Flats & high heels in one pair of shoes

Owning a pair of shoes with adjustable heel is a girls’ dream came true from most points of view, because who else besides me spends so much time looking at the beautiful high heels, trying them on and imagining them complimenting just about any outfit, only to decide resignedly over a pair of flatties? Because, well, comfort, and because after a day and night of looking stunning wearing 3 inch heels your feet claim holiday without giving you the right for an appeal. Let’s face it: high heels don’t do well with an active lifestyle, and even in the most static office job you still need to move significantly throughout the day, even if just by commuting or taking the after lunch walk. And flat heels are only sexy if worn by a pair of killer legs. But then again even house slippers look stunning if worn by long sculpted legs. Hmpf!

In theory it’s a no brainer and the ultimate question why the shoes with changeable heel didn’t appear earlier, I mean come on: I own about 40 pairs of shoes and I haven’t bought a new pair in more than a year! Shoes are the most important and expensive part of a woman’s wardrobe. I’ve been searching and searching and surprisingly I found only a couple of such shoes in the summer of 2017. Tanya Heath, Mime et Moi and Mestrae are just about the only stores selling such a shoe, while some companies like Zhor-Tech are already taking the game to the next level by designing connected shoes with heels and soles you can adjust via Bluetooth/app.

What is the real challenge in designing a shoe that can bare heels in different heights? It has to do with the foot anatomy: the center of gravity doesn’t fall in the same place for flats and high heels, therefore ballerina shoes focus the foot support on the sides and middle joint while for high heels, the support moves towards the toes. The trick is to find an angle and pitch of the base shoe that offers optimal support for both high and low heels, that’s why if you try to cut the heel out of a pair of stilettos, you’ll end up with toes sticking in the air. None of these brands sell heels higher than 9 cm precisely for this reason, and also the recommended minimum is 4 cm.

Another challenge faced by adventurous shoe producers was the design: sure, you can make an anatomically correct shoe with adjustable heel, but it will most certainly look ugly, granny style or simple too bland and boring to be worthwhile of a shoe lover. The costs are high and the selling price restrictive for the market it addresses: I mean for a €250 starting price and an additional €50 – 1 set of fitting heels you can get a gorgeous  designer pair. And the women that don’t mind paying this amount are looking at design.

I couldn’t find any testimonial from women that bought these shoes with adjustable heels, I am very curious to know how they feel, whether the click on/ click off system is reliable and you don’t end up losing your heels on the first patch of grass. And most importantly, are they worthwhile the investment?

Here in Quirk Heaven we’ve been dreaming of first world situations where these shoes with adjustable heel come in handy:

  • wearing high heels when it’s hot: coming from a land with torrid summers I’ve experienced the ground melting beneath my feet, and feeling the heel getting buried under your footstep is one of the sensations I’d rather never have again
  • office dress code, or just personal dress code
  • packing for holidays – no need to explain here
  • dressing up for weddings and parties, especially when going straight from the office – no more carrying a bag with flats next to your clutch, no more going barefoot after midnight just to keep on dancing
  • shoes are the most space consuming item, storage and careful keeping is always my problem. If I can get around by buying less shoes that’s both great for the storage space and I get less clutter
  • you don’t have to give up your heels entirely just because of pregnancy, these shoes offer the freedom to wear high heels as long as you feel like. Even 10 minutes of high heel time works wonders for the mental state
  • in the same register, aging doesn’t have to bring you down literally. Same idea, every little counts!

Last but not least, I would love to see the adjustable heel technology adopted by the famous classic shoe brands, with experience in comfort and design, however I can imagine there are patents involved and the developers don’t want to give them up so easily. Luckily the shoes are looking better every year, a sign that the design is moving in the right direction. I honestly wouldn’t be ashamed to wear any of the below

 

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