Mules! High heel mules! Gorgeous to look at. Impossible to wear. Narrow feet gals and plus size gals you are both in special trouble! How to wear mules

April 22, 2018

Mules! High heel mules!  Gorgeous to look at.  Impossible to wear.  Narrow feet gals and plus size gals you are both in special trouble! How to wear mules

High heeled mules are one of the most popular shoes for Spring 2018. They go with everything and elevate any outfit.  No wonder they are popular despite being near impossible to wear because unless they fit snug, right from the store, they will not stay on your feet. If you have narrow feet - forget it! Your feet slide right down into the toe box or out the front end of the shoe or in the alternative your shoes fall off your feet while you are walking!  If you do manage to keep your feet in the shoes they will become tired and suffer from muscle cramps just trying to keep walking plus trying to keep the shoes on!

If you are a plus size gal you may have serious issues with high heeled mules even if you have feet that fit into them just right - that are not too wide and not too narrow.  Your problems will mostly come from the instability of the shoes.  High heels with open backs are very unstable to begin with but if you put weight on them and you are a medium height or tall plus size gal with a high centre of gravity - and then move around doing normal things like walking outside or even just turning around quickly you are just looking for trouble!  In no time your foot will fall off to the side of the heel and end up on the ground -  if you are lucky. It could have been worse like a broken ankle.  In high heeled mules there is nothing between your foot and the back of the shoe and your foot will take full advantage of any slip up or a step in error to declare itself free of the shoe - with no advance warning like, "I'm springing myself out now, hang on!" 

It's so unfair. Gals with narrow feet - which are often also long like cross country skis  - and plus size gals both look fabulous in high heeled mules. Mules make long feet look shorter because the length is visually cut off by the band of shoe around the top of the foot, and mules make plus size gals look long and elegant because the heels add height and look delicate and airy with their back cutaway but still look like they have substance. 

I'm obviously a fan of mules - would love to have a whole wardrobe of them.  I do have a few pairs that I love and wear often - and luckily I have invented a remedy for the problems they cause. I want to tell everybody who loves mules that it is possible to wear them! And wear them in comfort too!

The solution is inserts that specifically tackle the problems that mules cause. The inserts should of course tackle the problem that all high heels - not just mules - have which is to cushion the ball of the foot to relieve painful pressure there.   

The second problem for high heeled mule wearers is that the foot slides forward in them - pesky gravity is everywhere it seems. So in between falling out the back the foot alternates with being crushed into the toe box or falling out the front. This causes grief for toes - they hate being squashed or pinched and will complain loudly. 

The third problem to tackle is the instability of high heeled shoes, like mules, that don't have anything around the heel to keep in inside the shoe. Even sling backs have a narrow 'sling' around the back and high heel sandals typically have an adjustable strap around the back of the heel, and sometimes another one across the top of the foot too or around the ankle. Mules have nothing, they are like slides - shoes that you can slide into, and out of, and back into -  but unlike slides mules have an added danger element of height above the ground.  There is no casual sliding out of them!  

So how can high heeled mules be worn in comfort?  The solution is simple. Stop gravity - or in the alternative outfit your mules with shoe inserts designed for high heels. The inserts must of course firstly cushion the ball of the foot, and they must stop the foot from sliding forward. plus the must stabilize the foot so it doesn't wobble about inside high heel shoes. 

There are dozens, maybe hundreds of brands of high heel shoe inserts that cushion the ball of the foot, some well and some not so well but they do almsot nothing about problems two and three.

There are a few, maybe two, which are variations of each other, that tackle problem two exclusively - which is to stop the foot from sliding forward. They tackle the problem of the foot sliding forward by extending the size of the shoes' heel area into the arch by adding a blob of gel into the shoe for the foot to sit on that extends from the heel area of the shoe to the arch area of the shoe. The weight of the wearer is thus distributed with some on their heels and some onto their arches - which can hurt a lot if the foots' arch is low - ouch - or not put any weight onto the arch if it is high. The theory is that the increased area for the weight to sit on prevents the foot from sliding forward as quickly as it would without the larger area. The blob of gel under the arch can work - but only if the gel blob is exactly the right height. There is no way to customize it if it is too high and not too low. 

There is one brand, called  Killer Heel Comfort that tackles all three of the problems. These soft PORON foam inserts for high heels cushion the ball of the foot, stop the foot from sliding forward with an innovative toe grip under the middle three toes plus keep the heel in place with an innovative notch in an insert just in front of the heel. The foot cannot move about inside the high heeled shoe and is stabilized because both the ball of foot piece and the insert piece in front of the heel act in unison to stop the foot from moving in any direction.  

Finally high heel mules - those beautiful things like the Aquazzura mules in the photo  - are wearable! 


2 Responses


November 26, 2020

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Vasantha Narayanswami
Vasantha Narayanswami

July 05, 2020

Thank you for this article. I had a serious accident in April 2017 caused by wedge heel mules INDOOR slippers. They had a slippery insole, no backstrap, and cutaway feature on the fabric upper which was totally inadequate for providing any support for the foot, amongst other poorly designed features. I ended falling down the stairs on wearing them for the first time, resulting in head injuries, an avulsion of the talus and other injuries. I also now suffer from severe tinnitus and have to wear glasses as my nearsightedness was affected. The slippers had no warning on them about being a potential hazard which is a breach of public health and safety. It is important that the public is made aware of the dangers of wedge heel mules which are not manufactured for safety. They are made for cosmetic purposes and to make money for manufacturers. the store refused to remove them from the shelves when I complained which is an appalling lack of concern for the public.

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