Data from Guide to Comfortable Heels - Corporette.com (2011) is provided in this article. Responses compiled from 65 female professionals - mostly New York lawyers -were analyzed for shoe recommendations. See link for complete article. http://corporette.com/shop-page/shopping-guides/guide-to-comfortable-heels/
Reasons professional women choose to wear heels to work:
Professional women choose to wear heels to work for personal and professional reasons. Here are some of their views.
I am all for whatever makes a woman feel her most confident self, and definitely think that as long as her shoes are not drawing attention in a negative way, a woman should be able to select her own footwear without any comments from anybody. Heels complete the image of what a successful, career-oriented women looks like in New York and heels improve the way a woman looks.
Heels are more formal than other common shoes, they automatically makes you feel very feminine and elegant. Many women’s clothes- pants, skirts and long dresses - are designed with heels in mind. The proportions look “off” when worn with flats and the connotations can be damaging professionally: the same skirt that looks sharp with a three inch pump will look juvenile with a flat.
How heels make a woman feel more confident and noticed:
The additional height of heels lends an increased physical presence for new business pitches and client meetings. Women will say, If I have a big meeting internally and I’m trying to make a point or feel a fair amount of stress around it, I wear some kick-ass heels. High heels demand that they, and their wearer, be noticed. So there's a very real and practical reason that many working women will grab her high heels if she’s headed to a meeting even if she wears flats at her workstation. High heels have an undeniable, positive psychological effect on both women and men that encourages their continual use. It is an effect resulting from social conditioning, but it's there.
How heels make a woman younger - actually younger - not just younger looking! Wearing heels improves your sense of balance, that's how. Of course heels make a woman younger looking too because clothes, especially suits, have a more flattering fit.
Wearing high heels helps your posture and balance. If you wear high heels in the low to medium height range with 2" to 3" heels with stabilizing custom foam inserts you will reap the benefits of practicing your balance without causing pain in your ankles. (Pain from high heels that cause a ' burning' in the balls of the feet and pain from heels that cause toes to hurt or heels to get painful blisters can be prevented from happening with custom foam high heel inserts, but ankle pain from wearing very high heels - usually heels over 3.5 " - cannot be prevented by shoe inserts. Rest is the only effective prevention. ) Since heels are worn indoors for the most part, you get to practice your balance while walking on smooth floors. A good sense of balance is very important so you won't fall. Falling can lead to serious injuries which may be prevented if you have good balance.
In parts of the US where there is a season with ice and snow walking outdoors can sometimes be hazardous. Having good balance is one way to protect yourself when you are walking outdoors. You will be less likely to fall when conditions underfoot are slippery or uneven if you have good balance. Young people generally have better balance, so you want to be in that group as long as possible. With good balance you will walk more safely in heels, plus you will walk more gracefully and naturally in heels as you are helping to strengthen your core muscles and your sense of balance.
What is it about heels that makes them uncomfortable to wear::
Being a woman and wearing a nice pair of stilettos might give a huge boost to my own image, however it could be very uncomfortable. Your feet could start paining after even an hour. Wear the right kind of heels (not the party type stilettos) but do consider your comfort level too and change heel heights when you need to. One needs concentration while working – don’t let heel pain take that away from you.
The problem with heels is that even if you find really comfortable shoes in the shop that seem to fit perfectly, they are not designed for walking and standing.
These two points combined lead to a lot of pressure on the front of our foot.
The downsides are blisters, aching feet, toes pain, a slower pace, and the potential to lose a shoe in sidewalk cracks or cobblestones.
Recommendations for great heels that are comfortable for work. Text below is distilled from 65 responses to Corporette.com blog article "Guide to Comfortable Heels" posted in 2011, with responses to it from 2011-2017 See Corporette.com for original post.
The universal I'm-in-charge closed-toe pump in two or three inches is probably the best professional heel you can own. Similar to the shoes illustrated. Below are recommendations of brands with number of mentions in brackets. They are Cole Haan (Nike Air & Miranda)(10); Naturalizer(7); Nine West(6); Corso Como(4) & Stuart Weitzman(4).
Women who provided their preferences for shoe brands chose these.
High heel shoe brands recommended 10, 7, 6, 4, 3 & 2 times:
Cole Haan Nike Air & Air Miranda (10)
Nine West (6)
Corso Como (4); Stuart Weitzman (4)
Seychelles (3); Calvin Klein(3);Ecco (3); Sofft (3); Ivanka Trump (3)
Franco Sarto (2); Bared(2); Enzo Angiolini(2); Athena Alexander(2);
Kenneth Cole Reaction, 925(2); Ann Taylor(2); Nurture(2) Crocs(2)
45 other brands were mentioned one time each. Well known high heel brands that were mentioned once were: Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Chanel, YSL & Dior
Construction details that makes a high heel shoe comfortable.
(very expensive shoes have strong shanks)
Types of inserts that were recommended to be added for more comfort
Design features of high heels shoe that makes them comfortable
This is how you know you are wearing comfortable high heels
Links to Cole Haan, Naturalizer and Nine West.
Video of how to make your high heel boots comfortable. No pinching of toes, no cold toes, cushioned under the ball of the foot, and no heel rubbing. High heel boots are stabilized and cushioned for comfortable walking. See the video by copying and pasting this link