Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cut Asks: Heels or Flats?

Amy Odell from NYMag's the Cut asked Joan and Melissa Rivers the CRUCIAL question:

Heels or flats?
Joan Rivers: Heels every day — that’s my generation.
Melissa Rivers: At work I’m a heel, in real life I’m a flat.

I personally think high heels should be called hell heels — high hells? — but I enjoy the debate because I really don't understand why women wear them. So I googled "Heels or Flats" and found a few fun links.

• At Blisstree.com, a great essay by Amber Matassa who regretfully stopped wearing heels after tripping over her heel and falling down stairs and cracking her head. She learned her Achilles tendon had become shortened after so much heel wearing, which leads right into ...

• A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology (reported in the DailyMail.co.uk) that says women who wear high heels a lot (5 days a week for at least 2 years) have shortened and weakened their calf muscles. Changing to flats for these women will be painful. If these women don't stretch, the damage can be permanent. The article includes an awesome diagram.

• And finally, to end on a innovative note, thegloss.com reported in 2007 on 2 kinds of hybrid shoes that convert from heels to flats. Sheilas' Heels may not look sturdy but they do have a button somewhere that retracts the heel, collapsing into an easy-drivin' flat. They were designed by an insurance agency to address the safety of women driving in heels, but don't seem to be on the market anymore. The second brand, Camileon Heels, sells for about $300 and has a hinge in the heel that essentially folds in half, hiding in plain sight like a vestigial tail. Zappos lists them but doesn't have any models currently so I don't know if they are still on the market.

Sheila's Heels

Camileon Heels

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