Will you sacrifice comfort for beauty?

Thursday 14 February 2013
heels copy

More than 30 years ago, I remembered wincing in sympathy when my granny showed me her feet and explained the process involved to achieve a pair of miniscule lotus feet (bound feet). Thankfully, her mother had common sense and decided to forgo the tradition mid way through. Hobbling on feet smaller than a 4 year old's or being carried around was the only way to go. More than 100 years later, we're still hobbling.

I got a chance to watch Garance Dore's Trending video and boy, was she right. Watching these ladies struggling to walk on icy paths in skinny heels was painful. I surfed through gazillions of blogs and looked in disbelief at the photos of bare legs and super high heels with thick snow in the background. I can just visualize the obituary...... here lies xxxxx, a wife, daughter, sister and a blogger. Cause of death: slipped on ice while wearing a pair of 4 inch heels. Seeing a pedestrian right outside my flat slipped and cracked the back of her skull really put things into perspective.

Picture 2

You're probably tired of hearing me regurgitating the same topic by now. Can you have practical and comfy heels without sacrificing beauty? To my surprise, designers are finally sitting up and paying attention to women who are sick and tired of dealing with blisters, painful feet or worse, broken ankles due to resolutely wearing mind defying skyscrapers in the name of fashion. The other option is to carry a pair of flats at all times or just take a cab everywhere. So in fact, we're spending more money in order to wear heels.

Previously, it was a strenuous exercise, a little like finding a needle in a haystack  just trying to find a pair of decent looking mid heels because you either have the choice of flats or 4-6 inches high heels. Maison Margiela and Alexander Wang are at the forefront of minimalist, chic and sensible heels. Even the Queen of Ultimate Heels are churning out sensible heels for the upcoming spring and summer collection. Bravo Rachel Zoe!

So what say you? Comfort before beauty or vice versa?


  1. I keep all my high heels (3 pairs) firmly at home unless I know there's a car and short walk to a dining table involved. Not. For. Me. I only have those 3 because my boyfriend loves them, and sometimes it's fun to indulge his tastebuds. But to actually walk in the city? No. Not even when there's no ice. Wedges are easier, so I've had high(ish) wedges for a few years, but even there I'm starting to descend to a reasonable 2 or so inches. Again, comfort.

    I don't necessarily favor comfort over style. But I can fall flat on my butt when walking in flats on even pavement in the middle of a dry spring day. No reason to encourage such displays. :)

  2. Oh, please. :) I think it's a bit ridiculous to be walking around in vertiginous heels in that kind of weather. I like my heels as much as the next girl - 3-4 inches are very comfortable for me. Anything over that is car-to-bar, and in that kind of snow (in Garance's video) I would have been wearing flat boots. And showing a LOT less cleavage!

    1. LOL! I'm glad you mentioned the cleavage! I think the outfit would've been more appropriate on a Valentine's Day date. A man may appreciate the view more :P

  3. I wear high heels only to special occasions like weddings, cocktail parties (and hang on tight to my husband!). But I have seen the same problems with flat shoes. So many brands focus on making the shoe look on trend or leather uppers, but there is no consideration for the sole of the shoe needing some grip - even on a dry day I have slipped in shoes like this. I banned them from entering my wardrobe a year or so ago and consequently my choice of shoes is far more limited!

  4. Oh my goodness, that was painful to watch! I see a lot of bloggers dressed inappropriately for the snow in their outfit posts too. What their wearing may look great, but the bright red nose and cheeks are a tell tale giveaway. Plus isn't comfort the ultimate luxury? Anyway I can't talk because I do love my heels.

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

  5. personally when its that nasty out, i only wear rainboots. i fell once and i was wearing snow boots so i could imagine myself get hurt if i wore heels. and i also don't want to ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes.
    i think we all struggle it from time to time. sometimes i always carry a comfy pair of shoes just in case. when the weather is nice...i tend to wear nice shoes. b/c i want to feel great...:D

  6. I love the Louboutin heels you picked - so classic and at a comfortable height.

  7. I have very similar ones to no.4. Practical. That sums me up about me and my shoes - they need to be practical. I need protection on my feet - George stood on my Converse no less than 5 times yesterday - shame it wasn't the white ones which I'd been trying to distress anyway. But I definitely veer to the practical and comfy over the beautiful. I used to do beautiful and maybe there will come a day when I can do it again but for now - comfy rules. But I'd like to see what you come up with this year as you did a nice selection last year with your Sam Edelmans and See by Chloe sandals. Both of those are chic, stylish and look comfy.

    And yes - my eyes were agog at the ladies tottering in the video. Daft, daft and daft.

  8. Yep, I will never understand women who go out in the ice in high heels, they look ridiculous.

  9. Definitely comfort over beauty! Besides, IMO there are plenty of shoes that don't have sky high heels and are still comfortable and beautiful. I would never wear a pair of heels in the snow running the risk of slipping/falling.

  10. I saw those pics and I honestly just thought how are those girls not falling over? Like I'm all for wearing heels during Fashion Week, but sometimes you just have to be practical, sensible, and not create a hazard for yourself.

    As of late, perhaps the last year and a half, I've found myself wearing flats and low heeled ankles boots a lot more. I have to say that I prefer it, it's easier to run around, and a whole lot of pressure off my feet!

  11. Beauty before comfort, but not more than 2 hours !! :-D

  12. Beauty before comfort only if its for a short duration and not much walking is needed. Otherwise, comfort comes first. Have had bad experiences of hobbling in pain wearing uncomfy shoes.

    There are shoes out there which are beautiful and comfortable all at the same time, one just need to hunt hard and long enough.

    That's why I am rather willing to spend a bit more on shoes if these shoes are nice and comfy. :)

  13. i love high heels but can barely walk to my front door in them let alone a blizzard! i live in NYC and while i wore sensible snow boots during the day of nemo, they just didn't look all too fashionable with my leather trousers for an evening out! thus, commuted to my night out in said boots but made a beeline to the restroom as soon as i entered the restaurant and emerged in my 4 inch stilettos, snowboots hidden in a shopping bag!
    i do this in all best in spring summer when i can tuck my flats into my handbag and eschew the tell-all paper shopping bag!



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