Power Flats Challenge High Heels
From the Wall Street Journal:
The go-to shoe for female executives has long been the power heel. Now the flat is making a play for power.
Fashion runways lately have been full of chic flat shoes for women. Menswear-inspired Oxfords were all over the fall/winter collections. Pointy-toed flat pumps, sandals and smoking slippers—masculine shoes with a thin sole and a loafer-like tongue—followed for next spring. Many of them countered flats’ dowdy image with fashion-statement details such as studs and a huge variety of materials, from snakeskin and tweed to patent leather.
Long stuck in the purgatory of casual wear, flats are suddenly being promoted for polished occasions. Flats sleek enough to be dress shoes were paired with tailored suits and even with eveningwear on the spring runways from Marc Jacobs to Giorgio Armani.
High heels, of course, have a mythology all their own and a sheer glamour that is hard to match. They add height, lengthen the calf and arch the foot flirtatiously. A true power heel has a narrow tapered heel and is cut low on the upper foot, intertwining sex and authority. Many women keep a pair of heels in their desk drawer for important meetings. Heels by far outsell flats at fashion retailers in the U.S.
I’m about as far from being a fashion maven as you can get while still wearing clothes. So I’ve not been in a position to discuss high heeled shoes with anyone who would care. But I care. They are dangerous, uncomfortable, harmful, and did I say dangerous? They make a woman vulnerable and weak. They remind me of foot-binding.
The shoes in this article are still ridiculous, mainly because the cheapest ones cost $228.00, and coolest looking ones (with the spikes all around) cost $995. And there’s some silly copy written about them:
One quality power flats share: They look like if they were used to kick someone—it would hurt. Pointy toes, metal toe caps and embellishments, including spikes, are some of the details that give these flats power.
But I am glad that women who have to (and/or want to) dress for the corporate world have safer, more comfortable alternatives that will be taken seriously in that context.
I apologize if the article is behind the WSJ paywall. If so, try googling it to see more.