When it comes to shoes, what stylish woman doesn’t love a killer pair of stilettos to spice up her outfit? And if they’re less than comfortable, there’s also the assortment of cushions, gels and pads to ease the discomfort, all for the sake of fashion.
I once wrote that despite teetering in those four-inch red-soled shoes, I loved wearing them. But now, after years of wearing heels, you can say that I’m (sort of) living life in the flats lane.
A pinched nerve on my back a few years ago made me rethink my choices and got me started on wearing flats and lower-heeled shoes. Even if a recent sprain has subsided (acquired while wearing heels at a garden wedding, of course), I sometimes opt to go low on days when I have several appointments and a lot of walking to do, and because it just doesn’t seem practical to hobble my way through elevators, stairs and buildings.
When my friends saw me once wearing black sneakers to a dinner, they were so shocked that they wanted to take pictures.
It turns out I’m in luck, as flats are the thing this season. Karl Lagerfeld made his models wear sneakers in a Chanel fashion show, and celebs
have been spotted going low around town as well. I would even run into colleagues in the industry wearing flats, brogues, sneakers and Birkenstocks.
I must say switching to flats is an adjustment, partly because heels look so great that they make one look frumpy wearing flats. Besides making you look taller and slimmer, heels are like caffeine—a pick-me-up habit that’s hard to break.
Embracing flats, for me, reflects self-acceptance, as I guess I no longer feel I have to “boost” my height. They say heels denote power and authority on some level, but I fail to see power in wearing shoes you can’t walk in. I usually pair my uniform of neutrals with pointed flat shoes, ballet flats, sneakers or sandals. I draw the line, though, at those Teva-inspired sandals and Birkenstocks; they are just too bulky for me.
On the positive side, walking is so much easier in flats and I won’t even have to think twice about walking on cobblestones or over iron grates.
Yet I would have to be a hypocrite to say that I don’t wear heels anymore. I still do, but I just make sure that they are pairs I can surely walk in. It’s just nice to know that there are more stylish options now that don’t require sky-high heels.
And as for those five-inch-high shoes? They’re still there somewhere in the closet, at least for now.