Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

If the shoe fits . . .

There’s a problem with high heels, one that women have recognised ever since society dictated that we should (le sigh) want to elongate our legs at the expense of our backs and, often, our ability to walk. (If this line …

Thu, May 6, 2010, 08:00

   

There’s a problem with high heels, one that women have recognised ever since society dictated that we should (le sigh) want to elongate our legs at the expense of our backs and, often, our ability to walk. (If this line of thinking interests you, Susan Brownmiller is a great author to read – she has some great, angry insights into how women are physically oppressed by the constraints of society, but I digress.) The problem is comfort – or lack thereof. If you’ve ever strapped a pair of high heels onto your feet, you’ll know what I’m a-talkin’ about.

Despite my best feminist thinkings, I still love a good high heel. I won’t attempt to justify it, any more than to say that I have a bit of a shoe obsession, I’m sure it says a lot about my facile mind and, no, I’m not planning on giving up any time soon. Having said all that, my walking in high heels leaves a lot to be desired. I stumble. I trot along on tippy-toe like a not-very-enthusiastic deer. I moan, I curse, I swear. I lean over bars and ask barmen for plasters. (Did you know they always have them? They have to, in the First Aid box.)

So when I read, over on Disneyrollergirl, about Dana Davis shoes, my heart went boom, ba-dee boom (Peter Sellers and SOPHIA LOREN?!! Who knew?!) . . . you get the drift. In my defence, it is very early and my morning routine took slightly longer today than I’d like.

Davis’s shoes are designed not only with aesthetics in  mind, but with comfort – each design is created in consultation with experts to ensure that they are not only as comfortable but as harmless as possible, and shoes are equipped with cushioning, arch supports and built-in or removable orthotics. Now, the shoes don’t come cheap – they seem to all come in around the $450, but at least you have some form of guarantee that they won’t crippled you.

Aside from which, those shoes (above) remind me of the scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby and Johnny dance in the neighbouring hotel . . . wistful sigh. And these babies (below) are about as Marni as you get without actually buying Marni, so that has to count for something.

I’d love to know if anyone out there has had a good experience with a pair of high heels – a good experience meaning, not at all crippling. I have one pair of sky-high wedges that are pretty comfortable, but we all know that wedges are the exception to the rule. I always thought, somehow, that expensive shoes would be more comfortable, but last year, in a fit of generosity (to myself) I bought a pair of Stella McCartney heels and a pair of Alexander Wangs, and neither of them are anything worth writing home about, in terms of comfort.

Now, where are those plasters I had in my bag . . .

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