I just don't get high heels

(119 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Tue 24-Sep-13 20:47:57

I don't know why. I don't honestly think they flatter anyone. I grew up in the era of the DM, and they sort of passed me buy. I don't think I've ever wanted to wear anything with a really high heel. I see loads of boots and shoes I like, but the heels always seem to be so high. Am sure the rest of Europe aren't as bad as the Uk. I always seem to find lower heels on holiday

Orangeanddemons Tue 24-Sep-13 20:48:26

Passed me by of course...

1chocolatetart Tue 24-Sep-13 20:51:25

I agree, I was in Spain for 2 months recently and the selection of flat shoes was brilliant! Great for a tall person like me who is averse to unnecessary pain. I asked a Spanish woman why she thought this might be the case and she said it was because English women were more flirtatious! Cheeky mare.

SirChenjin Tue 24-Sep-13 20:52:24

How high are we talking here?

I spent my teens looking like something from the Worker's Revolutionary Party in my big boots, but nowadays I wear a couple of inch high heels to boost my 5 ' 2". Do you call 2 inches high? Or are we talking these sort of ridiculous things?

Amen sister!!

CrashPotato Tue 24-Sep-13 20:54:56

Agree. I think they look a bit weird, like you're walking on hooves. I love flats and clompy boots.

mrscog Tue 24-Sep-13 20:58:57

Me neither, like sirchenjin I might add an inch or two occasionally but I'm honestly over crippling myself whilst hobbling. I think the height of some now aren't even elegant they're so high! I now wear brogues, converse or ballet flats.

I fall over in heels. Plus they hurt my feet - why wear something that hurts!? I have 2 pairs of trusty going out shoes and they have reasonable heels that aren't too spindly thin or high. All my regular shoes/boots/sandals are flat.

bishboschone Tue 24-Sep-13 21:03:01

I saw a girl today in a family centre wearing jeggings and knee high really high black boots . She looked ridonkulous . It's sunny and everyone else was wearing flip flops.. I do however think they have their place and look elegant with the right clothing and situation. I'm only 5 ft and I think flats are more flattering on me as I get a triangle effect with heels as I have small feet. I do wear wedge trainers on occasion but I don't think they really count.

Orangeanddemons Tue 24-Sep-13 21:19:35

No wouldn't call 2" high, and wedges seem to say a different thing to high heels. But when I see the phrase killer heels, I just think why? IMO if they are too high they just look trashy. I hate seeing people staggering along in things they can't walk in, or the ones that make people look like they have pigs trotters

RaisingArizona Tue 24-Sep-13 22:53:17

Totally agree. And I'm only 5'1. I saw a young couple the other weekend. She was absolutely stunning. She was wearing stilletos, the heel of which were basically just spikes. Must have been 5". She was clutching on to her partner for dear life. If he'd let go of her, she'd have probably just crumpled to the pavement. She was walking like someone with a serious injury. All I could think was "Take those bloody impediments off you daft bugger and just rejoice in walking unaided on something less bonkers.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 25-Sep-13 00:39:42

I only wear classic DMs now, and can't wear properly high heels because I have hypermobile ankles (and a v low pain threshold), but I remember the damage that high heels did to my 17 year old feet very well indeed! I really like the recent trend for low-heeled ankle boots, and I'm delighted that Dr Marten boots are also experiencing a revival following the company's near collapse.

Really high heels (3.5" or over, IMO) are generally painful and bad for your feet if you're standing or walking any distance, but I have the same problem with very flat shoes too.

However, there are some fashions and circumstances which sort-of require heels. I wore 3" heels for my wedding (which were very comfortable Insolia ones from M&S), and they were also handy for my graduation, important meetings and interviews because they balanced out the proportions of formal clothing which would otherwise have swamped my 5'1" frame a little.

noisytoys Wed 25-Sep-13 00:50:55

I agree I own no heels and don't intend to ever own heels. I figure if my feet were meant to be that shape they would be made that shape. Ballet pumps for work (decent ones like Hush Puppies with arch support), DMs for weekend

NoComet Wed 25-Sep-13 01:06:24

I don't get heels either, except as entertainment.

There are cobbles up to our local church and a wedding most summer Saturdays grin

MrsKoala Wed 25-Sep-13 01:15:59

Well as i'm sure you know the reason people like them is they change your shape and posture artificially. You are on tip toes, so your calf muscle changes shape, your balance shifts forward so to automatically tense your thigh and bum muscles and and your chest sticks out further. You also walk with a wiggle. Your legs look longer because (unless you have an ankle strap or t-bar, the eye will see the few inches of the top of your foot upright, and therefore it will look like more leg.

I like them and have some really comfy high ones. It's the kitten heels i don't get. I find them much harder for weight distribution and balance and the thin ones on a tall or sturdy woman look s tho the rest of the heel has sunk into the ground.

BlackberrySeason Wed 25-Sep-13 01:26:59

I can't walk on heels and don't like them either - maybe they will go out of fashion soon..<clings to forlorn hope smile>

DramaQueenofHighCs Wed 25-Sep-13 01:39:48

Ok, I love high heels and have loads of pairs. But I don't see the point of wearing high heels if you can't walk in them properly. I can walk in all my high heels unaided both along the street and on stairs etc. I think heels are sexy if worn properly. Saying that I do get your point OP as women who can't walk in their heels look ridiculous! (and these www.bananashoes.com/pleaser-beyond-020-ultra-high-red-mary-jane-platform-shoes.html or these www.bananashoes.com/pleaser-shoes-devious-ballet-08-black-patent-shoes.html really are RIDICULOUS!! )

ok so I do own one pair of high heels that I can't really walk in that I just 'had' to buy because they look so gorgeous! But in my defence I only wear them for going to the theatre or similar where I know I will only have a short walk to the car and back and be sitting down for most of the time.

Flo56 Wed 25-Sep-13 07:27:03

Yay to this thread! I'll go up to about 2 inches, provided the heel is chunky but mostly I wear brogues/ballet pumps/biker-style boots. I'm 5'3.
High heels make women look ridiculous. And as for that stupid clip-clopping sound they make, like you're a bleeding horse....

CerealMom Wed 25-Sep-13 07:52:13

I have a couple of pairs of heels (3" max), but they are chunky heels which I think makes all the difference. Sturdy and comfy. Funnily enough both are Spanish brands.

Nothing more ridiculous than teetering down the street in shoes you can't walk in. <prune loving, sensible shoe wearing, old lady>.

Sexy is comfort in disguise. Can't imagine Katherine Hepburn/Greeta Garbo or even Marilyn teetering and stopping every ten paces to rub toes.

So many ugly (and expensive/high end) platform, high, stripper shoes out there.

I love Chie Mihara shoes.


There are many things about my profession I love, but one of them is that we (the women - well, and men too obviously!) all wear sensible shoes (by choice, not uniform). I love going to conferences and not seeing a heel anywhere, just a wonderful variety of stylish, attractive, comfortable, flat shoes. I get the warm fuzzies.

Heels are the work of the devil and part of the subjugation of women. Suffering tissue damage, sore feel, not being able to run if you're in danger.... stupid stupid stupid. And all to make yourself look better? WTAF? It's just modern-day foot binding.

Shnickshnack Wed 25-Sep-13 09:04:55

Annie, that sounds like the perfect profession to me grin. May I ask what you do? smile

Another one here who doesn't get heels. I like dressing stylishly but I don't do heels. I don't like to wobble about and think most women wearing them look ridiculous.... Sorry

Science. Girl geeks in flats. Mmmmmm, lovely!

DramaQueenofHighCs Wed 25-Sep-13 09:11:57

I'll argue with not being able to run - being a crap runner at the best of times I can run just as well in my heels as I can in my trainers and have done complicated dance routines in shows with 5 inch heels on! grin (Yes I do realise I'm asking for trouble with that, but that's my choice.) I actually find flats more uncomfortable than heels. Unless I have at least an inch my feet really hurt after a while.

It is a case of 'each to their own' though and I don't get why some women feel they 'need' to wear heels - flats are just as sexy, just different! (And a woman in flats is far sexier than a woman in any length heel that she can't walk properly in.) I wear them because I like them and actually find them comfortable, other people don't and that's just fine by me.

Shnickshnack Wed 25-Sep-13 09:22:27

Annie grin

Orangeanddemons Wed 25-Sep-13 09:39:01

I did my degree in fashion in the 80's. I remember some editor of Vogue around the time saying "the higher the heel, the lower the class' which caused some controversy.....

SuperiorCat Wed 25-Sep-13 09:46:56

I don't really need the height at 5'10, but I like wearing heels with evening / formal dress. I don't do skyscraper heels though, only ones that I can walk in.

Day to day I go from knee high boots A//W, to fit flops and back again.

fishandmonkey Wed 25-Sep-13 09:54:36

i think heels can look lovely but they're such a bugger to wear. hats off to anyone over the age of 20 who regularly wears heels all day. i wish i could be bothered because i'm 5'2 and have "sturdy" legs, so could do with the elongation.
yy to AnnieL once a new student in my lab rocked up in stilettos. everyone noticed and commented. it was hilarious. poor little thing tottered round all day she must have been in agony by hometime.

CerealMom Wed 25-Sep-13 10:20:45

But Annie <shock>

Don't you wear your hair in a bun and glasses?

When you remove glasses and let down hair after a long day hunched over a bench; doesn't the (male) pipe smoking, tweed wearing fellow academic say "Why Dr Lobeseder, you're beautiful. But why the fugly flats?"

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Wed 25-Sep-13 10:22:14

I wear heels every day,have since my teens (now 31).I love them,they're pretty,comfortable and they make me taller!I can also run in them.

I love shoes.

Most flats are,in my personal opinion,decidedly ugly and as I have a thing for pretty shoes I don't touch flats (and clompy shoes are just wrong!)

MissDD1971 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:24:10

Heels come in different shapes and sizes - eg a wedge heel, or a slightly higher heel (not spiked) on say a boot.

some people prefer legs to be elongated rather than flat.

personal preference to me.

MissDD1971 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:25:44

scrap my middle sentence - some people prefer legs to be elongated which is what most heels do rather than a flat profile which I think most flat shoes/boots give.

choceyes Wed 25-Sep-13 10:38:08

I'd feel frumpy going out on in the evening in flat shoes. For me, heels (3 inches max) are an evening going out shoe. I wouldn't even consider wearing flats. I like the clip clopping and the height it gives me, makes me feel dressed up.
During the day, it's always flats, I wouldn't consider wearing heels, especially with a 5 and 3yr old around!

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 11:15:56

Day to day I wear flats or ankle boots with a little heel, I walk a lot and like to be comfy.

I don't agree that all heels are the modern day equivalent of foot-binding, that's just stupid. There are varying degrees of heels, many are quite comfortable, easy to walk in, flattering, oh and they look good.

I really, really hate the current trend for stripper type shoes with a massive platform and a 7 inch heel. They are so ugly! Nothing more inelegant than seeing someone teetering around like a baby giraffe or worse still, barefoot and carrying their shoes.

When I wear heels I wear something like this which are actually quite comfy as they aren't too high and they have a small inbuilt platform.

grin @ CerealMom!!

Sadly, we all all work in scruffy old scrubs and trainers, so no tweed, and certainly no pipes! And we all look as crap as each other.

Not a Dr (yet).

No bun. Just a ponytail.

<starts to feel like a farud>

I am wearing glasses! <hopeful>

I still remain baffled that people give any consideration to the "profile" of their legs. confused

And can someone please explain to me WTAF is up with THESE FREAKY MONSTROSITIES I'm suddenly seeing in all the shops?!?!??!

Orangeanddemons Wed 25-Sep-13 11:59:24

They are vile. I always wonder how the hell people walk in those

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 12:05:19

Those freaky shoes do look as though they're defying some law of physics. I blame Lady Gaga.

BeCool Wed 25-Sep-13 12:11:18

I don't wear them - they just feel like an accident waiting to happen. And they hurt. And I have a bad ankle. etc

I get the comparison with foot binding - many women are choosing to limit themselves physically via their shoes. The standard varies from person to person. I can wear a 2" chunky heel usually without issue, but a 2" spiky heel would be my lower threshold of the 'foot binding' equivalent for me.

I have such mixed feelings about them.

I just hate to see a woman tottering around on HH's (and I see it many times every single day) - it looks stupid, it looks like she prioritises how these shoes "look" over how she feels. It must limit her life/day wearing them - and I think that is a dreadful equation to be in on a regular basis. Looks more important than life. I'm not sure what the upshot is in this HH relationship for them?

There seems to be a culture of HH's being "feminine" and "sexy" but it's all very porn star "feminine & sexy" to me.

Then again, I do sometimes see women who can wear them, look comfortable in them and pull them off. And I admit to feeling slightly in awe of these women and wonder what super powers they possess in order to live life in HH's.

Then the sneaking suspicion creeps in that they too are in pain, and have just learned to 'manage' that pain for the sake of 'fashion'.

A few girlfriends who have successfully worn HH's, now in their 40's are having dreadful problems with their misshapen deformed feet - all cause by wearing HH's in 20's & 30's. They can barely get out of Birkenstocks and Converse these days. What will their feet be like in 10/20/30 years? <shudder>

I would like to see more sexy, funky flats or shoes with low chunky wearable heels available in UK. I'm always looking and they are hard to find (unless you want to pay a lot of ££).

I would not buy shoes I couldn't run in (if I had to).

Damn this thread!!! Clicking on all the links to silly shoes means I now have adverts for silly shoes in the ad bar at the top of the page!! angry

I still remember my High School prom - I wore velvet flat ballet pumps (that lasted me ages afterwards, through years of waitressing, so they really were comfy!) and at the end of the night, I was the only girl still wearing her shoes. All the others - high heels - were in a big pile in the middle of he floor and all the girls were dancing around them!

I felt quite smug. grin

vitaminC Wed 25-Sep-13 12:32:15

I love my heels and I wear some kind of heel (not always stilletos, but also wedges, block-heeled boots etc) pretty much every day. However I don't wear them to feel sexy or attract men or whatever.

I'm quite tall (5'8") but with a long torso and short dumpy legs. Wearing heels makes me feel more in proportion smile

BeCool Wed 25-Sep-13 12:43:19

vitaminC does it hurt you to wear them all day? You say wearing heels makes you feel in proportion, but do they also make you feel limited in what you can take on in your day?

<genuinely curious>

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 12:46:31

I have a friend who always wears heels, it was talking point when I saw her in flats. If you're a habitual heel wearer your achilles tendon shrinks making them more comfortable and flat shoes more uncomfortable.

JohFlow Wed 25-Sep-13 12:49:35

I only wear high heels in bed grin

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Wed 25-Sep-13 12:54:41

It doesn't hurt me to wear heels daily.Although for things like the school run,walks with ds,I prefer a high wedge rather than normal heel as it's slightly more practical!

BeattieBow Wed 25-Sep-13 12:57:14

I'm like VitaminC - I always wear high heels as my legs are quite short in proportion to my body and it elongates them. At the weekend I don't wear particularly high heels - wedges in summer or block heeled boots in winter. I have some very comfortable high heels that i wear to work that I can walk all day in. Otherwise I just change when I get to work.

I do think that everyone looks better in high heels. You see loads of woman walking around in ballet flats, and they all have a kind of waddle that goes will ballet flats. There are very few people whose legs look good in flat shoes imo.

I get leg ache now when I wear flat shoes.

I also feel more dressed up in higher heels - whether it's for work or going out, I just feel more stylish and finished somehow. (probably don't look it though). If I wear flat shoes I feel more scruffy and less er thin maybe.

BeattieBow Wed 25-Sep-13 13:00:53

none of my heels are stilettos by the way or the platform shoes of e.g. kerry katona, but ones like the chie mihara shoes linked to below. They still elongate the leg etc without making you totter.

JohnSnowsTie Wed 25-Sep-13 13:19:59

I have small feet and "shapely" calves so I tend to look a bit like this.

Every time I wear heels I fall over - and I'm not talking a clumsy stumble - I'm talking full on, in the road, near death experience.

I also can't stand being preoccupied with discomfort and I can't walk elegantly in them, hence I feel and look self-conscious - which is never a good look.

CerealMom Wed 25-Sep-13 15:47:36

Ahhhh Annie you need... (apologies for the DM linky)


... and this. Just with you rather than man in drag. <I'm offending everyone in scrubs here, aren't I>


I was going for slightly scary/sexy scrubs outfit. Suitable for viva? Non!

LadyBigtoes Wed 25-Sep-13 15:57:55

I never wear them – I don't think it matters. I'm 5'10" and not willowy - anything above 2 inches and I'm all over the place. Also I have big feet and high heels are never made for wide/large feet.

I sometimes do think they are a thing of beauty, especially fantastically arty ones by mcqueen etc. - but not to actually wear.

I do sometimes wish they would make shoes that have the drama and style of high heels, but are flat IYSWIM. Flats often seems to mean ballet flats, brogues or (yeuch) loafers. Still I am mainly happy in converse-style trainers, flat sandals, and flat chunky boots in winter.

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 25-Sep-13 16:17:51

I wear heels most days. I find them just as comfortable as any other shoe - if they caused me pain I wouldn't wear them. I guess I find them comfortable and easy to walk in because I'm used to them.

I don't like those ridiculously high shoes with the huge platforms though. But that's only because I think they're ugly.

Personally I don't think many styles of flat shoes are very good for your feet either, particularly ballet flats. They provide no support for the arch of your foot whatsoever.

Much snorting at CerealMom. I like you. smile

ROFL at people who wail at "no arch support". Nature did not design us to wear shoes. Arches don't need support. And heels will break your feet eventually. They knew this way back in 1994 even! This paper makes the same claim I made earlier - modern high heels mimic the damage done by foot-binding. They also claim that barefoot societies (no arch support!) have the fewest problems with their feet.

I run in these {awaits cries of horror}

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 16:32:54

Ask any podiatrist their opinion on ballet flats.

Ballet flats do indeed fuck up your feet, I still wear them though.

I seem to remember the damage done by ballet pumps is due to having to position your feet with curled toes to hold them on (like flipflops), not by the lack of arch support.

Sensible shoes, people, sensible shoes!!

MrsKoala Wed 25-Sep-13 17:35:37

I've had lots of knee surgery and back problems. After my surgery i bought loads of ballet pumps/flats but had so much pain. My physio said sometimes they are worse for your 'shock absorption' in your joints - especially pounding the pavement in a city for 2 hours a day.

I now wear good quality brogues daily with insoles and reserve my heels for evening dos.

It's true you get used to heels tho - i went to uni late and before from 16-21yo i had some right 'dolly bird jobs' blush And heels were worn all the time. When i got to uni i downgraded to chunky heeled boots of only about 3 inches which felt very low, then went to trainers for 2 years. When i tried to wear heels again i found them really uncomfortable.

i'm 5ft10 so don't need the height. I find Toms do quite nice flats which stlll look good with skirts. My look is quite vintagey so find i wear Toms with dresses and wear broques with my 'mannish' 40s trousers. And I still feel very glam. (oh and the obligatory converse with jeans/yoga pants too)

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 25-Sep-13 17:56:46

"Excess pronation is a condition that affects 75 percent of the population and has been related to many conditions, such as heel pain (otherwise known as plantar fasciitis), knee pain, and even lower-back pain," says podiatrist Phillip Vasyli.

In this case, doctors actually recommend wearing shoes with a slight heel, as opposed to our trusty flats. "The popular trend of ballet flats has caused us to see an increase in many of the aforementioned conditions due to a lack of overall support and flimsy shoe construction," Vasyli says.

Lazysuzanne Wed 25-Sep-13 18:01:41

these are my favourite shoes

they are, I feel the very antithesis of high heels.

I'm very into weight training and my legs are so 'shapely' I have the legs of a Romanian gymnast that heels don't really look right.

They're just not my thing, I only ever wear flat shoes and tend to think that women who wear heels are a bit silly

Pretty sure heels can cause problems with feet & posture(?)

Lazysuzanne Wed 25-Sep-13 18:04:07

As per AnnieL, I also thought the problem with ballet pumps is the lack of a strap to keep them on your foot which requires you to grip with your feet (?)

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 25-Sep-13 18:04:24

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

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 18:04:56

'I only ever wear flat shoes and tend to think that women who wear heels are a bit silly'

Well I think that people who make sweeping generalisations are more than a bit silly.

Also, toe shoes? Beyond creepy.

Lazysuzanne Wed 25-Sep-13 18:22:48

let me just clarify that then, to me women in high heels look a bit silly, it's not a generalization, it's my opinion.
A bit like saying 'to me apples taste better than banana's'

You think toe shoes look creepy? yes they do look a little weird and I dont mind at all if other people dont like them

MrsKoala Wed 25-Sep-13 18:53:12

But Lazy you didn't say look a bit silly did you? you said are a bit silly.

I never wear flat shoes. I like the look on other people but when i try it i look ridiculous. The only flat shoes i wear are trainers and that's when i am running, proper running, not just after the kids. I love heels, high heels, medium heels, chunky heels, wedges. Love them!! Heels are fab.

Lazysuzanne Wed 25-Sep-13 18:58:37

what is it...national split hairs day?

I dont get defensive when people say flat shoes are ugly, why do all the tottering mini mouses start squeaking if I say heels are silly?

MrsKoala Wed 25-Sep-13 19:09:25

Insulting people for pointing out you're wrong doesn't make you look any better Lazy. If you meant look silly then just say 'sorry, i mistyped' or something. You must realise there is a big difference between saying a huge proportion of the population are silly - because you don't like their shoes - and saying you think people in heels look silly. It isn't just 'splitting hairs'

I think generally the boring truth tho, is that most women wear both, flats and heels. Being mostly intelligent individuals means we can make varied decisions based on what tasks we have ahead and then choose appropriate attire accordingly.

I'm another one who is glad to be able to dress purely for comfort at work (scientist here too). I have a few pairs of chunky heels for dress smart occasions, but generally live in very low heels. My chiropractor told me small heels are better than flats. I do believe in arch support though, my feet and back feel so much better with it, barefoot 24/7 doesn't do it for me.

I do think the right heels, worn with appropriate clothes in appropriate situations can look stunning.

But I hate seeing people struggle in their heels, they are automatically at a disadvantage if they can't walk far, or on uneven ground, or over soft ground, or need to run in an emergency, why would you do that to yourself?

squoosh Wed 25-Sep-13 19:13:01

'why do all the tottering mini mouses start squeaking if I say heels are silly?'

Oh Dearie me, you sound awfully defensive there.

I made a judgement on a type of shoe, you made a judgement on the people who wear a type of shoe. Says a whole lot about you, but not much about the people you're judging.

Lazysuzanne Wed 25-Sep-13 19:20:03

ok calm down, I dont actually give a fu(k

Fuckitthatlldo - WTAF? But what if the barefoot people are doing feminism right? confused

I love heels I'm afraid! I have size 9 feet so wearing flats particularly with skinny jeans or pencil skirt makes me feel like a golf club but heels actually make my feet look smaller so it's a win win from my point of view!
Loving peep holes at mo to show off my rather too expensive gel pedi that my mum paid for!

LadyBigtoes Wed 25-Sep-13 23:02:54

Re arches. It's wrong to assume that the way nature made us is naturally perfect and so we don't need any support. We're a product of evolution, in which some bits are a bit crap and tend to go wrong or be wrong to start with - you could count knees, eyesight and the upright spine among those. Look at eyesight - many people can't see clearly at all and need glasses, most of us have declining eyesight as we get older. Eyes aren't always naturally perfect with no need of help, maybe feet aren't either.

missmartha Wed 25-Sep-13 23:04:03

Well Id love to be able to wear heels, even HIGH heels, but I have little to no sense of balance so don't.

It's not fair on other people and I tend to look inelegant.

I wear a lot of flat shoes, I spend lot on flat shoes.

I love enbrogue.com and if you love flats you should get yourselves over thee.

HesterShaw Wed 25-Sep-13 23:38:56

And there we are calling this kind of thing weird and unnatural. Ditch the heels!

missmartha Wed 25-Sep-13 23:53:53

This thread is called "I don't get high heels", not 'I don't get foot binding'.

I don't think any of us get foot binding, in fact I think it's probably illegal.

GrandstandingBlueTit Thu 26-Sep-13 03:16:57

I wear a variety of shoes, but mostly flats, converse, trainers, boots and 2-3 inch heels. I wear heels to work most days, and almost certainly if I’m going out at night, so do probably wear them proportionally more than other styles. I am 5’9” and I’m a strider. I stride in my heels, and run for the bus in them. As I do in all my shoes. Any shoe you can’t walk properly in makes you a figure of derision, whether you like it or not, so 2-3 inches is my limit. Other people will be able to go higher and be fine.

I am not wed to any particular style of shoe. Why would I be? Unlike for men, there’s endless choice out there for women. Why confine yourself to one style? I don’t see the rationale behind wearing flats religiously any more than wearing heels religiously.

I am a feminist and am aware of the foot-binding analogy. Personally, I wear shoes that fit and allow me to walk properly. I am also aware that much of my ‘choice’ to wear heels sometimes is tied up with socialisation and patriarchal standards of beauty. I know some feminists judge me for wearing heels and I’m fine with that. We’re all judged for every single thing we do by at least someone. You can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself, etc...

MrsKoala Thu 26-Sep-13 03:33:18

I hate the 'you can't run away from danger' analogy that has been suggested to me regarding high heels. To me it is all part of the blame the victim for what she was wearing/doing mentality. Ie if a rapist/robber/mugger grabbed me or chased me i wouldn't be able to run away therefore somehow more at fault/deserving of being a victim than someone who wears flats. Why should i chose what i wear based on whether i may need to run? If that were the criteria we applied, surely we'd all be in jog pants and trainers.

If someone said 'don't wear a mini skirt because you may be asking for it' everyone is rightly up in arms, but why when people say don't wear heels because you can't run away is it any different?

GrandstandingBlueTit Thu 26-Sep-13 03:48:57

I tend to agree. I wouldn't not wear high heels in case I couldn't escape an attacker any more than I would avoid the tube for fear of terrorists.

People don't live their lives like that.

MrsKoala Thu 26-Sep-13 06:28:26

Not really sure why i typed analogy above confused . I was talking to DH about them at the time. I meant reason of course.

scarlet76 Thu 26-Sep-13 06:48:00

This thread raises some interesting points.
Great analogy MrsK. One day I might wear a heel. The next I will wear a flat. Does this mean I would be viewed more sympathetically if attacked on the day I was wearing flats? We need to stop putting blame on women.
Women are judged. All. Day. Long. Women judge other women. Forget the sisterhood!
I'm also interested in the height thing. Seems to be that If you are short you feel you need to wear heels for height. Why?
I'm 5ft and on the skinny side. I like heels. I like flats. I tend to chose my shoes to go with the rest of the outfit I'm wearing. I can walk in heels without problem.
Personally I'm not a fan of the ballet flats. Especially not ill fitting ones. I do not think they create a flattering line for many.

See, I don't see the wearing of shoes that allow you to run if needed as a blame the victim thing at all, just a sensible be prepared for all eventualities approach to life. When I wear heels I can't stop and run around the park with the DCs on the way home from school, can't run for a bus or a late appointment, etc. I wasn't really thing about escape from attack. I don't really want DD to grow up thinking its normal for women to wear shoes that mean they have to sit out spontaneous physical activity in case they injure themselves.

SirChenjin Thu 26-Sep-13 08:03:08

I agree WhoKnows - plus there are many other forms of danger, not just rapists/murderers. Teetering about in extremely high heels does put you at a disadvantage in a dangerous situation, or in a situation where you need to move quickly.

When I think of "not being able to run" in heels, I was thinking more of a zombie invasion, or more practically, a fire in the building you're in, or running to stop a child walking out in front of traffic rather than being mugged etc.

But really, I suppose it's good that some women are in heels. I will be able to outrun them and the zombies will eat them first! grin

kelda Thu 26-Sep-13 09:03:26

When I think about not being able to run in high heels, I don't think about running away from an attacker, but running for the bus or running home out of the rain. Things that occur daily.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 26-Sep-13 09:13:06

I have wide feet plus bunions, so I have to choose my footwear very carefully.

I have two pairs of heels which I wear for work (only in the office though, not whilst getting there and back) and they are as comfortable as flats. I do not say this lightly smile. OK, they are M&S footglove wide fit shoes, but they're perfectly passable, and they are the only heels that I can wear now which are comfortable. They are 2 1/2 inch heels, I think. Certainly no more than that.

So I don't think generalising is really possible.

Trills Thu 26-Sep-13 09:23:02

I want to know if AnnieLobeseder's ponytail is magically held in place by her glasses.

So glasses off = hair tumbling down.

Trills Thu 26-Sep-13 09:25:59

Lots of people wear things that I think look silly or I would find uncomfortable.

I would be meh about it, as long as
1 - My activities are not constrained by your choice of footwear (e.g. we have to pay for a taxi because you can't walk for 10 minutes)
2 - I am not expected to participate unless I choose to

I have no problem with other people wearing high heels, but I do object to the culture present in some companies (generally the serious suit-wearing type places) that the only shoe that is smart enough for a woman to wear to work is a leather court shoe with a heel.

BeCool Thu 26-Sep-13 09:41:00

I don't really run much. But when I buy shoes I like to buy shoes that I can run in if I need to, without fear of hurting or restricting myself.

Not to avoid an attacker or anything like that (though yes it would be useful, though I doubt I could outrun an attacker anyway), but just to be able to get about my day unhindered by my fecking shoes.

No, Trills, no magical glasses. Which is good, considering they're reading glasses and on and off all day. My poor ponytail wouldn't know if it was coming or going!

FaddyPeony Thu 26-Sep-13 10:17:23

I love your post Grandstanding. I love to dress up in heels for special occasions - weddings, posh meals, etc. I just like the added fanciness and I only wear them if I don't have to walk much.

I also love the last part of your post, Trills. I detest this kind of office culture. It's so wrong. I knew a woman who was forced to wear 3in+ heels to work as part of her uniform. She was a naval officer on a cruise ship. A person with that job definitely needs to be able to run fast in an emergency.

Anyway, long story short, I'm not crazy about this normalisation of heels as daywear. Obviously I don't care what others do and I certainly don't judge, but I do think it's a shame if people feel compelled to do it by their workplace or to fit in with an office culture. Because wearing high heels all day causes pain and does lead to injuries. So for me they are mostly special-occasion, evening wear only.

Fuckitthatlldo Thu 26-Sep-13 10:39:50

"Fuckitthatlldo - WTAF? But what if the barefoot people are doing feminism right?"

Well clearly you'd know Annie, having clearly appointed yourself the oracle of such things.

You know, I really don't like your superior, judgemental attitude. How dare you make assumptions about me based on what I choose to put on my feet?

I'm a passionate feminist. I've worked for Women's Aid for years, both as a paid and voluntary worker. My feminism is rooted in supporting and empowering other women, not sneering at them because I don't happen to like their shoes.

Divide and rule Annie. A very real concept and one that has propped up the patriarchy for years. Working mothers berate SAHM. Educated middle class women look down on "chavvy" working class women. Flat shoes wearers sneer at those in high heels. And all the time we're fighting amongst ourselves, nothing changes. All your attitude does is perpetuate the status quo.

Wow, Fuckitthatlldo, I would ask who pissed in your cornflakes, except that it appears to have been me. Have I offended you in some way on a previous thread?... that's the only explanation I can think of for this random barrage of (as far as I can tell) undeserved vitriol.

Where did I say high heels are "unfeminist"? Impractical and damaging, yes, but anti-feminist? No. I have expressed my dislike of the concept of high heels, not any level of contempt for their actual wearers.

I don't sneer at women in heels, nor am I smug. I simply wonder why some women deliberately subject themselves to pain and discomfort for the sake of appearance. Some women here have said their heels don't hurt or impede them, so fair play to them. Many others have said they find them crippling. There have also been a fair number of posters who said that women who wear flats are making themselves look unattractive.

There are certainly some causes rooted in the our patriarchal society's over-value of women's appearance. When I see women suffering, from something as simple as their footwear to domestic violence, I question why they're putting up with it and how we could change society so they don't have to. But I never judge the individual woman.

But that's not what this thread is about and it's not an angle I'd posted about until now.

Unless you'd liked to turn this otherwise fairly polite and light-hearted thread into a feminist debate?

I'm sorry your post was deleted. I didn't report it and didn't consider it a personal attack, just a bit of (misguided, IMO) annoyance. I'd prefer it to have stood to allow better continuity of the thread.

Out of interest, when/how did I appoint myself the Oracle of Feminism? I have various opinions on the subject, but I wasn't aware I had decreed them to the Only Correct and Allowable Opinions on Feminism.

SirChenjin Thu 26-Sep-13 11:53:27

Wowser - how did we get from a chat on S&B about high heels to that ^ grin

BeCool Thu 26-Sep-13 12:09:32

Fuckit and Annie - I agree with both of you re your comments on women and shoes confused

SirChenjin Thu 26-Sep-13 12:19:30

There are some god awful heels on the JustFab ad at the top of the page, in case anyone's interested...

Clip-clopping? What, like with these? wink

As an 18 year old I would've sold my soul to have a pair of these though:

"I run in these {awaits cries of horror}"
Me too Annielobeseder! I love my VFFs and wear them as much as possible.

I'm lucky that I work from home and can wear what I like; I have my slippers on usually. When I go walking and running I wear my Vibram Five fingers, and when I dress up I love my 4" heels. I have shoes for all occasions me.

Wow, livid, those hooves are something else indeed!!!

SirChenjin Thu 26-Sep-13 13:33:26

What on earth are those??! <I suspect I'm being very naive and missing something here...>

Fuckitthatlldo Thu 26-Sep-13 13:34:04

"Heels are the work of the devil and part of the subjugation of women".

"I still remain baffled that people give any consideration to the "profile" of their legs".

These comments very much suggest to me that you consider women who wear high heels to be 'unfeminist', colluding in their own subjugation, and vain to boot. The implication is that, as a scientist, you're higher minded and so wouldn't ever be wasting time thinking about such frivolous matters.

And that attitude got my goat, that's all (shrug.) I found it judgemental and smug.

Anyway I'm clip-clopping off this thread now. My silly little air brained head can only manage so much debate hmm

Yeah well, you misunderstood me. Says more about you than me, I think. You're ascribing attitudes to me that just aren't there, and you're the only one who seems to be interpreting my posts that way.

I don't understand people (not "women" - people) who worry excessively about how they look. Not understanding something and being negatively judgmental about it are two very different things. Equally, questioning how fashion plays a part in the subjugation of women is hardly groundbreaking feminist theory.

Now, if I'd said "women who care about the profile of their legs are shallow and stupid", and "women who wear heels are evil and playing an active part in the subjugation of women", you may have had a point.

Do you see the difference? It's possible to questions concepts without placing any individual blame or judgement.

LadyBigtoes Thu 26-Sep-13 14:20:19

Just throwing these into the mix.

[http://www.putinstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/Alexander-Mcqueen-designer-Shoe.jpg clip clop]]

LadyBigtoes Thu 26-Sep-13 14:20:34



practicality Thu 26-Sep-13 14:23:09

I think heels are ALL about the subjugation of women.

bunnybing Thu 26-Sep-13 14:34:40

How high are we talking?

I don't 'like' high heals but at 5'2'' with short legs 2 or 3 inch heals do make me look better. I wouldn't wear any higher

blueshoes Thu 26-Sep-13 14:36:55

I am a petite 5 ft, so I need all the height I can get. I wear flats when I commute but in the office, I keep my 3 inch stiletto-ed HH under my desk so I can float from meeting room to office on carpeted floor. It flatters my ankles, enhances my calves and gives me a sway as I stride. It is part of my armour.

They are sensible LK Bennett plain court shoes but so comfortable.

lavenderhoney Thu 26-Sep-13 14:36:58

I clicked on this thread expecting a chat about heels and its a bunfight in style and beautysmile

Slightly nervous to post, but I like wearing heels when I go out to dinner or whatever- i do look better in heels and I like wearing my Birkenstocks when I doing my daily stuff, and sport jeans and a t shirt. I could put some heels on, but I don't like driving in them. Ruins the heelssmile

SirChenjin Thu 26-Sep-13 15:02:17

Well, a bunfight between a couple of posters - one of whom appears to have been dragged into it unwillingly and unwittingly grin wink

Fimbo Thu 26-Sep-13 15:11:35

I love those LKB's Blueshoes, in fact I want them, but I'm too tall and look ridiculous in heels and I have to walk to work every day and don't have the kind of job where it would be practical. sad

missmartha Thu 26-Sep-13 15:24:12

Thanks for a laugh Annie. Those hoof shoes are amazing.
And surely you couldn't stand, let alone walk in the middle pair.

Made me smile though. Cheers.

How about shoes that leave realistic animal tracks like these? grin

festered Thu 26-Sep-13 16:10:56

I wear heels for work but platform ones. I can't wear normal heels at all without being in lots of pain!
I like wedge heels for a bit of height and to make me look a bit more 'dressed' but other than that It's flats or boots. I like to walk fast and be pretty mobile most of the time, heels just restrict me!

Oblomov Thu 26-Sep-13 16:47:48

Op thinks they don't flatter anyone. I disagree. Lots of mums in the playground wear them. They have lovely clothes and shoes on. Not too big heels. They are clearly off to work and look fab.

I wear heels to work occassionally. I don't find them painful at all. I am not the best 'heel' wearer, so have to pay a bit more attention to my walking. But my school run is all of a few hundred metres, car to school. so no trouble.

When I walk or bike to school I wear flats or boots.

Can't see that this is a real issue.
I love wearing heels and feel totally glam. I think it finishes the whole outfit off and I do think they are flattering.

MrsKoala Thu 26-Sep-13 17:41:51

Wow that got all argy bargy overnight! I wake up to read people agreeing with my excellent points made (very late last night so forgive awful grammar) and instead have confused this face on.

The thread has moved on but i just wanted to say if there were a Zombie attack i couldn't run anyway Annie, so one of the reasons i wear 6inch spiked stilettos everyday is actually as weapons. I have realised my flight ability has gone. So all i'm left with is fight. I reckon when the reanimated hordes arrive, i can take off the shoes and use them to my advantage. A heel to the eye of an undead should slow them down a bit if not destroy the brain. BRING IT ON, i say, I'M READY FOR YER!

Is there a knack to walking in heels? I'm usually OK wearing ones with ankle straps, but high heeled courts I find hard to walk in because they want to slip off my heel (unless they are so tight they cripple my toes!). In an effort to keep them on I tense up sad

GrandstandingBlueTit Fri 27-Sep-13 06:13:05

If it was one of the occasions I was wearing heels and I happened to get embroiled in a zombie attack or a fire in a building and they were going to seriously impede me, I'd probably do something radical like take them off. Thus far, at the grand old age of 39, I have yet to find myself in such a predicament, but there's a first time everything...

Other than that, as I say, I do run for the bus in them, and would certainly dash into the road to grab a child.

As for chasing the kids in the park - again, problem easily solved. Those are the occasions I wear shoes other than heels. grin I'm sure there are people out there who wear heels in wildly inappropriate places like parks, soft play, and training for marathons. Let them crack on with it, surely. It doesn't impact on anyone else.

Livid - there is no knack as far as I'm aware. Just thrash them. Walk as you would walk in any other shoe. Heel-toe, heel-toe and stride. The minute you start mincing cautiously is when it all falls apart. smile

valerie123 Mon 07-Oct-13 22:49:34

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

Aquelven Tue 08-Oct-13 10:05:36

I think here's can look really elegant, if you can walk in them, but I don't do heels well. Find it hard to balance on anything higher than 2 1/2 inches.

Just a bit of an oddball question.
Do you think it's harder for people with smaller feet to wear very high heels? I wear size 3 1/2 & feel like I haven't e ought foot length to go up the slope of high heels comfortably as my shoe is shorter than my friends who wear size 6, so the slope seems steeper & I'm more up on my toes, if you see what I mean?

Aquelven Tue 08-Oct-13 10:07:46

blush phone!
Sorry, heels not here's & enough not e ought!

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