Chic Low Heels & Ankle Straps

For those who are searching for more chic low-heeled options in footwear, there is an exciting assortment pictured in the May 2013 issue of Allure magazine, which comments: “After years of teetery stilettos, heels have come back to earth.”

The styles pictured are all sandals with a strap across the top of the foot and a strap around the ankle. Ankle-strap footwear can be very alluring, but is not for everyone. They are most flattering on long legs with slender to average ankles, as the ankle straps create horizontal lines that visually shorten the legs, an effect most pronounced with bigger ankles. The chunkier the ankle strap, the more pronounced the shortening effect. Styles with less contrast against the color of one’s skin are easier to wear than styles that provide high contrast.

None of these low-heeled options in Allure come with a low price. The sandals are $825 in patent leather from Roger Vivier; $435 in blue leather from Tibi; $600 in cotton and faux leather from Stella McCartney; $795 in leather with a metallic heel from Lanvin; $1,150 in white leather from Hermes; and a whopping $5,270 (yes, five thousand two hundred seventy dollars) in crocodile and Plexiglas from Michael Kors.

The Michael Kors sandals are also featured in the March 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, shown above.

Harper’s Bazaar features a number of other styles of lower-heeled shoes without ankle straps, including the above block heel shoes form Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, which ring in at $755.

Also pictured in Harper’s Bazaar are these lower-heeled shoes from Reed Krakoff which, at $590, are not only more comfortable on the feet and easier to wear, but are also easier on the budget.

 

The Sound of Other Shoes Dropping

When Sarah Jessica Parker, well known and loved for her role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, announces a new perspective relative to shoes, women might want to take heed. On ABC-TV’s The View last week, the panel discussed as one of its “hot topics” the news that Parker has announced she is giving up high heels – mostly. Fashion’s obsession with sky-high heels was compared to the ancient Chinese tradition of foot-binding, a disabling practice, long gone, that was thought to make women more attractive.

The hot topic stemmed from an interview published online by Net-a-Porter on March 7, 2013 and picked up by the Huffington Post.  Here’s the pertinent portion of the interview:

While Parker may have moved on from Carrie, at least for now, the role has left its mark on her – and on us. Seated in a small Italian restaurant in New York’s SoHo district, our neighbor stares at the petite actress, despite her casual attire of grey cotton blouse, jeans rolled at the hems and, yes, high heels. One expects nothing less, but Parker tells me extra inches are a rarity these days. “For ten or so years, I literally ran in heels. I worked 18-hour days and never took them off. I wore beautiful shoes, some better made than others, and never complained. But then I did I Don’t Know How She Does It, and I was very thoughtful about my whole wardrobe and said, you know, [Kate Reddy] could not afford really good footwear. So I got [lower priced] shoes and the bottoms weren’t leather, they were plastic, so I slipped a couple times, twisted my ankle. I went to a foot doctor and he said, ‘Your foot does things it shouldn’t be able to do. That bone there… You’ve created that bone. It doesn’t belong there.’ The moral of the story is, the chickens are coming home to roost. It’s sad, because my feet took me all over the world, but eventually they were like, ‘You know what, we are really tired, can you just stop – and don’t put cheap shoes on us?'”

 

The April 2013 issue of Glamour magazine reveals that Sarah Jessica Parker is far from alone in experiencing foot problems from footwear. In a Glamour poll of 1, 177 women, only 28 percent of the women polled reported that they had never had a “serious shoe-related injury” – and of the 72 percent that have experienced a serious shoe-related injury, 38% have “wiped out”; 43% have had heel or ankle pain; 32% have twisted or sprained an ankle; and 5% have fractured or broken a foot. No wonder over a majority of the women Glamour polled – 57% – reported that a one-  to two-inch heel “is plenty.”

Despite this evidence, there are articles like the one that appeared in the November 2012 issue of Marie Claire in which the writer asserts that she spent $1,200 to receive gel dermal fillers on the balls of her feet after she had been shamed by a friend at a wedding for taking off her 4-inch stilettos. The painful and expensive medical procedure allowed her to reduce her pain by a whopping one-third at the next event to which she wore the aforementioned stilettos.

 

The April 2013 issue of People Style Watch includes a full page of beautiful low-heel shoe options in its Spring Accessories Guide. Designers as high-end as Michael Kors, Sigerson Morrison, and Dolce & Gabbana provide chic low-heel options.

Take a stand against fashion’s ridiculous obsession with dangerous, foot-damaging footwear. It’s time to vote with your feet.

Stay Grounded with More Chic Low-Heeled Footwear Options

The October 2012 issue of Elle adds its take on the new style of block heels: “Who said fashion is all about tall and skinny? Stay grounded with the season’s short, stacked heels.”

Pictured are a suede sandal with goldtone trim from Gucci, a colorful python cross-strap sandal from Michael Kors, a nude patent calfskin sandal from Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, and a neutral-hued  python sandal from Celine.

With designers like these jumping on the low-heel bandwagon, there truly are killer shoes that won’t kill your feet available as high-fashion options.

The Other Shoes Have Dropped

For those of us who are proponents of comfortable footwear, there is good news that appears in a half-page write-up in the May 2012 issue of Vogue: “The news from the fall 2012 collections, which you may not be able to wait a moment to try this spring: Shoes are down, way, way, way down, in elevation. . . . [T]his season it’s finally true: Low is the new high.”

Pictured are ankle-strap accented red pumps from Valentino Garavani and Southwest-influenced low-heel pumps from Manolo Blahnik. Vogue mentions Chloe as another line with “relatively small but chunky heels around a couple of inches at most.”

With preeminent designers embracing this low-heel trend, shoe shopping is going to be a joy once more.