Why Smart, Chic Women Are Abandoning High Heels (Forever)


The new flat-shoe emoji some-more accurately reflects my possess boots choices, too. we was recently removing dressed for a full day that concerned essay during a women’s co-working space, a book celebration and dinner. we pulled on jeans and a tip with feather-trimmed sleeves —comfortable adequate to camber over my laptop yet worldly adequate for a cocktail party. For such a schedule, I’d routinely wear flats and things a span of Manolo Blahnik BB pumps in my receptacle for later. But that day we hesitated: Why projection around stilettos that would bulk adult my bag and afterwards force me to shift uncomfortably, when my Le Monde Beryl black velvet slides are only as lovely? we motionless to put my (flat) feet down.

Brands are gift a wider accumulation of flats than ever, elevating what was once a infrequent work choice or a travelling shoe to one that’s excusable for some-more grave amicable occasions. According to NPD Retail Tracking Service, final year U.S. high-heel sales forsaken 11% over 2016. Meanwhile, a preference of stylish flats has turn unusually abounding and varied. Whereas once giddy heels were a requisite choice for events like weddings or row presentations, currently a dressed-up prosaic like a satin Balenciaga Slash slip fits in only fine. “Designers have been looking during bringing in some-more fashion, some-more trend, some-more pattern into a prosaic so it doesn’t demeanour like a simple yet it becomes a special option,” pronounced Roopal Patel, conform executive of Saks Fifth Avenue. Flats are no longer a sad, infrequent Jan Brady to Marcia’s higher heel; they can be equally fabulous, and gentle to boot.

THE LOW LIFE / A Sampling of a Dressy Flats That Are Energizing a No-Heel Movement

Clockwise from tip left: THE FANCIFUL FANTASY Lace Flats, $945, Christian Louboutin, 702-818-1650; THE LUXURIOUS LOAFABOUT Velvet Venetian Slippers, $340, lemondeberyl.com; THE VINTAGE-Y VIXEN Tory Burch Loafers, $328, shopbop.com; THE ORNAMENTAL GEM Raffia Flats, $930, Salvatore Ferragamo, 212-759-3822

Clockwise from tip left: THE FANCIFUL FANTASY Lace Flats, $945, Christian Louboutin, 702-818-1650; THE LUXURIOUS LOAFABOUT Velvet Venetian Slippers, $340, lemondeberyl.com; THE VINTAGE-Y VIXEN Tory Burch Loafers, $328, shopbop.com; THE ORNAMENTAL GEM Raffia Flats, $930, Salvatore Ferragamo, 212-759-3822


F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street

High heels originated as a approach to assistance 10th-century Persian soldiers secure their feet in stirrups, before apropos a elite shoe for 16th-century masculine European aristocrats fervent to demeanour taller and some-more formidable. Women shortly adopted a style, and in complicated times heels became inextricably related with femininity. Like a early masculine adopters, we conclude how a heel provides a lift. At 5’3” (and a half!), we acquire any combined height. Still, yet a large siphon has always done me feel discriminating and powerful, I’m training that a right prosaic shoe can do a same.

“Women have always been wearing flats,” pronounced Ms. Patel. “But what we’re starting to see is women wearing them from a notation they leave a residence to a notation they come home. There is no shoe change any more.” Lily Hanbury, co-founder of Le Monde Beryl shoes, argued that your boots “should be stylish adequate to take we to anything you’re going to that day.” Ms. Hanbury launched her signature prosaic formed on a normal Venetian slipper in 2016, ideal for busy, style-minded women.

We’re spending some-more time than ever on a feet these days, or during slightest being urged to. As station desks overcome and Fitbits brag us to grasp 10,000 stairs a day, gentle boots binds new allure. “What we’re saying in a past few years is that women are some-more unwavering of being sustaining when it comes to their feet,” explained Dr. Neal Blitz, a podiatrist with offices in New York City and Beverly Hills, Calif., whose website calls him “The Bunion King of New York.” “Women only wish to be active,” he said. “It’s not only about looking good in heels any more.” Shoe engineer Tabitha Simmons, who depends her Hermione Mary Jane flats among her best-selling styles, would agree: “Everyone was rickety around on platforms for such a prolonged time that it swung a conflicting way, and women started wearing some-more wearable footwear.”

TO THE POINT / The Sharp Toe Often Associated with Pumps Gives These Fun Flats An Edge

Clockwise from bottom left: THE MINIMALIST MODSTER Metallic Silver Flats, $575, Alumnae, 212-774-7463; THE FEMININE FIND Tabitha Simmons Flats, $695, stylebop.com; THE SNAZZY STANDBY Striped Flats, $40, zara.com

Dress codes have also shifted in a age of when you’re wearing heels, it’s tough to gaunt in though toppling over. In 2016 when then-27-year-old Nicola Thorp reported for a temp pursuit during PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, her administrator told her heels were mandatory. After being asked to leave, Ms. Thorp started a petition protesting such primitive dress codes, that was investigated by dual Parliament committees. The outcome: The temp group Portico that demanded heels altered a rules, and calls were done for worse laws opposite dress discrimination.

Shipley Salewski, 39, a San Francisco-based teacher and consultant, recently stopped wearing heels to meetings of a mostly masculine gift house she chairs, replacing them with a revolution of florid flats including magenta satin Delpozo mules and sparkly Malone Soulier ballerinas. “The flats we wear in that maestro environment are really soaring flats, they’re not tedious flats. That’s a distinction. we like pleasing things, we like to demeanour like we attempted and we also like to not tumble over.”

GROUNDED LUXURY / High Heels Aren’t a Only Designer Footwear Worth Splurging On

From left: THE PLUSH PRIMADONNA Sequin Flats, $695, jimmychoo.com; THE ELEGANT EMINENCE Slingback Flats, $875, Chanel 415-981-1550

As Ms. Salewski found, we needn’t demeanour shabby in flats or like we forgot to switch into heels. While knee-length skirts demeanour a smidgen too medium with flats, above-the-knee hemlines are charmingly cheeky. Opt for an ankle-cropped, slim character of pants; long, lax trousers double as a Swiffer duster. If we wear Mary Janes abandon a wipe (too tighten to Eloise from a children’s books); if we wear ballet slippers don’t lift your hair into a bun (too on a nose).

Early in my career, an impeccably coiffed maestro co-worker told me menacingly that she’d never be held passed toting flats in her bag. A bit hyperbolic, perhaps, yet we determine that carrying dual pairs of boots appears inconclusive and unwieldy, so I’ve stopped throwing heels in my tote. When we wore my Le Monde Beryl flats on that jam-packed day, we was scrupulously attired for a cocktail celebration yet strike my 10,000-step idea on my approach there, and didn’t shift on a singular cobblestone. we used to be conduct over heels for heels, yet now I’m only over heels.

An Argument For Elevation

In that a reliable stiletto-lover flatly refuses to change her ways

Why Smart, Chic Women Are Abandoning High Heels (Forever)

ABANDON MY HIGH heels? Not now, not ever. Tout a comfort of flats all you’d like, yet we exclude to relinquish a power, stature, and firmness my spikes means me as a benefaction to “practicality.” Who has ever aspired to be practical?

Over a final decade or so, I’ve amassed a tiny arsenal of soaring shoes, their heels starting during 4 inches high. Each morning, we pleasure in contemplating my cache and selecting my daily armor. No, we do not wear heels to attract a masculine gaze—anyone who’s seen my habit of black tulle cocoons and conceptual, three-armed dresses can demonstrate to that. Rather, my heels yield a mental and earthy boost that creates me feel invincible.

I’m not alone in my devotion of soaring footwear. “I feel rather shabby and frowzy in invisible flats,” pronounced Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman’s SVP of Fashion Office and Store Presentation. “Heels, even an inch, ‘lift’ me up.” Dianne LaPointe Rudow, a executive of a Zweig Family Center for Living Donation during Mount Sinai, wears them during slightest 4 days a week. “I’m short, so we like to be means to see eye to eye with my colleagues. And only since I’m in a position of energy doesn’t meant we have to compromise—women can be smart, successful, and feminine.”

Many have suggested that group invented heels to sexualize women and reason us back. That’s not particularly true, as heels’ origins as 10th-century equestrian wear prove. And while yes, heels are compared with amorous femininity (and so what?), Nancy Pelosi was no man’s intent when she wore four-inch blue suede stilettos final Feb to broach a commanding, eight-hour, filibuster-style debate in invulnerability of DACA.

“I adore high heels since they give we confidence—they give we an attitude, a approach of walking, standing, and even sitting. You feel worse and sexier,” pronounced Carine Roitfeld, editor in arch of CR Fashion Book. Ms. Fargo agreed: “Clothing and boots are some-more than only a aspect expression. We internalize what we’re wearing and see ourselves differently, yet to any her own. I’m some-more of a ilk of effort. Effortless, easy style? we can’t relate.” Indeed. Why be free when we could be fabulous?


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