Sunday Shoes: Desigual Peeptoes

These lovely pumps were a gift from the folks at Ideeli, and they are probably my prettiest shoes. They are also unlikely to be worn on a day when I have to do more than five minutes of walking at a stretch, as that heel is both high and narrow and I just don’t have any stiletto skills.

What are your highest heels? Anyone out there a master of the super-high heel?

  • Megan

    I think my highest heels are 4″ and have a platform so they feel more like 3″. I spend most of my day sitting at a desk so I don’t have too many problems wearing them. I usually wear a pair of flats to and from work.

  • KatXoXo

    These are so cute and original :)

  • Anamarie

    Love those shoes! I used to regularly rock 4″ heels, until I fractured both ankles, my left foot and heel a year and a half ago. I still have them, but they put too much stress on my left foot. I can go up to 2.5″ without pain, but mostly stick to 2″ now. I prefer chunky heels for stability. Maybe I’ll put my favorite stilletos under a bell jar and display them!

  • Cindy

    I like my high heels, but I tend to call anything over about 4″ my “sit and look pretty shoes”. I don’t have problems walking in them, but hey just aren’t practical for my lifestyle. I’m an elementary teacher and spend hours standing & walking on a tile floor.

  • Mary

    Can’t do the stiletto – at any height.
    But I CAN walk in 4.5″ wedges, cone heels, anything with a platform.

    • Sal

      Right there with ya, Mary. It’s something about the spiky heels that makes me wobbly.

  • Aziraphale

    Sally, those are beautiful! But I see what you mean. They would probably be too high and spiky for me to walk gracefully in. I’ve got two pairs of shoes with a 4″ heel, but on both the tip of the heel is not as tiny as on those. I’m getting pretty good at walking in them, but they’re Fluevogs, so they’re engineered for comfort.

  • Patti

    I’m a pretty good heel-walker. But I started practicing really young, and my mom taught me to walk with an encyclopedia on my head when I was about three so my posture is almost flawless, and I can easily adjust my alignment depending on what shoes I’m wearing. It’s really an acquired skill.

  • Katharine

    I’m usually all about the chunky heels too. But my tallest pair is a rather bondage-inspired Guess style, patent and suede with a cufflike ankle strap and a very narrow heel, about 5″ high altogether with a high platform. I couldn’t resist them, I don’t know why — I used the excuse that I was playing a devastating vampire in a show to buy them.

    I was totally expecting them to be sitting shoes, if not Advil shoes, but they’re actually … really not bad at all, and I have and have had several lower pairs of heels that were much, MUCH more painful and unstable. (Which was a good thing, because the vampire had, for reasons of plot, to jog down two flights of hotel staircase in said shoes and a floor-length red evening gown.) The platform is solid treaded rubber, which might have something to do with it.

  • reva

    adorable! I too have stiletto problems, but i wear em anyway!

  • Angela

    I have a pair of boots with a 2″ platform and a chunky 6″ heel that are my highest shoe. I wear those very seldom.

    I have about a dozen pairs of shoes with 4″ and 5″ stiletto heels. I’m 5’9″, and I love to be super tall! One thing that I have learned as a shoe lover is that when it comes to towering heels, it’s not worth it to skimp on quality. So my tall stilettos are all upscale brands, because they put in the engineering and the materials to make the shoes more wearable. (After reading a recent Wall Street Journal on how many steps it takes to create stilettos at Sergio Rossi, I was further convinced: )

    While I occasionally wear 4″ heels to the office, my feet don’t love me for it after 9 hours, so most days I stick to 3″ and under. I have a couple pairs of 3″ stilettos that I can wear all day with no problems (provided I don’t have to run around the skyways too much).

  • Kylara7

    Those are beautiful! I agree that stilettos are not for power walking, but there are ways to carry it off AND minimize the discomfort. All I’ve learned about walking in high heels comes from my background in ballet, where pointe shoes are the ultimate in high-heeled style + discomfort (but soooo worth in, IMHO). Learning to walk in heels is a skill that comes with practice and experience, and though it may never feel good or natural, it can be improved 😉

    The trick to walking in heels is to do exactly the opposite of what your instincts tell you to do. The heels completely change your center of gravity or balance point. They pitch you up and forward, so you instinctively do what I call the “icy sidewalk crouch”. Your body says “Whoa! Danger of falling down…deploy cautionary measures!” so you tend to bend your knees/get lower and lean slightly forward/stick your butt out to get into a more stable and reactive position so you can “recover” from slipping or losing your balance (or at least fall forwards instead of backwards!)* Although this works well on the icy sidewalk or in sports, where the athletic “ready position” prepares you for sudden movement or impact, it does not look very graceful or poised when one is dressed to the nines and wearing stilettos!

    Here’s the secret: You actually need to stand very very tall and straight, or “pulled up” out of your hips with a strong engaged core, tall upper back and neck with ears lined up over shoulders over hips to keep everything in the upper body aligned and balanced, and your hips/pelvis placed very forward, over your toes. It feels very strange at first, but it allows you walk beautifully and confidently in heels. Watch models on the runway…they seem to lead with their pelvis as they strut (and yes, that is highly exaggerated for the fashion show, but you get the idea). Getting the pelvis forward (butt tucked in, not sticking out) over the toes is the secret, but the upper body has to be pulled up and stacked directly over the pelvis for it to work, which means no slouching or slumping, but no sticking out your chest or butt either :) Practice makes perfect, so try at home in front of a mirror or with some feedback from a friend.

    * If you grew up in or lived in a winter climate, you do this without thinking about because it’s instinctive. People from warm climates who have not developed this skill have to learn it, often after falling splat on their butts a few times. I witnessed this personally when a college friend from Arizona experienced this during her first winter in Wisconsin!

    • Anneesha

      That is EXACTLY right! I feel so bad when I’m sitting at a downtown sidewalk restaurant on a nice sunny lunchtime, and watch high-heeled women clomping along, hunched over. I have utilized the pelvis-out method for years and it feels very natural. RELAXING at the same time is important, too.

    • Angela

      Kylara7, you just articulated perfectly what I recently learned when I tried on a pair of 5″ Louboutins. The shoes didn’t have a platform, so the pitch was very steep. The owner of the store told me that when she tried them on, she felt like she was fighting to not fall forward. When I put them on, I didn’t feel like I was going to fall over–I immediately felt my core tighten up, and with as steep as the shoes were, it was just like being in relevé. Perhaps ballet teachers should capitalize on this–practice ballet and rock those high-heeled shoes! 😉

  • poodletail

    Those are some bonny shoes! I’d wear them with skinny jeans and a solid-color (black? navy?) with loads of jewelry for a casual dinner date with my sweetie. In reality I’d love to see someone wearing these more than I’d like wearing them.

  • Mel@VasiliasVintage

    My highest heels are 5.5″, but with a 1.5″ platform in front, and a Mary Jane strap for stability! I learned the hard way when I was at a function wearing a pair of nude platform pumps w/o the Mary Jane strap – I stepped outside, and literally fell on my face, and scuffing up the pumps on the toe. :(

    Sad thing is that I’m still only around 5’8″ to 5’9″ *with* the heels on, but they give me the look of longer legs, particularly with wide-legged trousers.

  • Carol

    Most of my shoes are 3″ or so – more boots than heels. I do have one pair of 6″ heels that were just so gorgeous – and on a clearance rack in Macy’s – that I had to buy them. I guess I keep them because they are pretty, but I admit I haven’t worn them out of the house….not to mention that with them on, I’m about 6″2.

  • Anonymous

    I almost always wear heels. I do feel a bit more stability in high heeled boots than pumps, but I love them both. I feel funny in flats. I found this recently for storing pumps that I thought I would share. I thought this was pretty awesome, and they had bigger cabinets too:

  • Natalie

    As someone who is 5’4″, I find that I’m always looking for shoes that make me taller. But I have sensitive feet! I find that I can’t wear any shoe that puts too much pressure on the ball of my foot, so I stick to wedges and chunkier heels with a platform, so that the pitch of my foot in the shoe is lessened. I find that I can only wear high spiky heels if I’m mostly sitting, which isn’t very realistic.