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Types of Ladies Heels on Shoes
Learning About the Types of Ladies Heels on Shoes
Look... It's not MY fault that I suddenly find myself writing about the types of heels on ladies shoes. It's my husband's fault. Yup. He's the one who started bringing home beautiful shoes that he found at yard sales and thrift stores. "Hey Honey! These looked like they would fit you," he'd say.
Turns out he's got good taste! It's kind of fun when one of our "honorary daughters" comes to visit and I listen to them talk with John about designer shoes! :)
Well, shoes ARE kind of fun. I admit it. After I started looking around at different types of shoes, I became somewhat fascinated by the different styles there are. This from someone who has lived in running shoes and Birkenstocks for the last 25 years.
Anyway, in this lens, I explore the different types of ladies heels that are out there. I figure that if I didn't know what they all were, maybe someone else might wonder also! Hope you find this info helpful - and also perhaps a little entertaining since I enjoyed the process of learning some of the "shoe lingo!"
PS: Please scroll down the page for a TRUE STORY about my Comfy Crocs - Which were Copped in the Croc Klepto Caper... And the sweet ending. :)
What kind of Shoes are YOU wearing RIGHT NOW?
I admit that I'm a people watcher. And, ever since Elton John burst on stage with his enormous platform heels (back in ... what was that... the 1970s?)... well, I've got to admit that the sight of it got my attention. Primarily because I thought at first, "For cryin' out loud, isn't he tall enough already? How can he play piano AND walk around in those things???" Anyway...
Here is is, MANY years later, and I just found myself watching a video clip of Prince William and (in my mind) Princess Kate (aka Duchess of Cambridge) - and she wears her shoes - Wellies, heels, whatever - so beautifully!
BUT... what about YOU!?
So, what's on your feet right now?
Good Old Fashioned Flat Comfort Shoes...
The Ol' Stand By
I thought I'd start off with something I didn't actually need to look up. Flats. Comfort. Flat comfortable shoes.
In other words, nothing I need to use to help me keep my balance while I'm wearing them. No walking sticks... no practice railing. Nope. These are the types of shoes I can just slip on and go. Sort of like my old Birks. Which I still wear (a lot) - especially after I've been wearing anything higher than 2 inches for more than 10 minutes.
For a lot of folks, "comfortable flat shoes" translates to "boring." But they don't have to be boring. I don't find my old Birks to be boring. Maybe not hip. But boring? Nah.
Ok... maybe a little boring. I'll move on...
(PS: I need to find a photo of me and my old stand-by Birks! They are definitely getting ... uh... worn out. Yup. That's the word!)
Comfortable Flat Shoes for Women - They don't need to look frumpy to be comfy! :)
Look. It's a fact that not everyone can wear high heels. Just take a look at the comments down toward the bottom of this page! So, what I've done is to find a number of REALLY lovely and comfortable flat shoes for women that don't look dorky. At least to me. :) Yes, you can betcha by golly wow that I'm gonna find some Birkenstocks for you! :)
These are my favorites Birks. I'm wearing them as I type. I'm beginning to lose count of how many of these things I've gone through over the years. I'm actually trying to recall the very first year I bought these, when a guy in Woodstock, NY traced my foot to help me decide on the right pair. I'm thinking somewhere around 1980 or so. Yikes.
Platform Heels (these are not platforms from the 70s...)
My first experience with platform shoes was in the 1970s when a sandal (whose name escapes me) were all the rage. They were popular around the same time those stiff leather shoulder purses that looked like they were from Mexico were popular. You know the kind (if you were a teenage in the 1970s) - they were hand-tooled with all sorts of designs. I don't remember a single girl who didn't receive at least one of these purses at one holiday or gift-giving event or another.
But I digress... The outstanding features on these cool platform sandals were a criss-cross leather strap over the toe area (that reminds me of the type of leather you might find in a leather-craft kit where you can make a belt), and then your standard sandal strap around the ankle on top of a solid chunk of heel - a little lower in the front and a little higher at the heel. If I recall correctly (which is anyone's guess), they were just 2 or 3 inches high in back.
My reason for believing that they weren't much higher than 2 or 3 inches is that there is no way in the world my mother would even think about letting me wear high heeled shoes. Of course, back then I just thought she was being mean to me. Of course, today, I'm glad because my feet were never tortured or deformed by wearing insanely high heels while my precious tootsies were still in their formative years.
Anyway, these sandals were a very light beige color - both the straps AND the heels. I loved them. And if I could find an old photo of myself wearing my old water buffaloes, I'd scan the photo here.
Alas, I do not. Nor can I find any photos online that show them exactly... BUT - I was able to locate this person's blog that shows a fairly close relative of my own sandals... Check out the photo here. (But remember to come right back!)
So, platform shoes have really changed over the years. Nowadays, from what I can tell, platforms are more about the FRONT of the shoe rather than the heel. You can have a spikey stiletto heel in back, and the platform raising the front of the shoe (see photo for example).
About Wedge Shoes and Wedge Heels
Ok... I think one of the reasons I started studying different types of heels was that I was confused between "platforms" and "wedges." I think if I had just thought about it a little more deeply I could have figured it out.
Up in the introduction, see those colorful shoes? They look a little like your typical stiletto, but ah ha! They are actually described as a "wedge" heel! That's because of that thing that connects the heel to the front part of the shoe creating a... (drum roll please)... Wedge!
And, according to the Skechers "shoepedia," a wedge is "a dress or casual shoe with a solid-styled wedge heel." And, according to the same source at Skechers, the wedge heel itself is defined as: "A heel with a solid design featuring a whole midsole panel rising to the heel section. Also found in semi-detached styles with partial separation at the arch."
Above, you can see the amazing things they're doing with wedge heels these days... In the photo that follows - the image of the nice classic style by BCBGirls - you get a look at a more classic wedge heel.
There's Nothing Quite Like a Stiletto Heel
(Even if I cannot personally balance myself on them!)
I have tried. I really have. Every time I see a beautiful gal sashaying elegantly and confidently on a pair of stiletto heels, I whisper to myself, "If THEY can walk on those things, so can I!"
My husband is all for it. He likes the look of heels.
There's only one problem. I don't "sashay." I "totter." I weeble and I wobble, and - if my husband or a chair isn't right at my side to help me stand up on these things, I would definitely fall.
I feel like I need ski poles to walk on stiletto heels. According to Wikipedia, the stiletto heel is named after "stiletto dagger," and is a "long, thin heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women...Stiletto heels may vary in length from 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) to 25 cm (10 inches) " (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiletto_heel ... By the way, I recommend visiting this link, because it has lots of cool history about stilettos!).
But... 10 inches??!!Even the mere idea of walking around on a 10-inch pair of heels gives me vertigo. How on earth do people truly walk around comfortably on something that high?
Alas, as lovely as shoes with stiletto heels are, I will have to continue admiring them from afar.
Some Pretty Creative Looking Heels!
I'm trying to picture being the creator of ladies designer shoes and footwear. Years ago, shoes were pretty much utilitarian. Sure, there were pretty styles and colors, but nothing like what I've started to see when I look around.
I spend quite a bit of time on the various sites where I have joined affiliate programs, and the more time I spend, the more I learn. And one of the things I've learned is that every time I see a shoe that makes me think I've seen it all, I prove myself wrong. Take the photo to the right here - It's certainly not unusual to see a very high stiletto heel partnered with a platform in the front of the shoe - but take a look at this sandal. It's called the Zan Sandal, and it's by L.A.M.B.
What first caught my eye was the straps. The shoe vaguely reminded me of a gladiator sandal on steroids. But then, I took a closer look and noticed that the platform seemed unusual. I read about the shoe, and learned that 1) the platform doesn't reach all the way to the edges of the shoe, and 2) it has a lug sole! The perfect anti-slip sole, don't you think? Just the thing on those slippery rocks when hiking through the forest...
One of the more interesting shoes I've seen is this pair of Martinez Valero shoes that have 3 3/4-inch stiletto heels, and what looks like real peacock feathers. When I saw this shoe, it caught my eye briefly, and then, after I had moved on to look at a few others, I found myself drawn back to look at this one again. For one thing, I like the color. My only other hope is that no peacocks were harmed in the making of that shoe. Maybe they shed their feathers? Hmmm. I don't know...
Quick Update on some of my SHOE Status...
The Corrupt Croc Klepto Caper in Myrtle Beach...
Ok. You will NOT believe this. I'm typing this update in March 2011. I am staying at a really nice place in Myrtle Beach for the winter. The kind of place where the LAST thing you would expect would be for someone to actually STEAL your shoes.
Especially grungy, broken, smelly old Crocs that have had sandy feet in them all winter.
But... my friends... believe it or not, the other day I went out for a quick walk (1/2 hour at most) on the beach. As I usually do, I left my Crocs on the edge of the walkway over the sand dunes - where I ALWAYS leave them when I want a quick barefoot stroll on the beach.
When I came back, guess what? They were GONE. I could truly hardly believe it. I thought maybe a dune kitty had grabbed them and taken them to play with for a while. But, I realized that it would take more than ONE dune kitty to do this. They would have to be in CATHOOTS! (get it? little joke about being in "cahoots?")
Then I thought it was a college spring-breaker playing a prank on the doddering gal up in 1406. Possibly as punishment for my obvious lack of style. But, when (in front of the spring-breakers) I asked the security if we could review and play back the security tapes of the elevator, no one budged or even shifted in discomfiture, I was convinced it wasn't one of them...
So, my friends, I searched high and low. I checked the trash (they WERE kind of grungy...). Nothin' So, I am Crocless at the moment.
I'm just glad that my $50 Dr. Scholl inserts or my Birks weren't out there.
Even BETTER UPDATE on the Copped Croc Caper!
Folks... You really WILL NOT believe this update!
Ok, after that whole thing where someone STOLE my old grungy Crocs in broad daylight (see above), I did my best to "let go" of the incident.
Then, on Saturday (March 26, 2011), we went to a yard sale - and guess what was waiting for me - all neatly in a row, and all brand new? If you guessed CROCS you are right!
Truly, this happened - and you can see the photo here for proof! 4 brand spankin' new pair of Crocs - $1 each. ALL MY SIZE.
Isn't life grand? Sigh... :)
Wait! Wait! I WANT CROCS TOO! - :) Hey, I can't help it... that last story?? Well... Just inspiring!
Seriously folks... I wrote that update about the Crocs in 2011. Now it's 2012 and I'm still blown away. AND I still wear my crocs. AND I still hope that the folks who thought it was funny to take my Crocs from the beach see this someday and say, "uh... Sorry Kath... We honestly didn't mean it..." and then they go and volunteer about 100 hours to their local homeless shelter or something. But! Here we are... so let's buy some Crocs!