Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Low Heels Week - Audrey!

Today's low heels are 1" high...that's about as low as you can go and still have a heel!

I picked up this skirt after work yesterday while I should have been shopping for groceries. I'm such a sucker for pattern in skirts.
Inigo wants out.

Some of yesterday's comments:

Kari: "..in some ways I feel like kitten heels are harder for me to walk in than higher but chunkier heels."

Kristen: "I find them too hard to wear now; the tiny little heel feels less sturdy than a chunkier one that are three inches."

It's what you are used to, I think. It does take a different gait, but the same rule applies: always trust the heel and land heel first. You should always try to do a natural heel-through-toe range of motion, no matter what height your shoes are.

Letting the heel land first, especially when it's a small one (whether that's a stiletto or a kitten heel), can feel shaky at times. It requires strong ankles and good balance. What I do to work on this is go up as high as I can onto my toes when I'm either sock-footed or in runners - hold it for as long as you can, then go back down (but don't let your heel hit the ground). Rise up again, hold it, then back down. It's great for your balance and strengthening ankles (I learned it in aikido).

Give it a try! And give low heels a try. Kitten heels are so retro - and it's good to take a break from wearing heels every day.

Lorena: "it's true you MAY have to stop wearing them or NOT. My grandma is 80 and she CANNOT wear flat shoes.... she wears heels"

The flip side of wearing heels all the time is that you can end up shortening your tendons (your Achilles) at the back of your ankle and legs and end up doing permanent damage to your legs. It's important that you vary your heel heights daily, and also to work at keeping the back of your legs stretched out.

After I do my toe balancing (I do this at stoplights when I'm walking home), I do heel rocking: I rock back on my heels, lifting my toes up as high as I can before I rock back. This is also good for strengthening the muscle down the front of your calf (the one that always gives shin splints).

I also do stretches in bed every morning before I get up: I lift one leg straight up and hold my foot so that my leg is straight...oooh, feel that in the back of the leg! I give myself a quick massage on the back and front of the calf, give my knee a rub to get the circulation going, and massage my hamstring on the back of my thigh - then I do the other leg. It only takes a minute.

Wendy: "I don't feel like myself in low heels."

Yeah, I know what you mean, Wendy. High heels can make you feel kick-ass and powerful! Rar! I'm walkin' with authority here!

When I wear low heels, I actually feel very Audrey Hepburn. She famously had big feet (size 10 or 10.5, slightly bigger than mine) and always wore low heels or flats (she popularized the kitten heel in the 50s). It depends on my mood and how I want to project myself...you know, like when you wear stilettoes vs. combat boots.

Oh, here's the shoes:
You can see the pattern/texture in the skirt really well there - it's a lovely midnight blue with black pattern. That's one of Grandma J's necklaces.

A close-up of the heel:
I like that heel is not too scooped in at the back and is nearly a wedge. These are really sturdy to walk in. Not bad for $10.

Cashmere sweater (Expression, consignment), skirt (Smart Set, consignment), hose (Hue), shoes (Wild Diva), necklace (Coro, 60s? vintage, Grandma J's).

11 comments:

  1. What a great idea, Sheila. I actually don't have any kitten heels now, so I'll just watch and admire your week. (Love these 1" shoes!)

    When I dance and wear heels I get pain (worse from dancing, since I'm up on the balls of my feet, bouncing up and down, without any arch support at all.) I've learned that I really need to stretch out my calves and especially my arches, otherwise I get excrutiating pain. I agree too with your tip of varying heel heights.

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  2. I think it's like going from wearing heavy mascara to light or no mascara. It's more in the adjustment than the actual end result...At any rate, I appreciate your nod to those of us who for whatever reason don't have a wardrobe of those fabulous high-heeled shoes.

    BTW, I cited you in my post yesterday. I don't have so many followers as you, but I wanted them to know about your low-heels feature!

    I love that skirt! I'm still looking for a couple of shorter ones. Will have to add "pattern" to the criteria.

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  3. Sheila, that is such a pretty skirt... I love the pattern on it and I can almost feel the texture... oh...

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  4. A great reminder that all high heels all the time can hurt a lady in the long-run!

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  5. Thanks, Kari. Ah, ouch, I forgot about your dancing - that would kill your feet. I'm glad you look after them!

    Rebecca, I think you are right. Thank you so much for mentioning me! Yes, patterned skirts are a must!

    Thanks, Lorena!

    Thanks very much, Sal!

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  6. I love this whole outfit -- you look very flirty and youthful in it. Interesting to hear what your readers think of heels. They seem such a personal article, don't they? I have many friends who won't wear them ever, and a few who, like myself, enjoy a kickass heel more than pretty much anything else. I'm always also really intrigued by tall women who wear them, because it seems to imply an overt confidence that I find extremely appealing.

    xx

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  7. I'm a sucker for patterned skirts too. I just wore a pretty one with an interesting color palette yesterday. I need to get to taking pictures again. But, I was at my parents for the last couple of days. I love the blue and black colors of your new skirt.

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  8. Thanks so much, Julia! I love that 50s vibe in clothing.

    I agree - it's a very personal thing. I grew up wearing heels, so it's nothing to me to throw a pair on, but I also have friends who never, ever wear them and vice versa.

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  9. I always feel like my feet look bigger in low-heeled shoes; I'm still trying to get over that.

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  10. Audi, I bet my feet are bigger than yours! I'm a 9-10 (depends on the style), and I revel in it! What I like is that my feet are so long (and thin, I have thin feet), that even in low heels, when I sit, my legs look longer!

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Cheers,
Sheila