To heel or not to heel | fashion and trends | Hindustan Times
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To heel or not to heel

A guide to when and how to wear different kinds of shoes.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 10, 2010 01:39 IST
Shweta Jain

Fashion can be a wicked business. More often than not, it clashes with comfort, especially when it comes to footwear. High-heeled shoes are not very high on comfort, yet you see eight-inch pointed heels on runways. You want them, but you can’t wear them.

So how can you look in vogue but avoid the pain? And what are the ‘right’ occasions for wearing pumps, wedges, flats, stilettos, mid-level heels, etc? Read on:

What to wear to work
Shoe designer Samir Singh says, “Depending on your profession, there may or may not be a limitation on the heel height, but avoid very high heels in office.”

He advises wearing pumps with block heels because they “always work and look stylish”. “Go for subtle colours like black, white, beige and shades of brown and grey,” he says.

Footwear designer Swati Mehrotra says, “Always buy a black shoe with mid-level heel, that goes best with formal skirts and ankle length trousers. It also looks cool when worn with skinny jeans and a shirt to give a semi-formal look. A double-shaded retro sandal goes well with A-line skirts. It will give a twist to your Indo-western attire.”

Planning a day out in the sun?
Comfort is a priority when you have to walk a lot, so wear flats or short wedges in bright colours. Mehrotra says, “A Louis heel (kitten heel) with a broad strap flip flop in basic colour can never go wrong for day time wear.”

What works for a dinner party
“Here, let your stilettos come out of your closet. Even dressy flats can work very well. Wear hues that match your dress,” recommends Singh.

Mehrotra suggests wearing a red-and-black patent leather pair of ballerinas or stilettos to go go with a black dress.
If you are planning to wear formal Indian wear, such as a sari, she says, “A sari can be complemented with a strappy sandal with a chunky piece of heel.”

Now that you have the lowdown on the dos and don’ts for footwear, it’s time to put your best foot forward.

Footwear tips

Abrase your shoes if they have a smooth bottom. This will reduce the chances of slipping.
Ask a cobbler to place a piece of rubber on the
bottom of your heels. You won’t make that tock-tock noise while walking.
While wearing high heels, you should take shorter steps than usual.