WIW 9/29: Studded T strap pumps vs. flats (and should I purge my heels?)

I have a lot of great heels in my shoe collection, but lately I've been reaching for flats a lot more because they're so much more comfy. Whether it's running around the hospital at work or running after the kids at the park, I feel like I can walk farther and faster in low heeled or flat sandals/shoes/boots.

For example, today was an office day so I decided I could wear heels and pulled out my Fauxstuds. However, I ended up having to drop the kids off at school on my way to work. We usually park a few blocks away and walk in to get to class on time instead of slogging through the carpool line traffic, which would make us late. So I was tromping through the field with the kids and my spike heels were starting to sink in to the dirt, and then I was click clacking down the sidewalk when all of the other parents were dressed in yoga pants and sneakers.

I did get lots of compliments on my shoes from my patients and coworkers, and they are fairly comfy for heels (2 3/4"). But later in the afternoon I changed into very similar studded black flats, and I was thinking how comfy they felt in comparison and how I should have worn those flats the whole day. Of course the heels always elevate (literally!) a look, but wondering if it made enough of a difference compared to the flats that it's worth it? What do you think, do you prefer the outfit with heels or flats? I liked how the flats had a matching stingray texture that matched the stingray textured tote. (And the necklace that matched the geometric pattern on my knit jacket).

I've been wondering if I should maybe purge some of my higher heels. I have a few pairs of Chie Mihara pumps and even my Tory Burch dragonfly pumps that are 3.5-4 inches. I very rarely wear them and when I do I always bring flats along to change into. Yes I know it is sacrilege to consider getting rid of these, and I do worry that I might regret getting rid of some of these works of art. but if I don't wear them for more than a couple hours at a time is it worth keeping them? Not sure of the right answer!

Classiques Entier knit blazer c/o Mary at OC swap
Black tank
Alexis Bittar necklace
Spring St. cuff
Halogen pleated leather skirt
Dagne Dover onyx stingray tote
Sam Edelman Ollies/Halogen flats

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 7 years ago

    I can't really tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I did.  

    Several years ago, I read an article that headlined "Never Wear Heels Again."  I wondered if such a thing was even possible.  I felt challenged.  

    Whether I took that challenge seriously or not, I'll never know, but I haven't worn heels since.  I still own three pair of heels, but I haven't worn them since I read the article and they look very dated so I doubt I will.  Meanwhile, I gave myself permission to find statement flats.  Flats that make me happy (not just utilitarian).  This has been a challenge due to widish feet, but I have built up a shoe capsule of flats that make me very happy.  

    Heels are gorgeous.  They just don't suit my comfort level or my life style.  

  • Staysfit replied 7 years ago

    I still wear my heels but I am trying hard to not purchase many more. It's interesting that you can't make it through the day in your Chie Mihare's. I have several pairs and wear them comfortably running around in a school building. Granted, my office day as a physician looks very different than most! (I don't know anyone else who does what I do.) I still think it's a good idea for feet to change up the heel height and shoe shape/configuration. It tones and exercises all the little muscles. It helps with balance. It might sound crazy to say this, but if you have any that are comfortable, I would wear them until you can replace them. Perhaps you are making shoe purchases that do not fit your feet properly? My heels are all comfortable to wear or I do not buy them. Is this about foot and leg fatigue or pain from ill fitting shoes? Maybe some calf exercises would help?

    One more thing. You might consider starting your day in flats and carrying your heels. You know that you might end up walking through a field or a long distance to get to the school, so why not be prepared? Carry the heels, and then change. I keep flats in my car just for this purpose. i never know when I might need them. (I use sneakers, but they could be unique to each of your outfits. I'm not that picky, when I need them for just a short time, etc.). My DD decorated a special bag for me and I use it for my heels---- um, she made the bag when she was very very young..... Confidence has never been a problem for DD! :-). In any case, you could come up with a great project and have your kids decorate a bag for you too! An extra bonus about the bag is that DD is 23 years old, and I still have and use the bag, and probably will be using it forever. It's not the kind of bag that wears out. It has fabulous sentiment. I get to think about her whenever I see it, and I love my DD! (Who knew all this was about shoes?!)

    If you do decide to purge shoes and you take size 8.5 or 9, let me know! I might be interested!

  • Gail replied 7 years ago

    I vote to keep. You could  wear and enjoy them for parts of the day and then change. That way you could get the best of both worlds. Obviously the school drop off would be the flats part of the day :-) I used to work in NYC in the late 80's and early 90's. I wore sneakers , cringing at the uglyness, to commute in and then changed at work. No way could have done the bus, train and then the walk in my heels. If I went out for a power shop to Saks at lunch I even put my sneakers on then lol. Still got to enjoy my shoes on the nice plush carpet though !

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    I won't purge anything fab, like yours here, but would naturally wear my flats much more often:-).

  • Roxanna replied 7 years ago

    I went through this exact same conundrum after kids. I actually did purge almost all my heels higher than 1.5" when I had my second. I love style and I love the way I look in heels. But I like to move far and fast in a day, and I just refuse to wear things that will slow me down (I am all about productivity.) Also - I physically couldn't wear heels all day anymore, and school drop offs were just a pain in heels.

    I still love pretty shoes - so i invested in quite a few pairs of J Crew's Dolce pump, which is 1.5" high and comes in fabulous colours and patterns. I wear boots or flats to work, then wear thee heels all day in the office (example below.) Or I wear fashion forward wedges for edgy looks.

    I never thought I would drop my sky-high heels - but i'm so glad I have. I think my solution works well!

  • shedev replied 7 years ago

    I would purge a few of the worst comfort offenders, then replace with comfier shoes. I'd consider the ones that remain to be part of my date night type capsule.

  • UmmLila (Lisa) replied 7 years ago

    I like the line of the outfit a lot better with the heels. That said, obviously heels are not the answer for every occasion or situation that comes up. Perhaps you should just keep a pair of dressy yet comfortable flats in your car, office and work bag. Or follow Roxanna's solution.

    By the way I love that Dagne Dover bag. I've looked at their website before but never purchased.

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    I stopped wearing heels to work when I was pregnant (my son is 28). I gave myself a pass while I was waddling around. I still dressed nice, just didn't wear heels. Fortunately, we soon moved to a mountain resort town and it wasn't really an issue, and then to our present location which is pretty casual. I was a CPA, had a good reputation, and was very good at my job. I decided my work could speak for itself. I wore cute flats or very low heels. Now I only wear heels on occasion. When I look at them, the ones I'm attracted to, such as the SE Okala, are 3 inch. These kill me!

  • BrieN replied 7 years ago

    I think to start I would flip the shoes so you are wearing the flats running around in the morning and afternoon with the kids and errands and from time to time change into the heels in your professional setting.

    I don't think I'd purge the high heel shoes as the phases of "mom on the go" literally go so fast. 

  • Ginger replied 7 years ago

    I rarely wear higher than 3" except for morning church; it's just too much work. I walk fairly long distances at work (1/4 mile walk just from my car, and sometimes meetings that are another 1/4 mile from my desk) and higher heels are not comfortable every day.

    I like Staysfit's advice to vary what you wear. I wore flat Ecco boots the majority of last winter, and my feet and legs adapted. To the point that it felt weird to wear my 2 1/2" vintage heels when it warmed up again in the spring. Not painful, but I could feel it.  I don't want to lose the ability to wear heels, so I've paid more attention to alternating wears since then. Higher heels get worn at church, or when I don't have long-distance-away meetings at work and am okay with tired feet. (Bodyglide makes a huge difference as well.)  This is part of why I wanted heeled winter boots, so I have another option for wet days besides the flat ones.

    At the same time, I've cut back on adding more shoes with high heels. Instead, I've invested in really cute flats (not anonymous ballet shoes) and lower 1 3/4" heels.  Except for the boots, it's been 1.5-2 years since I bought shoes with a heel 2 3/4" or higher.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    The Maximalism Trend was made for you, Natalie. I love you in your dainty flats. Just as ladylike. 

  • milehighstyle (Linda) replied 7 years ago

    Even my husband (who thinks my shoe count is ridiculous) says store them away, don't get rid of them, you never know if you'll want them again.  I often wear two pair of shoes for work - heels that I carry in my tote and flats to commute and/or if my feet get tired of the heels.  I have, however, donated some of my super high heels and some platform heels that look dated. And some that just will never be comfortable even for a short time.

  • bj1111 replied 7 years ago

    If you have the room to store them, I would put them aside. see if you want to reach for them at some point.

    My biggest regrets are the shoes that I purged.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I like Staysfit's solution of varying the shoes. (And Staysfit, I also love your DD's bag!) 

    I do think you have lovely dainty elegant feet and ankles and your refined flats look fabulous on you and work with your outfits. So if you or fate decided that you could never wear another heel again, you'd still look amazing. But I also think you can probably manage heels for date night or presentations or sitting days. 

    I don't wear high heels -- my top max. is 3 inches and those I wear rarely. But flats for me are even worse. Horrid for my feet!! Best is about 2 inches so I'm in heaven now with the block heel trend. Long may it reign. 

  • Gigi replied 7 years ago

    I don't see a huge difference in the two pairs of shoes for this outfit. I slightly prefer the flats because they expose a little bit more of your leg, lightening up the outfit a bit. But the difference is negligible.

    If you enjoy your heels, I would not get rid of them, even if you can't wear them a lot. It's 100% OK to bring a pair of flats along for later in the day. It really depends on how important the extra style boost is to you for those few hours that you can wear the heels. I do agree that some of the heels you have are works of art, and I think that that brings enjoyment to the people who see you wear them, even if it's just for a few hours.

  • Echo replied 7 years ago

    I prefer the look of the heels, but not because of the heel, if that makes sense. I prefer the straps on that pair, and I would still prefer them even if they were flat. 

    I guess I think about shoes like the Dragonfly shoes and the Rockstuds and think you shouldn't purge shoes like that. They're just too unusual, and once you have already purchased them, it doesn't do any HARM to keep them. If you have shoes you never reach for, then by all means get rid of them. But I do think it is worth keeping shoes that I only wear for a few hours now and then, if for no other reason than the enjoyment I get from simply having them.

    I also vastly prefer flats, and they are far more comfortable for my lifestyle. But I won't purge shoes I love, even if I rarely wear them.

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