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Jan 26, 2013

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 10: Contemporary High Heel Shoes

Jessica Simpson channeling Fredericks of Hollywood, for sale at Lord & Taylor

Readers, are high heel shoes flattering to women or have we just been brainwashed to believe this?  Nobody's forcing women to buy high heels but clearly they do in huge numbers, arguably more today than ever before.  Fashion magazines as well as many fashion bloggers (and quite a few sewing bloggers) seem obsessed with them.





Remember her?
 
Perhaps thanks to the shoe industry moving to the Far East to take advantage of cheap labor, relatively inexpensive shoes can be found easily in the United States today.  To be clear, when I say "relatively" I mean relative to what someone might spend on other necessities, or to what a woman might have spent on shoes, say, seventy years ago.  My understanding is that the average mid-century American owned fewer shoes, they were more solidly constructed and, being a bigger investment, they were expected to last.  Today, thanks to sites like Zappos and chains like DSW, an extra pair of shoes is an impulse purchase for many -- an affordable indulgence.





Cathy has quite the shoe wardrobe, purchased almost entirely at the Salvation Army and the Chelsea flea market (she's a 9 or 9 1/2, btw).  God bless the Salvation Army: shoes there generally cost $6.99 whether they're Payless or Ferragamo (about 1/3 the price of the nearest Goodwill).

One thing I've noticed however, is that while vintage shoes have reasonable heels -- never teetering even when high -- many contemporary shoes are easily one inch higher or more.  Look at this lovely pair of vintage Forties pumps (for sale on Etsy here).  They're glamorous but they also look like something a woman could comfortably walk or dance in.



Compare that to this shoe from Nine West.  The idea is similar -- a classic pump --but the Nine West shoe, platform notwithstanding, is way higher.  I don't know exactly how one measures heel height, but these are high, and the heel itself is very narrow.







Forget about what this does to your lower back, your calves or your shins, the very proportion of the shoe looks off to me.  But it gets worse: go to the Nine West website and you'll see that there's a whole category of heel height labeled "beyond high."

I found these sandals today at the Salvation Army and thought, wow, what a great vintage Thirties-style shoe!  I bought them.



But the heel is at least an inch too high for that era, and too narrow.  They're somewhat awkward to walk in and, trust me, this man can walk in women's shoes.  A shoe like that leaves you no ability to bend your toes since they're already bent almost as far as they will go, making it difficult to walk naturally, let alone gracefully.



Maybe shoes like these are intended solely for special occasions -- perhaps the reason they were discarded in near-perfect shape.  Look how much lower the red vintage Fifties (Forties?) Delman sandal is, which also happens to be exquisitely made.  Granted, they were originally from Bergdorf's, but still.

These Forties peep toe shoes were Cathy's favorites and are now sorely in need of repair.  They're super comfortable and the moderate, wide heel makes them stable.





I hate to rag on the suburbs again, but I think partly what's going on is that many women don't walk outside much anymore, and when they do, they're more likely to be actively exercising and hence wearing athletic footwear.

In conclusion, I ask you: is it my imagination or has the average women's high heel shoe grown a few inches over the last decade?  Have everyday shoes started to resemble fetish shoes due to the mainstreaming of porn since the home video age?

Michael Kors

1930's women's shoes

When you buy shoes, are you ever tempted to purchase something that's too high for comfort, either because you want to look sexy, that's all that's available, or you rarely walk in real life anyway?

Readers, what is up with contemporary high heel shoes?

Jump in! (But don't twist an ankle!)

102 comments:

  1. Okay, I am constantly tempted to buy shoes that are too high for everyday wear. In fact, most of my high heels would not make it on my usual 4-5 miles a day of city walking.

    I'm with you on blaming the suburbs and also drivers' cities like LA and Dallas.

    I buy ridiculously high heels because they make my legs look far longer and leaner than they actually are. They've actually come to be expected (at least with we the college-aged set) and I suppose there's a part of me that doesn't want to be the girl at the party in the granny shoes. Naturally, I pretend it's mostly because I like the way they look and it's darn hard to find shoes that I find both beautiful and comfortable. I'll note that I find most flats uncomfortable, too, because I have high arches.

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    1. Ditto... I need something at least 1.5-2 inches in height because of high arches and heels feel so much better but i'm stupid, no 4/5 inch heels to go to work and i don't drive

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    2. I've got super high arches as well and have similar issues with flats. I love heels and wear lots that are extra high, but only if I'm going out someplace special, when I know I won't be doing a lot of walking. I can do up to three inch heels for the majority of a workday (teaching so I'm on my feet most of it).

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    3. i find this funny, since i too have super-high arches, and i find flats to be waaaaaaaaay more comfortable than heels.

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  2. I'm 5'11" and have bunions, so I don't get it either. And I don't think you can totally blame the suburbs. I work in the city and I see many women who take public transportation change out of their "commuter shoes" and put on their 5" stilettos when they get into the office.

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    1. Exactly. I see more women tettering along on ultra-high heels in the city than the 'burbs. All I see at the malls are athletic shoes, ballet flats, and now, since they're trending, loafers.

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  3. i don't think the suburbs are to blame on this one. i live in a small city near boston and whenever i am in the city, there are definitely more heels walking around than i see in my neck of the woods. plus, heels are really uncomfortable to wear while driving.

    i really don't understand the compulsion to buy/wear such obnoxiously high heels. i think it's just an unspoken competition between women about who can suffer the most gracefully! i stick to sensible heights and the best quality i can afford so my shoes last me years, not just a single season.

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  4. I'm already tall, and tend to tower if my heels are too high. But sometimes I still indulge. What really annoys me are the extra platforms under the ball of the foot. They aren't what people would traditionally call "platform shoes," but there is still 3/4 - 1 inch or so of extra platform just to make the heel look taller. Maybe if I were shorter, I wouldn't mind...

    I do have to say that I think my legs look nice with heels and I do feel a bit badass walking with them. But I still think the vintage shoes are so much cuter than today's. They have so much more character. I don't think much effort is put into making today's shoes comfortable.

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    1. I'm one of those in the "shorter" group, scraping by at 5', and let me tell you, platforms are the poop! They DO make the heel look taller and can be very comfortable depending on the toe- heel ratio. (Subtract that platform height from the heel measurement and usually you got around a 3 inch heel.)

      Sure is fab to walk around taller! The best! Goofy I know, but true, and I'd even put up with some discomfort for it. What us vertically challenged will do for a few inches... "sigh".

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  5. I don't get it either, My 18 yo daughter gets them all the time and after and hour, she's ready to go barefoot. The do make a leg look nice and long and lean, but at what price. heck, my dogs are barkin in kitten heels. lol

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  6. I don't find sky high stilettos to be flattering on anyone but the most rail thin... it just looks badly proportioned. Being a tall lady I stay away from anything over three(ish) inches, by god it's awkward being 6'3" in a pair of platforms :)


    P.S. I kinda drooled on my keyboard over the red Delman sandal. Thanks

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  7. Perhaps this is not a problem of the suburbs. When I lived in the city (London), many, many more of my friends wore very high heels on a daily basis (picking up their kids at school, etc) than now that I'm living in the suburbs.

    That said, I have noticed that heels are getting higher, too. I don't wear super high heels for ambulation reasons, but also because I don't want to tower over my husband. When I was shopping for a pair of nice shoes recently on some web site, the "mid" heel category topped out at 3.75", which in my mind is crazy high.

    I wonder if this has something to do with technology? Maybe there's some new super strong material that they are making heels with that can support the body's weight on a 6" skinny heel?

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  8. I don't get them either. Very very few women can walk in them without looking like giant wading birds stalking the shallows. I actually think its tied in with the general pornification of women's clothes in general. I look at a lot of the clothes young women wear at the moment and they look like stereotypical stripper or porn film clothes. I don't really want to get into a discussion about the social implications and causes of that trend, but the shoes definitely fall into the pornstar category, especially those Jessica Simpson ones. I assume, like all trends before them, super-high heels will pass out of fashion and something more moderate will take their place.

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    1. "...giant wading birds stalking the shallows." Thanks! That made my day.

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  9. If you can't walk in those multi-color sandals, then sorry Peter, you haven't mastered walking in women's shoes. LOL Those aren't really that high. But not every high heel shoe "angle" fits every foot, which is what I suspect is the problem with these for you. I can walk comfortably in some 4" heels (not counting any platform) and others hobble me immediately. I'm old enough where I don't buy the hobblers. But I do wear 3-4" heels to work every day and while I do sit at a desk, I also move around a fair bit too ... especially when I go outside for lunch.

    Oh, and if you couldn't tell ... I LOVE all the high heels around today.

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  10. I'm so with you in thinking that today's shoes are too high, and often too poorly made. And as a member of the High Arch Club, I probably try on 50 pairs of shoes for every pair I actually purchase...even then, some turn out to be more comfortable/practical than others. The "vintage" shoes you found today may not be walkable, but they'll still look great in a photo shoot!

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  11. Another tall girl here. I have never worn a heel higher than two inches. Even if heels did make me 6'1, I went for it while in college. Now, I do not nor do most people I see, work with, or know personally, wear high heels of any sort. All high heels are a fetish item. Wish I had the height and strong knees and back to be able to indulge.

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  12. There's an interesting article on BBC world re High Heels, and how originally only men wore them. Women apparently started wearing them to be a little more swanky and flamboyant... imitating the men of the time.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21151350

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  13. I have a deep passionate love for ridiculously high heels. They are pretty. Do I wear them? Not on your life, my feet can't take it, and then there is the fact that I and almost everyone else walk clumsily in them. Not a good look. Of course if I only had to walk from the limo to the restaurant or wherever, I might be able to pull that off.

    I used to work with someone who wore only flats, I asked her why, and she said she saw herself in a mirror once and wondered why her face looked like she was in pain. She realized she was. Her feet hurt. She got rid of all her heels and never saw that face again in a mirror. That was over 20 years ago, and I still think of her, funny, no?

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  14. Higher heels nowadays, and bigger boobs.
    There are some times and ages when women have less freedom and have to advertise their sexual characteristics more. The victorian era corseted women's waist AND feet (little pointy pointy shoes forbidding the wiggling of toes).
    In eras where women had more freedom and were making social progresses the clothes and shoes didn't advertise them as "good for breeding" so much. For example the 1920's flat chested (and sensible of shoes) women started to be part of the workforce and to have the voting right.
    Same in the 60's, when they had access to the contraception pill, here comes flatter chests (looking at you Twiggy), shorter hair and comfy shoes.
    Of course for this little theory to hold, you have to consider the 60's platform shoe comfy, which I do. In any case those platforms didn't scream "dainty, pliant, willing breeder here".

    What our current unpractical and so sexualized shoes say about women's social progress, we can guess.

    Just a thought.
    E.




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  15. This is a sore point with me (haha). I cannot wear high heels. 2" is the max for me, and even those I do not wear if I have to walk more than a block or two. And here's my reasoning about shoes for walking around in the city: no one who sees me out there is going to know who I am or care what I look like and will probably never see me again, so why should I cripple myself for them? I'd rather not have hurting feet and leave the fashion statements to others. The most dressed up I usually get is when I perform music, and again, high heels are not functional. They throw off my posture when I try to wear them to play the cello, and I can't pedal in them at the piano. I work in a business casual place, and never have to dress up there. So -- no point in buying heels at all. I may look like a dork, but at least I have happy feet.

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  16. I admit to loving vertiginous heels and have worn them since being allowed to choose my own shoes. I even have several pairs of high heeled boots suitable for snow - we get several feet so yes, they work just fine thanks.

    Since I have good hiking and exercise shoes my dress shoes are purchased becaused they are pretty or over-the-top and fun although if they don't fit well, I don't consider them at all.

    Sure, my choices aren't for everyone, but they do make me happy and that's a small victory in my world.

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  17. I can't wear high heels any more. I have MS and my balance is gone. But current high heels are way higher than I ever used to wear. I quit wearing high heels after 9/11. Several coworkers had to walk down 20 or more flights of stairs barefoot because their heels were too high. Too scary! My sister had to quit because she ruined her back. Lesson learned. Sensible yet pretty shoes for both of us now

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  18. Though I don't wear them often (stay at home mom) I love wearing my heels because they make me feel more confident and beautiful. When you spend all day in sweats chasing a two year old that doesn't happen often enough. My general rule for buying is that is if I can't lift myself up on my toes they're too tall to walk in. ~Sarah

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  19. Oh, I hate these super high heels with the platform in front. I find them so ugly and tacky. I think I blame their popularity on celebrity culture and particularly to the red carpet, even though ironically you often can't see the shoes because of the gown. I have to say though I think these shoes are on their way out! I've noticed a lot more women on TV wearing more moderately heeled elegant pumps. Hallelujah! I think a 2.5 inch heel is the perfect hight and the most comfortable to walk in, though 3 inch and up seem to be more popular.

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  20. When I was a very young child, my uncle was married to a very forward-thinking woman. During the 1960s, she took the time to explain to my sister and I the positives of yoga, how to properly paint our fingernails (three stripes per nail) and how to walk in high heels. If you had these lessons, walking in the highest heels would present you no problems. I learned to step in heels beginning with 'dress-up' sessions with my grandmothers old clothes, so by the time I was old enough to purchase my first pair, walking gracefully in high heels was no problem.

    The lifts on my heels were never worn down because the key is not to walk heel first, but to step forward on the balls of your feet. I wish my aunt were still alive so that I could tell her how grateful I am for those secrets. My shoes accentuate the great legs inherited from my paternal grandmother, and the attention the high heeled shoes are designed to garner is welcome when all other bodily components are rapidly succumbing to the effects of gravity. lol

    Keep going Peter...there are many heels and heights...practice walking on the balls of your feel (placing most of the weight there and not on the heel), and heel height will become less of an issue and you will focus on toe room (to avoid bunions) when picking shoes for Cathy's outfits....

    an avid reader of your blog...
    Cynthia

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  21. I'm right there with you on this. There seems to be little available these days that isn't stripper high and grandma practical when it comes to heels. I miss the stylish, yet sensible 2 inch heels that used to be in stores. Being only 5' I love adding getting some extra height, but 95% of heels these days are horrible to wear or just look ridiculous when you're doing real world things like running errands or a day walking about. I've also got to toddler who needs to be carried from time to time and that's enough hassle on it's own, let alone in 4 inch heels.

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  22. I've never been a lover of really high heels - I'm short anyway and even when I can find something that actually fits (which is not often), they throw me off balance. I think I've sprained my ankle three times from wearing that sort of thing. Add that to wearing a 6WW and forget it. At this point in my life, being able to walk in reasonable comfort outweighs socalled style by a mile.

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  23. Heels have gotten much, much higher lately. I must admit I am guilty of owning a few pairs of 5" heels, even though they make me 6' tall when I wear them. If you're interested, I just posted some of the pages featuring women's shoes from the 1942 Sears catalog on my blog. :]

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  24. It's not your imagination. Even when I was much younger (late 1970s, early 1980s) the highest I wore was a 3-inch heel, and preferably 1 or 2-inch. 4-inch heels were around, but standing in them made me physically ill because my feet hurt so much. And they were hell to walk in.

    I've noticed for the last ten years or so that when I go shoe shopping it's an exercise in frustration to find something nice with a moderate heel.

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  25. The people in the second and third photo cannot have been walking on those things.. surely?
    I didn't even know toes could bend that far!
    I mean I quite like high heels, but rarely wear them since there's enormous spaces between the cobbles here and you break your ankles.

    The reason people buy them is it makes their ass stick out more, it gives them confidence and there's a secret competition between ladies on who can walk on the highest ones (at least, that's my theory).
    Heels have grown in height, but sometimes the choice is between high, flat or health shoe heels, especially in my size, and you choose high.
    Still, I'd rather have 3-4 inch heels be the highest that can be found.

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  26. oh I really like those lace-up shoes with the tassel at the end of the shoe string. Aren't they called "gillies"? I seem to remember them being in style some time in the 70's.
    I have often wondered the same thing about high heels - why are they SO high nowadays? And why has the trend continued for so long?

    I recently bought a pair of black suede booties just because they are sexy. They are about 3" high AND have a platform, so they are really pretty comfortable. I do love them. But as you say about the city vs the suburbs - I would not have bought them living in NYC. I could not have worn them. In the suburbs, we do drive more and we aren't as restricted by function. (So why then, do the NYC fashion bloggers wear them - or should I ask HOW do they do it? I was all about flats when I was walking a lot.)

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  27. What makes the shoes look cheap and unsophisticated isn't so much the towering height, which, I agree with many of your readers, is really not flattering and creates an odd disproportion.

    I'd say the ugliness of these shoes is more about those enormous platforms under the toes/balls of the feet. A small (1/2") platform allows for a slightly higher heel that actually isn't any higher to the wearer, and makes the shoe much more comfortable. But these enormous, 1"+ platforms, regardless of the maker, just look cheap.

    I don't think the suburbs have much to do with it. It's the fashionable city dwellers I see wearing sky-high shoes to the office and around town. I agree it is neither flattering, nor appropriate, on most occasions not involving a pole and dollar bills. And that Michael Kors ad, with the woman's toes hanging over the front? Ick. Can't the find a pair that fits her properly?

    But I disagree with you on comfort? Not only is it overrated (unless you're sleeping or lounging), it has really never been a factor in the determination of fashion. Think corsets, binding one's feet and/or bust, hoop skirts, thong underwear. Frankly, I'd say we're all a little overconcerned with comfort and a little underconcerned with propriety these days. Thus, hooker shoes AND sweatpants at church.

    Don't know if you allow links to other blogs here, and if not, delete with my apologies. But if you do, you might find this post interesting:

    http://www.betterdressesvintage.com/blogs/from-my-closet/4312172-casual-is-overrated

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    1. Wonderful link! Thank you!
      -Sandra

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  28. I buy and wear high heels too but I don't drive in heels or wear stilettos for long walks (seventies style block heels are a different matter though). And yes, heels today are much higher than they used to be but I think construction has improved. I own a couple of pairs if vintage shoes with sensible low heels and find those very hard to walk in. The position if the heel is different, making the shoe unstable.

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  29. As I'm 5'11" those massive platformed stripper shoes have no place in my wardrobe as I feel like a drag queen in too high a heel and totally self conscious to be towering over everyone! Plus you see so many girls struggling to walk in them and no wonder! The shoe options today seem to be super high shoes or totally flat like ballet flats, which I don't think are great for your feet either.
    I did wear heels when I was younger but they weren't as high as the 'high' that now seems to be standard. I like style but I'm about comfort all the way these days.

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  30. Between the grotesque height of heels to the poor quality I just don't understand it at all.

    I think the fact that most people don't walk so much as a means of getting around, the greater prevalence and acceptance of 'sexiness' in our culture, more people with a dispensable income and the general nature of 'fast fashion' (and the general demise of artisans and craftsmanship) all have an impact on the design of shoes these days - and I don't like it at all.

    Time and time again I see a beautiful, smart, sexy shoe ruined by a ridiculously high heel. I don't know where people who wish to wear a modern youthful design but do not wish to do an ankle go to shop???

    I actually went through a phase a while ago thinking that some shoes should either come with a warning or at least some kind of 'road-testing' due to the slipperiness of the sole, their teetering heights or the poor placement of the heel.

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  31. Another tall gal here... my hubby and I are the same height barefoot! So, since I don't care to tower over everyone, I've never worn high heels. But also... they do a number on your feet, calves and back. Just not worth it! Even if I were suddenly 6 inches shorter, I truly would rather be comfy. Honestly, the older styles looked classier.

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  32. I think the majority of these types of shoes are geared towards younger women who can actually balance in these. I remember that as a young woman, I had no problem walking in high heels and wore them often. As I've - ahem - aged, the lower my heel has become. I simply cannot walk in the higher heeled shoes. The weigh distribution just isn't what it used to be, heheh. In fact, I love and prefer to wear the 30s - 40s shoes that you picture in this post! So much more comfortable.

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  33. I rarely wore high heels in my 20s and 30s, but started wearing them more in my 40s. I guess I thought it was now or never. Now I'm approaching 50, and I'm really loving my desert boots. LOL. I do love a little lift like those 30's and 40's shoes gave. I have a pair of Dansko shoes that a friend gave me because they didn't fit her -- and I love them. So comfortable with a nice sturdy heel. But honestly, this is a dame that loves men's shoes. My favorite are a wild pair of black and white John Fluevogs. I love how comfortable they are and how confident I feel in them. I'm pretty tall so maybe that's why heels have not featured much in my style.

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  34. I cannot stand overly high heels. I do a lot of walking anyway, so comfort is a priority and all my shoes are flats, bar those for special occasions. A lot of ladies in these super high stripper stlye shoes can't walk properly, and that in itself is off-putting and terribly unsexy. I'm quite sure it's down to this pseudo self empowerment that women have from dressing in an overtly sexy way. Take a leaf out of the vintage ladies book and buy only reasonable shoes as an investment, rather than cheaply made shoes that hurt your feet. We've only got one pair after all.

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    1. After watching a professional woman walk across a courtyard in her heels I thought the same thing - the walk just killed any sexiness she had going with her heels and pencil skirt. And I knew that she could have no idea of that by just looking in her mirror each morning. She looked fantastic - until she moved. So, should I take a video of myself before leaving the house now? I've learned so much from taking quick camera shots and seeing what my camera sees. Video too? I really do wonder if I walk like she did in her heels.

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  35. I've sort of come to terms with the fact that high heels just don't fit my lifestyle: I walk everywhere and love it, and have a horrible back (made worse by wearing heels). I have a pair of red t-bars with a wider heel than usual to wear to more festive occasions, and a pair of cork wedges for summer things. Other high heels I own just don't get worn anymore... My winter boots are either flat or have a small (and wide!) heel, and I'll wear desert boots, flat sandals, canvas sneakers and other types of flats the rest of the year. I just realised high heels weren't worth the discomfort they caused me, and even feel flats suit my style better...

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  36. Two (or three) things to say about high heels before I read everyone else's comments:
    1. I'm 4" taller than my husband, so for many years I've avoided wearing very high heels. He says it doesn't worry him one way or the other, but I thought it looked odd when we went out together.
    2. My daughter is about to start a full-time dance course and we went to look at the latin shoes she's supposed to buy. They said her chorus shoes (which she already had) might do, so long as they had 3" heels. Her chorus shoes only have 2" heels, but I can't afford another $125 for another pair right now, so she'll just have to manage - and get a job to pay for the new shoes!
    3. For her high school graduation, the dress I bought online was a bit too long on me. I was quoted more than the cost of the dress to have it taken up (the lining was double bagged and I didn't want to have to deal with it) so instead I spent $50 on a pair of high heeled platform shoes. Couldn't navigate the escalators at the grad ball, but other than that they're relatively comfortable and I've worn them once or twice since then. Plus they're silver and sparkly.
    Jen in Oz

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  37. I love shoes, but I despair everytime when I go into a shop and all they have are these super high heels. They make my feet hurt just walking from the car to the restaurant, nevermind anything else. Also, I have quite small feet (Euro size 36), so a lot of these shoes don't even come in my size.

    Well, better start embracing the Australian way of flipflops all the way :-)

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  38. I only wear flats - I don't even own a pair of heels in my modest, little six pair collection - and I do that for the health of my back, hips, legs etc. My posture changes for worse in heels and I'm not prepared to sacrifice my current and future health for the sake of conforming.

    Plus, I want to be wearing a pair of shoes that doesn't proclude me from the amount of incidental walking I do, or from jumping on my pushie to zoom down the street, or playing with my nephew in the park.

    Even at a dressy occasion like a wedding, a pair of really cute flats totally suffices for me.

    And I actually feel quite free from the tyranny of social expectations.

    Which is not to say some high heel shoes aren't gorgeous!, some are, but I choose to steer clear.

    Sam

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  39. Anyone who espouses high heels ought to have a gander at "Victoria Beckham bunions" (type that into your browser) and see what awaits you... As for referring to these as "stripper shoes", I used to be a "burlesque entertainer" and I assure you: very few of us could handle those excessive heel heights; I only knew one girl who could, and I'll bet she is regretting them nowadays! These shoes are for "porn stars"-who spend all their time on their BACKS.

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    1. Oh...as usual I'm not up on news.. I had no idea Victoria's feet looked like that! Ugh! I guess I should be happy that I'm tall and have almost never worn high heels. I wear flats or the 1/2 inch heels to church, and sneakers most of time. Even so I have very small bunion on the right foot - I'm sure it would be huge if I had been wearing heels all these years!

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  40. I cannot imagine who buys all those 6" heels that are all I see when I look for shoes. Once in a while I'll see some woman clunking awkwardly down the street wearing bizarrely extreme shoes, but I have to believe most women do not own any.

    And you are absolutely right Peter, the proportion is ugly. Just as I wait for my son to wise up and stop wearing his pants below his butt (another fashion both bizarre and ridiculous), I wait for the current fad for extreme shoes to pass. Some day in the future people will go to a museum exhibit of historical shoes and shake their heads and puzzle over how women tortured themselves in the early 21st century.

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  41. If I'm buying shoes it's the cut and flow of the shoe that sucks me in. I would choose a well cut 6 inch heel over a badly sculpted 2 inch heel and vise versa. Have you ever looked at a shoe and though 'gee that's a beautiful colour and I love those diamontes but something is just wrong!'?

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    1. Yes! I love shoes and lets face it, you can make a dress eventually pretty much, no matter how complex but you can't make shoes. A lot of them are just "off" which is a shame. I keep wondering why everything in geared up for the young yet worldwide it's an ageing population.

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  42. The prevalence of super high heels both baffles and enrages me. WHO IS BUYING THEM? How is the demand for these shoes so high that they are available in such a wide range of styles, while lower and more comfortable heels are not? I have to think that they are simply being shoved down our throats by the fashion industry. I rarely see someone wearing super high heels like that, and I have lived in the city my entire life (okay, fine, I don't go near high-powered offices or into clubs very often). I have to think that some people must be buying them and not wearing them (or only wearing them out at night??), or that they have many pairs that rarely get worn.

    I would wear low heels (2 inches?) if there were a greater selection of them, but it's impossible to find cutes ones that fit. So I wear flats. It's a good thing I like being short.

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    1. Based solely on the number of super high heels that show up at my Salvation Army EVERY DAY, I would guess that a lot of people aren't wearing them very long.

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    2. Every time I go to a mall I wonder the same thing. Have you EVER seen a woman dressed in anything like what is sold in the windows at the mall, while at the mall? It seems like they must be out collecting the stuff to shove into their closet? EVERYONE I ever see out shopping is wearing old ill-fitting drab jeans and sweats stuff. Why is that?

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  43. Personally I don't like super high heels, most of my shoes are only about 3/4" high, though I did just buy a pair slightly higher to go with my circa 1913 wardrobe; hope they fit when they arrive. I used to wear heels when I worked in the city, but haven't worn them for some years now, I prefer flats, and those show off hand-knit socks much better than heels do.

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  44. I totally share your confusion and disdain for modern high heeled shoes. Not only do I think they are subversively kind of evil and misogynistic, but good lord do I find them ugly! They just look ridiculous and clunky to me. And I seldom see someone who can actually walk gracefully in them, so it seems like it defeats the purpose of being "sexy" if you're hobbling around like a wounded horse. I am counting down the days for this ridiculous trend to go away!

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  45. Oprah Winfrey once referred to extra-high heels as her 'sitting down shoes'.

    I have several issues with high heels, although I really wish I could wear them more often and that they didn't make my feet hurt. I have a size 7-7.5 foot (38 in euro size) but it's wide. As in, the usual wide width in women's shoes is often too narrow. I also have high arches and, after about 15 years of ballet training, I have bunions, although I've had surgery to correct one. It's hard to find any heels that fit my wide foot that don't look orthopedic, though they're often a lower heel. I've learned that when the heel is ridiculously high (4" or more) I have to go up at least a half size in order for them to fit moderately well and sometimes it requires a full size up. And speaking from a practicality standpoint, they don't work when you have to chase toddler-age children or carry them.

    Modern heels are almost always too skinny and high, though I did manage to find some wide -width vintage-inspired heels by a company called Naya (it's a division of Naturalizer):http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/naya-jada-pump
    I bought them in the bordeaux color first and liked the fit so much that I bought them in black, as well. The heel is 2.75 inches high and relatively chunky compared to most shoes, so it's reasonable to walk in them. I also like the brand Irregular Choice, since they're unique looking but often come with a lower heel - even a kitten heel sometimes, and I can work with that.

    My biggest issue, however, is that I have a 12 year-old who wears a ladies' narrow width size 9.5-10 and she hates heels with a passion. And honestly, I don't want my 12 year-old wearing heels, anyway. It's hard to find women's shoes that are remotely age-appropriate for her, given the amount of über-high heels out there. I'm going to blame it on the over-sexualization of the female body and the emphasis that the fashion industry seems to place on being young and sexy. Many women I know have a difficult time finding their little girls shorts that aren't booty shorts or tops that aren't cropped to show off the belly - girls who are in elementary school. I've seen heels of 1-2" in the children's shoe department at various department stores.

    Maybe it's related to the prevalence of porn in popular culture, but I think it's also part of the perceived notion that sexy=youthful, regardless of how tasteful/less it may be. In our current society there's a drive to remain young-looking as long as possible and, consequently, to remain desirable and sexy-looking. Ergo, the sexy heels.

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    1. My 13 yo daughter has size 10 feet - so we have the same problem. Anything not a sneaker must come from the women's department, and it is very hard to find shoes that look appropriate for a young teen. Plus, at 5' 9" and 13, she is already the tallest girl in her class, so becoming way taller is NOT her goal! LOL!!

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  46. Other people can wear whatever shoes they want, as far as I'm concerned. I only take issue with heels because they're all I find anywhere. Online shops that used to sell quirky cute shoes now only sell sky high heels that I can't even stand in. If there are flat shoes, there isn't much variety in design, or they're just plain ugly. What about us flats-wearing people, eh?

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    1. Do you have a Chinatown-type area anywhere nearby? Because Asian shoe shops tend to have a bigger range of flats. Some are very twee and cutesy, but some are just fun, too. If there's an Asian clothes shop nearby, it might be worth a try.

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    2. Hi Ella! Have you tried looking in online stores like Ruche and Modcloth? I have just bought some super cute mid-heel shoes from there. Ebay is also a great option!

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  47. I won't wear shoes that hurt.

    That said, I do love pretty shoes. I usually get the 1-2.5" heels I love from European or Israeli sources. I also love the vintage look, but since my feet are very average-sized (7) it's harder to find them (everyone else gets there first.)

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  48. I not only find today's womens' shoes ugly, disproportionate and porn-centric, I am appalled at the idea of strappy sandals in the city. Do the wearers of such shoes have the slightest awareness of what filth lies on the street? That rats and winos use our public pavements as latrines? That people hawk and spit God-knows-what onto them? That lurking in that pile of rubbish at the curb are rubber gadgets used for last night's impromptu amours? Why on Earth would you not want to protect your feet from all that?

    I do not understand it at all.

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  49. I don't think that many people in the suburbs are wearing those high heels. They aren't practical for traversing the epic expanse that is Wal-Mart, nor do they match with PJ pants that are usually worn for that kind of shopping.
    Things have been in an "ugly-shoe" spiral for a while. I don't get the gladiator shoe with a heel look, nor the whole idea of peep-toe boots. I've worn some fairly high heels in the past, but prefer the 2-3" range now. Super-flat shoes make my legs look shorter than they are, and after a short time, my knees start hurting. A little bit of a heel helps to keep that from happening.
    I think you're probably right on with the "stripperfication" of things being a major force behind those kind of shoe designs. It's also likely a great marketing technique. Woman buys shoes because she likes the look, wears them twice, they hurt her feet, she donates them and buys another "cute" pair. Manufacturers don't have to wait for us to wear out our shoes before we have to replace them for being completely impractical. So long as they make them flashier than the practical ones we would wear for months on end, we might just keep buying endlessly.

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  50. In defense of high heels. I am very short. I am also a trial lawyer. The fact is that the male lawyers are loomers as a physical way of intimidating shirt women opposing counsel. In consequence I wear the highest heeks I can and then stand so the spike heels ate evident. It evens the playing field. Charles Jordan and taryn rose high heels for HSN are constructed in such a way as to be comfortable. So there you have it.
    On an unrelated matter, I also collect vintage machines a- I have cast iron fever - and I have my own dealer who trolls sales and gives me first dibs. I presently have 33 but am planning to release some newer ones to needy sewers. That being said, sometimes the foot pedal is not with the machine. Peter, any advice on finding irphan foot pedals?

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  51. I love wearing those ridiculously high heeled shoes! I'm 5'4" and almost 40 and wear them 3-5 times per week - depends on my outfit for the day. I do alternate between wearing them and then lower 1" wedges and ballet flats, so I'm not in high heels every day.

    My job? I'm a consultant right now and out each day, and I start my graduate work in education this summer - and I will still be on my feet each day...for walking long distances? I bring a pair of ballet flats and tuck my heels into a bag in my larger bag...and put on the heels right before I reach my destination.

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  52. Well, in a culture that basically expects women, especially younger ones, to wear 4-5 inch heels to the office, of course we have "stripper" shoes being the norm.

    I would even have to argue that a woman is not really considered an adult and "put together" unless she is wearing heels, even with jeans.

    For myself I try very hard to either be barefoot or wear minimalistic shoes like Vibrams. I used to sciatic nerve pain that vanished once I ditched any shoe that lifted the heel or had a non-flexible sole.

    However, it's pretty difficult to find comfortable shoes that are also cute, trendy, and affordable. I've basically given up.

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  53. I have knee problems, and so I wear almost exclusively flats. Like Krista, I go for shoes as minimal as possible.

    What I find really pathetic is people who wear incredibly high heels, but can't walk in them. I was an usher at my college's graduation last year, and watched young woman after young woman stagger, wobble, and limp up to get her diploma. If they had only worn more sensible heels, they would have looked a lot less ridiculous.

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  54. Knee problems are just ANOTHER of the delights awaiting those who insist on wearing these stupid shoes; I get the part about wanting to be taller to "level the playing field" (At 5' 9" that isn't something I have ever had to worry about) but I will say: if you haven't got functional knees, you are looking at ongoing agony, ,a limping gait, wheelchairs, canes, and knee replacement therapy, none of which contribute to one's attractiveness or happiness!

    Another thing that really burns me up is how women will walk around carrying small children and babies while wearing these things..it would be interesting to know the stats on the number of grave injuries done to children who have had their idiot mothers stumble and fall...children are being made to suffer for their parents' vanity! And don't get me started on 'high heels for kids"; it's pretty plain to me when I look around that it's only a matter of time before p.ed.op.hi.lia becomes "mainstream", the way kids are being covertly 'sexualized' nowadays!

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  55. The ridiculous high heels baffle me. I teach middle school so I don't do work shoes over about 2 inches and they have to be VERY comfortable - I have two pairs which qualify in the comfy heels category.

    I really laugh when I see a 13 year old trying to wobble around campus (and wonder how she snuck her mom's shoes out of the house!).

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  56. First off, I desperately want the scalloped edge peep toe with a bow shoes in the first picture. And the burgundy 1930s shoes in the second last picture.

    Anyway. I can't wear ultra-high heels, nor can I wear skinny stilettos. My ankles are quite loose, my arches very high, and my feet are fairly itty bitty (European size 37 and narrow). So my feet and ankles are in pain if I put on a pair of ultra-high heels, let alone try and stand or walk in them.
    I much prefer the elegance of vintage heels, and wish I had more of them (although I'm not much of a heel-wearer to start with). My absolute favourite shoes are a pair of late 30s scalloped edge cherry red femme fatale heels. The heel's only about 2 inches and is solid, so they're also practical. Or at least would have been when they were bought - they've been very loved over the years and show a lot of wear, so they're special occasion only now. But they're shoes that I put on and feel transported - modern heels just don't have that effect.

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  57. Occasionally you'll see videos of the fashion shoots where two guys have to support the model so she can "walk" in those shoes to where she is supposed to stand or sit without falling and injuring herself.

    The everyday fashion victims I've observed wearing those platform high heeled things wobble around and look like they are about to break an ankle. And it's absolutely ridiculous watching them go down stairs and negotiate curbs without taking a tumble.

    There will always be fashion victims and vain women (and men)

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  58. Wow, this top has devolved into a good old fashioned women hating on other women fest. And over what, shoes? Shoes? Really, ladies? A quick skimming of this thread and we've called each other idiotic, vain hookers. Congrats. I don't like mules, but I can say that without passing judgement on the women who wear wear them.

    Ugh, be nice, be nice, be nice. There are enough venues for tearing one another down.

    Oh, and some of us can run in our 7" heels so, whatevs.

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  59. You know I have been asking this myself. I stopped wearing heels for a few years and now I want to get back into it by BOY are those high. I remember in 2005 thinking I was hot stuff because I could wear a 2.75" for my ballroom dancing lessons. Now not so much.

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  60. Oh boy, the shoe debate! I do love my heels. And I think that they can absolutely make certain clothing more flattering. I am continually fascinated at how different my calves can look depending on the heel height I wear. Also, as someone with a very long torso, I appreciate the extra length they give my legs (well, not really, but the illusion of length is fun, none the less!). That, and I have always wanted to be 6’ tall – unfortunately, I don’t believe I am going to make it . . .

    My issue with wearability comes from the platforms. If I cannot feel how my foot is hitting the pavement, I have a fear that I am going to topple over. This is rather strange, because in college, I LOVED platforms. Not sure exactly when the change-over happened!

    But I will admit that I do not walk Tino in my stilettos, partly to give my feet a break, and also to save wear and tear on shoes that are really not made for much of a hike.

    By the way – I own those velvet t-straps in the purple/silver/black colorway. And while I have no problem with the heel height, I completely agree that the balance on the shoe is off, most likely because of the heel placement. I cannot image those beautiful vintage shoes in the adverts would have made such mistake in design. (Although, there are some 50s fetish shoes that look ridiculous and completely unwearable.)

    And those 40s heels are to die for! If I had my druthers, I would own a pair just like that in every color of the rainbow!

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    1. It never occurred to me that heel placement was an issue with shoes (as opposed to height). Do they not make and test a sample before they manufacture them?

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    2. Actually yes, Peter, heel placement matters, a LOT. Those heels that are 'far back' on the shoe or far forward can be very awkward to wear, because the heel support is not where it NEEDS to be.

      It throws one's centre of balance off terribly; after all, it is only a few square inches we have to balance on, and wearing high-heeled shoes that displace one's centre of balance by even a few centimetres can be very dangerous, since it is very difficult to concentrate constantly on one's feet and the state of one's balance, while also focusing on the direction one is going in, the condition of the ground, etc.

      And no, manufacturers don't 'test' anything in that regard; why should they? Shoes like this are all about LOOKS; as long as the heel and the sole are level with each other; their responsibility ends there!

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  61. Barb aka WoodencanoeJanuary 27, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Wow, lots of negative feedback on the high heels. Maybe its the demographic that sew !

    When I saw a photo of a woman running down the street carrying her high heels during 9/11 it made me think. Never will I be caught in footwear that I can't run in, no matter what the ground is like.

    I live in a small town on the West Coast of Canada and if anyone was to be seen wearing these towering wobblers in town, there would be lots of snickers on the street. And it's not a red-neck town. It's an artistic/outdoor sport-minded climate.

    My take on high heels, is that they are worn for 2 reasons: because they make your legs look better (that is if you have those type of legs to begin with !); secondly, they're worn for men. "Leg" men love looking at women in high heels. Then there are the issues around vulnerability, which I think you are projecting when wearing these types of shoes.

    For myself, I have worn so-called "heels" in my younger days, but they were certainly not any higher than 2 1/2 inches. I've found that I cannot wear the ballet flats as they don't seem to have any arch support and they just feel too flat. A small 1/2" heel is enough though.

    My youngest daughter was married last year and for my outfit I felt I needed some type of heel. I looked in my closet and soon realized the only item near suitable was a red leather, out-of-style shoe, with a kitten heel that I'd purchased for my 20 year high-school reunion, 20 years ago. I was shocked that it had been that long since I'd worn a "heel".

    Looking for shoes in a small town can be difficult. Like many of the replies, I also purchase as good a quality of shoe as my purse can manage. This makes finding a decent shoe even more difficult. In the search I did end up driving to a large city 3 hours away and came back with some boots -not at all suitable for a wedding! Then a drive to another small town and found a small, independent shoe store that had exactly what I wanted. A shoe that looks much like the 1930's burgundy pump above but with a lower cut in the front and a short zipper up the back. A zipper in a dress shoe?,yes, but enough, along with the cut, to make them a bit edgy even with a 2" blocky heel. I dressed them up with some bling attached to the strap.

    And boy were they comfortable. The wedding party walked down to the wharf for the outdoor photo session and it was quite entertaining to see the younger women (and a few older) getting their narrow high heels caught in between the planks on the walkway. Fortunately no one was injured, but there were either some very careful walkers after the first time being stuck, or else said to hell with it and walked barefoot and ruined their stockings. Another lesson.

    I shop the clearance sales if I need shoes, which isn't very often. We still have a good shoemaker here so I get my shoes re-soled/repaired. But that's only worth it if they are good shoes to start with. My all-time favourites are a pair of delicate lace up flats with a smooth leather lining and leather soles. The leather sole is great for dancing. Made in Italy, but something I could not afford if I hadn't found them at a very discounted price. They are nearly 20 years old now and have stretched out a bit, but with regular paste shoe polish and staying out of the deep puddles, they'll be good for a few more. If I ever get to Italy.... In the meantime, I have found some reasonable leather shoes made in Brazil the last few years.

    And that's my thesis on shoes! My fetishes are shoes and hats! Good subject to bring up Peter.
    Thanks.

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  62. I love to look at shoes, the higher the heel the better. And I actually own 2 pairs of high heeled shoes, one pair from Zara (relatively cheap) and they don't feel comfortable at all, I can't properly walk in them either. My other pair is from a Spanish shoe-brand made in Spain, they are higher than the Zara shoes, but they are really comfortable and I can easily walk in them and dance all night in them (I did so at a wedding last fall), but I don't use them for everyday life, because I am 1.78m tall and when I wear them, I tower over my husband. I had a pair of black pumps that were really comfortable but they are completely worn out so I don't wear them anymore, but they were perfect. A broad heel and not to high. I have been searching for a new pair to replace them, but nothing I have seen so far is suitable for everyday use. Every heel is so very high! Plus, like you said, most shoes come from China or other countries with low labor costs, and I don't buy those shoes, I want shoes that are made with high quality material and with high quality craftmanship, that won't be outdated too soon (last air of heels I wore for over 5 years) so I keep looking for shoes that are made here in Spain (there is a big shoe-manufacturing tradition here) and that meet my requirements. So far, no luck... :-(

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  63. I think they look like hooker shoes. Hate them. I can't wear heels of any real height anyway, kills my knees-I live in a pair of flat Eccos, read and cost me $330 but the best investment I ever made into a pair of shoes!
    I DID buy a pair of rather glorious leopard skin courts a few years ago - being in my size (my feet are way bigger than your) and on special, I got them. Suffice to say the only times I have worn them, I was not standing up ;-)
    They are now in the hands of some friends who do drag and can walk in them! And I have learned my lesson!

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  64. Give me those gorgeous 30's and 40's "practical heels" any day!

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  65. I am tall, so the super high heels don't call to me. But when I'm shopping for shoes, the ones that I find that I like the STYLE of, they are usually high. If they are super high, I pass them up. With the amount of walking I do, I just cannot sustainably wear a super high shoe from morning until evening. I love shoes, and I'm always on the lookout for super cute shoes at 3 inches or so (its difficult). Flats hurt my calves after a while so I don't buy those either. In fact, I would rather go completely barefoot than wear flats. As for super high heels, I say if you are on the shorter side (my daughter calls it "fun size"), wearing them for prolonged periods doesn't hurt your feet or legs, and you don't look like a circus clown on stilts when you walk, go for it!

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  66. Cute and comfy is the holy grail of shoes as far as I'm concerned. Most days I would rather wear a 1-2" heel, which is pretty hard to find these days. I've noticed that it is easy to buy ridiculous heels at discount shoe stores like DSW. Not so with the pretty/practical shoe.

    Although, I do have this one pair of high end sky highs and I LOVE that I am way over 6' in them. But they are only for evenings out when I don't have to walk very much and want to make an entrance. So, yes I do think our eye has been trained to like big heels.

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  67. Oh, thank you, Peter for bringing this up! Women who wear what is "in fashion" in spite of the fact it looks horrible on them, or the fact that it is ruining their irreplaceable parts confound me. I don't get it! Why ruin your feet, your back, your legs, just because some designer comes up with this idea to sell shoes? After all, they don't make money if you wear last year's shoes! I feel very badly for these women who are slaves to fashion to that extreme. Unfortunately, they will pay, if only that they will turn out to have the ugliest feet on the block. It's sad. By the way, if those heels on Etsy were my size, I would buy them. They are gorgeous and just tall enough to make your legs look good for special occasions.

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  68. If I can walk in it and stand in it for 10 minutes, I will buy a very high heel. Being a shorty at 5'3" I need all the height I can get, and as someone above said, no one wants to be the girl in the grandma heels. That said, the 80s did pumps in a 50s style FABULOUSLY. It is my favorite heel silhouette. This is a good example: ( http://img3.etsystatic.com/004/0/6711768/il_fullxfull.369752247_5r05.jpg ). They're cute, frequently heavily padded inside for comfort, but have a chic cute heel that is quite walkable. Probably due to the fact that so many women started working in offices that still required heels?

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  69. The stripper look is empowering?!? What ever happened to strong and smart? Leaders demand quality as part of their fashionable but individualized look. "Trendy" is for followers.

    Extreme shoes, extreme potato chips, extreme whatever. What, I wonder, are we trying so damned hard to accomplish?

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  70. NO high heels higher than 3 inches for me. Those even kill my feet. I think women are harming themselves with this super high heels, and when they are old, and have damaged their feet with bunions and other ailments, they will be sorry they coveted these shoes!

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  71. Even though I'm 5'9", I don't mind a high heel, but find the current crop of super-high heels less than alluring. Most heels have been hit with the ugly stick, and I have yet to see any woman wearing this footwear do so with style and grace. They all seem to adopt a straight-legged walking stance that makes them look like rugby front-row forwards. Not elegant!

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  72. You have no idea how many pairs of otherwise-adorable shoes I have not bought because the heels were too tall or too small in diameter. I am completely devoted to my mid-height Louis and Cuban heels. I'm not shy about height, I just don't want my feel and legs to hurt, and I hate the way tall spike heels look.

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  73. Shoes are CRAZY high these days but it's because we're on the tail end of the platform heel trend (which is dying a slow, painful death I believe). A 3-4" heel is already quite high but everyone is slapping platforms on top of that - I cant tell you how many times I've giggled at some damn fool teetering around on stilts she can barely control.

    I personally love the look of high high heels but I call them taxi shoes - you definitely don't walk anywhere and pray you're sitting most of the time that you're out. I only have a few of these and they rarely get worn. I much prefer a 2 - 2.5" pump. I can easily wear them all day and night and don't need to bring a pair of flip flops to finish the evening in (my biggest pet peeve - if you need to ruin your outfit by wearing FLIP FLOPS at the end of that wedding, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG).

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  74. My take on platforms: If you wear platforms, then you are cheating. Obviously any high heel has zero "practical" purpose, just like a beautiful dress. However, high heels are great for dress up (or for having fun) if it's done right just like a well fitted dress. I think wearing high high heels every day at work is not a good idea but for evening events they are fine. I think what happens is most wear heels poorly matched for the occasion or the person. Add to that is almost all shoes are low cost from China reference the book, "High Cost of Cheap Fashion" showing image of a broken high heel on cover. Many ask where are all these heels purchased but never seen on the streets? Like what the book says, all this stuff is bought but never leave the closet.

    Obviously some heels are ridculously high but also consider it is not so much the height as the overall shape. Different brands of stiletto pumps of same style and height will feel very different for different people (there's more to the foot shape). Some heels, even 5", I can wear comfortably for long periods, other brands my feet begin to ache after 15 minutes. What about those Jimmy Choos stilettos for $695? I don't know, too expensive for me to even think about. If so they better be comfortable as flats (someone said she tried them and they are not comfortable).

    I remember in late 1990s it seems all the high heels were ugly chunky heels (at least here in SF bay area) and on the internet. I was pleased to see narrow heels return in fashion, but platforms seem to be latest fashion craze driven by marketeers. Let's see how long this trend lasts.

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  75. FWIW, have you seen Kinky Boots? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinky_Boots_(film)

    I have now seen the ending scene, which is a lot of fun. I didn't actually sit though the rest of the movie to get to the end, so I don't know if it is as much fun.

    Beth

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  76. Heels too high
    pants too low
    current fads
    really blow!

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  77. Wow! Who would have thought so many comments about shoes could exist? Just more proof that we women love our shoes regardless of style, height, platform or not. lol

    Even Cinderella had the 'perfect' shoe!

    I am only 5'2 and can wear a variety of shoes depending on the occasion. My favorite shoe would be mid-height at around 3.5 to 4 inches. I also have some shoes that are 5 inches high that I can not only walk in for hours upon hours but I can also run in them also! It is contingent on the angle from the heel to the ball of the foot. And since each foot is different, it is very important to try shoes on before purchase.

    Nobody looks good in a shoe if it doesn't fit properly....

    But lets not judge others for wearing a shoe that perhaps we would not wear. I adore the freedom to wear whatever suits us. It's all about personal style....conformity would be so boring!

    I am 50 yrs. old and have been wearing heels since I can remember. I used to walk in my mother's when I was a child.... <3 I haven't any bunions, calluses etc. because a proper fitting shoe doesn't hurt your feet.



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  78. I am tall, 6 feet, and will wear up to a 3 inch heel. My husband is super tall, 6'5". When I wear heels he still has some height above me. I don't wear heels for height. I look for style and comfort. Some of my friends who are a lot shorter wear heels for the height, as they want to be statuesque. I say wear your heels as high as you'd like.

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  79. I'm a male -but did have a comment . . .I found this link below -as I'm always trying to find interesting ways to spruce up the garden. Since high heels are very provocative to me, I started wondering if I could put plants in them -this is what I found . . . http://containergardening.about.com/od/floweringcontainergarden/ig/Succulent-Plants-in-Pots/Hens-and-Chicks-in-Stilettos.htm (on the weekends I go through the local Goodwill(s) to find vintage heels to re-purpose.

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  80. Thanks for featuring my 40s pumps :) And yes, shoes are WAY too high atm. They really are ugly too. I have a huge collection of vintage shoes from the 30s and 40s and the word I would use to describe the more dressy pairs is 'elegant'. They are easy to walk in, still quite high in some cases yet so flattering. I do not know what this current 'hooker shoe' trend is all about. I wager that in 10 years time, millions of women will have back and ankle injury pain like never before. 6 inches in just ridiculous. If I wore them, I'd end up almost a foot taller than my boyfriend!

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  81. What immensely pretty women's footwear. Their beauty – for me lies not only in their classic shapes and materials but in the fact that they so seamlessly merge function and elegance together.

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  82. I think the women's heels today at often too high. I see the females at work wearing them and having a hard time (except that one that clients keep asking "is she a drag queen?" "no she was born female")
    I just nearly laugh when they teeter and almost fall. I mean "is that glamorous?" And then insult is added to injury by putting a platform on the bottom of the shoe.... but at least that adds some relief to the toes, I suppose.

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  83. I hate heels and think they are ugly. WOmen in the suburbs usually have money and dont wear heals..atleast not where I live. Heels are for dumb, short, bimbos who have no sex appeal without heels

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