As Markets Fall, Heels Get Lower

While models stumble and tumble while strutting the runway in Fall 2009 shows like Hervé Léger, a few smart designers and fashion insiders are forgetting all about gorgeous-yet-painful high, higher, and highest heels and opting for more sensible shoes. Have they finally grasped that on the whole, people have less money to spend and need to make practical purchases (low wedges can be worn to work and on weekend trips to the grocery)?Models at Araks wore ballet flats and low pumps. The Marc by Marc Jacobs show featured hiking boots. Sock-like white boots were shown at the Lacoste show. Elle’s Kate Lanphear was snapped wearing metallic boots with heels measuring less than 3 inches, saying she was concerned about the long-term effects of wearing the daring shoes she’s known for. And the girls at Zero + Maria Cordejo walked in flats and low wedges. Cordejo even spoke passionately against male designers putting women in absurdly high heels: “It’s quite abusive. Because, you know what? We have to run around and walk, and nobody has a chauffeur waiting for them outside. And it really pisses me off and makes me really angry because it’s that boys thing about making women into victims.”

If you hate wearing heels, now is your time. In this economy, everyone is making slight concessions to save solvent, and wearing low heels might be the fashion equivalent of buying store-brand paper towels. You might not have bought them last year, opting for brand-name Bounty instead, but now is not the time to be overly concerned with image. Plus, you might save money on chiropractor bills for years to come.