Back during my hardcore goth days, I was lucky when one year, Santa gifted me a pair of laced platform shoes in a red leopard print. To me, the magical pair of shoes looked like flats that boosted my height and made me look extra witchy — a look I was really striving for in my teens. I couldn't wait to take my platforms out for a test drive at the mall the next day, but when I walked out of my house, I barely made it to the car without floundering in a very ungraceful way — and falling flat on my face. Apparently, I needed to learn how to walk in heels before I could rock my new rockabilly shoes.
But instead of learning to walk in heels or platforms, I went back to my trusty Doc Martins and Converse sneakers —and have rarely strayed from that look ever since. As a bridesmaid, my shoe choice had to be approved months in advance by the bride because they knew I would try to punk up my dress with a pair of combat boots. (Which, I maintain, would have been cute.)
Weddings weren't the only time my size 10 foot was pressured into heels: In 2010, I interviewed for a position through a recruitment firm. Ahead of my interview, my recruiter said she was confident that I would get the job, but paused at the door before adding, "Wear a pair of heels to the interview on Monday — otherwise your outfit is great." (One would hope that in 2014, women wouldn't still be expected to wear heels in order to get ahead, but no such luck.)
When I told her I couldn't wear heels, she looked puzzled and said I should just bring a pair in my bag and take them out when I got into the building. I knew I'd feel uncomfortable, so I didn't wear them. I ended up getting the job anyway, dressed in a pair of oxford shoes.
I have since decided that I will never wear heels or platforms again. My days of wearing heels for photos, wedding parties, or interviews are over. I gave it a shot and I hated it, though I respect anyone who can rock a heel comfortably. But here are seven totally legit reasons why I now choose to stay close to the ground — for good.
1. Heels Look Enormous in my size
Wearing a size 10 and being 5"5 doesn't come without burdens. I already feel too short for my feet, constantly stubbing my toe around my house and falling over my own feet. Whenever I've actually found a pair of heels that are my style, I've excitedly pulled out my size — only to throw them back in the box, disgusted. Apparently, heels only look cute in a size 5.
2. My Feet are my main source of transportation
I live in New York City, which means I walk everywhere. I have a 15 minute commute to my job, a 20 minute commute to my favorite watering hole, and most of the venues I frequent are miles from the subway. While a pair of heels may seem like a great idea inside my house, I know they are going to be a big problem once I hit the streets. I definitely don't want to arrive at a location already in pain.
3. I Never Know When A Situation might Call For Running
No, I don't mean in a scary way. But like I said, I live in New York City, and that means running. Although I typically keep a brisk pace while I'm walking, I never know when I'm going to need to run to make the next train or to the ATM in order to close out my bar tab. But when I need to? I'm always glad I'm not wearing heels.
4. I Love to dance
If I could dance in heels, I would rethink my whole opinion of wearing them. But the thing is, no matter how "comfortable" a pair of heels seems, they're only "cozy" in comparison to other heels. When someone tells me to put on my dancing shoes, I'm definitely not reaching for a pair of uncomfortable heels that will limit my fancy footwork.
5. Three Words: Back Pain, Knee Problems, and Arthritis
The main thing that has me swearing off heels forever? An injury I sustained to my Achilles tendon three years ago. I still feel aches and inflammation when the weather turns cold or rainy, and I know wearing heels would only aggravate the situation. Not only am I anti-heel because I don't want my arthritis to flare up — I'm anti-heel because I want my feet to remain vibrant for as long as possible. After all, wearing heels can damage your ankles, back, and knees. I come from a family full of knee problems, and I'm not trying to start feeling that pain for at least another 20 years!
6. I don't like feeling (or looking) less able-bodied
According to a study in the Daily Mail, men are more likely to help women if they are wearing heels. Well, thank goodness, I know how to help myself, thankyouverymuch.
7. Because there's nothing cute about being uncomfortable
I'm stylish as hell — and I'll take my Docs over heels any day.