Shoes are kind of a big deal to pretty much any woman. When you’re a toddler, you run around barefooted in the grass and jump in mud puddles in froggy squeak boots. As you grow up, your shoes grow with you. And so does your shoe collection. By the time you’re in high school, you’ve chewed through over a hundred pairs of shoes.
Shoes protect our feet and delicate toe pads from the ravages of rough flooring, keep us warm and well balanced. Athletic shoes cushion our feet so we can run the minute mile without a blister. And yes, shoes do add a certain flair to any ensemble. But what’s the big deal with the heel?
Heels — kittens, platforms, wedges, stilettos, sky-scraper stilettos — are miniature stilts designed solely for women’s feet. Over time, we women have come to believe that heels make us look sexier, make our butts look more shapely and outfits more polished. We literally stand on our tippie toes all day long so our behinds jut out just the right amount to make our skirts strut right.
And for heaven’s sake, let’s admit it, heels hurt. Even for those lovely ladies who claim to be totally comfy in heels — is this heel embrace for real or is it just a mechanism to meet (or exceed) the standard of how we’re expected to look? In heels, our calves work overtime, our arches complain, our toes cramp up. And lets be honest, we can’t wait to kick them off at the end of the day.
Men simply do not have to carry the burden of wearing heels. Where’s the feminism, the equality, in that? When it comes to glass ceilings, our heels haven’t cracked through an inch.
So one fine day, I decided that I’d had enough. No more heels, please. I looked myself long and hard in the mirror and gave up my compulsion to purchase and wear uncomfortable heels deemed “fabulous” by the fashion gods. I’m “leaning in” to comfort and compassion now.
So have compassion for your darling feet. Respect them. They literally carry your body through life. They do all the heavy lifting and believe me, the last thing they need is to be suspended in mid-air to get the job done right.
When I closed the heavy heel door, so many other beautiful, comfortable shoes flooded into my life. I felt rooted and literally more connected with the ground beneath my feet. Unexpectedly, I felt more poised in flats than in heels. Walking the streets, hand in hand with my love, became more joyous are carefree. Dancing become breezy and easy and fun. I began to feel my body move rather than my feet burn.
My legs thanked me, by back chilled out, my neck relaxed, and my outfits really didn’t mind all that much either. It was a rebalancing act more profound to my life than the latest fashion trend. My feet were finally free. I had one less thing to worry about — I was over the moon and healed.
Originally published at medium.com