Heels got such a bad rap during lockdown, it was unclear if they’d ever return to public favor. Everyone traded in their stilettos for slippers, and even my sky-high heels began to collect dust in my closet, no doubt wondering what happened to their owner.
Then, things began to open up and, with it, the prospect of donning vertiginous heels once again. But how does one get reacquainted with fashion torture devices after a year puttering around the house in socks and slippers? Enter: Tamara Mellon’s pillow top collection.
When the purple velvet pumps first arrived at my doorstep, they seemed like any other shoe that I drool over but wince at the thought of wearing. But when I slipped my feet in, I was in awe of how comfortable they are — I felt like I was walking on a cloud.
That’s because the first-of-their-kind shoes feature dual-layer cushioning made of 8mm of high-density memory foam (yes, the same memory foam you’d find in your mattress). Not only was physical pain a thing of the past, but, dare I say it, each step actually made my feet feel better. The sparkly pumps were as cozy as my favorite, fleece-lined slippers, just infinitely prettier.
If the very idea of comfortable heels sounds oxymoronic to you, you’re going to want to keep reading.
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First Up: The Basics
As the co-founder of Jimmy Choo and a celebrity favorite who counts Meghan Markle among her fans, Tamara Mellon is well-known for crafting beautiful footwear. Inspired by her Eames Soft Pad Chair, she worked with her L.A. design team and Italian artisans to go beyond aesthetics and create a collection that also happens to be super comfy.
Along with the aforementioned memory foam and dual-layer cushioning, the shoes are created to soften and mold to your feet in response to body heat. I noticed that the cushioning changed as I walked to make sure every step felt as comfortable as possible.
While I fell in love with the purple, embellished pumps, the collection includes open-toe, heeled sandals, kitten heels, and flats, all with the same pillow top technology. Because the 2020s are hard and we deserve something nice, am I right?
Why I’m Obsessed
I wore a pair to a restaurant, and even after standing while waiting for a table and walking back and forth from the bathroom, the heels felt just as plush at the end of the night as when I first slipped them on. That’s no doubt due to the shoe’s ability to mold to your feet and adjust in response to your body temperature.
That said, they are still heels — so it’s not like I’m going to walk miles in them à la Carrie Bradshaw. (Try the Tamara Mellon pillow top flats for that.) But do expect these to be the most comfortable high heels you’ve ever worn.
I also love what Mellon’s commitment to comfortable shoes represents. I’m old enough to remember when people bristled at the thought of engineering heels to provide more support; they were seen as works of art, comfort be damned. As a designer who walks around in the footwear she creates, Mellon is invested in creating a great experience for the wearer — and that makes all the difference.
Though I could always use a more comfortable heel, Mellon’s timing couldn’t be better. Instead of going back to painful pumps after lockdown, I’ve found a pair that feels just as comfortable as my fleece-lined slippers.
With its dual-layer cushioning made from memory foam, these shoes are made to massage your feet with every step — and they don’t sacrifice a shred of beauty or glamour in the process.