Friday, August 03, 2007

Heel thyself

Interesting article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

Heelpolitik: The Power of the Stiletto
Why Female Executives Keep A Pair for Clashes and Crises; Ferragamos to Be Fired In

Look under many a powerful woman's desk and you'll find a serious pair of heels. Whether they're on her feet or tucked in a drawer, the shoes' key attribute is a three-inch spike that, if redirected, could put your eye out.

I've been wearing a modest heel more often lately, not the lethal stilettos a la "Single White Female", but heels nonetheless, usually about two inches. Being almost six feet tall, I really don't need the additional height, and with my size 12W feet it's hard to even find decent shoes to begin with. Despite this, I have a fairly impressive collection of shoes, most of which I've never worn outside my bedroom. I bought most of them after the fire of 2005 when I didn't have any shoes and got caught up in building a shoe wardrobe.

Back when I was job hunting in New York, I wore heels on days I had to walk a good piece from interview to interview. I picked shoes that looked good and made my feet look smaller, but they didn't fit well and consequently I have problems with bunions now. These days I'm a little more sensible with both buying and wearing my shoes, but it was a hard lesson to learn.

Probably the highest heel I have is a three-inch skinny heel on a bright pink strappy sandal. It actually does fit pretty well, but it's hard for me to walk in, and I'm sure I couldn't go very far if I did try to walk in them. I suppose I bought it because it's such a rare event to find a pretty shoe that actually fits me. Plus, I thought I might want something dressy if I were ever to go to a cocktail party or fancy dinner where I wouldn't have to be on my feet very much.

But the truth is that I'm not really part of that world anymore, if indeed I ever was. However, I do admire women I see who can walk around on four-inch heels with ease - I just feel sorry for their feet.