So you are packing your suitcase for a fun city break, you pack your sunglasses, toiletries, favourite outfits, picture of your cat, etc. Until you have everything in order except the most challenging packing item of all: formal shoes.
Which brings me to todays very girly topic: How is anyone supposed to wear heels in the city?
And by city I mean every location that is a challenge to walk on in stilettos. This might sound like an extremely strange question, because the answer could simply be: just do not wear heels when you plan on going for a long walk or when you hit challenging sidewalks.
But.. did you ever see those photos on Pinterest of fashionable girls calling for a cab in New York City, looking flawless and wearing jaw dropping heels?
Well, I planned on being one of those girls when I first went to NYC. Until I realised that I can’t afford to take cabs everywhere, and that many buildings do not have elevators, etc. etc. There I was in my pretty Carrie Bradshaw dress and holding my pretty heels in my hand when changing into flats. While flats are my go-to shoe wear in the summer, I just could not except that the city pavement had beaten me. Making me challenge myself to find ‘heels’ that will work and make me happy when wearing them since my current home is also in a big-cobblestone-party-city (because that is the basic point to this hole story)
Here are the things that I have learned so far:
Wedges are your best cobblestone friends
When working in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, I had to buy and return a lot of clothes at pricy stores, which made me want to look nice and I mainly wore high-heels. I had to cross the Dam square a lot every week and for those of you that haven’t been there: it is a big open space with the most annoying (very old and pretty, but annoying!) cobblestones that I have ever encountered. Within a week, the bottom of my soles were completely worn out and needed replacement. I went to a local shoe-repair store and asked if they had something that would make my soles last longer. They said no, and I asked if they had a suggestion on how to prevent it from happening, their answer? ” Walk around the Dam square”… Very funny guys those shoe-repair-men :)
Later, I came up with my own solution: wedged heels. They are perfect for it! I can walk on them for hours and they won’t get stuck between the cobblestones, hurray!
I even did a wedged heel restyle DIY project because I loved them so much!
Short boots with a chunky (block) heel.
The last time that I visited New York City, I had learned from my previous mistakes and brought the best thing that I could think off: Short boots with a chunky heel. I got these as a present from my sister and they had a very comfortable insole, which made them perfect for the trip!
I actually walked on them on most of the days for hours and they made me feel stylish and comfy at the same time.
And what to do during the summer when boots are too warm? Simple:
Go for an open sandal with a chunky heel! I wrote more about these beauties in a previous post.
Platforms for when you want to add length
A chunky heel or wedges are perfectly fine and already an upgrade over sneakers under your stylish summer dress, but if you want to take it one step further and can’t avoid a thinner and higher heel, I suggest platforms.
They don’t have to be a ‘Spice Girl’ platform boot, but even a 2 cm platform sole will take 2 cm’s of the height of the heel for you. Making the shoes more comfortable, while adding length. (the shoes in the photo above have a ‘hidden’ raised platform sole)
For those special occasions where you can’t avoid going fancy
Your wedding in the city, a friends wedding, an anniversary party, an invitation to the fanciest gala in the world, sometimes you just can’t avoid wearing ‘traditional’ pumps if you are a girly girl like me. My advice for those occasions: try to cheat!
For the photo above I borrowed a wedding dress and these gorgeous vintage Gucci shoes from the costume department where I was working. To me, they are the perfect example of playing with the ‘traditional’ pump rules and will go with a variety of outfits. They have a chunky-but-not-too-chunky heel and a good sized platform sole. I realised here that the color and details really made them what they are: one of a kind fancy heels!
Car, Taxi, Bike, a friends shoulders…
And if everything is still going wrong, and you just have to wear those unique and oh-so pretty high-heeled shoes. Just do what I usually do: take a bike! (or drive a car)
I save getting a cab or biking somewhere for what I call my: birthday- and cinema-shoes. Because those activities only require me to sit down and look pretty:)
Now that I have shared my story, what are your high-heeled experiences? Did you discover the magic trick that will save all of us heel-wearing girly girls?
Let me know in the comment section or shoot me an email!