There is something absolutely amazing about a good pair of high heels. Slip on a pair of sky high shoes, and your posture instantly straightens up, your leg muscles tense, your feet appear smaller, and the tilt of your pelvis does something magical to your derriere. It’s hard not to feel powerful, strong, confident, and sexy in a pair of heels.
There is a downside though. As you probably know, a poorly constructed heel can wreak havoc on your feet. Ill fitting footwear (of any kind really) can cause bunions, ingrown toenails, callouses, and blisters. These icky ailments, coupled with a very real potential for throwing your knees and back out of alignment, have made women across America toss their heels for the unspeakable: flip flops. They try to justify this flip-floppery with “heels are bad for you.”
Image Credit: O Magazine
Well I’ve got some news for you lady friend. HEELS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU. Yes, you read that right. I’m not talking about 4” stilettos. I’m talking about reasonable, comfortable heels. Interestingly, it turns out that extremely flat shoes (i.e. ballet flats, flip flops, Uggs…) are all equally bad for your feet. When you wear flats, your toes curl up to try to hold your foot inside your shoe. The tendons and ligaments in your feet freeze into hyperflexed, hyperstressed positions. This exert from Discovery Health explains it well:
“Flats can be a problem not just for people with arch and Achilles tendon problems, but for anyone who wears them exclusively. Over time, your foot gets used to being pronated (flattened) and you may develop arch pain and tendinitis. Flats can be the staple of your shoe wardrobe, but alternate them with shoes that have a moderate heel.”
So if flat shoes are bad and high heels are bad, what’s a girl to wear?
Enter: the cowboy boot.
Okay, okay. You may be scoffing. But I’m being entirely serious. Leading podiatrists recommend wearing a heel that is between ¾ of an inch and 2 inches, alternating heel height daily. Cowboy boots and riding boots not only fit that heel profile, but are also designed for comfort. These shoes are meant to be worn all day while standing or riding. Try doing that in a pair of flip flops. Boots look great with just about everything, and give you comfort and support without looking like one of those (eeeek!) comfort sneakers. You know what I’m talking about – solid black or solid white tennis-shoe looking monstrosities with orthopedic soles. Unless you are very elderly and into mall-walking, please avoid these at all costs. To combine the amazing comfort of a granny shoe with the infallible style of stacked heels and supple leather? This is divine.
And so began my love affair with a nice pair of boots. I’m totally and completely obsessed. There are boots for tailgating. There are boots for shopping. There are boots for dates. There are even boots that work as substitutes for a pair of pointy-toed black dress shoes. Unlike normal ladies’ dress shoes, cowboy boots with pointy toes don’t cram your pretty piggies into a triangle. In boot making, the comfort of the foot is considered first, the design second. The result? Leg-elongating designs that don’t cripple your feet. In fact, cowboy boots are so chic and comfortable, that Reese Witherspoon wore them to her wedding reception. After dancing for 4 hours in regular shoes, she just couldn’t take it any longer…so she pulled on some cowgirl boots and danced the rest of the night away.
Ready to look pulled together and elegant while still being comfortable, no matter where your daily agenda takes you? Check out these great boots, with heel heights within the podiatrist-recommended range.
These boots would look great over tights with a chunky knit sweater-dress. The contrast of the feminine dress and the hard motorcycle-style boot will give your look a whole new dimension.
This boot has an elongating pointed toe, a medium heel, and an orthotic insert to ensure comfort. For long days on your feet (read: Christmas shopping), this boot is the perfect choice.
This is THE perfect boot for days when your outfit calls for black patent heels. We see the elongating toe again, plus a well-made heel that is just the right height to make the legs look wonderful without hurting the feet.