Friday, March 13, 2009

4" Is The New 3"

Guiseppe Zanotti Crisscross Zip-Back Pump

Maison Martin Margiela Ovine Wedge Sandals

Not long ago, the highest heel height that a woman had to contend with was the now-paltry 3-inch heel. I remember the slight mental discomfort I had to confront when purchasing a pair that high and the mental discipline it took to habituate myself to the strain of walking all day in them. Now, those memories are almost ridiculous in light of the new trend in fashion: sky-high heel heights. Now, wherever I look, I can hardly find anything in the formerly-intimidating 3" heel; all of the above lust-worthy sandals are at least 4" and many even boast a crippling 5" or 6" heel height.
It is true that there are the brave bloggers and women out there who can actually walk miles in these shoes. I see and am in awe. But unfortunately, I am not one of them. It is the nature of my beloved city, but I am forced to walk--and walk. (I can't remember the last time I drove anywhere myself.) It is also the nature of my job that I am on my feet constantly, running from floor to floor or pacing to and fro in my classroom. Since I rarely go to the gym, walking is my form of exercise, which I always do rigorously. As a result of these factors, I am loathe to subject my heavily-relied upon feet to hours of fashionable torture.
However, as Yeats slyly reminded us, "a woman must labor to be beautiful." Or one must adapt to one's changing environment. Or perhaps a pair of shoes is too stunning to pass up--pain or no pain. I tell myself these things, and wonder if it is merely a mental impasse (rather than a physical one) that is causing this internal debate. Yes, the times they are a-changin', and it appears that I must change along with them. Thankfully, at least designers haven't given up the emancipating flat, which fits easily and neatly into my oversized bag, and which I can pull out when the hard, cracked, merciless streets of New York demand them.


Anonymous said...

LOVE love LoVe the Margiela wedge sandals.


Amol said...

I agree, it's quite shocking how high heels are climbing. I've seen people in heels that were insanely high only to fall or stumble. Of course there are the experienced who can do such things quite well but I know from the various complaints I hear that it is no easy feat (pun intended). It probably all started in 2004 when Louboutin had those crazy heels that broke the heel barrier because most shoes were 3" or so up until then. I agree, at least you won't fall flat on your face with an emergency pair of flats.

Brook and Lyn said...

My my you have a way with words! Very well put! I have to calculate the number of blocks I have to walk before picking out my shoes for the day. Somehow even with that over my head my heels keep growing year after logic only vanity.

Zoƫ said...

i love those Guiseppe Zanotti Pumps. AMAZING!

miss cavendish said...

I was looking at a pair of two-inch heels that other day and although I loved the overall design, my eye was saying that they were rather frumpy because of the heel height. Oh dear!

So I have very high heels for mincing about the classroom and flats for traveling. But somehow that equation doesn't add up properly . . .

The Little Fashion Treasury said...

I LOOOVE these Martin Margiela heels.


TLT said...

Before I moved to Los Angeles, I never wore high heels and lived in my flats. But every girl here seems to wear towering shoes, making me look like a complete dwarf next to them. So I've recently begun testing my ability to walk around in heels and 3-4" is about my limit. It's unfortunate that so many beautiful, intricate shoes come with 5" or over heels!

If I lived in NYC like you however, I'd throw all my heels away. The city is meant for walking...not like LA...and I'm jealous you get to walk from place to place all the time!