Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Thing: Wear Wedges Every Day For A Week

Each year I make a list of new things I want to try and then I do 'em. You can read about past adventures here.


Let me preface this post by telling you that:
1. I've reached the age of nearly-35 without ever really learning how to walk in heels
2. I never understood what Carrie Bradshaw was so wound up about (my favorite footwear is a pair of leather riding boots I bought for $5 and spent $120 having re-heeled and re-soled) 
3. Whenever anyone attempts to draw a heavy-handed parallel between shoes + romantic partners, shoes + life, shoes + your relationship with your mother, I could just about give myself a migraine with eye rolling.

AND HERE I AM, ABOUT TO DO THAT VERY THING.

For 99% of my life, I've been happy to pad around in flats and sandals, with the occasional, thrilling foray into boots with a one inch heel. Once every few years I'd try on a pair of heels and toddle around the shoe store, looking painfully similar to that shiba inu in snow boots.

Periodically, I'd watch Youtube videos about how to walk in heels and I even had my friend Freya write a guest post about it because I had no idea how. My post would have been all "Put heels in purse and ballet flats on feet. Once you are in the bar, put on your heels and stand up, clinging to the bar. Do not move for any reason! Wait till everyone leaves and then put your flats back on."

Each year, I'd buy a new pair of wedges, hoping that this time, I'd figure it out. This time I could make it work. This time, if I just tried hard enough I could walk in these things. And when I saw these wedges,* I didn't think things would be any different.

Then I tried them on.

And it was totally different. I didn't have to try. I wasn't slipping around or teetering on the top of my toes or skittering like a baby giraffe scared of a peacock. I didn't have to watch an ever-loving video to learn how to navigate these. I could just be myself and walk the way I usually did and pair these with all the clothes I already had in my closet.

There are many possible reasons that these shoes work for me when others hadn't. They're exactly the right height. They have an ankle strap. They have delightful, slightly squishy soles that grip linoleum. But I'd like to believe that, more than that, they just happen to be The Right Shoes For Me.

All of this, of course,  leads me to a clumsy, Sex In The City-esque metaphor + epiphany:
So frequently in life, we burn ourselves out trying to make something work.
A romantic relationship "Maybe if I could just be more outdoorsy he'd like me more?"
A friendship "I know she's always late and she flakes out a lot but we've been friends forever."
Even a career "I kind of hate it and it runs counter to my ethics but I spent so much money on my schooling..."

But really? When you find the right partner or friend or career (or shoe, apparently) it's damn near drama-free. You don't have to give yourself a pep talk every morning or dissect every interaction or end your days with Epsom salt baths.

Sure, you'll have to put in the work but it'll feel good and natural and like you - whether we're talking about a very cute wedge or a very wonderful partner.

Tell me - did you struggle to learn to walk in heels? Do you think the best things are easy + natural? 

My soulmate wedges were $25 from Target but they're sold out now :( These and these are similar. 

21 comments

  1. Low wedges are the gateway drug of heels! I started with these, which are insanely comfortable and I can walk around all day in: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/jeffrey-campbell-regina-wedge/3247742

    And now I'm one of *those* people that wears heels almost every day! Once I got used to the low wedges, I went for wedges a little higher and then pumps. Jersey wrap dress + heels = I feel like Kate Middleton every day =)

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    1. I know! I feel so ladylike when I pick something off the floor by bending my knees rather than bending at the waist! Watch out Joan Halloway!

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  2. I have never worn wedges or heels because most of the jobs I've had it would have been impractical or against the rules (and painful). Now, I really have no excuse to wear them because my husband is only 1 inch taller than me! My feet are thankful. Resume the Keen flip flops.
    Sarah M

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  3. I wore heels for most of my 20s because I worked retail (selling shoes), but I always wore ones with leather soles which molded to my feet thus making them much easier to walk in. Nowadays I rarely wear anything other than boots and I choose ones that don't have much of a heel. I like stomping around!

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  4. I wear flats to work and flip flops when I'm off the clock. Once in a while I have to wear heels for an event but in general I think it's best not to force it. My feelings: If wearing heels make you feel like a wobbly giraffe (me-pretty much every time), stick with the flats.
    Kelsey

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  5. I never really learned to walk in heels. I was trying out for the Vagina Monologues in college and had to wear heels for my audition - so my male friend (who was 6'7"!!) taught me how - he told me to walk on my tiptoes. I still wobble if my heels are too pointy or high, but that advice definitely made a huge difference for me. I also found that getting heeled ankle boots and getting very comfortable in those has really helped me walk in other heels better. But that said, I 100% agree that some heels are just impossible whereas others are effortless!

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  6. When I joined a sorority in college heels were kind of thrust upon me as a more regular shoe option (I had only worn them for special occasions before). They definitely take some getting used to. And now that I'm past that phase in my life you can bet I'm NOT wearing them unless I absolutely have to. I'm just too tall and awkward in them - give me flats and boots forever!

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  7. Those are really nice wedges. I think wedges might be better than actual heels. I recently bought a pair of nude pumps with a low heel (maybe 2 inches). Wore them one day and had huge, painful blisters on both feet. I always assumed that women who wear heels all the time must have pushed through the pain and now have no skin on their feet anymore so it doesn't bother them. I do have one pair of wedges that don't do that, but I think I'll stick to my flats.

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  8. This post was a revelation to me. The foot liners, especially -- no more blisters on my little toe. http://www.alterationsneeded.com/2011/04/secrets-my-high-heels-are-hiding.html

    I still mostly don't wear heels, but there are a few pairs I have that are really comfy.

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  9. Great post! I struggled to wear heels throughout my 20s, then finally in my mid-30s, I learned the key is having a reallly, good, sturdy stacked heel. Just say no to kitten heels. I also don't so stilletos.Wedges are great!

    I agree that when something is RIGHT (work, clothes, shoes, people) it feels natural, simple and good. It doesn't mean it doesn't require work, but the work feels great while you're doing it (or after, as in the case of writing for me). Again, thanks for the cool article.

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  10. Yay to finding heels that actually work! Yes, they do exist, but they're usually not 4 inch stilettos. My favorite are ankle boots with a nice thick heel, so you have plenty of ankle support.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

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  11. I gave up on wearing stilettos a few years ago when I came to a similar realization that you did. Why was I making myself uncomfortable for no true reason. So now I'm only on the wedge train! I find a low wedge, for the way that I walk, is more comfortable than a flat heel.

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  12. If I wear heels to school (or pretty much anywhere) I always, always have a pair of flats / slippers / boots / or be prepared to go barefoot. Heels are hard! But I try.

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  13. I love heels and I used to wear them to work all the time, but since I've been home with my kids, the heels only come out on special occasions. I like them, though, because I feel like they make me stand straighter and I feel like I'm gliding in them. I should probably pull a pair out more often just for that! But I love wedges- cute and stability in one.

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  14. I've been looking forward to this post! :) Thank you, Sarah!
    Not a huge heels girl myself. I like to walk superfast.

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  15. I'm an only-wedges kind of girl. There is a huge difference between walking in wedges and walking in heels and it is impossible for me to do the latter. And that's why I stick with my wedges.

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  16. I have chronic ankle instability due to a ligament issue, so I've never been able to wear heels as an adult: keeping upright in normal shoes takes me about as much effort as it takes most people in heels, so the few times I've ever bothered trying to wear heels the results have been pretty slapstick. Funny part is, although I was a teeny tiny kid, I had absolutely enormous feet growing up. To my parents credit, they never let on how freakishly large they were. When I was five years old, my mom brought me to the shoe store and told me I could have any winter boots I wanted, so long as they fit me. She probably didn't realize when she said it that my feet were already large enough to fit adult sizes. It was 1985, so I picked out some slouchy high heel leather boots with corduroy trim. And my mom, being a woman of her word, bought them for me. Even though I was the youngest and smallest (except for the feet) kid in my elementary school, all the kids would stop whatever trouble they were getting into when they heard me coming because they thought I was a teacher (the tell tale clicking of heels). I loved those boots, and therefore got my fill of wearing heels by the time I turned six years old, as if I knew it wasn't going to be an option in the future. I had no problem wearing them but I have considered the possibility that wearing heels as a five year old is why my ankles are so messed up in the first place.

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  17. I love your wedges, they can be paired with anything! I've been trying to dress more mature/feminine (but not girly), because I'm about to start my freshman year of college. I was actually looking for a pair of shoes like this! Well, I didn't have an idea for what style to look for, but I knew I wanted it to look nice (like you actually put thought into your outfit when you really didn't) and be practical. I love the Nine West Verucha you linked, but I like the height of the Nine West Ellianna a little more (I'm short, I need all the height I can get haha). I'm glad you found your pair of shoes! Hopefully I find mine soon :P -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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  18. Thanks for posting about these! I had seen them on some fashion blogs and was already considering them--your post put me over the edge :) I was also able to nab them on clearance for half off at my local Target!

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  19. Wedges over heels! I have a pair of realllllllly comfortable heels from Target, though, too. Sometimes they make really awesome quality and comfy shoes! I love those heels so much that I've put much more money into them for repairs than what they cost. It sounds like these wedges are the same for you.

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  20. I have a very similar pair of wedges also from Target and I love them! I try and fail at heels, but find these are really comfortable even for someone who walks everywhere (within reason). People always comment on them too. Not bad for $30 pair of shoes.

    High-five sista!

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