Updated: Jun 8
As a girl, most of us are taught that fancy shoes are a requirement of femininity. No matter the height, we watched the graceful strut of women who have perfected walking in two to four inch heels and wanted to be her! For me, her was my mom!
In her youth, my mother had a beautiful five foot one, hourglass frame. When we prepared for church, I would watch her strut across carpet in four inch heels (nothing less would do for Bunny). The balancing act alone was so elegant, graceful and awesome! The way she matched those beautiful stilts with her outfits was both colorful and stunning!
Most of the women that I knew in my life wore heels of some sort. It seemed to be a requirement. So, of course I had to join the cult. I learned to walk like Bunny (at least tried to) and my inherited hourglass shape with full hips (thanks mom) made me feel like a certified Queen Bee! Plus, I was stopping traffic like mom, so I felt like I had finally arrived!
*Side note: My brother and I were walking with my mother one day. Her Regal Black Beauty and gently swaying hips actually caused an accident! Lol!
After a few years of collecting and wearing small heels, kitten heels (ugh), pumps, blocked heels, platforms and even stilettos very well, I discovered something.
I HATE WEARING HEELS!
Yes! Although I enjoyed the way they made my feet look (although those pointy toed shoes were the absolute devil) and the guys seemed to like them, I absolutely hated wearing heels. In fact, I don't like wearing shoes much now at all. It got to the point that when I showed up to a performance that I would let my audience know from the start that the pretty shoes I was wearing were coming off before the close of the show. Many thought that I was emulating some mainstream artists like Patti LaBelle or Jill Scott (both from Philly too). Nah. We just all had the same idea. Comfort!
Then it occurred to me that I never was a shoe person at all. As a girl I remember my grandmother always fussing at me in her southern accent, “Get somethin' on yo' feets, Gal!” I used to run outside on the hot concrete in the summer barefoot. Yet, I was sucked into the high heel cult!
Fast forward to present day. I now live in Ghana where most of the roads are straight up DUST! Although I own about three pair of heels, most of my shoes are flat, comfortable sandals or slip ons. My daily wear recommendations are B-Zees Shoes (very cute styles for any wear) and Sketchers Sneakers (slip on Arch Fit which are cute and washable).
It also turns out that wearing high heels consistently can cause many skeletal and muscle issues, such as calf muscle shortening, thickening of the Achilles tendon, ankle instability, knee and hip damage as well as back pain. Most women are aware of this.
So, why do we still wear them?
Guys! It's you, guys! All your fault! Y'all stay pressuring us!
Sike. Just kidding.
Really though. It's a girl thing. I don't subscribe to it but I do understand it. High heeled shoes come in every color with sparkles, colors and designs that scream dopeness when properly matched with your outfit. They are such a required, finishing accessory to sync with your belt, jewelry, handbag, head wraps and hats! Oh, Girl! The shoes! The shoes gotta be right!
So, what's a girl to do? While I am not a podiatrist, here is what I have learned.
Pointed shoes are the absolute worst! I can't imagine who the first person was to think up this rotten idea for our precious feet! They squeeze your toes with each step and cause a world of issues including unnecessary discomfort.
Peep toed heels often cause a pinch also. The heel causes your foot to slide down and often you get that weird toe-struggle or toe hang over look. Ouch and eww!
The higher the heel, the harder the fall. Seriously. So many tumbles in the street, off a curb, off the stage, you name it!
Pointy heels often get stuck in cracks in the sidewalk, grates, manholes, the ground, etc.!
Wearing heels for long periods of time will grant you ugly feet with corns, bruises, bunions, and all that skeletal damage I mentioned earlier.
So, what's a girl to do?
My suggestion is that if you must wear high heels that you do so in moderation. I believe that they are cool for first dates, runway catwalks, photos and for brief wear at events. My Mom used to always keep a pair flat shoes in her tote bag. After church or a function, Bunny was out of those heels! I believe that is such a good and healthy idea, especially if you plan to be on your feet for long periods of time. I do not suggest wearing heels to Walmart, the supermarket or the mall. Because, why?
I haven't really found really good flats comparable to wearing high heels yet. Maybe you might have some suggestions (or maybe a sponsor would like to send me some.) In the meantime, I'm all about comfort, baby! Besides, I'm trying to hold on to any goodness in these knees in case I wanna drop it low on the dance floor!
Thanks for reading! Till next time!