Why I don’t wear heels

I can’t walk in high heels. No, scratch that – I won’t. Not in the way other women seem to wear them anyway, to work or school or anywhere that requires an average amount of going about your daily life. Like with beer and olives I have a knee-jerk reaction to anything you “just have to get used to”. They’re an acquired taste, heels. You just have to learn to get over the pain and their immobilizing effects, that’s all. Get accustomed to the unbearable, toe-crushing, arch-agonizing, heel-blistering trauma and you’ll be fine! Honestly! The lower back pains will go away once you acclimatize your body to perpetual tip-toeing after all, or at least they will go away once you sit down. You’ll look glamorous and feminine and in-control in all your wincing, stumbling glory!

Of course, this might have something to do with the fact that I was 5’11” practically from the moment I left the womb. During most of my adolescence I was told that I should never, ever wear heels unless I would want to render myself a man-less, love-less freak for my entire adult life. Who knew my future prospects for romance would depend so much on my choice of footwear? I sure didn’t, the thought had never even crossed my mind, but as every male friend, relative, random family acquaintance and passing stranger would make sure to let me in on this crucial fact I had no choice but to take it to heart. In retrospect I realize that every single one of these men were grouchy, ill-mannered and, most importantly, short, but I was too busy slouching to notice.

Man-snaggin’ ladies, via jakandjil.com

Somewhere along the way I thankfully realized that this was not the case. Tall women are models, gazelles, amazonian – unless of course we are ugly, in which case we better be really awesome at basketball. We have the best view at rock concerts and we are very handy for picking things off the top shelf. We are leggy, which is generally considered to be the classy, up-scale alternative to a large bosom, and our presence automatically commands attention before we’ve uttered a single word. In short: we have it made, and we can wear heels as much as we damn well please.

And yet I can’t bring myself to wear the damn things, not on a day-to day basis. It is my beer/olive-rebellion. I can walk in heels just fine, more than fine even, but I just don’t see the point of this modern day equivalent to corset training. Where the ladies of yore gasped, fainted and rubbed their bruised ribs whilst their waists were suffocated in the name of beauty, we stomp, waddle, stumble, curse and trip until we finally walk home barefoot on shard-ridden, muck-covered streets because it is more comfortable than wearing our shoes. Some people advice to just keep a pair of heels at the office that you can change into when you get to work in the morning, but this seems like an unnecessary extra step in my daily routine. I’ve got shit to do, tea to drink, gossip to eavesdrop on – there is no space for extra shoe logistics in my mornings.

Tea drinking, eavesdropping badass, via jakandjil.com

There are of course the blessed few who can walk in stilettos like nobody’s business. And really, that is none of my business! I evny these ladies, these natural born glamazons. I salute you. Go on with your bad selves! But for the rest of us, there’s no shame in admitting that we prefer flats. Let us join together and fetishize ballerinas, Converse, brogues, teddy boy creepers and trainers. Yes, even trainers! Tommy Ton said it was okay, trust me! Would I lie to you, my podo-challenged sisters? Let’s not buy wear-once,bleed-through, throw-in-the-back-of-the-closet-and-forget-you-own-them torture devices ever again. Stop the madness! A pair or two tucked away for those special and brave occasions is of course perfectly fine, we all know those days will come after all. But for the other 360 days of the year? I for one will rest easy knowing that I am much more sane, centered and fun to be around in flat shoes. Must be the lack of bleeding.


25 thoughts on “Why I don’t wear heels

  1. Haha you make me laugh – I used to bear the pain and wear heels almost every day, it got to the point where my calf muscles shortened and my legs looked stumpy when I didn’t wear heels. I’ve since learnt and spend most of my days in flats – albeit more comfortably too!

  2. Haha this post speaks so much to me! Although I’m at least 20cm shorter than you, I’ve had the exact same issues and questions. Well, in my case it was the opposite, “wear heels or you will look like a dwarf/gamine until you’re so wrinkled people think you’ve shortened with age”.
    I did wear high heels for years, during this young adult period in which you want to be taken seriously. Then I realized not only it hurts, but it’s not me. Now I’d gladly join you in fetishizing ballerinas, Converse and the like.
    And, on a side note, we should have met in our teenage years. We would have talked about how we envy each other’s height and we would have walked away happy with ours.
    Finally, I take my olives with wine.

    • I wore heels daily for a while in my early twenties as well, and I am pretty sure I have permanent damage in my left ankle because of it. I walked everywhere and lived on top of a hill, so I had to walk up a stupid amount of stairs every day on my way home from uni. Young and foolish! And yes, there should be more exchanges on the pros and cons of these things! That goes for boob size as well, come to think of it. We could have been spared for so much teenage angst ;)

  3. Hahah, love this post, and you wrote it so well. Can’t remember how many times I’ve been advised to wear heels, which I no longer respond to. I don’t hate geels and I bring out heels for some occasions – job interviews, the occasional formal events – but generally I’ve pretty much failed to incorporate them into my everyday life. And it’s always a beautiful flat shoe that gets me all excited; heels don’t thrill me as much.

    That said, not all flat shoes are comfortable! Sometimes it’s just as hard finding comfortable flats as it is finding comfortable heels…

    • I’m glad you liked it Lin! I don’t really harbor as much hate for heels as the post might lead you to believe – I’ll gladly wear them out to dinner and formal events, but I simply can’t stand to wear them to work as I end up in band-aids every single time. I also quite enjoy olives, but I couldn’t think of other examples of things that I refuse to “learn” to like that are so famous for being an acquired taste ;)

      And I hear you on uncomfortable flats, I’ve got a pair of ballerinas that I swear are trying to disfigure my feet every time I wear them. I can’t seem to decide whether they need more breaking in or if they simply are a lost cause..

  4. thegun says:

    Hi there, I’ve been lurking for a while. Nice post! I won’t wear heels either – to keep my balance and to be grounded is a must! I really like well designed shoes made with great workmanship but they must be comfortable. An uncomfortable shoe loses it’s appeal immediately. To me it doesn’t look glamorous only painful and not secure. Not a critique of those who wear that, but it’s my visceral reaction.
    It’s really disturbing that shoes that are considered sexy and attractive (by men) and dressy for women to wear are ones that hurt and makes us not able to walk and run properly. Gives me the creeps! I wear lower heels even at dressy events. If someone fails to be attracted to me/approve of me unless I have crippled my feet, they can bugger off!

    • Hi there Thegun, and welcome out of the woodworks! Always fun to see a new name in the comments :)

      I think the menfolk are often baffled by our choice of high-heeled footwear, and as they often end up being the ones who have to give piggy-back rides to blistered damsels in distress I am sure they’d want us to pick comfort over those extra few vertical inches at least once in a while ;)

      • thegun says:

        Well I’m glad there are some sensible men out there who don’t get high heels and aren’t sadistically attracted to women in uncomfortable footwear. They still reap the benefits of it if when they get to carry women unable to walk though – if they’re into that sort of thing. Ugh this is creepy. I really like to be able to walk properly.

  5. Julianne says:

    Haha, I love this post! You write so well:) At 5’2″ I love heels and platforms ( I call it my Chihuahua – complex), but only for those special outings – for every day wear flats are infinitely more practical and comfortable!

  6. Chiara says:

    Hahaha! I love this post, so well written.
    Like you, I can’t bring myself to wear heels. Low heel ankle boots are fine and I love them, but the kind of shoes French Voguettes wear? My feet hurt just by looking at them.
    Most people assume I don’t wear heels because I’m tall. I’m 1.75 cm, so not that tall, but in a country where most men are shorter than that, people just think I don’t want to risk the “Nicole Kidman-Tom Cruise effect” with men…:)
    I just know I look ridiculous when I’m uncomfortable. So I stick with ballerinas, for a feminine look or biker boots, for the badass girl days :).

    PS: I’ve been reading your blog for a while a lazy commenter..

    • Welcome to the comments Chiara! Sounds like you and me are running the same shoe strategy! I’m thinking about trying out brogues for spring – I was never a huge fan of the style until just recently :)

      Haha, the Tom Cruise effect! The Boyfriend is a tiny bit shorter than me, and I try to refrain from wearing heels when we’re out together. I don’t think he’d mind, but eye level is always a bit more practical, no? ;)

  7. This sums up my thoughts on high heels completely. I do not understand how some girls on my campus are able to teeter about all day in heels. I simply cannot stand it (no pun intended) when my workplace has a no sneakers code too!

  8. Oh Maja, this post is so funny. You know I love a gorgeous pair of heels, but love flats too. I’ll never understand those that teeter around in pain. I have been told that I’m one of those blessed few when it comes to gracefully working a pair of heels.

  9. While I am also a tall one, I loooove pretty heels. I would never consider wearing heels on a daily basis (at least not while I’m in school), as I love my sneakers and fluffy winter boots way too much for that, but there is nothing like putting on a pair of tall, sparkly heels to make me smile when I’m having a bad day. I used to hate wearing heels, but I think I’ve come to love it after I started taking pole classes that required dancing in 6-inch stripper heels:P

    • For what it’s worth, your photos from pole class have given me such a newfound respect for pole dancers. Doing that stuff well requires so much strength and skill, go you!! And the heels come with the territory I suppose, it wouldn’t be the same without them! Go you!

  10. Pingback: The gamine style | Lost in a Spotless Mind

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