seem to have finally figured out that, if they provide the same comfort yet in nicer looking shoes, they will get more profits… or something… Here are my favorites:

  • Indigo by Clarks: They are very trendy yet extremely comfortable. The leather is generally higher quality and the design is well thought out.

  • Artisan line by Clarks: Not as trendy as the Indigo line but still stylish. They generally are VERY corporate-friendly and are also made out of higher quality leather.

  • Aerosoles: The leather is not as high quality as the Clarks shoes but they are somewhat more affordable. (Clarks shoes are about 100$ whereas Aerosoles are between 50-80$.)

  • Sofft: Very trendy and European-looking. Well, the company is European so no surprise. They are not exactly as comfortable as the Clarks or Aerosoles ones but they’re trendier.

  • Fluevog: Those are really unique-looking shoes… and artisan-made… and very expensive (200-300$). But they are extremely comfortable. Because of the unique look, it may not work for everyone in the corporate world but if you pair them with classic pieces, these could be your fashionista accent.

Less is More
Reading the price ranges, you may be thinking that it’s too much for shoes. To my husband’s greatest pleasure, I found that, if I purchase extremely comfortable shoes, I tend to buy less shoes overall. After all, if I don’t need to change shoes every day due to comfort issues, then I need slightly less shoes options. (I did say slightly… that’s the operating word… the one that my husband doesn’t like so much.) Seriously, though, we are using our feet so much that we need to be kind to them. It starts with comfortable shoes… and they don’t have to be boring! You just may need to be more choosy about what you purchase!

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