Heels: How do women wear them?

Posted on February 19, 2009


How the hell do women wear heels?

On two occasions I have unwittingly bought footwear, with the slightest smallest virtually imperceptible heel. Both times it happened because I was in a rush. The first time I was on the way to the airport when I remembered I had no dress shoes for the wedding I was going to attend. Buy, buy, buy, and don’t be late for the flight! Aha, these look OK, they fit, they are on sale. Hey, these things have the slightest bit of a heel. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosey. Besides, what difference will it make?

Pain. Torturous pain. That’s the difference. I can’t begin to explain the pain the slightest bit of heel causes me. To walk in them is an act of supreme torture. And I like to walk.

Most recently, the winter boots I was wearing cracked open on a slushy day and selective shopping was also not an option. I didn’t even notice the boot I bought had a heel until I walked home in them. I noticed because of the pain.

The first pair of slightly heeled shoes I wore maybe three times. And this was at time when I didn’t have a lot of disposable income, but I figured knee replacement surgery would be more costly in the long run.

The winter boots have been a little bit less of an issue because in snowy uneven conditions one walks less and the effect of the heel is less noticeable. Last Saturday, however, I had a rather lengthy walk home from a bar in dry conditions and I am still sore in places that I didn’t know had bits of me to be sore. Up the front of my shins, my hip sockets. Pain! And now that all these muscles — which I didn’t even know I had — are sore, I am still having problems walking. 

The punch line, of course, is that I am talking about — at most, maybe — a 2 cm lift. Yes, 2 cm! That’s like 0.8 inches. 0.8 inches of pure agony. Just that tiny difference and my stride is mucked and my body in painful ruin. 

Are there stretches you ladies do? Some kind of secret voodoo ritual that allows you to perch in three inch heels, dance, and stumble home drunk without any obvious physical consequences? Or do you all just start so young that your supple bodies morph to adjust? 

Of course, the sharp-eyed reader will notice that the title of my post and my question concerns “how?” and not “why?” So, in the time honored tradition of good cop / bad cop, let me tell you another story.

A couple of months ago I went to see a local concert.  As it happens, the singer in the band was a woman. She wasn’t particularly attractive, she wasn’t particularly unattractive, she was just kind of plain jane.  Which was a bit of a surprise to me because, hey, she was the singer in a band — that’s always instant extra-sexy points. Nevertheless, she wasn’t really doing it for me.  

The show ends. I get embroiled in a text message or something and then when I look up again, there is an absolute goddess strutting around the bar. It actually takes me a moment to realize it’s the very same singer only now I can’t keep my eyes off her. It takes me another moment to figure out what has happened. The difference: she is now wearing heels. On stage she was — for some reason — barefoot. Moreover, I didn’t even like the style of the shoe she was wearing but the height and lift was perfect for her. She went from indifferent plain jane to goddess with one simple addition. As a guy, of course, I have always loved women in heels but this particular moment stuck in my mind because I had never noticed so drastic a transformation before. 

So the answer to the question “why?” is easy: it works. But, how, how, how !?


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