Heels: making high school a runway


photo by Bethany Barker

Chay’s Closet is a recurring column where Staff Reporter Chanson Cadet shares her thoughts on the most recent trends in fashion.

As the click of 4-inch pumps echo throughout the hallway, you turn and look for the source of the noise. When you realize it is a student, not an administrator, your first question is usually, “How do they walk in those?” 

Wearing flat shoes like sandals and sneakers to school is a norm that is rarely broken. It seems that anyone willing to step out in something different is criticized, but the best way to break this standard is to wear heels to school.

Heels have endless styles and variations: kitten heels, pumps, stilettos, wedges, and platforms, making finding a style that works for you easy. It is true that constant blister and wobbly walking are off-putting, but heels are not as hard to walk in as people think. Of course, jumping into wearing five-inch stilettos will not work for everyone, and it is better to start with a less extravagant heel like a short wedge. 

When under one-inch, the shoes are usually considered “starter” heels, which are what you would see worn to an eighth-grade dance. But, they can also be elegant if worn correctly. The best examples of this are Michelle Obama and Audrey Hepburn who wore kitten heels with poise and dignity.

Kitten heels only really work with ankle-length pantsuits or feminine silhouettes, so it is better to begin with a chunky or block heel that is easier to wear daily. 

Because of the sturdiness of the heel and how it covers the complete sole of a shoe, chunky block heels are the easiest and comfortable to wear. They offer a lot of support while also being more elegant than either a wedge or platform shoe.

No matter the height of the heel, finding the perfect pair requires attention to other details such as straps, width, and available cushioning. It is necessary to look for those traits with every shoe, but with heels, extra comfort is a must. 

However, finding the perfect pair is almost always impossible. For some reason, companies have decided that anyone over a size 10 in women’s (8 in men’s) will not have access to the same choice selection as those with smaller foot sizes. As the sizes increase, less appealing and fewer styles become available. It is truly an unprecedented insult seeing as the average shoe size for women in America ranges between 8.5 to 9, meaning a vast majority of women have over a size 10 foot with almost no representation in stores. People with larger feet are instead forced to limit their shopping to online retailers such as DSW and Shoe Dazzle.

The lack of representation can be attributed to the stigma against taller women wearing heels, as they typically have larger feet. Being someone who stands at over 6’ with heels on while also wearing a size 11 shoe, I am well aware of how uncomfortably tall I look to most people and the confused gazes of those that question why I would wear them at all. But what most people ignore is the confidence being substantially taller than you normally are provided. Aside from the uncomfortable staring, the thunderous, powerful click of the heels provides a feeling so gratifying; you command all attention.

Heels do not fit into all wardrobes or styles, and there definitely are perks to sneakers and sandals. But it is important to keep in mind that not all heels are uncomfortable, you can never be too tall, and there is no reason they should not be worn to school. Wearing a pair of heels makes almost everything more interesting, and as you walk into your first-period AP Bio class, the hallway will be your runway.

Scan this QR code to view a Pinterest board featuring different types of heels and how to style them.