Surrender of heels

I gave up last week. Decisively and probably for good. For so many years I’ve been standing strong, haven’t responded to provocations, haven’t allowed fashion trends to defeat my own style, haven’t made concessions to the mainstream… And finally, I surrendered. Signed the capitulation treaty. I bought sneakers.

I also analyzed and realized that not once this summer did I wear sandals or shoes with heels higher than 4-5 cm. My entire collection of stunning stilettos and pointed-toe pumps have been missing me on the shelf all summer long in vain hope to be useful at least once. Do you hear that little rustle in the closet? These high-heeled shoes are slowly going out of fashion.

No, it’s still appearing massively on the catwalks and at fashion shows, in photoshoots of fashion bloggers and on presenters in television studios. Respectable advocates in American films are still coming to court in conservative pumps. And heels still appear on the shelves every season with exemplary tenacity. Apparently, people still buy them, if the shops do not refuse to sell them. But…

There are fewer and fewer high heeled shoes on the streets. In cafes, especially in the day time. In public transport. Even in the evening in theatres and concerts. More and more women get off their heels and move into comfortable loafers and sneakers, sports sandals or soft slippers in summer and functional warm shoes in winter. There are less and fewer women willing to torture their feet every day, from morning till night.

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And a few years ago, it was the absolute norm in our country, no one even considered other options, at least when it came to office shoes. There was a pair of high-heeled legs under any woman’s office desk. In any subway car in the morning, you could accidentally get stabbed by a sharp heel on your foot. On the old town tour, one could see girls in heeled sandals. We could tell our female compatriots by heels abroad.

It seems that these times are finally passing. And after women have freed themselves from corsets and become accustomed to wearing trousers, this is perhaps the greatest achievement on the path of combining socially accepted women’s clothing with the needs of the female body, comfort and common sense. By the way, the mention of pants is not accidental. The attitude of women to shoes has not just changed, it is as close as possible to how men treat shoes.

Have you ever seen a man who buys terribly uncomfortable shoes just because they look incredibly beautiful on the leg? Can you imagine a man who will dare to a solemn event lasting a few hours in shoes that set his feet on fire in just half an hour, just because they match his shirt perfectly? Not a chance! Men would not sacrifice their comfort by any means. They choose shoes they can forget about the moment they fasten them and remember next time only when it’s time to take them off. Well, finally women came close to the same attitude to shoes. “Put on and forget” – that’s what modern women want from shoes.

Of course, the fashion industry provides for the wishes and offers a bunch of shoe options in which women do not need to sacrifice anything. First of all, it is sneakers. A few years ago, sneakers with a dress or an elegant coat looked like a fashion outrage, a daring trick of spoiled fashionistas who no longer know what else to prank with. Today, such a combination will not surprise anyone, everyone is finally accustomed to it. And sneakers become the same classic women’s urban wardrobe item as shoes and ankle boots. This year’s trend is so-called “dad’s sneakers”, large, deliberately clumsy and surprisingly comfortable. Your legs will be thankful!

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Another kind of comfortable shoes that have long been a classic is the so-called “combat boots” vaguely reminiscent of the army boots. They can (and are even recommended) to wear with romantic floral dresses, lace blouses, fishnet tights and the like. With an emphatically feminine outfit. Here comes a girly girl, and suddenly there are soldier’s boots on her feet. And suddenly it is clear that such a girl should be treated very politely and not be argued with. As a precaution.

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Fashion shoes, also stolen from the male wardrobe, but not military, but civilian, are Chelsea shoes and their variations. These are very comfortable ankle boots on a small, almost flat square heel. They cover the leg just above the ankle. They match pants and jeans perfectly because of their narrowness. Although you can wear them with a skirt or a dress. If you add tights to match the shoes, you’ll get a very stylish combination that lengthens your legs visually, even without high heels.

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But we are a bit ahead of ourselves, so far it is too early for such shoes. In the near future, we will probably need pumps, and they can also perfectly do without heels. Classic ballet flat heel and pointed toes variations are very relevant and will match almost anything. From a business suit to a light dress, from jeans to a pleated skirt. Try to add colourful low socks to dark ballet shoes. And light neutral-coloured ballet shoes close by the colour to the skin – beige, milk, powder pink or silver – almost merge visually with your legs and lengthen them. These shoes open up a huge space for stylish experiments without heels and without compromising comfort.

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And if your soul asks of heels – just a little, at least small ones – then, in this case, there is a fashionable answer. Tiny “kitten heels” is the option. They look stylish, are madly fashionable, and don’t torture feet. Such kitten heels can be on sandals, shoes, ankle boots, and even high boots.

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All examples on the photos are from this-year collections of the world’s leading brands. Of course, there are a lot of high heels, platforms are also beautiful and not so comfy glamour in those same collections. If you look through the reports on fashion trends in glossy magazines, you will certainly be notified about the hot fashion trend – shoes with feathers. It’s actually very fashionable, but let’s face it…

The other day I saw a girl in high-heeled sandals with feathers on the street. At lunchtime in the middle of the city that was running its business errands, honking horns in traffic jams, scribbling messages on smartphones and doing a bunch of things at the same time, she looked a little like an alien creature. She must have come from a fashion shoot. Why else would such shoes end up there in broad daylight?

We leave heels, platforms and narrow pads for special occasions, and only if we have a talent and desire to wear them. In the mundane sea of affairs, navigation is much easier in comfortable shoes.

Maya Tulchynska

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