February 23, 2012 at 10:26 am , by Julie Bain
At the Saks flagship store shoe sale recently (yes, its shoe department really is big enough to have its own zip code!), I was mesmerized by table after table loaded with five-, six- and even seven-inch heels—all marked down. “So this must mean that the giant platform high-heel craze is on the wane?” I asked the dapper salesguy standing nearby.
“Not at all,” he replied. “You should see the styles that are just coming in!” So okay, I bought the five-inch pair above.
Our fashion editor, Sue Erneta, agrees that shoes aren’t coming down to earth quite yet. “We’re still seeing tons of high, high, high heels,” she says. She loves the platform styles because at 5-foot-1, she says they give her the lift she needs. “And a platform in a high heel is much easier to walk in—especially if it has a chunkier heel for stability,” she says (although her leopard-print pumps, left, don’t have that). She pulls one off and demonstrates how to subtract the platform height (an inch) from the heel height (four inches) to get the adjusted actual lift (a mere three). Sue’s Algorithm: Is this the new math?
There is also a return to the more classic, ladylike pump without a platform, she says (like the one my fellow healthlady, Jessica, is wearing, below). Some of them are super-pointy, too. Those can really mess up your feet! “I don’t wear anything I find uncomfortable,” says Sue. Hmm. Fashion editors may have a different pain threshold than us mere mortals.
Still, we have to admit, we love our high heels. That’s why we created our story “Killer Heels” in the March issue, with everything you need to know about skyscrapers and the foot problems they can cause. We know you can’t give them up completely. Neither can we. Hey, we believe that with sexy shoes—as with all things chocolate—moderation is the key.
November 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm , by Julia Kagan
Sometimes you learn the best stuff by accident. A few weeks ago I was racing across town to meet friends for dinner when my high heel got stuck in a crack in the pavement. When I yanked it out, the rubber bottom of the heel came off. I was late so I kept running on the heel stub. And I discovered something wonderful—the foot in the broken shoe felt amazingly better because the heel was ¼ inch shorter.
Yes, I do know that stilettos aren’t what the doctor ordered. Heels over 2 inches can cause foot and back problems; over 3 inches and they put seven times the pressure on the ball of your foot that flats do.
The shoes had always been a bit too high to wear every day so, when I had them fixed, I asked the shoemaker if he could make the heels slightly shorter. He could! They’re now 2 inches instead of nearly 2 ½ and so comfortable I wear them all the time. It worked so well I had him cut down some brown ankle boots that had been getting dusty in my closet for the same reason.
As the Shoe Service Institute of America points out, there’s a limit to how much you can cut off and which kinds of heels can be shortened. But it’s worth a try! And if even lower heels don’t make your feet feel better, here’s more advice on what to try.
Photo by geishaboy500.