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Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

High Heels Hurt Feet: How to Avoid Shoe Pain August 13, 2013

I am a self professed shoe lover. Especially when it comes to heels, my knees go weak. (that rhymed!!)

However, I try and mix up my heel heights all the time. This is primarily because wearing shoes of only one height often damage your feet.

We all have heard about the impact of high heels on your feet. I mean, there are women across the world submitting to surgery because of the ill effects of high heels on their feet. The only exception is Russian women. I dont know how they do it, but I have not heard of Russian Women undergoing foot surgery due to their awesome yet continuous wear of high heels. Look at them! They hold an Annual Stilletto Race! They are just…Awesome!

For everyone else, going with only one heel height (especially ‘high’) means long term damage to your tendons and bones.

More recently Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw) from Sex and the City fame proclaimed her foot injury due to high heels worn over years:

“For ten or so years, I literally ran in heels,” the star admits to Net-a-Porter’s digital fashion magazine. “I worked 18-hour days and never took them off. I wore beautiful shoes, some better made than others, and never complained.”

I can totally understand and envy that. But then, after years of wearing beautiful high heels, this is what she says:

“I went to a foot doctor and he said, ‘Your foot does things it shouldn’t be able to do. That bone there… You’ve created that bone. It doesn’t belong there.’ The moral of the story is, the chickens are coming home to roost. It’s sad, because my feet took me all over the world, but eventually they were like, ‘You know what, we are really tired, can you just stop – and don’t put cheap shoes on us?’”

Of course, do NOT wear cheap ill made shoes, but being in India I have seen some very good brands make shoes that may not be compatible with your feet.


Rule #1: BUY COMFORTABLE SHOES: Do not buy shoes that feel wobbly when you are still in the showroom. They may look pretty, but really, wearing shoes that are not stable doesn’t make sense. Everyone has a different center of gravity. Just try walking in your pair, they should not wobble and the shoe heel should come at the correct point beneath your actual foot heel to make you feel comfortable. The toe of the shoe should not pinch.

Don't Wear Wobbly Shoes

Don’t Wear Wobbly Shoes

Rule #2: BUY DIFFERENT TYPE OF SHOES: Many women I see are comfortable with a certain ‘type’ of shoe. Wedges, stilettos, flats, ballerinas. I would say that mix up the type you own. Especially keep two varieties for daily wear. Even a wedge and a stiletto mixed over a week is good enough. Just make it different, there is a huge world of choice out there!

Wear Different Type of Shoes

Wear Different Type of Shoes

Rule #3: CHANGE YOUR HEEL HEIGHT: This may not be everyday, but on weekends wear sneakers, or ballerinas. This helps tremendously in exercising all aspects of your leg and toe, and not allowing your foot to get into trouble because any one part feels continual strain.

Very Heel Height over a Week

Very Heel Height over a Week

Rule #4: WALK BAREFOOT: Whenever possible, give your feet a rest! Walk barefoot, preferably on grass, sand or mud. There is nothing quite as relaxing for your feet! (And it really relaxes and benefits all your muscles)

Barefoot Walking on Grass

Walk Barefoot on Grass

That’s it! Just try following these four simple rules, and you will be spared of the most painful, long term impacts of your high heels.


Strappy Black Sandals – my go-to party shoes! August 10, 2013

It is always nice to wear heels. However, with driving for more than 3 hours a day and incessant rains, it has been a chore to wear shoes that need buckling at the ankles, or have heels that can slip on wet streets.

The other day when we went out for dinner with family, I thought it was the perfect time to bring out my strappy black heels. Hubby was driving, and we were going to a restaurant which meant – no walking through rainy puddles!

They take me about four inches further away from the ground, and make me feel oh-so-happy. There is something about a delicate pencil heel that can make your back straighter, your stride longer and your smile wider. 🙂

Strappy Black High heeled Sandal

Strappy Black High heeled Sandal

I bought this pair a while ago from Catwalk, and considering the delicate nature of Catwalk shoes, have worn them sporadically.

The black colour ensures it matches most clothes, especially skinny jeans – the silhouette it provides is very sleek. There should be one such shoe in every girls wardrobe. A staple which can be worn with almost any colour, can match almost any occasion, and is feminine.

The criss-cross pattern of the straps makes this very feminine, and the gold/metallic loops on the side save it from being too black.

The material is a soft suede, with bits of elastic near the ankle which helps me slip on the shoe fast despite its steep angle due to the heel and the many straps.

This design per se is pretty standard, but there is a specific pair made for every girl out there. This is mine.

strappy heels 1The shoe is super comfortable notwithstanding the pencil heel. It is very well balanced, and the straps hold my feet in place perfectly. There is an ankle buckle, which is a little difficult to tie by oneself. The buckle is a small delicate thing, and the strap is as wide as the buckle. This makes it a little difficult to put it through the buckle keyhole, especially for someone with long fingernails. In my opinion they could have put a simple faux buckle, but then this is a small point, and probably makes the shoe more stable.

Strappy high heeled black sandal with open buckle

Strappy high heeled black sandal with open buckle

All said and done, they are a definite plus to my shoe wardrobe, and a very comfortable pair!


Shoes for Salwar Kameez (shalwar kameez) October 8, 2009

Patiala Salwar
Patiala Salwar

Salwar Kameez is a ubiquitous dress in India and neighboring countries. Consisting mainly of a bottom and a top, it has many variations and is often colourful. Uniquely it is something women wear and when men wear the equivalent it is called by other names (eg. kurta-pajama).

Salwar typically means a baggy pajama, a little constricted at the ankle. They can be with lots of pleats (gher), i.e. Patiala style, or much more streamlined, as worn regularly.

However, loosely the term is also used to denote churidars. Churidars are tight legging type bottoms made (usually) of cotton or similar material, with length greater than the leg. So it bunches up near the ankle. The more the cloth near the ankle, the better it is supposed to be.

A well fitting Churidar

A well fitting Churidar

So, what should one wear with this attire? The decision of shoes with salwar kameezes is pretty much second nature to those who have been seeing it since childhood, or wear it often. But to those who are new to the dress, there can be some trauma associated with the choice. So here I am, your angel in disguise (OK dispute that if you want! humph!) to help you.


Flats go very well with Salwars, as opposed to Churidars. Kolapuri chappals look very nice, as well as any Indian sandal type. Flip flop style chappals are also a good bet.  You can look at the  post on Indian sandals I had written about earlier for a pointer on the types available. You can choose any type from there.

When wearing flats with salwars, do ensure that the pajama is not too long for your leg, and does not curl up under your heel. Not only will that be a nuisance while walking, it also looks bad and spoils the show of the salwar. Afterall, the salwar looks best when it has a good fall from the waist, curtailing in the bakram of the ankle.

Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapuri Chappals

With churidars, flats can be worn (especially with short kurtas), it does not look as elegant. When wearing flats with churidars try and stick to jutis rather than any other type of flats. Jutis make the overall look nice and old-fashioned elegant. Kind of like what the men wear, yet also a little 1930’s type.

Stilettos / Pencil/ High heels

High heels go extremely well with any type of salwar kameez. With patiala salwars and kurtas, the high heel streamlines the figure and gives length to the silouhuette. The patiala tends to make people look shorter, so unless you are tall, a medium to high heel is recommended. A pencil thin heel makes you look more chic than a regular high heel. Platforms or wedges can also be worn.

Churidar with matching heels

Churidar with matching heels

A churidar kurta makes a person look thin and taller because of its streamlined outline. With a high heel, the posture is improved and the overall effect is that of a tall, thin, elegant person. Platforms can also be worn, but with caution as every platform shoe does not compliment all the styles of kurtas.

Medium heel sandals

For regular daily wear, medium heel sandals work best. (The type I outlined for short skirts in my earlier post). They are comfortable, while at the same time giving a slight elevtion making the legs look longer and you slimmer.

Indian Sandals

Indian Sandals

Indian chappals with the little block heel that they have work the best for this outfit at any given time. When the sandals have embellishments on the top straps, they can be worn for formal evenings out as well.

Colour Choice

Salwar kameez, as anyone knows are typically very colourful. It is typically expected that the  shoes match the oufit. If you don’t own sandals in matching colours, brown and dull bronze or gold are pretty universal. Black can be worn as well, but they stand out a little, because in most probability the dress will not have black in it. The same goes for white, though strappy cream sandals or very plain black sandals can work. Red slippers and shoes do very well, unless the dress is of a totally contrasting colour. However, unless wearing high heels, it is best to avoid the shiny shades of the colours, or patent leather. The emphasis then is on the feet rather than the overall look or outfit.

Indian chappals with gold embellishments or kolapuri chappals are pretty neutral and can be used with almost any outfit without worries. Kolapuris by virtue of their neutral brown shade make the outfit look good and very ethnic.

Style of Shoe

Like a friend of mine mentioned, Salwar Kameez essentially a feminine dress. and pretty ethnic.  The shoe chosen to be worn with it should thus either be ethnic, or feminine. I would suggest to wear open toed sandals as far as possible when wearing high heels with this outfit. The only type of closed shoes that work with salwar kameezes well are jutis. However, if you are confident that your pumps are the perfect accessory to your outfit, you can give it a try. On the safer side though, shoes with two straps (like typical Indian chappals) or a couple of horizontal straps holding your feet in, or peep-toes for your high heels work best.

So go ahead, make you salwar kameez/ churidar kurta look better than it does with the correct pair of shoes and be ready for all the complements!

Photograph source: All photos have been sourced from Google, special mention has to be made of designersalwarkameez & bollywoodbridesmaid for the pictures used.