High heels. Are they a conspiracy?

(297 Posts)
CrockedPot Fri 25-Oct-13 20:49:05

So today I have spent eight hours in toe pinching, arch stretching, high heeled shoes. At work. By the end of the day I was glaring in envy at the men in their round toed, laced up, low heeled 'ergonomically designed' soled shoes, while I minced around like someone who had their feet bound in some medieval torture chamber. AIBU in thinking we put style over fucking comfort every single day and don't think a thing about it?? What are we doing?? (or is just me, wearing the wrong style of pretty, painful shoe?)

sadelephants Sat 26-Oct-13 19:12:07


Bubbles1066 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:36:01

YANBU. I never wear high heels. Why would you? Our feet are not that shape. A very low heel with some support for the foot can be useful but over about an inch is pointless. I've never got why hobbling around and not being able to move properly is a good idea. I like to be able to run if necessary, thank you very much, without twisting my ankle, getting stuck in the mud or falling down a cattle grid (not common, granted but my Granny broke her ankle doing that).

Shallishanti Sat 26-Oct-13 19:37:18

tis footbinding, no less

Euphemia Sat 26-Oct-13 19:38:32


I once read an article about how they're supposed to make women look like an erect penis. hmm Kind of put me off. grin

KayHarker Sat 26-Oct-13 19:40:46

I wouldn't want to wear them all the time, but I am enjoying my new pair. Mostly I do flat boots or trainers.

HearMyRoar Sat 26-Oct-13 19:40:59

You do know you don't actually have to wear them if you don't want to...

I don't and haven't been arrested yet grin

WorraLiberty Sat 26-Oct-13 19:43:09

Why on earth would you choose to wear high heels and then moan about them? confused

Just stop wearing them

Job done.

kawliga Sat 26-Oct-13 19:47:31

It's possible to find comfortable high heels, OP (though they may not end up being the prettiest).

OddBoots Sat 26-Oct-13 19:50:25

YANBU, I do think fewer and fewer women are wearing them although those that do seem to be going for higher and higher variations.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 26-Oct-13 19:50:25

Oh, I used to love my high heels. I ran around in them all day. They were pretty. They meant I could talk to normal people without cricking my neck <vertically challenged> and wear trousers without having to cut a couple of inches off the bottom.

I stopped wearing them when pregnant with dc1 as I couldn't get the balance right, and got too used to flatties. Now I can't walk in them without falling over, and we've moved to the country where I have to negotiate stiles and unmade roads, so heels would make me a laughing stock anyway.

But oh, I do miss them. sad

OddBoots Sat 26-Oct-13 19:50:37

YANBU, I do think fewer and fewer women are wearing them although those that do seem to be going for higher and higher variations.

OddBoots Sat 26-Oct-13 19:51:08

(sorry for the double post, not sure how that happened).

MrsWolowitz Sat 26-Oct-13 19:52:43


I don't wear heels unless its for a special occasion because I teeter around in them distracted by how much the balls of my feet are burning.

If you don't like them, don't wear them, no shame in it.

kawliga Sat 26-Oct-13 19:53:11

I wear high heels at work whenever possible. Men get the comfy shoes but then men tend generally to be taller than women and at work it's good to be at face level with everyone else if possible. I just don't like being at eye level with all the men's chests which happens if I wear flat/low shoes.

zenoushka Sat 26-Oct-13 19:54:27

Flat shoes all the way for me - am usually in ballet flats, ankle boots or brogues. The last time I wore a pair of heels was to my cousin's wedding in April - sheer agony by the end of the day.

Don't wear them then. I never wear heels and still manage to look smart and get taken seriously at work

Pinupgirl Sat 26-Oct-13 19:58:55

I used to say I wouldn't be seen dead in a pair of flat shoes. Then I had dcsgrin

Now I still love high heels but I tend to buy them and then just admire them sitting prettily in my wardrobe. For every day I wear mid heel courts or low shoe boots. I just cannot take the agony of high heels any moresad

I just don't wear them anymore.

Nobody is making women wear heels, they choose to do so for various reasons. Their choice.

Finest Sat 26-Oct-13 20:00:58

You're probably being unreasonable for suggesting we put style over comfort every day, as a lot of people won't wear heels, and many others only wear them for special occasions. But you're not being unreasonable in saying they're uncomfortable and were probably designed with some kind of intention. I often hear they're made to "slow women down" etc. They're incredibly painful and if you don't like them you should stop wearing them. I know there's societal pressure there sometimes, but the only way to overcome pressure is just to ignore it and do what you have to do.

Branleuse Sat 26-Oct-13 20:02:25

theyre not obligatory.

I dont think youre supposed to wear them for 8 hours straight tbh

KissesBreakingWave Sat 26-Oct-13 20:19:36

Not a conspiracy. They used to be men's shoes, the heel was for riding. Kept your foot in the stirrup. And made it hard to walk when not riding. So the height of your heel was a status symbol: I CAN AFFORD TO RIDE EVERYWHERE YOU PEASANT.

I did once know how they ended up as women's wear, but I forget. But they started out as Manly Shoes for Manly Men.

Feminine Sat 26-Oct-13 20:22:10

Some people find them more comfortable.

NotYoMomma Sat 26-Oct-13 20:36:01

I wore high heels so much that now when I DON'T wear them my legs hurt sad

Mandy2003 Sat 26-Oct-13 20:42:02

^^ That is because your ligaments have become contracted NYM

Due to a badly broken and reset leg years ago, I can't wear heels at all. But I do sell them on eBay for other people. I never quite know what to say when buyers ask "Will I be able to walk in them?" [htlconfused]

squoosh Sat 26-Oct-13 20:42:40

I wear flats in the day and heels when I go out at night. I never wear uncomfortable heels though.

NewtRipley Sat 26-Oct-13 20:47:36


I agree with you.

They hurt. You can't walk properly, let alone run in them. They aren't fit for the purpose of locomotion. Men don't wear anything comparable.

paxtecum Sat 26-Oct-13 20:47:49

I would never were heels all day.
I have been known to have a pair of slippers under my desk to change into.

NewtRipley Sat 26-Oct-13 20:47:52


That's interesting.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasExhausted Sat 26-Oct-13 20:48:53

I never wear heels, they are evil. I am quite tall so have never too much issue with looking blokes in the chest all time.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 26-Oct-13 20:54:04

I never wear them.

Beauty and Misogyny by Sheila Jeffreys has a very good chapter on them.
What I never understand is why some people think they look good. Beyond a couple of inches I think they make people look worse, not better.


But YABU for being jealous of men. It is quite correct that high-heeled shoes were originally Manly Shoes for Men. IT seems that men were sensible enough to stop wearing them after a while. It is probably time women did the same instead of wilfully torturing themselves. I very much doubt that the average workplace requires high-heeled shoes as part of professional attire. Just stop wearing them if you don't like them.

OvaryAction Sat 26-Oct-13 20:59:38

New technology shows what high heels actually do to your feet oooh so sexy confused

BlingBang Sat 26-Oct-13 21:04:32

Men must think we are nuts, while they wear their nice comfy shoes.

AthelstaneTheUnreadyFucker Sat 26-Oct-13 21:10:12

I wear them at work for the same reason (I'm guessing) that Tom Cruise, bless his tiny bonkers socks, wears stack heels: in a situation where one person is pitted against another, giving any advantage away is silly - and height is a huge psychological (if subconscious) advantage.

In a confrontational atmosphere, it helps.

The rest of the time I'm in big, flat boots, because I prefer to be comfy.

Bingdweller Sat 26-Oct-13 21:29:47

I loved my high heels. That was, until I slipped on a worn metal stair and sustained multiple ankle fractures, a week in hospital and surgery. Have just undergone further surgery due to complications and it is flatties from now on!

Ifancyashandy Sat 26-Oct-13 21:45:16

Oh, I adore high heels. Wear them whenever I can. But not shopping. That's madness. But, yup, for work every day. Minimum 3 inches. Granted, after a 12 hour day in the office they morph into instruments of torture but the fact I can tolerate it makes me not to be messed with when it comes to my team!

Hoofdegebouw Sat 26-Oct-13 21:51:43

Yanbu. I only wear them for weddings/parties and am always the first person to be dancing in my tights. I am rubbish at walking in them, I feel like a bloke in drag. Would never ever wear them for work.

Is there really an advantage in height?

I am 6 ft 1, so I do not owe my height to heels, so zi would not really know what it is like to be shorter than the menz

A fair few short men get a bit snarky and annoyed and tell me I am "too tall", or refuse to stand next to me ( or if they do they try to surreptitiously stand on tiptoe)

MrsDavidBowie Sun 27-Oct-13 06:44:16

Fiscal.....I am six feet tall, and have had the "too tall " comment from shortarse men shock

my dh is slightly shorter than me, and stood on a brick in some of our wedding photos, which are thankfully locked away in the loft. I didn't notice until my brother said "why is Mr DB taller than you?"

Thankfully it is only insecure men who say that.

Women have berated me for wearing heels, when I don't "Need" it too.

But I used to really like a bit of a heel.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:49:11

Oh fgs. Op has read Caitlin Moran today.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:51:10

I love them. Only wear flats at work on dress down days. They can be comfy. Hate it when women fetishise it though. They're just shoes

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:51:51

Plus. Men do love them. wink

MrsWembley Sun 27-Oct-13 06:53:46

Why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why would you do that to yourself?

SatinSandals Sun 27-Oct-13 06:54:51

YABU - there is absolutely no need to wear them. I only wear shoes that are comfortable and that I can walk fast in, the only time I would ever wear heels is for a party or very special occasion if I was mainly sitting down and even then I wouldn't get them very high because I am tall to start with.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:55:06

Do you mean why ?

This thread unusual. Everyone I know wears heels.

Must be the mumsnet tunic curse again

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:55:36

And those gopping Cornish pasty shoes.

There's comfort and there's being close to death style wise ...

claraschu Sun 27-Oct-13 06:58:23

People ook stupid and uncomfortable in high heels.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 06:59:20

You keep telling yourself that. ;)

SatinSandals Sun 27-Oct-13 07:27:52

Everyone that I know wears comfortable shoes they can stand and move in, unless they are dressed up for an evening out. Many jobs are impossible in heels.

SatinSandals Sun 27-Oct-13 07:29:52

It is also choice, you do not have to follow the herd. I really don't care if everyone else has heels there is no need for me to do the same and I will still be taller than most with my flat heels.

lifesgreatquestions Sun 27-Oct-13 07:31:12

I would take the collective "we" out of your post, and then otherwise I agree with you that it certainly is a problem... but not for me, I learned that one about 20 years ago and never looked back. To me it's like trying to wear clothes two sizes too small, why would I?


This man thinks women wearing high heels look great or terrible, and rarely in between. The longer and stabbier the heel, the more likely it is that the wearer will be shuffling around uncomfortably, doing no favour to her health or appearance.

I reckon about 3 inches is more than enough (he says defensively).

MrsWembley Sun 27-Oct-13 07:51:11

Heels, yes, fine! But heels so high they are uncomfortable to wear for more than five minutes, why?

Maybe for a wedding or a party where you'd get a chance to sit down or kick them off with gay abandon... But for work? NOOOO!!!

ColinButterfly Sun 27-Oct-13 07:52:56

I am a heels fan but only once I'm at my desk and in meetings. I won't buy any that are uncomfortable though. I do my walking in flats.

As a dedicated follower of fashion though, it has become apparent that flats are the in thing of late so am wearing them a lot lately. Took a bit of getting used to but I'll admit it is lovely to be comfortable.

fatlazymummy Sun 27-Oct-13 07:53:13

Most women I know wear flats. I don't know about going out at night because I never do.
The only reasons for wearing heels are - a) work dress code requires them or b) you like them.
If neither apply to you then don't wear them. I don't , because I like to be able to walk very quickly and I can't do that in heels.
Whether men like them is completely irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 07:55:28

Lol at toad. Never more than ten cm. I'm a metric heel wearer

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 07:55:52

You never go out fatlazymummy? Ever?

RubySparks Sun 27-Oct-13 07:55:54

If men like them, let them wear them!

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 07:56:25

Oh no never flats with workwear.

Hate them with pencil skirts. All wrong

Bonsoir Sun 27-Oct-13 07:57:08

I don't like the look of high heels one little bit unless they are complementing a very dressed up look. High heels with a trouser suit = M&S chic = don't go there.

Yes, I think whether men like them is completely irrelevant. I reckon women choose to torture themselves.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 07:58:26

Skinny trouser suit. Ossom

YANBU - on a societal level is is a 'conspiracy' IMO and has v ancient reasons: makes your bum and tits stick out in sexy manner hmm, is totally impractical so indicates high statues and being rich as you must have servants to do all the fetching and actual doing stuff.

YABU if you continue wearing them now that you know how horrific they are wink. There are smart shoes around that are not Cornish Pasties (love that comparison) and are not absurdly high.

I reckon some women chose to torture themselves because they are under the impression they will please some men. And some men encourage that impression...

eurochick Sun 27-Oct-13 08:01:18

I love heels. I am long bodied, with relatively short legs. Heels help to even up my proportions. I don't walk any distance in them though - I keep them in the office and walk in wearing flats.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 08:01:37

They're not all instruments of torture though. Are they?

fatlazymummy Sun 27-Oct-13 08:13:09

lordparmerstone I don't go out night, no ,apart from an occasional party. I did when I was younger but it no longer interests me.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 27-Oct-13 08:18:06

We evolved to walk around barefoot.

Wearing any sort of heel throws your natural posture out. You end up tilting your penis in a weird way as well as setting yourself up for a lifetime of foot, ankle, calf, back pain.

They're not just uncomfortable, they are actually damaging.

MarshaBrady Sun 27-Oct-13 08:21:21

I wouldn't do heels at work, far too uncomfortable.

You end up tilting your penis?? shock <TisAllGoing is a man>

Massive snort at itsallgoingtobefine's 'you end up tilting your penis in a wired way'


Cross posted pacificdogwood grin

Best dyac ever!

Ilovexmastime Sun 27-Oct-13 08:29:48

I never wear heels, they ARE instruments of torture as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes I wish I could, as I have a couple of lovely dresses that I know would look better on me if I were wearing heels, but I just don't care about how I look enough to put myself through the pain of heels.

BeScarefulWhatYouWitchFor Sun 27-Oct-13 09:02:14

ItsAllGoingToBeFine gringringringringringrin

I very rarely wear heels. In work I'm on my feet for most of it so I'm not going to torture myself. I do like them for a night out.

futureforward Sun 27-Oct-13 09:07:28

YANBU. It's why I've just bought a glorious, gorgeous pair of brogues. grin

Oh, brogues rock. As do loafers IMO.
I am v glad at the recent boy shoe trend grin

BlingBang Sun 27-Oct-13 09:14:36

Very rarely, if there will be no walking and mostly sitting. You can go out at night in flats. Used to even go clubbing (ok discoing as I'm very old) in my flip flops.

Thatballwasin Sun 27-Oct-13 09:19:09

Take them off, job done.
Never wear shoes you can't run in is my rule. Never miss a bus!

motherinferior Sun 27-Oct-13 10:33:23

I haven't worn heels since I was 18 (am now 50). They hurt my feet. And am in any case so short that heels will only make me look slightly less short.

fanjofarrow Sun 27-Oct-13 10:45:35


ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 27-Oct-13 13:22:51

Bugger. Pelvis not penis ffs.

Oh, we got that, ItsallGoingToBeFine, but enjoyed your typo muchly.

AIBU to have just ordered www.clarks.co.uk/p/20355486? blush

JenaiMorris Sun 27-Oct-13 14:04:35

I am lolling muchly at all those misaligned penises, pointing at crazy angles grin

bluebayou Sun 27-Oct-13 14:19:49

I love high heels , make you look slimmer I think .

Tensixtysix Sun 27-Oct-13 14:44:41

I'm in my 40s and I've NEVER worn high heels, even for work or parties. I just can't wear them. End of!

bluebayou, yes, they might, but why is that important to you? wink

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 14:55:32

Lol. It's er... Nice not to be fat ?

4ft11 but wouldn't wear heels either, just too uncomfortable and as for the noise...

Doesn't the constant clip-clopping get annoying?

I am fat with or without high heels grin

EastMids2 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:01:45

Do realise I'm very much in the minority here, but I love heels. Have worn all sorts of heel heights in shoes and boots for over 40 years and never felt uncomfortable - if shoes are hurting you, they're obviously not the right style / shape / width or actual heel height for you!

I see so many people with feet crammed into "fashion" footwear with ridiculous platforms, odd angled soles etc that are bound to be uncomfortable - so step away from what the so called trendsetters in hyped up magazines say we should be wearing and find your own style!

Heels don't have to be stiletto style instruments of torture if you just take a bit of time to find what's right and works for you, surely. A heel of some sort really does look better with suits/smart workwear than ballet pumps. And I hope nobody says I wear heels to look "sexy" for men or some such nonsense smile

Wuldric Sun 27-Oct-13 15:05:03

It's absurd! Very few women wear high heels in my office, thankfully. Trying to explain to DD that high heels are (a) bad for her feet and ligaments and (b) fundamentally unnecessary for her given that she is 5' 11" just gets met with rebellion.

The daftest thing I had was when a colleague of mine - unusually one wearing high heels - insisted on getting a cab for a 5-minute walk because she couldn't walk that far in her heels. Bonkers, really.

mcmoonfucker Sun 27-Oct-13 15:07:56

There is also a feminist theory that high heels are designed to restrict the movement of women.....you know running away from attacker type thing. Which IS virtually impossible in heels.

motherinferior Sun 27-Oct-13 15:13:31

I like being able to walk. I don't like having hurty feet. It's not complicated...

EastMids2 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:17:05

Well sorry, but if these people can't actually walk, let along break into a run, then the heels they're trying to force themselves into are VERY wrong for their feet - and why are they wearing them the majority of the time? Because they are brainwashed from reading (sorry, make that "looking at pictures") in so-called celebrity mags!

I can run after toddler, dash for the bus, go after an escaped dog wearing shoes with 2" heels, no problem. That's because the footwear actually fits me and is very comfortable.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 15:25:00

Yup. I can run in my clarks Kendras. Wear them all day. Padded footbed. Lovely.

Thants Sun 27-Oct-13 15:30:40

Yanbu. Wear flats! I never wear heels.
We are told that looking sexy is paramount when in reality women are worth much more! High heels, waxing and plastic surgery are all damaging us just so we can be objects for men to stare at.

Trills Sun 27-Oct-13 15:34:10



EastMids2 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:54:52

Pacificdogwood and LordPalmerston - thank goodness there's someone out there that understands me (I think!) and gets that heels don't have to hurt !!! Really like both your linked shoes too smile

TheSmallClanger Sun 27-Oct-13 17:34:05

I hate heels and the stupid fetishisation of them. They do not make you look thinner. They do not make you look taller - they make you look like a short person trying to look taller. They make your bum stick out and they make you walk in a silly, affected way which some men probably do find sexy.

I have to wear safety boots for work. Mine are comfortable, although they took a bit of wearing in. I do not feel the need for my feet to be pretty while I work, or at any other time really. Feet are instrinsically not nice.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 27-Oct-13 18:28:28

Stopped wearing heels years ago and would never go back. They just look bizarre to me now. Hardly anyone I know wears them in a work/formal context.

LordPalmerston Sun 27-Oct-13 19:51:58

everyone wears them to work!

How odd - are you a nurse or something?

fanjofarrow Sun 27-Oct-13 19:55:50

I don't wear them to work and very rarely have in the past.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 27-Oct-13 20:03:10

Probably in the land of school run dresses and white linen trousers, everyone wears high heels to work.
Round me a few people do, but not as high as the ones I've seen linked on this thread.

motherinferior Sun 27-Oct-13 20:11:23

My last three in-house jobs have been on glossy mags and I've worn flat shoes to all of them. As have quite a few colleagues.

It is conceivable that there may be a pair of size 3s out there that don't cause me pain but frankly I don't feel like wasting the money on experimenting.

EastMids, I am not sure that I do get you wink - I like nice shoes, I like heels, I also admire the workmanship of well-made shoes. I own more heels than I will every wear. Heels do nothing for my sexually btw, so I don't think it's a fetish.

I v rarely wear heels though - I have broad feet; anything above an inch or two is painful after a while.

I am perfectly capable of accepting that I am conditioned by society to like heels, liking them, but not wearing them other than when going out/v smart do.

Does that make any sense at all?! I am not sure myself...

motherinferior Sun 27-Oct-13 20:19:00

Incidentally I've entertained quite a few gentlemen callers in my time, so clearly high heels are not an essential part of the seductive repertoire.

specialsubject Sun 27-Oct-13 20:28:02

might have missed what you do for a living OP, but only a few jobs demand high heels.

unless you are a stripper, dancer or model (or another professional) then it is your choice.

women in shoes that stop them walking properly are laughable.

BlingBang Sun 27-Oct-13 20:43:07

"Everyone wears them to work" - where? Nope, never wore them to work (when I did work), not over 2 inches if that. Did wear them on my first night of barmaiding when i was 18 -fool, never again behind the bar.

letsgomaths Sun 27-Oct-13 20:50:24

Wouldn't be much surprise if it turns out high heels were invented by a man.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 27-Oct-13 20:57:42

No, I'm not a nurse. Where are all these workplaces where all the women wear heels? I've never come across one.

BlingBang Sun 27-Oct-13 20:58:46

I'd like to see the male designers try to walk in them. There are heels and heels and the outrageously high ones that are popular now are just ridiculous.

cardibach Sun 27-Oct-13 21:04:58

LordPalmerston really? Everyone you know wears heels? Leaving aside that I am sure you know some men, as I'm sure that isn't what you meant, I find that really surprising, in fact I find it unbelievable. I know lots of women who wear heels all the time, lots who wear them for the occasional posh do and a few who never wear them at all. I wear then very, very rarely and only if I'm going somewhere where I won't need to stand up.
I would be very surprised to find a community where all the women wear heels. THey are painful and impractical for many jobs/tasks.

BlingBang Sun 27-Oct-13 21:10:22

Strippers or lap dancers perhaps?

Yanbu, they are the work of satan. I have tried so many times over the years to wear them but always end up crippled and hobbling within an hour. That's assuming I haven't fallen over. The only time I will wear heels is if I'm going for a meal where the parking is within 100 yards of the restaurant and I'm going straight home afterwards to my comfy slippers.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 27-Oct-13 21:16:24

I never wear high heels.

I like stuff I can walk in,and run in,and not have to teeter along sticking my bum out in.

I'm short and I don't care.
In fact i rather like being short.

Much I would like to blame the patriarchy for the stupidity that is high heels wink, on balance I think it is more likely to be a social status thing: I wear stupid heels which render any practical work, including anything that would require walking any distance, impossible, therefore I am rich/powerful/above you, you peasant in your clogs: evidence

I still think it's the patriarchy that leads me to believe that it is attractive to wear/walk in high heels...

VerySmallSqueak Sun 27-Oct-13 21:19:54

Can anyone explain to me any actual proper reason for wearing high heels?

Showing off grin

VerySmallSqueak Sun 27-Oct-13 21:26:11


I said proper reason Pacific grin

(I have to say I do reserve a little bit of admiration for women who can walk in heels like they're in their slippers,but they're few and far between,and heaven knows what they've done to their penises....

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 27-Oct-13 21:29:40

The extra height can be handy in work situations. It's fun being tall for a change.

I was in a shoe shop in Germany this summer where they were advertising their next 'How to walk in high heels' course - 15 Euros and you could learn to wiggle with the best of them.

Proper reasons, hmm.
Increase height (a bit)
Optical illusion of increased leg length
Bum/tits stuck out hmm
Men seem to like them (mainly)
The fashion industry has to tantilise us with New Stuff. All the time.

Nope, not sure. Sorry. grin

VerySmallSqueak Sun 27-Oct-13 21:35:38

I kind of like

It's fun being tall for a change

But even with killer 5 inch heels I wouldn't exactly be classed as tall grin

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 27-Oct-13 21:37:12

Sheila Jeffreys argues it's a compliment to the patriarchy. Wearing them says 'I want to be pleasing to you so much I am willing to put up with the discomfort and inability to run.' They are designed to make women look 'different but deferent'.

I can never buy the 'they make you look powerful' argument.

MsVestibule Sun 27-Oct-13 21:50:39

Leaving aside the conspiracy theory, can somebody please link to some stylish flat shoes that are not ballet shoes, sandals or boots? And that go with a 'work' skirt?

TheOpposibleThumb Sun 27-Oct-13 21:52:48

I wore heels during my working life in fairly high-powered posts. Now I have retired early and I wear flats, and can honestly say I now feel MORE powerful because I am literally more "grounded". Walking is like flying now. It was a struggle when I wore heels, although I didn't realise that it was. Now I walk twice as fast, don't have sore soles, don't have callouses (my feet look better than they have for thirty years), and I just feel that I don't take any shit from anyone any more.
High heels are an instrument of oppression.

I reckon the whole high-heel thing gets overthought. As far as I can tell, women buy them for themselves because they think they look nice. I reckon blaming the patriarchy is counterproductive, because by referencing an oppressive outside force, it actually disempowers a person who might otherwise choose not to wear them.

MsVestibule, Mary Janes? Any use?
I don't work for Clarks, honest

LordPalmerston Mon 28-Oct-13 07:19:57

Those GOP Doggy

Hoofdegebouw Mon 28-Oct-13 08:00:44


Hoofdegebouw Mon 28-Oct-13 08:01:35

Oops that didn't work did it. Google Asos flat shoes..

TheSmallClanger Mon 28-Oct-13 11:48:33

LordPalmerston's comment just highlights the antipathy there can be towards comfortable shoes on women. Women who choose supportive footwear over heels or non-suppportive, impractical ballet flats open themselves and their fashion choices to ridicule.

Even flat shoes quite often don't stay on properly, or cover enough of the foot. I really don't give a shit about toe cleavage, I just want shoes that don't fall off.

I would wear those Mary Janes if I was at some stuck-up formal event that required proper shoes.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 28-Oct-13 12:02:46

I don't wear them because I find them uncomfortable, but some of them are so beautiful I wish I could.
I bought some for a wedding this year but I had to change them for kitten heels as I couldn't wear the high ones for more than 5 minutes and walk at the same time.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Mon 28-Oct-13 12:07:29

Agree, smallclanger.

As a young women I often heard older men in the family/family friends, making hostile sounding jokes about the "comfortable shoe" brigade. I think the idea was that lesbians and manhaters wore comfortable shoes. Wearing comfortable shoes - which did not hurt you, and which you could walk and run in all day - was an odious thing to do, and probably meant that you were a lesbian.

That sounds bonkers, doesn't it. But I grew up hearing it. I spent a good few years tottering about in high heels in my late teens and early twenties, but then, as with a lot of teenage habits that I thought made me look grown up (smoking, sarcasm, and sleeping in my make-up), I figured that they weren't such a great idea.

I wear "comfortable shoes" all the time now. Fuck you, old losers!

Lovecat Mon 28-Oct-13 12:14:52

I consider myself a feminist, but I love heels and have far too many several pairs of them.

When I was 18 (1980's) I used to live in them and would wear them all day at work/run for buses/go delivering mail all over town (part of my first job) and they didn't hurt at all. I moved down to London and on my first day in work snapped the heel of some lovely shoes in those old-fashioned wooden escalators. Discovered DMs and didn't much look back, although I kept the heels in the back of the wardrobe and they come out for parties/occasions/times when I want to wear a dress and only heels will do.

Some clothes just look hugely better with a pair of heels. Most skirts and dresses look fine with flats but wearing heels 'lifts' them a level, if that makes sense? Makes you look more put together.

I wore the shoes my mother got married in on my own wedding day - Italian 1960's stilettos with pointy toes - the most comfortable shoes I've worn, they were so well made and flexible.

Most people haven't got a clue how to place their foot properly when walking in heels and consequently can't run/walk/stand about in them without discomfort/wobbling.

I have to say that it's almost impossible these days to buy a pair of heels that aren't ridiculously high, there doesn't seem to be anything in between skyscraping heels (with that ridiculous inbuilt platform sole that bumps you up yet another inch) or plain ballet flats. I was in Primark last week and some of the shoes wouldn't have looked out of place in a BDSM scenario. I saw a poor woman running across a car park out of the rain last week wearing a pair and she was moving like she was on badly-fitted stilts. Not at all elegant, which is what a good pair of heels, worn properly, should make you look like.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 28-Oct-13 12:18:38

How to place your foot? confused
On the ground, surely?
Would you be able to explain, Lovecat?

motherinferior Mon 28-Oct-13 12:20:14

Flat shoe wearers call themselves Mizz and have cats. Lots of them have short hair too. True fact.

(Actually in my case, totally true grin.)

I'd much rather spend the money on fabulous bras.

fatlazymummy Mon 28-Oct-13 12:36:23

Yes ,I was wondering about 'how to place the foot'. I like to just be able to walk in a natural way, without having to think about it.

Lovecat Mon 28-Oct-13 12:47:42

Okay, difficult to explain without showing, but I'll try.

When you walk barefoot, you tend to put your heel down first, followed quickly by the ball of the foot/toes, pressing down on the ball of the foot and lifting the heel as you move forward again.

When in heels, you have to tilt your pelvis slightly forward and put the foot down 'flat' (heel and ball of the foot at the same time). To move quickly and comfortably when walking like this you need to sway your hips slightly as you walk - nothing exaggerated, it's not a big swing, no more than a cm or two. People who sway their arse like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot are putting it on.

If you try and walk in the barefoot manner, putting your heel down first, you will wobble horribly and probably crack your shoes across the top of the toes in time. You know you're doing it properly if your shoes don't 'gape' on either side of the ball of the foot when you place your foot down.

Hope that makes sense, it's not something I have to think about tbh, it's 'natural' for me in high heels to move that way because I'm used to it.

I'm not advocating heels per se, or saying it's somehow 'better' than wearing flats (I love my New Rock boots just as much as my heels), it's just that if you are going to wear heels, it's a lot more comfy to walk that way, looks less like you're a constipated duck on stilts and gives less wear and tear on your (expensive) shoes! grin

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 28-Oct-13 13:28:05

I used to have New Rock boots with heels, Lovecat! Be that as it may, I'm not sure I agree about the proper way to walk in heels. You just walk, heel foremost! If the shoe fits properly and is comfy it will work properly. Am currently at work wearing Kurt Geiger boots with a 3 or 4 inch wedge heel (at least 6 years old so can't link), and I just walk. I find it's the shoes where you can't stride properly that are uncomfy. For that reason I much prefer shoes to have some way of actually attaching to one's foot. Court shoes can be really crap for just staying put as you walk gaily on, leaving one behind. blush

Back in the day I used to be a perfect New Look size 4 - they had hundreds of shoes with the same 3 inch heel and basic shape, which luckily fitted my foot perfectly. They were so comfy and cheap, I had heaps of them. Then they must have changed their model slightly because the shoes stopped fitting, and then the current 6 inch craze came in and it was all ruined. So yes, I wear highish heels, but I try to pick comfy ones. Internet shopping sabotages this rule sometimes, mind. <glares in direction of New Look mid-heel black suede-effect £15 shoes which are AGONY>

Motherinferior, why must your tits be pert and rounded? Could it be because of...the patriarchy? <disclaimer: I have been on the bra threads too - please don't stone me and force me to shop for bras in M&S>

motherinferior Mon 28-Oct-13 14:03:42

Fabulous bras make me comfortable as well as laying out my cleavage for the perusal of taller passers-by grin

bluebayou Mon 28-Oct-13 14:03:56

Pacific , not important , just nice and my preference . smile

Coupon Mon 28-Oct-13 14:17:04

YANBU. I think they look dated, try-hard, conformist and ridiculous. No-one is going to tell me I "should" wear uncomfortable shoes. They should be consigned to history like the bustle, the corset and the powdered wig.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 28-Oct-13 14:18:34

Thanks, Lovecat smile

VerySmallSqueak Mon 28-Oct-13 14:29:55

I wear crop top bras AND comfortable shoes.

I MUST be a man-hater. wink

I agree with Lovecat that (aside from the fabulousity that are DM boots) DM shoes are smart and comfortable.

Lovecat, thanks for that - I will have to try that out one day smile

bluebayou, I was not having a dig at you; like I said I don't dislike shoes with heels, I think they look nice on a lot of people, I love my heels (although wear them rarely and often admire them more as a piece of sculpture rather than anything you might consider wearable foot wear hmm). But this does not stop me from acknowledging the societal/patriarchial forces at play...

Squeak, I see your crop tops and comfortable shoes and raise you hairy legs grin[luffs mens]

Annabella5 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:17:03

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Now I have hear it all <faints>

heard even

GruffBillyGoat Thu 31-Oct-13 09:57:04

I thought they were meant to make your bum perkier, and make it so you can't run away. Fucking heels.

oliveoctagon Thu 31-Oct-13 10:34:12

I work with office staff, social workers, speech therapists, psychologists, health visitors etc and none of them ever wear heels. I have never worn a pair of heels to work and I am extremely 'girly' looking. Dont see the need tbh.

pollypanties Sun 23-Feb-14 19:45:43

they lengthen the leg give you height elegance and confidence
wear flats in the car in the office and carry a pair of fold up handbag flats,they are fab for te taxi i sneak them on under the table in restereants keep with the heels girls it what makes us glam come on remember what they say never trust a girl insensible shoes

PiperRose Sun 23-Feb-14 19:51:08

Believe me you have not sacrificed style for comfort. There's nothing less stylish than a woman in 'killer heels' when it looks like her heels are actually killing her. If you can't walk without wincing wear flats.

AbbeyBartlet Sun 23-Feb-14 19:54:37

I can barely wear normal work shoes without falling over - I haven't worn heels since I was a teen. I wear flat boots or crocs (yes I know but they have good grips!!).

AbbeyBartlet Sun 23-Feb-14 19:57:12

motherinferior Erm that's me too blush

I used to get asked in my old job whether I was a lesbian angry

TheBigBumTheory Sun 23-Feb-14 20:05:29

I only wear heels (Clark's special so called comfy ones) when I'm dressing up for a special occasion and I know that I will be suitably anaesthetised by alcohol to lessen the pain.

Normally I won't wear anything I couldn't run in.

Nocomet Sun 23-Feb-14 20:08:58

I can't conceive of ever wearing heels except to go out for dinner, utterly ridiculous things.

waterlego Sun 23-Feb-14 20:12:41

I find them so uncomfortable. I consider myself quite lucky that they weren't really in fashion when I was a teenager and so I never really got into wearing them at an impressionable age.

As an adult, I have worn high heels on the odd occasion- to weddings/dressy evening events, but even then, I usually just arrive in them and then take them off. They hurt my feet SO much, and I can't walk in them in any vaguely normal way.

I live in flat boots in the winter and Birkenstocks in the summer. I don't care about fashion. I am also pretty short (5ft 3) but I like being short, and make up for any disadvantage that may give me by being able to make my voice very loud when I need to grin

My MIL has worn heels all her life, and I'm sorry to say her feet look deeply rank. She's got massive lumps sticking out all over them (bunions?)

itsbetterthanabox Sun 23-Feb-14 20:20:41

It's bullshit. Get some nice flat brogues or Dollie shoes. Never need to wear heels. Ever!

Turquoisetamborine Sun 23-Feb-14 20:27:09

I wear heels to go out for the evening. I buy M&S Insolia or Clark's and find them fine

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Feb-14 20:58:44

Stopped wearing heels in early 20s. Now work in manual job so boots or trainers (bliss) for me

harriet247 Sun 23-Feb-14 21:01:28

My feet are weirs shaped so i am much much much more comfy in heels, flats hurt soo much after 3 hours and im covered in blisters. Running joke in this house that my feet are barbie shaped.

Preciousbane Sun 23-Feb-14 22:02:22

Just google bunions, that should put you off.

Some people really cannot walk at all in heels and look very ungainly.

Nocomet Sun 23-Feb-14 23:25:19

DF had her bunions operated on (congenital) in
Her 30's and a HEing SAHM who lives in trainers and jeans.

She said it was very painful and took a long time to feel normal. She can't work out why anyone blessed with
Non bunion genes would wear heels and get them that way!

Nocomet Sun 23-Feb-14 23:27:08

Why do I get
New line
Capital at random?

Grennie Mon 24-Feb-14 00:00:53

High heels are the Western equivalent of Chinese foot binding. They damage your feet and stretch your calf muscle which can cause all types of problems such as back pain.

ahlahktuhflomp Mon 24-Feb-14 00:51:53

Like everything else needlessly complicated, uncomfortable and unreasonable in life, you will notice that shoes are designed, made and sold by the patriarchy.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 24-Feb-14 00:52:11
Grennie Mon 24-Feb-14 01:09:37

After caring for some elderly ladies in my early twenties, who had terrible feet because of lots of high heel useage when younger, I vowed not to wear high heels. Sorry, but their feet were horrible, they had to wear incredibly old fashioned shoes as they couldn't walk in anything else, and their feet hurt.

theimposter Mon 24-Feb-14 01:22:02

I hardly ever wear them as seem to spend a lot of time driving or walking through mud. I have 3 pairs; 2 that my DP bought me from LK Bennett (I chose them..) and one of these pairs it transpires I simply can not walk in. Trying them on for 2 minutes in the shop is vastly different to trying to stand or walk in them for any length of time and they make my feet feel on fire... Would it be wrong to eBay them?... He'd be really upset...

I do think it depends on shape and fit though; the other LK Bennett ones are ok (3-4") and I got some beautiful 3" ones from a shoe factory in Tuscany at a bargain price which I can truly wear all night and not get kicked out by a bouncer for dancing barefoot...

Grennie Mon 24-Feb-14 01:48:09

No it is not wrong to ebay them. And he would be wrong to be upset. You can't walk in them after all.

poppins30 Mon 24-Feb-14 02:34:35

I physically cannot wear heels. I just can't walk in them at all, I think they are hideous.

I buy flat shoes from Clarks - brogues, boots, pumps, trainers, with arch support insoles, and my feet feel fantastic smile

kentishgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 12:02:20

I'm quite happy to see women tottering about in high heels. Come the apocalypse and the zombies are charging round the corner, I won't be at the back getting eaten alive, despite being crap at running.

Seriously, I saw a woman trying to run to the train station in heels the other day. Looked like she had two broken legs or something, and she didn't actually move any faster than walking. Deliberately crippling yourself is psychologically an issue, surely.

I wear heels maybe 2 or 3 times a year; when I want to, when I'm going out and dressing up, and when I won't have to walk far/dance/do anything but sit nicely and enjoy a good meal.

Stinklebell Mon 24-Feb-14 12:06:14

I used to wear heels all the time, I could run up and down escalators in them, jump on the tube, walk without flinching

Now, they're strictly house-car-bar-car-house wear

I do love heels though, they're my guilty pleasure, I have a stupid amount of them that I gaze at lovingly now and then blush

kentishgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 12:06:57

'they lengthen the leg give you height elegance and confidence'

odd reasons

'they lengthen the leg give you height' - so do stilts. Why do you need more height? Nothing wrong with being tall, or short, or anything in between.

'elegance' - few women can walk elegantly in heels. Most clump about like Tina Turner. You can walk elegantly in flats - ballet flats come from ballet dancers, and they are about the most elegant walkers ever.

'confidence' - confidence comes from within. It has nothing to do with wearing a certain type of shoe.

theimposter Mon 24-Feb-14 12:38:03

Thanks Grennie; I broached the subject this morning and he was fine actually as long as I get a good price for them. (He moaned a lot about how much they cost at the time!) I will miss them as they really are beautiful shoes, very sexy and timeless but seems fairly pointless owning them if I can't actually walk for more than 20 minutes in them - expensive item just to sit in a box and gaze at wistfully wishing I was 4 stone lighter with feet of titanium...

Suzannewithaplan Mon 24-Feb-14 12:39:08

What they do is put you in the 'lordosis' posture which in the animal kingdom signals willingness to mate.

From wiki:

The anthropologist, Helen Fisher, speculates that when a human female wears high-heeled footwear the buttocks thrust out and the back arches into a pose that simulates lordosis behavior, which is why high heels are considered "sexy".[

GoldenGytha Mon 24-Feb-14 12:59:39

I haven't worn heels for over 20 years, probably nearer 25, it's flats all the way for me.

I am going to a wedding in a couple of weeks (my first one in 19 years) and I refuse to even consider wearing heels, I'll be wearing a pair of comfy flat ballerina pumps which is all I ever wear, apart from flat boots.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Feb-14 13:01:18

I am someone who "doesn't do heels", but wore these on Saturday night to a do:

Sparkly sandals

and danced for hours in them, and my feet were not at all sore. The key thing is they are not stilettos - about 2.5-3" heels and wide enough at the front - having slightly buniony feet (from the way my feet/legs are rather than from wearing tight shoes). They actually remind me of heeled shoes I wore to do ballroom dancing as a kid so great dancing shoes! There were some ladies there with very high heels. I have tried, but one wedding I stood in them for five minutes then just put ballet flats on.

I like pretty shoes, and I think some outfits benefit from heeled footwear. But there are heels...and heels. Also I'm 5'7.5" and DH is 5'11" so anything higher than the ones above make me taller than him anyway.

So if I do wear heels, they HAVE to be comfortable. The key is not too high, and the shoe being wide enough across the front.

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 13:03:55

Bad for you and and don't think they even look that good.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Feb-14 13:09:13

As for at work, I've only ever kept heels (then again not that high) under my desk to pootle round the office in. I'd always commute in trainers. I've never found any heels that cope well with tube, train and walking.

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 13:09:59

I live near Durham, btw. I can walk around the city centre on a busy day and maybe see only one or two pairs of heels being worn. The wearer usually looks like she wishes she hadn't. Most people are wearing sensible and practical flats with a good sole to help them negotiate the hills and cobbles without breaking something.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Feb-14 13:11:21

Also see wedding venues: a lot of pretty churches and houses/hotels/castles have...cobbles around them.

specialsubject Mon 24-Feb-14 13:13:56

the sooner women get the brains to stop suffering like this, the better.

no-one looks elegant in high heels. I've seen a couple of Graham Norton shows where he is helping some talentless bimbo stagger twenty feet to the stage because she is wearing shoes in which she can't walk. The pregnant duck look is never 'elegant' on anyone. Couple it with the silly model walk and the pained expression and it is triply awful.

if you wear shoes that don't allow you to walk, you are a laughing stock. Doesn't mean they have to be dead flat, but do use brains, ladies. BTW ballet flats are not suitable for real life either - you need a small heel to walk on pavements. As in about half an inch or so. (said my physio)

projectbabyweight Mon 24-Feb-14 13:23:49

I think high heels are beginning to die out actually. Thank goodness.

Thetallesttower Mon 24-Feb-14 13:29:04

I wouldn't compare wearing a two inch heel with foot binding myself, I'm sitting here with a nice pair of boots on, no bunions, no back issues, no problems at all (apart from being a short-arse).

Flat shoes can also be bad for the health, ballet flats esp, as well as trainers which can put a strain on the feet too (as well as being smelly and synthetic, I prefer leather heeled shoes).

I do agree that very high heels or heels which look painful/uncomfortable look terrible though, as do flat Uggs where the wearer can hardly lift their feet but has to shuffle along.

I've worn heels all my adult life, but mysteriously also managed to wear walking shoes, go up mountains, ski etc.

My own small sample tells me that flat shoe wearers also have bunions, back pain etc however there might be more of them so in no way is this scientific. I thought some podiatrists recommended a small heel though? (or is this apocryphal?)

Thetallesttower Mon 24-Feb-14 13:33:37

project I've noticed the younger generation at my place at work pretty much all wear flats in the daytime (but some swap to the very high heeled look at night which must really be an uncomfortable switch).

I wear 1 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inch heels pretty much all the time except for exercising, but I'm aware this is not on trend. Lots of women my age say they like my shoes though!

runningonwillpower Mon 24-Feb-14 13:41:15

Nothing looks sexier than a woman walking comfortably and confidently.

If you can do that in tight pinchy shoes that show up your bunions, then go for it.

Thetallesttower Mon 24-Feb-14 13:46:46

Why would you get tight pinchy shoes anyway? I always get generous sized comfy ones!

I'm starting to think some of the flat shoe wearers are a bit defensive on this thread- if they are more comfortable, look better and make you look sexier, what's the issue?

Stinklebell Mon 24-Feb-14 13:49:53

None of the heels I own are tight or pinchy, nor do they show off my bunions. I just buy the right size confused

I don't wear them often these days as they make my feet ache, but I wish I could scoot around in them like I used to

PoirotsMoustache Mon 24-Feb-14 14:01:42

My wedding shoes are completely stunning (IMO, obviously), but they are soo high I shall have to practice walking in them before hand. I did look for similar ones with a smaller heel, but I couldn't find any that I liked enough. I shall try to put up a picture or a link. I won't be at all offended if no-one else likes them.

PoirotsMoustache Mon 24-Feb-14 14:04:04

Mine are black, as the blue don't go, although the blue are gorgeous.

PoirotsMoustache Mon 24-Feb-14 14:04:25
halfwildlingwoman Mon 24-Feb-14 14:12:52

I hate stiletto and very high heels. Never wear them. Was bullied into a pair when I was a bridesmaid and lost half a toenail. (Honestly, not exaggerating.) But I sometimes wear boots with a wedge heel, where most of your weight is supported properly, not placed on a tiny surface area. This sort of thing. They are practical and give me a little more height which I do appreciate. (I'm 5,4)


bottlenecker Mon 24-Feb-14 14:15:27

I never wear high unless I am going out dressed up for the evening and even then I put some ballet pumps in my bag

runningonwillpower Mon 24-Feb-14 14:18:01

None of the heels I own are tight or pinchy, nor do they show off my bunions. I just buy the right size

I don't wear them often these days as they make my feet ache, but I wish I could scoot around in them like I used to

Haven't you just supported the point I was making?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 14:20:28

I think EVERYBODY should wear shoes that are comfortable for them.

Some women can wear heels and be very comfortable, they can run in them too. Some women can't wear them comfortably so I hope they don't wear them.

I like heels - platform heels and high wedges in particular. I don't stuff my feet into them, I buy the shoes that fit my feet. I have, like some other women, suffered temporary insanity and bought shoes that are so beautiful but not fit to wear. I don't make a habit of it though.

Why is there always the need for making this about gender at all? You do it in such a way that you make me feel scrutinised and generalised... by my own sex. How is that in any way positive?

Surely it's about feet - hamstrings, calves and any other bits of you that are affected by what you wear.

Shall we have a rant about waxing again? Must be a couple of weeks since the last one...

Stinklebell Mon 24-Feb-14 14:23:06

running erm, no. confused

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Feb-14 14:27:08

I think less women wear them now.I certainly don't and I'm pretty vertically challenged at 5ft.

I can't say a good word for them.You can't run in them, they hurt and very few women can actually walk in them without looking ridiculous.

Tbh I am amazed that in this day and age any woman still wears them.

runningonwillpower Mon 24-Feb-14 14:54:13

Stinklebell - in what way are we disagreeing?

It's my stated view that 'sexy' is if you can walk comfortably and confidently.

Your post indicates that you are not always comfortable or confident, 'your feet ache and you can't scoot around in them'.

Where's the disagreement?

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 15:04:13

I think they look pretty silly tbh.


Stinklebell Mon 24-Feb-14 15:14:58

I don't agree that heels are "tight pinchy shoes that show off your bunions"

It sounded a bit sneery, but thanks if that wasn't how it was meant

Joysmum Mon 24-Feb-14 15:28:21

I've never bought into wearing heels or makeup. A lot less hassle and a lot less problems as a result.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 15:32:50

I've never 'bought into' them either Joysmum, I just wear them because I like them.

ThatBloodyWoman... What you meant to say was that YOU can't wear them without YOU looking ridiculous.

The 'sisterhood' still alive and well I see... I'm glad I'm not in it. hmm

diddl Mon 24-Feb-14 15:34:04

Why would anyone put style over comfort?

I rarely wear heels.

Usually only when going out.

I'm 5ft tall.

Last time one of the other women was as tall as my husband-6ft2 in flats!

I mean what's the point for me I'm always the shortest-no point in being uncomfortable as well!

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Feb-14 15:35:56

of course they are a conspiracy - lets see, they are uncomfortable, they damage your feet and you cannot run when you are wearing them. but women do wear them because they are told 'they make you look better' and that is essentially your value as a woman. I am talking about serious high heels here, a small heel on a boot is fine.

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Feb-14 15:36:33

some women can walk in them but the vast majority look really silly staggering along convinced they look great!

I always used to wear heals (very high) until I had a bad case of plantar fasciitis, and the pain was unbearable! I had to wear trainers / low shoes for ages (under threat of having injections in my feet if the pain didn't ease). Add that to two pregnancies where I didn't wear heals because my feet don't work properly when pregnant, and I have lost the ability to feel comfortable in heals.
I tend to wear flat shoes now to work. I do have a pair of heals from New Look and M&S which I will wear every now and again. They're comfortable but I feel the difference in my leg & feet when I wear them.

runningonwillpower Mon 24-Feb-14 15:37:41

Stinklebell - I accept the 'slightly sneery' jibe. You are probably right.

In my defense, look at women in high heels. How many look comfortable and how many walk well?

Also, look beyond the pretty shoes. How often do the actual feet look pretty? You see many women in lovely shoes with their feet scrunched up and a big gap at the back of the heel. The same women with big blue veins running down the tops of their feet.

We are so in thrall to the beautiful shoe that we often overlook the actual foot. Just look at pictures of celebs in their expensive shoewear. Yeah, the shoes look great but the feet actually look ugly.

MamOfSteel Mon 24-Feb-14 15:37:51

I NEVER wear heels, I don't own a single pair. Why would I want to totter round in pain?!

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 15:40:51

Abd look what high heels do to the feet- bunions, mishapen toes, corns, some celebs and models who have worn heels are now having surgery to correct the deformities.
Their feet look ugly.

Healthy feet are something to be proud of and look very attractive.

MrsMook Mon 24-Feb-14 15:47:39

I can cope with a mid height wedge as long as the shoe has straps. I'd add court shoes and ballet pumps to the instruments of torture list. Given an open choice, I'd stick with birkenstocks or slouch boots, but neither is a great look for work.

Comfort comes first. Skinned ankles and blisters are not a professional look.

Thetallesttower Mon 24-Feb-14 15:51:02

running it may be the weather in the UK but I rarely see pretty healthy feet full stop. In winter they are covered up with trainers, Uggs, boots etc and in summer, some of the sandals (flat and high) look terrible, all unsupportive straps and so on. I agree very high heels can look equally ugly.

I don't see wearing a 2 inch heel as either a moral failure or having 'bought in' to anything.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 15:53:56

Why do you need to denigrate people who wear heels though? Who gets to say what heel height is right? I have no bunions, no missing nails, no misshapes, no corns, no athletes foot or anything else. I alternate depending on what I'm doing. I wear safety boots too! I wouldn't 'slip-slop' along in flats like Birkenstocks, for example, because I'd fall out of them irrespective of any health benefits of wearing them.

If shoes hurt me, I simply wouldn't wear them.

It sounds very stupid to generalise and to make bald statements surrounding conspiracy and women doing it for men. I hate that.

runningonwillpower Mon 24-Feb-14 15:57:59

I don't see wearing a 2 inch heel as either a moral failure or having 'bought in' to anything.

Neither do I nor have I ever said so.

I have only advocated comfort and wellbeing.

iv211 Mon 24-Feb-14 16:44:45

I used to, but then started to work from home and had two kids, so now I have a very beautiful collection of mostly unworn shoes, because I prefer biker or riding style boots for work (and leisure, may I add). I think we women are moved by the sleek beauty of heels, but the realization of the physical cost only hits us when we wear them for any longer than an hour at a time. And while men find them attractive, and the right style will elongate the leg, most shoes these days don't, at least not if you're size 12+ post-pregnancy and don't have slim legs. I say go and splurge on some timeless chic ballet pumps or low wedge pumps, or even some nice boots or brogues, and ditch the heels!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 16:54:30

Why iv211? Ballet pumps are no more timeless than court shoes or stilettos. I have ballet pumps; I wear them very occasionally. They're flat so I find myself 'slopping' in them in a very unattractive manner and they cause me back twinges (possibly because I wear them infrequently).

If we were only ever concerned about the healthful aspects of our footwear, we'd all be shopping at hospital orthopaedic departments and shoe shops would cease to exist...

It's interesting to read about the different style of shoes people like.

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Feb-14 16:56:44

yeh i do not like ballet pumps either - they make you walk like a duck and offer the foot no support.
once in Spain i was rather taken by a heeled pointy boot but they literally made two of my toes go numb for years!!

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 17:02:10

I love heels. Wear them most days. I feel more confident and literally walk taller in them.

Each to their own I guess

I get a bit tired of being told I'm a slave to societal conditioning and debasing myself to men by wearing them. Nope, I just like them!

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 17:02:36

Wearing ballet pumps can be an issue if you wear flat shoes only occasionally. Wearing only a small heel causes your hamstrings to shorten and the lower back to be tilted. Wearing flat pumps or bare feet can then put the body under an unusual stretch.

I am of the opinion that the foot is quite self- supporting- we evolved barefoot after all. wearing light or minimal footwear causes the foot some work and be self supporting.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 17:03:57

Bitoutofpractice- who do you wear the shoes for?

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 17:05:38

atthestroke me! Like I wear everything else that I wear for me!

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Feb-14 17:09:43

I have bunions because of the bones in my knees and feet affecting the way I walk, basically am knock kneed and flat footed. I really look after my feet though especially because I love running, and this in turn makes my feet stronger and puts off the day I may suffer pain and need surgery, also I have good orthotics in my running shoes. Just wanted to say people can have wonky feet without it being ANYTHING to do with poor footwear. I have made my feet sound awful but actually my toes are nice and straight, and the bunions aren't red and knobbly - it's just that my right big toe turns in more than it should. Also I can wear heels occasionally up to 2.5/3 inches as long as they fit properly and are wide enough at the front.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Feb-14 17:12:54

One shoe I cannot wear is traditional Birkenstocks. I felt like I was wearing the shoe box...

I wear heels to work approx 50% of the time. Not the tottery ones, just normal heels or wedges in the summer.
Whether I wear heels or not depend on the outfit.
I have no bunions, corns, veiny veins, etc.
I can walk and run easily in all of my shoes. I wouldn't wear them otherwise.
I wear Birkenstocks at home though grin

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Feb-14 17:43:19

Lying I meant just what I said.

'Very few women can actually walk in them without looking ridiculous'

I freely admit that includes me.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 18:13:56


"atthestroke me! Like I wear everything else that I wear for me!"

So you wear high heels just for you- do you wear them alone around the house? If you lived alone on an island would you still wear them?

I don't buy this "wearing them just for myself" stuff.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 18:15:36

I am sitting in my office (at home) all alone in the house, wearing high heels. So I guess the answer is yes.

You can "buy" what you like. Just telling you how I feel!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 18:19:43

ThatBloodyWoman... Fair enough but I guess I just don't see many women who can't walk in them actually trying to walk in them.

I have to be comfortable; whatever footwear I'm wearing has to fit properly and I wouldn't wear it if it didn't. The only exception to that is my safety boots, they are not comfortable, despite being the right size/fit for me. I would happily wear my heels instead but am not allowed... blush

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 18:24:07

bitoutofpractice- fair enough, but I don't find high heels comfortable and I like to keep my hamstrings supple.

Joysmum Mon 24-Feb-14 18:27:46


Apologies for my poor choice of wording blush

I came under attack for my choice of lack of pubic hair in much the same way as you probably felt reading my poorly worded comment and I'm sorry.

What I meant was that I chose practicality and comfort over style any day of the week and can't imagine doing what the OP did.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 18:28:08

Fair enough atthestroke - it'd be a dull world if we were all the same!

I do wear flats as well btw - wore converses last night but they are tooooo flat and make my legs ache

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 18:31:45

Where do your legs hurt bitoutofpractice- just curious?

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 18:35:57

My whole leg aches if the shoe is completely flat. Even the small heel of a ballet pump is enough to stop it.

Are you planning on curing me of my love for heels at? wink

CockBollocks Mon 24-Feb-14 18:37:27

Pretty shoes are my downfall!!! I love them, that said I have plenty of heels that are pretty high and I can dance for an evening in.

I wear them because I love them, don't care what anyone else thinks.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 24-Feb-14 18:38:04

we are evolved to walk with feet that are flat not an elevated heel, if you find it uncomfortable to walk when your heels are not raised then your muscles have become chronically shortened as your body has adjusted to walking with heels raised.

Personally I couldn't give a monkeys what other people want wear on their feet but there is no way I would wear shoes that damage my body

CockBollocks Mon 24-Feb-14 18:40:38

atthestroke I do actually wear my favourite heels around the house if I haven't been able to for a while.

If I were on a desert island, I would try but the sand may prove a problem. I could build myself a boardwalk to strut up and down. grin

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Feb-14 18:43:03

bitout- no I am just interested. I do a lot of yoga and hamstring flexibility os something that helps keep my lower back healthy.

Suzanne - I agree- we should be able to walk in flat shoes- sore legs after flatties is a sign that we have shortened our hamstrings and tendons in the leg by wearing heels.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 18:46:42

Joysmum, apologies to you for including you amongst the women-chiding-choice-deriding-lipsmacking-pastie-wearing who've marched onto the wrong board again... grin

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 18:50:40

Lying I do feel like I'm being told off.

Fortunatley I don't care!

Suzannewithaplan Mon 24-Feb-14 18:56:26

we are all free to weigh up the costs and benefits of the wide variety of choices, large and small, in life.
If someone feels that the 'cost' of wearing heels is worth the benefits that's entirely up to them.

However I suspect most women aren't aware of the actual long term damage?

CockBollocks Mon 24-Feb-14 18:58:14

I can hear you all sneering from my bedroom where I am prancing happily my pretty shoes.

<puts in earplugs>

persimmon Mon 24-Feb-14 19:06:02

I loathe high heels yet there's a little part of me that desperately wants to be able to wear them with aplomb. I've worn them maybe 10 times in my life (43) and could barely walk. But damn, they looked good.

digerd Mon 24-Feb-14 19:18:44

High heels make the legs look more attractive - the calf is contracted and the ankles look slimmer. Also alters your posture - throws out your front and sticks out your backside. grin.
I have difficulty now with flat shoes as my weight is thrown back onto the heels making it harder work to lift the back foot through to the front thus making my legs ache. Best heel height is 1.5"- .75" wedge for me.

I have see 86 year-olds jiving in high heels on holiday confusedenvy

digerd Mon 24-Feb-14 19:20:05


Strokethefurrywall Mon 24-Feb-14 19:20:27

I bloody love my heels - spend a small fortune on them too and they all have their own sleeping quarters in their cosy dust bags in my closet. At the moment they aren't getting many outings as I'm vastly pregnant but I can still rock a sturdy comfortable wedge.

I don't wear anything that hurts but ironically enough given that I live in the tropics and my day to day flat soles are flip flops, I've done more damage to my feet (broken toes, twisted ankles) wearing these than in heels.

Sob. I miss my pretty heels...

Scarletohello Mon 24-Feb-14 20:18:57

I have had chronic back pain for years so only wear comfy low heeled shoes to walk in. Used to keep high heels under my desk to wear at work. So many young women are going to end up with health problems eventually through wearing heels. But they are seen as feminine and sexy so I think many women feel pressurised to wear them. URDNBU!

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Feb-14 20:23:02

Lying, fair play to yer if you find your heels more comfy than your safety boots grin

I truly don't understand heels, I think they're mad bad and ugly,but I'm not going to tell other wimmin what they can and can't wear.

Daffoldilsmakemesmile Mon 24-Feb-14 20:23:15

Don't wear heels now but spent my younger years hobbling around in them. One if the joys of getting older is you realise the pain isn't worth it.

Give me some fat face socks, comfy boots or a pair of Birkenstocks any day of the week now <gimmer>

Namechangeforamo Mon 24-Feb-14 20:31:53

I love my heels, but I vary my shoes a lot. But some clothes do sit better on me with them. My feet sometimes hurt by the end of the day but I have have worse feet & blisters from pumps rubbing and sandals.
There is one group of men at work who I secretly feel a wee bit nervous, (not that I would let it show) when I have to meet with them. I always make sure I wear my heels that day as I am 5"8 and being a bit taller gives me more confidence. Childish I know, but I like that I'm on their level and that 2 have to look up. Ha!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 20:35:52

Could you be any more patronising, Scarletohello? Will you not just accept that they are comfortable for some women? It isn't just young women who wear them and ALL women have the same access to health information that you have.

This next bit is not levied at you specifically as there have been quite a few 'sisters' on the thread trying to put other women down.

Your comment that heels are seen as feminine and sexy could be applied to just about any kind of womens' underwear... stockings and suspenders, bras, knickers or any type of clothing actually, skirts, dresses, coats. Come to think of it, any type of grooming activity - waxing, hairdressing, applying makeup... The list goes on, doesn't it? So does the never-ending chastisement of women for daring to choose how to dress. Of course, they're all doing it for men and can never, ever be dressing to make themselves feel good. Even when it's protested, non-compliant women are not to be believed. Perhaps MN could have a 'we believe you not really' campaign for this too?

The number of tedious lectures delivered on this thread is a sad indictment of the boredom of some third wave 'feminists' content themselves with being very busy sweating the small stuff.

I guess the slapping down of women by women bothers me more than I thought. sad

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Feb-14 20:36:07

I just look upwards and give 'em the evil eye Name....

My dh is over 6ft and if we have a hug I get to test if his underarm deodorant works.....grin

Pressurised to wear them?

tilliebob Mon 24-Feb-14 20:38:51

Can't stand high heels and since I had two prolapsed discs there's not a snowflake's that I'll ever wear them again. They do hellish things to your spine and posture. At 5ft 6', I'm tall enough. I dress to please me, not random men in the street anyway. <not read thread, trying to cover all areas in one easy answer> grin

gordyslovesheep Mon 24-Feb-14 20:39:11

I wear them on nights out and also in the summer (I am a boots girl in the winter, flat and horsey) I can walk in them fine and don't find them at all uncomfortable

I am 5ft 1" and wearing them means I can join the normal people and get seen at the bar! they also make my legs look great

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 20:40:50

ThatBloodyWomen... That's because I have some very comfy high heels and a pair of very uncomfortable safety boots. Safety boots are still very much designed for men and they're really heavy.

I will concede that I have a pair of platform stilettos from M&S, black patent, that I cannot run in. They're beautiful, but not for running in or hill-walking.

It's been interesting reading what other women like wearing. I had a pair of Birkenstocks and fell down the stairs in them; would have been the same with flip-flops I think - you just get used to things.

High heeled wedges from Next are some of my favourites; really, really comfortable - and I can outrun any London traffic warden in them. grin

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Feb-14 20:46:13

I think Lying that I'm at a disadvantage with wide feet and very little arch (I'm sounding more like a hobbit by the minute...) so it's particularly uncomfortable to wear heels.

YY to safety boots being designed for men.

Possibly a better focus for women's footwear discussion than arguing among the ranks about heels, I agree!

<wanders off to shave feet>

itsbetterthanabox Mon 24-Feb-14 20:46:34

Third wave feminism actually argues what you are saying.
But I don't agree with it because we are socialised into acting and feeling certain things. That's a fact. There's no use pretending we just all happen to want to feel that our worth is in our appearance.
The fact that to 'feel good about ourselves' we are willing to go through physical pain is absurd! There has to be more at play here. Would you defend corsets and foot binding? It's the same!
Someone saying that you do things because of patriarchy isn't to insult you, you are the victim! It is attempting to make you see the how the media and sexist socialisation affects us all.

Lying - Why is there always the need for making this about gender at all?

Because are the men wearing them? Why not?

I wear heels very occasionally when I need to look 'smart'. I wore them last week at a funeral and, while they're the comfiest pair of heels I've ever come across and I managed fine when I was out, I was woken up with cramp in my feet about every half hour when I went to bed that night.

I resent the fact that 'smart' for a woman usually involves wearing heels (and make up, but that's another thread). I think it's ok to both wear heels on occasion to fit in and make life a bit easier AND to question why such stupid fucking footwear exists for one sex only and is lauded as the sexy smart 'choice'.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 21:18:40

itsbetter... Do you know what 'pain' is, really? Do you think waxing constitutes pain? Do you think it's anything akin to barbaric foot-binding practices in China? I really can't fathom that you'd make a parallel between corsets and foot-binding because you can't. You could IF women (adult women) elected to have their feet bound. They don't because it has to be done in childhood to be 'effective'. How is that the same as an adult woman (and, in the shops I go to, I have seen no corsets for 'girls') choosing to wear a corset.

I wear corsets when I feel like it. I have about six. My choice. I do not find them painful. If I did, I wouldn't wear them. Do you understand that? Do you believe me when I tell you that my pain sensors work perfectly or do you think that I'm popping Vicodin or similar in order to 'preen my appearance'? Of course you don't believe me... why would you? I'm only a woman...

You can think what you like about my reasons for wearing what I want to. If you like to think that I've been 'socially conditioned' then you must. Nothing I say will change your view because such a fixed view has been very firmly entrenched.

I don't find the notion of 'patriarchy' half as insulting as I find women who are so insistent in their narrow-mindedness as to assume that women who do not toe the 'party line' are absurd, sheep-like, unenlightened, media-blinkered or any other unlovely term that is used as a label for non-compliant women.

Your misuse of the word 'victim' makes me shudder but then perhaps you've been conditioned to use and abuse it this way? There are so many things that irritate me about that but I'll assume that you can't think for yourself and not hold it against you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 21:25:57

Men do wear them, Plenty. Not many, admittedly, but they do. Perhaps pick another item of clothing or 'appearance item' that men would typically wear that doesn't lend itself to comfort and isn't generally worn by women. A toupee?

'Smart footwear' does not equate to heels, it equates to 'formal' or 'dress shoes' or does to me anyway. What height of heel would you be referring to? Why would you wear shoes that are uncomfortable? I would not.

Are you saying that you wouldn't have a job unless you wear heels? Wouldn't progress in your career? You mention make-up as well. Same question for that then. I imagine your HR department would support you if you feel this is an issue.

You have the choice of what to put on your feet, don't place the blame for your poor choice on anybody but yourself.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 24-Feb-14 21:43:24

What's wrong with the word victim?
It's silly to think that people fighting for women's right is more insulting that patriarchy... Which causes the pay gap, low conviction rates for sexual assault!
Corsets are not comfortable. High heels are painful for the majority of women. Both restrict movement . Plastic surgery is painful, dangerous and incredibly expensive. All in the pursuit of beauty. What are the benefits of these things? Wear them if you like that is up to you ofc, but don't pretend you aren't socially conditioned to care so much about your appearance.

blueshoes Mon 24-Feb-14 21:47:50

I work in an office and have 3 pairs of high stiletto heels under my desk which I stride about on carpet from office to meeting room. As a petite short arse, I quite enjoy the extra height and feel more in the professional mould - the way some people dress in their day clothes rather than PJs to work from home. I don't think it hampers my walking - I have no problems keeping up with my flat-heeled colleagues. I am sure I can run in them but I won't because it will kill the stilettos.

I have fun with my work clothes so why not my heels too! My heels are expensive comfortable and fit like a second skin.

For commuting, I am in ballerinas, sensible trainers or flattish boots. My stilettos stay in the office.

Ohhh are you one of those choicychoice people who believes everything you do is your very own unique choice that appeared in your mind as an immaculate, untainted-by-culture, unique choicy thought that You Alone thought of? grin

I do all sorts of shit to get by and not have to fight every battle. Some of it even makes me feel good - we all like approval. Doesn't mean these practices shouldn't be questioned even though it can be uncomfortable to think about why we do them and the effects they have on our lives.

A toupee grin How many men wear one of those? I wore a wig once. It itched a bit but it didn't damage my skeleton.

MoreBeta Mon 24-Feb-14 21:56:54

You can judge a woman's character by the height of her heels.

Well that's clearly bollocks unless you think women's characters are changeable on a daily (or even hourly) basis.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 22:03:14

itsbetterthanabox... Arguing about who wears what on a chatboard does not equal 'fighting for women's rights'. The latter has a purpose, the former not so much. I don't like the word 'victim' being bandied about and slapped on anybody who doesn't agree with the construct of social conditioning as a catch-all.

YOU don't find corsets comfortable. My grandmother wore one for about fifty years because of her back. She was uncomfortable without it. I wear one because I like to - sometimes. I'm neither forced nor coerced into it and it restricts my movement not at all. Are you confusing them with straightjackets or something?

High heels are painful for SOME women. Depends on the heel, depends on the feet. My heels are not painful for me to wear. Perhaps I had my feet bound as a child and never noticed?

Plastic surgery is risky as is any operation. You didn't specify 'cosmetic surgery'. I had a breast reduction when I was 15 years old. That was for health reasons; risk of developing a spinal curve due to the size and being grabbed by men all the time. I don't know where that fits into your little box but it certainly wasn't in the pursuit of beauty.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; some people think heels are beautiful, others do not. Therefore, it can only be down to the individual as they can't be certain of the reception of their 'beautification', can they?

Is there a difference between 'conditioning' and 'convention'? Do I wear clothes at all because I'm conditioned? Because it's convention? What?

Please answer a question... Why is it so important for you to dismiss and diminish (non-compliant) women as nothing more than airhead-conditioned? I don't speak for anybody but myself and I don't belong - or want to belong - to a group of thinking that appears so 'Borg-like'.

Mia1415 Mon 24-Feb-14 22:04:13

YANBU - I have a complete love / hate relationship with my heals.

hazchem Mon 24-Feb-14 22:08:21

I don't wear shoes that hurt. I buy shoes that a) fit, b)fit with how I'll use them, c) are good quality and finally d) make me feel good wearing them. I don't buy many shoes but love the ones I have.

PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Feb-14 22:11:10

I miss strutting in my painful heels! Now I get less of a blister and more of the excruciating sciatica and back pain that comes with a fucked back. I have however found Fly Boots which make me feel a little more trendy if not still quite short.

Migsy1 Mon 24-Feb-14 22:13:18

I've never worn shoes that I wouldn't be able to run away in. Shoes must be comfortable.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 22:15:09

Plenty... I'm assuming you meant to be cutting and rude but it's lost on me as I don't understand much of your post.

Going back to your shoes... if you don't have control of which ones to put on then I don't know what to say. I have no idea what practices you're questioning but if you think they need questioning then of course you should.

I'm not the slightest bit uncomfortable thinking about why I do things and what they mean in my life. I just don't believe in slapping a whopping great big label on everything I think and do, finding some like-minded chums and stuffing myself into 'ideal' boxes. I care not a jot whether other people want to impose that on themselves but please don't apply it to me.

Now, as you've not indicated your heel height, I'm assuming that you no longer wish to talk about shoes? <head-tilt>

itsbetterthanabox Mon 24-Feb-14 22:15:54

I'm not diminishing or dismissing. I have and would not call anyone an airhead. I feel the same pressures! There is clearly a huge amount of pressure on women to care about , worry about, spend time and money on their appearance and I feel the same pressure. I just think it's a positive thing to be aware that we are being socialised and then hopefully see that there are other options.

DistanceCall Mon 24-Feb-14 22:18:28

I wear some kind of heel for most of the time (usually Geox boots similar to these ones: www.efootwear.eu/product-eng-48377-Boots-GEOX-D-Marian-2-ST-C-D24R8C-00043-C9999.html). They are very comfortable - the trick, I think, is having a relatively thick heel.

That said, you need to find well-made shoes, and they are inevitably rather expensive.

PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Feb-14 22:19:05

i mostly like wearing heels (did) because they make me taller and they make 'clip clip' sounds on concrete.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 22:33:22

What if we're not, itsbetterthanabox? I ask a serious question there. From my experience on this planet, if a woman is going to dress for anybody but herself, she dresses for other women. It's other women that judge, not men.

If we are actually being 'socialised' and bound by condition and convention, I'd suggest that it has nothing whatsoever to do with men.

I've thought about what you've said and it made me think of an event a few weeks ago; we had office photos taken and, as a very pale person who appears 'bleached out' in photos, I applied make-up with a trowel. In the photos, I still look a little pale but no longer 'ill'. Those photos are to go onto the company website, so my motivation is what?

a) I don't want to look pale and immortalised on the website as such;
b) I don't want my legions of male fans to see me like that;
c) My vanity will not allow me to be judged by female peers;
d) I just don't want to look anything but my best.

I make free choices as to how I spend my money, on what and how often. I believe that I make these decisions from choice.

What I don't understand is why, if women feel under such immense pressure to 'conform', they do not do something that would be positive and constructive, ie. challenge those that keep banging on about socialisation, construct and conditioning and get to the root of where that's coming from. I think to apportion 'blame' for this to men is a bit of a red herring because it comes from women. The reason for this possibly being that the majority of the population is heterosexual and therefore the object of such a woman's desire is going to be a man...

I really do wish that women would stick up for other women instead of knocking them down and judging them for every little thing...

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 22:36:22

They are rather nice boots, DistanceCall. I wouldn't be able to wear them as I don't wear trousers and I don't think they're go with skirts/dresses very well. They are nice though...

Pavlov... The 'clip clopping' is to attract a MALE, don't you know? wink ... The call of the heel.

waterlego Mon 24-Feb-14 22:49:33
BriarRainbowshimmer Mon 24-Feb-14 23:38:29

This thread is from 2013 confused
Anyway, high heels are ugly and make annoying sounds when people walk.
Just FYI

Joysmum Tue 25-Feb-14 02:38:07

Ah, wondered when the feminists would pop their heads up to deride any choice that doesn't comply with their own views as being because we've been conditioned to be sexual objects. This I find more insulting than anything because it suggest that women are somehow victims or lacking in intelligence to make their own choices based on their tastes, rather than misogyny.

Women's choices are shaped and critisised more by other women than by men.

JapaneseMargaret Tue 25-Feb-14 07:23:13

Well, I'm a feminist and I love heels. I wear them all the time. Not ridiculously high heeels, but yes, high heels.

And I'm 5'10" so I don't really need the height. I'm certainly not doing it for the menz; my father and husband both don't get heels at all. But so what? Nobody's asking them to either wear them, nor approve.

I'm not going to sit here and try to deny that socialisation has played some part of my appreciation of heels. Of course it has. However, in this instance, I'm happy to go along with it.

I don't wear heels that are tight or pinch. I don't wear heels that give me bunions or otherwise deformed feet. My feet are just fine. I also don't need to 'use my brains' as someone suggested up thread, and switch to flats, fulltime. I do wear flats - I wear all sorts of shoes, but I'm not going to ditch heels completely because some random on the internet doesn't approve of them. grin

I'm a strider. I walk fast. And I'm tall. I stride in heels, I run in them when I need to, I find them just fine to be in. I wouldn't wear them if I didn't. And I certainly wouldn't wear any footwear that rendered me ridiculous. I don't understand why anyone would.

If you can't wear them or don't like them, that's fine. Because luckily, they're not compulsory. I won't be giving them up any time soon, however.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 25-Feb-14 08:26:31

Ladies, remember if you don't like ugly uncomfortable high heels you're one of those mean feminists ruining things -shakes fist-

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 25-Feb-14 08:33:00

"El naturalista" shoes are also something I've never seen the appeal of. Let's face it they're ugly. But probably pretty comfortable.
Anyway why promote threads from last year MNHQ?

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 08:40:09

I struggle with high heels and couldn't wear them all day. Clarks do some with a padded toe which are bearable.

Takingthemickey Tue 25-Feb-14 08:49:14

I like heels and I wear high heels all the time. Assumptions as to what that makes me are really annoying. Last year a woman stopped me to lecture me about heels as I was going into an industry function. Considering I was going in to accept an award that my team had been nominated for in a male-dominated industry was clearly not enough to show my feminist credentials as my high heels surely negated all that. Some of us just like heels.

Thetallesttower Tue 25-Feb-14 08:49:58

I am all for deconstructing female ideals of beauty to see what lies beneath, however I'm with Lying on foot-binding- to suggest that the extreme cruelty of breaking children's feet and permanently disabling them is similar to me trotting out in a pair of heels (which I've been doing since age about 16 with no bunions, no back pain, no pain involved) is extremely ignorant of the suffering of others.

I don't mind the jibes over what constitutes sexy, out of fashion and so on, but that is just ridiculous and brings the whole argument crashing down. I feel very upset when I think about foot-binding, as I do about other types of permanent mutilation to female children.

Trojanhouse Tue 25-Feb-14 08:54:09

Absolutely love my heels.
I am quite tall, but I think I look better with a pair of heels.
If you can't walk in them then they become a problem

Trojanhouse Tue 25-Feb-14 08:56:29

All you naysayers let us heel wearers enjoy wearing our heels fgs.

LadyFlumpalot Tue 25-Feb-14 09:02:14

Oh I love high heels, the higher the better. I find them infinitely more comfortable than flat shoes (I have a slightly twisted hip and flat shoes make my feet turn in and my ankles sore - high heels don't) and I can walk all day in 5" heels without a problem.

I like shoes, other women like ridiculous handbags or extortionate face creams or stupid Pandora bracelets. It's all personal choice.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 09:12:32

"I like shoes, other women like ridiculous handbags or extortionate face creams or stupid Pandora bracelets."

And some of us like none of these things.

LadyFlumpalot Tue 25-Feb-14 09:26:46

And again, that is personal choice. My mum thinks my shoes are ridiculous. I don't get her love of knitting. Everyone has something they love that others may not see the point in.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 25-Feb-14 09:32:31

atthestroke you knew what LadyFlump meant. She meant that everyone likes different things.

It does get very tiresome being judged by other women on what I decide I would like to wear on my feet and to be told I've somehow sold out on the sisterhood by wearing heels.

PavlovtheCat Tue 25-Feb-14 15:24:27

lying that may be, but it's quite pleasing on my own ear you know. I do have hearing too!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 25-Feb-14 19:08:14

Pavlov... Sorry, was taking the mickey out of the twisted-sisters. I like the clip-clopping too. There was this fab round wooden staircase in a hotel in France that I used to gallop up and down on just for the hell of it... grin

itsbetterthanabox Tue 25-Feb-14 22:46:58

Horizon documentary 'how you really make decisions' is on Iplayer atm.
Very relevant to this discussion.

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