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Cynthia Nellis

When It Comes to Heels, How High is Too High?

By September 22, 2009

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kincadeThis is my sad tale of boot love gone wrong. My love affair with the Michael Kors Kincade (Buy Direct) was brief, but quite passionate. Everything about this slouchy suede pair of boots was perfect: reasonable price ($202), cute hardware, made for skinny jeans. I had to own them immediately, so I had the boots overnighted and tried them right away. The only flaw? A sky-scraping (for me, anyway) 4 1/2 inch skinny heel which puts me somewhere around the 6 foot mark. For days, I'd try them on, admire them in the mirror and then wobble down the hall. My husband, who is not amused at my antics in high heels, wondered whether it was possible to put training wheels on them. The final verdict? These boots, although perfect, were just too tall for a klutz like me. So I sorrowfully boxed them back up to return. Surely I'm not the only girl out there who has had her heart broken by a pair of stilettos. How high is too high for you? (Photo Credit: Zappos.com)


September 28, 2009 at 8:24 am
(1) Nicole says:

This is a pet peeve of mine. I am tall, 5’11″ and love wearing heels. Even though 3 inch heels put me at 6’2″ I still wear them. I can’t tell you how many shoes I have passed up because the heels are 4 or more inches.

Besides who really wants to spend all day in shoes with heels THAT high

September 28, 2009 at 8:36 am
(2) Carla says:

I, too, am 5′ 11″ and have no problem wearing 4″ Jimmy Choo heels! :) It all depends upon the heel’s thickness and what surface you are walking.

September 28, 2009 at 9:39 am
(3) Kristen Kelly says:

I am also 5′ 11″ and a 4 inch stilettos looks great with a pair of skinny jeans out dancing, but to wear them all day walking is just worth the trouble.

September 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm
(4) Barbara Jo says:

Well ladies, I’m 5’10″ and I prefer 4 inch heels for daily wear. Yes I had to get used to them but the trouble was worth it. There are times when the other ladies will try to see who can wear the highest and I generally get close to winning that one with my 5 inchers. Luckily I don’t have to walk all day. Work can be so much fun sometimes.

September 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm
(5) Rhonda says:

I’m 5’8″ and wear boots with stiletto heels from 4-6″. The six-inchers are for “special” occasions. Mostly I wear 4″ heels even to work wear they get a lot of notice.

September 29, 2009 at 5:47 am
(6) Ellen Marie says:

I think it’s the way the boots are made. I have a pair of open toe 4″ heels that I can wear all day. I have a pair of 4″ knee high boots that I can hardly walk in. I have compared the heels side by side and they are the same height.
I have the same problem with a pair of 3.5″ heel boots.
Has to be the way they’re made.

September 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm
(7) yenmax says:

Generally speaking, women wear a pair of high heel shoes can only make them look great and very sexy. I do not care whether you are short or tall, wearing shoes with high heels can never go wrong. Of course, it may make you feel very uncomfortable if you walk a lot. However, with these types of shoes, normally not for walking, but for the look such as attending a party; event or going out for a date. With a proper dress or outfit, it should make you
look fabulous.

October 2, 2009 at 3:34 am
(8) Kate says:

Although sky-high heels look sexy, they are damaging to women’s health (unless, I suppose, you rarely walk in them, then it’s all good). The key in the original article is that the author find the shoes too tall for walking, and I feel that’s a trade-off that every woman needs to make for herself: comfort/health/safety vs. looks.

The highest I can go is about 3″, partly because I can’t balance on anything higher (especially not stilettos), partly because my feet are size 6, so that makes 4″ heels much more difficult than if they were size 10.

October 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm
(9) Cathie says:

If you look good and are comfortable wearing high heel shoes and boots go for it. Cathie

October 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(10) pamela says:

I’m only 5’2″ I would love to wear high heel shoes or boots. But because of foot problems I can only wear low heels. My doctor prefers for me to wear or flats, 1 inch at the most. Well today I went to look for shoes for a special date. I could not find any that I could because of the heels. I just wish designers would design nice shoes or boots with lower heels. I’m tired of wearing”old lady shoes”.

May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm
(11) Jodie says:

Hi Cynthia,

I’ve been wearing 5 inch heels to the office every day for three months now. Despite being used to heels (I had worn 4 inches for years before that) they took A LOT of getting used to before I felt fully confident in them (but are totally worth the effort for their look and the feeling of confidence combined with a hint of sexiness).

Fit and quality of the shoe is very important too. A badly fitting or made high heel will always be hard to walk in.
But Michael Kors should be good (I don’t own a pair) so I would say, if you love them you should have kept trying.

It’s all about practice. Start with wearing new heels around the house as much as possible. Then out when you know you won’t have to walk much – your husband could take you for dinner somewhere a taxi can drop you at the door. With time and practice you will get more confident. And the more you get used to them the more the disadvantages of heels reduce (your less wobberly, your feet ache less and less, etc) and the benefits increase (you gain more confidence, feel more sexy and look great)!

June 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm
(12) Sarah says:

I have an addiction to my heels.. I wear 5in for daily wear [even to the grocery]
There wasn’t a break-in time for me, the instant I put them on, I didn’t wobble and I walked fine. honestly, I find heels more comfortable than flats, but at 5’9 [almost 5'10] and still growing [I'm 14] I end up taller than many [I don't mind it much though because my best friend is 6'4 so it allows me to look straight at him rather than strain my neck] :)

June 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm
(13) Sarah says:

And, to clarify my earlier comment, my heels don’t have a platform of more than 1cm.. I think that it tends to look a bit ‘dancer’ when they have large platforms.

October 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(14) Sophia says:

I’d say 3 inches are my limit for all-day wear, and a mere 3.5 for night wear, but I prefer 2.5 and 3, respectively. I think most woman with uber tall heels look great when standing still, but once they start walking, they look ridiculous and not at all sexy. It’s very hard to get the feet to hit the ground right and get a good range of hip motion. My beau thinks being able to shake it is far sexier than the constrained walk most women have with towering heels, and I agree. I’m still lamenting the fact that heels now are all or nothing – 2″ kitten or 3++” sky scraper. I miss the days when gorgeous shoes came with 2.5 in heels.

June 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm
(15) Wendi says:

I just got my very first and probably last pair of Christian Louboutin Balota shoes in the mail for my wedding. They are 5″ heel and I am having the worst time trying to learn how to walk in them. I use to wear heels all the time to work but now I am a stay at home mom whos favorite shoes are my puma’s lol. I dont know what to do, I paid too much for these beauties to stay in the closet but I seriously can’t walk in the them. I read somewhere that if you can’t stand on your tippee toes in heels then thats when they are too high…well guess what I can’t do…ugh…now what…my fiance got these for me and Im pretty sure he’d kill me if I didn’t actually wear them on the wedding day.

June 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm
(16) Jamie Myers says:

I can walk all day in 4 inch heels, but I just got a pair of 5 inch stilettos for my wedding. I can stand on my tippy toes in them so the saleswoman said I should get used to them soon. I hope so! The wedding is next week! I still wobble while standing still, but I can walk pretty decent in them after only 2 days of practice. These shoes will replace my 4 inchers because I feel so incredibly sexy in them! I won’t go any higher, but with this confidence boost, 5 inchers from now on! The only bad thing is that they make me 6 inches taller than my fiance! :D

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