Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Stiletto Trials

It's a sad day when you start giving away your 6-inch beauties. Sadder though is the realisation that at the age of 27 you just cannot wear the beauties that have served you so well on many a workday, sexy night out or just a simple show-off-your-legs moment.

Good times we had.

I guess some may be expecting the many logical reasons why I am no longer wearing stillettos. And yes, there are many. None of them are entirely convincing enough in my opinion, (I mean what on earth could be convincing enough to make you give up the quest to being taller) but they make more sense than I'd like to admit. Over the past 11 years I have lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Pain, swelling and temporary disability in some joints are the basic consequences of this illness and so I can proudly, or perhaps stupidly, say that I have kept my head and my heels high through it all. If you can walk in them stillettos then flaunt it darling. Even if that means having to lean against a wall every now, striking a pose so as not to seem like you're trying to catch your breath and regain feeling in your feet.

But ladies please...if you cannot walk the high-heeled walk, go for some sort of training. The drunk giraffe or constipated flamingo is not a good look on anyone!

As if being a woman isn't hard enough already, trying to look good, well-proportioned and taller sans heels is not an easy task. Back in my petite days...and here petite means short, tiny body, dress size 6...so long gone and dearly missed...I would not be seen at a function, party or the office without a pair of heels on. And thanks to having a dance background, I could easily pull off the gracious ballerina look. Thesedays however, and here's where I get all teary-eyed, I have realised that there ain't nothing gracious or ballerinary about limping in heels, wearing the beauties with an ankle or knee guard or trying to keep my hip joints in their sockets while trying to maintain that universal swaying-in-heels action.

Recently, with tendonitis now also raging in my feet, my doctor suggested (well I hope it was just a suggestion) that I wear trainers. Allow me to sketch the scene for you. My doctor, a well-respected, brilliant Rheumatologist and Physician, is also a stylista of note. The woman is always in heels. In the 11 years of our doctor-patient relationship, I have never seen her wear flats. I actually look forward to my check-ups, just to see the latest designer heels she's wearing. So there we are in the examination room...doc in her fabulous block heels, me lying on the bed with swollen ankles, and she 'suggests' that I need to start wearing trainers...like as in all the time! My response is this: number one: When and how is it ever going to look acceptable and feminine to wear trainers to work with my pencil skirt and blazer?! Number two: We are in the scorching South African summer season; number three: I like painting my toe nails in the latest fashionable colours and number four: I hate socks! Like I despise socks! I cannot deal with socks! Not even the 'secret' ones, which, let me tell you, are really not that secret! Ok, so maybe this wasn't my voiced response, but it was going through my mind like a well-versed monologue.

I hate saying this, but try to refrain from throwing on your Louboutins!

So here's my compromise...I'll wear flatter shoes. This being said, shoes that are too flat can also be very detrimental to the foot joints and muscles. Cue: Scream of Frustration!!! So we're looking for something in-between. Something stylish, fashionable...read: no open-toe, lace-up number that your grandma suggests as it's done wonders for her. I mean really...we're young, we're female and we can make a better plan thank you very much.

After much consideration, tears of frustration and being fed up with changing shoes 3 times a day and months of trial and error shoe purchases, I've decided to start paying more for good quality shoes with cushioning inside, a thicker sole and a little stable or stacked heel. Let's see how that goes.

NOT these! Never ever resort to Crocs! You must neva!

To all the RA superwomen and all you ladies with some kind of joint, muscle or back problem; join the quest  to find stylish, sexy shoes that won't cause serious injury or permanent damage to our already fragile bodies.

Only the best styles and clever submissions will be accepted;)

Farewell Stilletto! (tear, tear)