If I had a list of identifying traits from my early twenties, my ability to strut the high heel is certainly near the top of the list. In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I could tackle any terrain in the highest of sky-high heels, damage to the feet be damned! All pain be ignored! Blisters be bandaged later!
All of that changed after I had my first daughter. I certainly was in no physical or emotional shape to be that lady donning her chic heels while pregnant. Even postpartum I couldn't find it in me to wear them. Perhaps it was that my arches had indeed fallen, increasing my shoe size (and width too?). Perhaps I simply lacked the motivation— it takes courage to balance both yourself and an infant carrier while wearing heels.
Whatever the reason, over the past two years I've found myself embracing the flat in ways I never had before. After all, I'm only 5'3" and have a rather curvy stature; high heels had once been the foundation of my vanity. But when comfort became key, I found ways of convincing myself that ballerina flats were always fashionable, always pixie-like, and potentially even flattering for a body type like mine. Whether that's true or not, I've fallen in love with my new shoe wardrobe and we've been perfectly happy together for the past two years. That doesn't mean I haven't passed a sideways glance or two when cruising through the Nordstrom shoe department. I've noticed how high those heels have gotten!
As I near the end of my second pregnancy and a new confidence in being pregnant and a mom, I've found myself questioning the decision to give up on heels altogether. Sure, the skinny stiletto probably isn't my best daytime option, but was I mistaken in completely passing on some height help? Surely there were some options that could afford me some compromise, both comfort and flattery.
And now I have determined, yes! Yes, there are options, and once I've confirmed that my feet aren't going to grow again, I'll be restocking my shoe closet one more time with a few added pieces. I'll never pass on a cute ballet flat— I believe that my right as a mother; but I think these types of additions will wholly fulfil all my shoe needs without making it impossible for me to do my mommy duty.
The Kitten Heel
I'd owned a few pairs before, but only because they'd be quick purchases or because I'd liked some other feature of the shoe. Now, with my new mommy requirements in mind, I've realized the genius that is the kitten heel. You see, a kitten heel gives you some version of all the benefits offered in a high heel: elongating the legs, some added height, a bit of dressy class. But it also keeps you lower to the ground. That means you're sturdier on your feet for tasks like unloading car seats and groceries, chasing toddlers, and bouncing fussy babies with your free arm. This type of shoe gives you the best of both worlds and can be found in a variety of styles and even heights if some days you're feeling braver than others. I like these fun colors from Urban Outfitters.
Something about the wedge heel seems more solid than a single chute pop in the back, right? It's like you've got added balance all the way under your foot. And bonus, there's nothing cuter for the fall than a wedge bootie! I found these (and many other oh-so-expensive) stunners at Anthropolgie; but good news: there are cute ones at Target too! Just like the kitten heel, the wedge has a lot of regular-heel features going on, but with some extra support to preserve your mommy sanity and safety.
Confession. I don't have a pair of flatforms— yet. But this hippie-esque style peeked its way into sandal fashion this summer, and I've seen a few ways of rocking it come fall winter. One of my favorite so far: Flatform Mary Janes. These cuties are called "wedges" on the site; but the incline in there looks pretty subtle. I like the idea of a flatform because, I would imagine, you get the comfort and support of wearing a regular flat shoe, but you get the height of a heel. Of course, without an incline, you're missing out on some heel features, like the elongation of your legs; but like I said, this is about compromise, right?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.