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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.

 

My Shoots – the black shoe boots January 21, 2010

It has been a long time since I wrote anything – shame on me! So 2010 started and the first 20 days are already over as well. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing but a pair of shoots that I took out after a long time. It being winter. So here are the shoes that I wrote about last time.

Nice, arent they? Pretty comfortable to boot (pun intended hehe)

I though my last post did not have enough shoots photographs on them. So here are a few of the pair I talked about.

the velvet lined shoots

This pair is from Catwalk, made of faux leather and velvet lining. Regular wax polishing helps its shine, wearing a pair of socks makes it easier for feet to breathe and to slide the shoe on and off.


Shoot(s) for perspective

Trust me. Get a good pair of shoots and you will be able to wear them not only in winters, but whenever you wish. They are easy to wear, comfortable, stylish and go with almost any outfit.

Get something with lesser heels if that suits you. This is perfect for a night out, to party, an evening out with friends or just lunch.

Shoots are the best choice for round the year boot lovers. Get a pair!

(I’ll show you my denim boots one day, but before that I promise a nice juicy post! Thanks to you readers I have a few ideas brewing)

 

Dressing Casual (Delhi Vs Mumbai), Shoes for Short skirts September 30, 2009

Yesterday, while switching channels on TV I chanced upon an interview of Sonam Kapoor talking about ‘dressing up’ in Delhi. I agree. While Bombay takes the charm out of going out, in Delhi every outing is a definite occasion. I agree that it is really comforting to go out wearing whatever you want, but really! If you are out partying, might as well dress up that way, right? Otherwise whats the point of going to an expensive place?

Casual yet dressed

Casual yet dressed

So while in Mumbai one can walk into any pub/disco/eatery in flip flops and torn jeans, no makeup or jewellery, in Delhi, it is nice to see men and women put in some effort while going out. I would have thought it human instinct (but then I guess that is a little lacking in Mumbai) to want to make a one-off ‘going-out’ an occasion to warrant a little more dressing up than going to the store. Albeit, in Mumbai the ‘going to the store’ look is also crafted carefully.

However, what is important and needed is a look that makes you look dressed up, yet not too casual. Something that makes you perfect for an evening out with a few friends while not looking like you stepped out of home wearing what you wore last night, or that you spent hours dressing up.

If you are one of those people who want to dress up but don’t really know what to wear so you fit in seamlessly with either of the crowds, I would suggest wear anything you want to, dress up as you want to, and don the right pair of shoes.

Rihanna in short skirt

Rihanna in short skirt

It is depressing to see the number of women in Mumbai who wear really chic skirts and have obviously spent time on their face and hair, and then wear a pair of flip flops. The end result is so casual, I wonder why they even put in the effort for the hair and face. Short skirts and flat chappals is not a combination I would suggest, unless you want to roam around home after a tiring evening.

So, many Indian women are placed in a quandary when it comes to footwear to go alongwith short skirts. The last thing they want to wear is something that will make them look slutty, but the last thing I would suggest in lieu of that is bedroom slipper lookalikes which make them look like they have been lounging around home. (Its Ok if you are on the beach, but most times its not the beach).

So, what do they wear?

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Shoes for Short Skirts – Casual Dressing Style

Here comes in the importance of sandals. Remember those footwear one used to wear as kids? With a little heel, yet not too high? Well, for adults they make the same thing, only more suave. Of course, one can go ahead with the Indian impulse and wear something strappy, but I prefer blockier designs.

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Sandals basically give the foot around an inch of height from the ground (at max) and come in various designs. If you want to make it a little more dressy than plain old sandals, kitten heels fit best. They keep the delicate feminity of the look, while emphasizing what short skirts are meant to.

Kitten heels

Kitten heels look classy

Sandals can be covered or open toed. Block heeled or pencil, plain slip-on with a strap holding down toes only, or ballerina styles or even gladiators. For a casual evening out, I would suggest a heel type that makes it comfortable for you to walk around as much as you want – platforms (cork heeled look great), wedge or square heels usually fit this bill. Pencil heels automatically increase the oomph quotient of the attire, especially slingbacks.

Short platforms with Skirt

Short platforms with Skirt

Now to the top of the shoe – ballerina styles and open toes look good, but again they become a tad more evening-ish than say, something with a buckle near the ankle and a strap covering the toes.  Practical, yet stylish without becoming dressy or slutty.

Sneakers with Short Skirt

Sneakers with Denim Short Skirt

If of a sporty kind, the personality then screams sports shoes, with ankle-length socks.  Nude shoes are also OK. This is one of the few things allowed to women and extremely well dressed men who know what they are doing.

So there you have it. A tutorial of how not to get totally ‘just-out-of-home-as-I-was’ look everytime you are out. Yet, not going the whole hog and look like you are off to a glamorous evening affair.

Shoes may not be noticed by men, but they can make or break an outfit. The right shoe can make a simple dress look glamorous, just by virtue of the being on your feet. Shoes force the way you walk and your body posture. I would say, stay away from flip flops as far as possible – they can make you waddle. And no one is allowed to waddle!

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Confident in short skirt and heels

Confident in short skirt and heels

So try and get shoes that improve how your legs look. A little heel will help your calves look better, so if you have stocky legs, try not to go for the sneaker look. Flat shoes are great for slender women with long legs, not the usual Indian figure. But if you must wear flats, try to make them covered ballerina style shoes or stylish sandals rather than flip flops.

So go out, this festive season grab yourself some neutral, convenient sandals which you can wear anywhere you want to!

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Suggested shops:

High budget:

  1. Clarks
  2. Nine West
  3. Charles & Keith
  4. Catwalk

Medium – Low Budget:

  1. Bata (perfect for the casual yet trendy look!)
  2. Shoe shops in malls like Pantaloons, Westside, Lifestyle
  3. Metro/ Regal/ Mochi
  4. Khadims/ Liberty (if you really don’t find anything elsewhere)

One thing I however ask you to stay away from are extremely chunky black sandals. They will steal the look away from your entire outfit, and truly speaking look a little dowdy. Skin coloured and light coloured sandals look best. Preferably if the sole is either leather or rubber-plastic.

Indian Sandals

Indian Sandals also look good for a casual look

PS – if you want to look glam, I suggest a pair of boots(!) or even stilettoes. Try those ankle length shoes with care – they can make you look short AND your legs calf-less. And like mentioned, flip flops are ultra-casual, but if you want a casual look, I would still suggest ones with a little heel, like Indian Sandals.

Short skirt and Boots

Short skirt and Boots

 

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar – Shoes July 15, 2009

I am a doting fan of the saga ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar‘. The TV drama twist to the age old ritual wherein a bride chooses her groom from a group of eligible men.

Rakhi Sawant has made a name for herself in the meda business. She is outspoken and brash, and a lot of other things. However, what I am going to talk about here is her choice in shoes.

Typically, Rakhi is a woman who dresses with care. Now whether that means in good taste, loud, subtle – thats not the point. What is the point is its obvious she takes time over her appearance. And that usually includes shoes.

Most of the time, being a stage dancer she is barefoot. Dance, afterall, to the average Indian dancer is done barefoot and not with dancing shoes as in the West. However, when she appears on the stage or interviews, I have usually noticed her wearing stilettoes. And they look nice.

However, yesterday on her show, she was witnessed holding her shoe. Though the circumstances were unenviable. Rakhi was on a ‘date’ with one of her suitors – Ashwin. Upon him asking rather objectionable questions about her and the behaviour of people in the media industry, she finally had to take off her shoe and demonstrate to him the method by which she gets rid of unwanted suitors. (not him). The shoe in question was what was objectionable – to me.

Rakhi was dressed in a yellow-green synthetic sari, and a green blouse, with some sort of bells dangling from the sleeves. Decent enough, I guess. However, the shoe she took off, was definitely ‘sensible’.

A black shoe with barely a 2-inch platform heel, I did not get the opportunity to see its top. But the bottom was none too interesting. Granted, it was not expected that matters will reach a high where she will really have to take her shoe off, granted that the day involved significant walking around, it was still an objecitonable shoe to be worn by a celebrity, on national television, when she is the cheif guest. And that too, when it is Rakhi Sawant, who claims to be fond of shoe shopping.

So my humble advice to Rakhi, pay more attention to what you wear – including shoes. After spending a fortune on your face and body and clothes, it is equally important to pay attention to your shoes – elegant shoes with small heels are also available for jaunts in gardens if needed.

In fact, if the day involves wearing a Sari, walking in gardens, on uneven ground, it was an ideal opportunity for her to wear Indian Chappals or Jutis. Knowing the market and her wallet size, she would have easily got a pretty one to complement her sari, and those golden bells!

 

Small and Sweet Kitten Heels September 17, 2008

Filed under: Shoes — Dips @ 10:16 am
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“My foot’s hurt real bad.” Was my colleague rant as she hobbled down the road wearing flat chappals on Monday.
Yesterday I saw her sporting her latest chic black kitten heels. Duly admiring the asset I ask her about her foot.
“Oh its still hurting, though better than yesterday.”
“What about the heels?” I ask.
“Well, I wanted to wear nice shoes.” *Grin!*

And that, people sums up the beauty of affairs with shoes. She was in pain, but the pain diminished – by her causing more pain to herself. Idiotic? Not to her.

To most women, nothing can prep you up like a pair of shoes can – even though its something most people wont notice. You don’t need to have a substance abuse problem with shoes (ala Carrie Bradshaw), but you sure can keep yourself well stocked.

When you don’t want to wear flats, but want something to give you that slight elevation, kitten heels are the best. As the name implies they are not full blown heels, but are sweet and small like kittens. They work very well in office and out. Functional, while giving you a chic look for the fashion element.

Tiny heels with lovely designs, they elevate your foot just enough to give the impression of heels, yet are short and stable enough to be comfortable for all-day wear.

Unlike the ugy block heels of the past, kitten heels combine the svelte look of a stilletto, while curtailing it at a few millimeters. They look just amazing with full skirts. Better than the ballerina shoes or the old variety that women wore in 80s.

As with any heeled shoe the Kitten comes in a variety of toe types and designs but can wear the incongruous colours like pink really really well.

And, if like my colleague who hurt her foot and dint want to repeat her flat chappals, you want something fashionable to prep you up, I would suggest a nice kitten heel in your shoe cupboard for just these occasions.
Kitten Heels, finally, are the answer to the ugly square heeled, but oh-so-comfortable slingbacks your mother wore.