copyright 2001, D. Glenn Arthur Jr.
Last updated 1998.
[Photos coming soon -- I have a working scanner but need to find those photos again.]
Lately I haven't had money to spend on shoes, which has been a problem since my one good pair of black pumps stopped being a good pair several months ago, and my sandals died in August. Fortunately one of my friends, Chastity, has taken it upon herself to force me to wear more fashionable footwear, which has entailed giving me new shoes for Christmas and my birthday. So not only do I now have new shoes, I've got more interesting shoes than my old basic black pumps. (Not that I saw anything wrong with basic black pumps, but it's cool to have more interesting options.) I'm so glad to have cool shoes, that I decided to shout it to the web. So below, after some musings and ramblings, are descriptions of the shoes I'm so glad she gave me. :-)
Funny thing about me and high heels: Until my latest pair, I never had to learn to walk in them. The first time I ever tried on a pair, I was in a shoe store in New Orleans. (I was there for the World Science Fiction Convention.) Needing a new pair of shoes, I'd gone in to buy flats -- I figured at six feet tall, I didn't need to be any taller. But I tried on a pair of heels as a lark, and took a few steps. I heard my then-girlfriend make an interesting noise behind me, and when I turned and saw the look on her face, I knew I had to buy those shoes. (Well, the black vinyl miniskirt, gold silk blouse, and black fishnet stockings may have contributed to the effect, but I'd still never seen quite that look on her face before.) So I wore them out of the store, walked back to the hotel, and immediately got comments such as, "How long did it take you to learn to walk in those?" I'd been in them ten minutes.
After that, I tried different heel heights. I quickly discovered that on my feet, three or four inch heels are a lot more comfortable than anything lower, until you get all the way down to flats. I've walked as easily in 4" heels as I do in anything else, right from the get-go. Now it's not that my Achilles tendon has shortened from wearing heels so often, either: first, heels have been this easy for me ever since my first pair, and second, I spend a lot more time barefoot than I do shod. And barefoot is just fine. I think it's just something about the size of my foot and the shape of my ankle. *shrug* I can forget that I'm wearing four-inch heels, and don't find them particularly limiting. I suspect that there's some optimal heel height for each person, and that part of the trick to making high heels comfortable is to find the right height for you. Of course, for many people, the most comfortable height will be flats, but oh well.
Since then I've bought a lot of shoes -- and worn out a lot of shoes. (And had new heel-tips put on a lot of shoes.) Most of the shoes I've bought have been black; a few have been white. When you get up to size twelve, you don't find much outside of Payless except in shops I can't afford to shop in; and in Payless, when you get up to size twelve, they don't give you a whole lot of options. Right now, my only shoes fit to wear that I bought myself are my medieval shoes (which I wear to medieval and renaissance events and when I perform in a kilt) and my winter boots, which aren't as feminine as I'd like, but they do the job. (I don't wear them much, especially with the lack of snow we've had in my area this winter.) I've got a nice pair of flats given to me by one of my housemates, and when I really need to "dress male", I've got a pair of sneakers my father gave me 'cause they didn't fit him right. My sandals fell apart in August, and the aforementioned black pumps fell apart in February. (I wore them to dance practice one last time so Chastity could have the pleasure of throwing them away after she gave me my birthday shoes.)
Anyhow, on to the new heels...
Tired of seeing me in black shoes and black hose with clothes that wanted more colour underneath, Chastity gave me these red shoes.
The heel is about as low as I can wear comfortably -- a smidgen under three inches. I can wear 3" heels, but after wearing the slowly deteriorating 4" ones for a while, these feel lower than they are. I actually had to measure them, 'cause I swore they didn't feel as high as Chastity told me they were. Funny how being barefoot always feels good, but I can feel funny in shoes that are lower than I'm used to.
The red shoes don't quite match the dress she thought they'd go with, but I've found enough other things in my wardrobe to wear with them. These are extremely comfortable shoes, once I get used to how low (for me) they are.
For Christmas, Chastity gave me this nifty pair of silver sequined pumps. More dramatic (and sparkly) than anything else I'd dared put on my feet in my life, though still not especially high -- 3.25" again. High enough for me to wear comfortably though, so it's enough. (Y'know, in some respects I'm actually a pretty conservative dresser. Ironic, isn't it?) A couple weeks later I had a concert at a science fiction convention, and I knew I had to wear these shoes on stage. So I chose the rest of my outfit around the shoes. At another convention, people couldn't resist bouncing lasers off my shoes. Little red sparkly dots all over the hall! Wheeeee!!
After a few people joked that they should be red, so I could click my heels together three times to go home, someone else pointed out that in the Oz books (which I haven't read), unlike the movie (which I and probably everyone else in my culture have seen), the shoes are silver. Wheee!
Again, these are a little lower than I'm used to, but sparkly enough to more than make up for it. I'd say there's no chance of blending in with the crowd when I wear these, but I tend to be sort of conspicuous most of the time anyhow (no matter how conservatively I dress), so that's moot.
I'm still getting used to these, which she gave me on my birthday. They're 6" stilettos. Patent-look. With an ankle strap. Fetish shoes. And these are the ones she said she bought to be my "everyday" shoes? I guess she has a lot of faith in me! (Then again, each time I wear them they're a little more comfortable...)
So when I say I'm still learning the right way to walk in these six-inchers, and that they're the first shoes I've had that were high enough to change my walk and make me think about it, I'd say that's significant.
But kind of fun!
After owning them for a week (and wearing them four times), I actually managed to forget I was wearing them once ... until I moved to take a step. :-) (No, I didn't stumble or anything, just became aware again that I was wearing shoes in which I had to move differently.) Now, as I prepare to post this page, I've had them a couple more weeks after that, and I think I'm getting the hang of walking in them the way they were meant to be walked in. I still have to remind myself to do so though ... but I figure I'll get plenty of practice. :-) The only part that's really difficult is walking down stairs gracefully.