It’s the sort of question that 2017 Carrie Bradshaw might ask in her column… are high heels dead?
After decades of towering stilettos, flatforms, and even armadillo heels (thank you McQueen…), we are trading in couture for comfort. Yep – flats are finally ‘in’. At least according to Harling Ross at Man Repeller.
Are high heels dead?
“I blame the sneaker craze of 2014,” says Ross. “Well actually, “blame” is the wrong word. “Credit” is better, because I’m grateful the craze occurred. To recap: Sometime around 2014, street-style stars and high-end brands magically colluded (a.k.a. it was a chicken-and-egg situation — I’m not quite sure who had the idea first, although Isabel Marant’s wedge sneakers might very well have been the embryo) to enforce the concept of wearing gym sneakers with non-athletic attire. All of a sudden, sneakers were not only acceptable every-occasion footwear, but they were also COOL.
“Up until then, fashionable footwear and comfort were treated as mutually exclusive, so it makes perfect sense why the trend caught on so quickly and so universally. The comfort was addicting. Walking ten blocks didn’t feel like an experiment in pain tolerance. Bunions were no longer de rigeur.
“The sneaker trend had a good run (pun intended), but it maxed out after a couple of years. It was inevitable, given how homogeneous it became. The habituated comfort of forgoing high heels, however, was seared permanently into our psyches. How could it not be? It felt so good!!
“Other high heel-less shoe trends trotted in to fill sneakers’ place. Slides have been a predominant contender of late, but loafers, ballet flats and espadrille wedges form a solid supporting cast of comfortable footwear options.
“We’re fortunate to live in a time when designers are producing an abundance of cool shoes that don’t have high heels — casual ones, fancy ones, in-between ones — leaving us with comfortable and attractive options for almost any circumstance, from leading a board meeting to going out to a fancy dinner. They’re responding to a consistent, consumer-driven demand, no doubt — because now that we’ve tasted the sweet, smooth, buttercream frosting of shoes that not only get you from point A to point B pain-free but also look great simultaneously, why would we ever go back to fondant?”
So should you ditch your Manolos?
Ross makes a good point, but here at A Perfect Look, it will take a lot more than a pretty ballet shoe to wean us off our heels. However, there is no denying the fact that women deserve to have more choice when it comes to our footwear. After all, even Carrie broke the odd heel while running for a cab…