High-Heeled Shoes Don’t Always Work Right Out of the Box

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The sad truth is that we torture our feet.

Some products in the wild can make you think “we’ve gone too far”. I have an interesting one for you.

An unusual announcement curiously infiltrated a somewhat nerd publication I was reading on Sundays. I tried to ignore the pitch, but I can’t anymore. It seems to appear mainly in the spring and summer, peddling a product that I think emphasizes:

How we ignore our physical well-being.

How we convince ourselves to accept the status quo, even if it’s painful.

How we spend money on things that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

Many may consider this problem solving product crazy, and honestly, others may rush to buy it. I will not judge. With regret, I remember a few times that I could have used this gadget. But that’s only when I’ve been taken by surprise at special events.

Let’s dive deeper after I tell you what this thing is: a transparent strip of plastic, a mini surfboard if you will, that adheres to the bottom of women’s stiletto-style shoes. You know, the category of shoes that go all the way up, but with heels that taper down to the waistline by about half a penny. Imagine balancing on something smaller than our smallest coin, with your heel raised 3.4 inches or more off the ground? Who invented this concept of transport?

Many women have endured painful footwear throughout history, especially for dressy occasions. That’s why you’ve probably seen bare feet on the dance floor. Some styles get ridiculously dramatic. They defy gravity, logic and comfort. But here we are. Here we have been.

The purpose of the extra synthetic adhesive bridge between the small heel and the ball of the foot is to allow the wearer to WALK ON GRASS AND LAND AND MORE without sinking below sea level. Imagine expensive shoes that finally work. It’s the only time I can, with a legit pass, say the cliché, “Let that sink in.”

I researched other products that help shoes function like shoes. There are variations to this accessory. Contractors created clear or color-matched heel caps with flat circular plates (pictured bottom traffic cones) to prevent grass walkers from aerating lawns or others from getting stuck between sidewalk cracks .

In the reluctant defense of this kind of gear, I remember twice that I could have welcomed the concept. Both were at weddings when I was taken by surprise. The first, too many years ago, I was a bridesmaid at an outdoor ceremony. As I walked in the procession, I encountered brick paving stones. My right heel succumbed to a deep crack. Firmly wedged between bricks, I had to tear off my foot and my shoe without grace. What an adrenaline rush.

The other time I was reminded of the impracticality of women’s dress shoes at my son’s wedding. I was summoned to a grassy area for sunny photos under tall oak trees. As the photographer walked away, my feet slowly sank into a patch of damp earth. I spent too many minutes at the start of the reception, hidden away rinsing the topsoil off my light silver heels.

But back to my original concern that we’ve gone too far. Orthopedists, podiatrists, and the few objective people we have left in this world probably consider cruelly designed women’s dress shoes the most clinical. They surely conclude, “wut?”

Shop at any shoe retailer, in person or online. Ask yourself, are these shoes or are they art installations? If we have to wear high heels (but do we?), can the fashion industry offer, at the very least, much dressier wedge shoes? Choices that can conquer walking surfaces would be nice.

But now we’re in extra gimmicky mode to pretend our uncomfortable shoes actually work at ground level. Oh, to be dressed and to walk unencumbered in nature. This is where I would like to go too far.

Contact Denise Snodell at [email protected]

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