You Could Walk a Mile in These Shoes…

Staying fashionable on the commute is a dilemma for a lot of professional women — and today’s guest poster has the answer!  My friend Kai Falkenberg — newsroom lawyer for Forbes and all-around fabulous and fashionable overachieving chick — rounds up some of her favorites for Fall 2011.  Welcome to Corporette, Kai! – Kat

Salvatore Ferragamo - Flo (Nero Patent) - FootwearFor those like me whose commute involves walking – and occasionally running – street friendly shoes are a must.  Long ago I decided changing shoes at work was not for me – wearing sneakers with suits looks ridiculous and it requires too much carrying back and forth.  So I was forced to seek out shoes that could brave the subway but look stylish in the boardroom.  After years of searching, I’ve finally discovered what works – and it’s not flats.  Unless you’re blessed with height, women in the corporate world should wear heels.  Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels.  The solution I’ve found…. is wedges.  So most days, regardless of season – you’ll find me wearing some version of a wedge heel.  When I’m not wearing wedges, I wear stacked heel shoes – thick heels usually 1 to 2 inches high that provide height without altering your gait.  For this Fall, I’ve spotted a number of shoes that could walk the distance…here’s a sampling, below.

These kate spade new york ‘dale’ pumpicon (available at Nordstrom for $298) are a rare find.  The tortoise shell stacked heel is both stylish and comfortable.  Black patent works for all seasons and the detail on the heel makes them really stand out.  These are a “must have” on my fall shopping list.
kate spade new york 'dale' pump
These Stuart Weitzman – Dotsunwedges are from last season but they’re now on sale at Zappos for $275 (down from $325).  They would work well with both skirts and pants and the gold studs give the feminine bows a bit of an edge.  They’re a great investment and in my closet would get lots of wear.
Stuart Weitzman Dotsun

These “Marli Too” heels from Kate Spade New York are a great go-with-everything wedge.  In addition to the rich chocolate suede pictured, Zappos has them in light camel, navy patent and black patent ($275).  They’re perfect for pant suits and will still look chic after many seasons of wear.

Kate Spade New York Marli Too

I’ve never worn Vera Wang shoes but I’m thinking of trying out these “Monique” heels ($250 at Zappos).  I find the elastic back exceedingly comfortable.  As many have discovered, wearing nude-for-you shoes lengthens your legs – and the patent gives these a little extra oomph.  They’d look terrific with a black suit or with a white blouse and a khaki skirt.  If pinky beige isn’t your color, Zappos also has them in black.

Vera Wang Lavender Label - Monique

Friends of mine have sworn by the Cole Haan heels with the Nike Air technology and this Fall I’m taking the plunge.  I have a worn out pair of black patent wedges with rubber soles that are my equivalent of sneakers.  I’ve decided to swap those out for these Cole Haan Air Talia wedges which are very reasonably priced (just $178 at Zappos) given that I’ll practically be living in them.  They’re also available in black suede and lantern patent (which might be good for fire drill days in my role as fire marshall).

Cole Haan Air Talia Wedge 40

I’ve included two splurge choices which I’d rationalize as worth it given the amount of use you will get out of them.  These Jimmy Choo ‘Moore’ pumpsicon are made of snake embossed patent leather.  They’d look great with a pencil skirt or ankle length pants.  They’ve got just the right amount of bling to accent your outfit without overdoing it.  At $495 from Nordstrom, they’re a lot less than most other Jimmy Choo heels.

Jimmy Choo 'Moore' Pump

Another worthy splurge — these Salvatore Ferragamo “Flo” wedges are a new take on a classic ($490, Zappos).  They are timeless and work for women of any age.  They’d be a perfect choice for a business trip –  and would complement a wide variety of outfits from grey pinstriped suit to a beige tailored shift dress.

Salvatore Ferragamo - Flo (Nero Patent) - Footwear
Found other street-friendly shoes to add to this list?  Share ‘em here!

(L-all)

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Comments

  1. “Unless you’re blessed with height, women in the corporate world should wear heels. Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels. ”

    I think this is hysterical. (By which I mean, it made me literally laugh because it seems kind of goofy, not because I’m angered or upset.)

    I’m At 5’9″, I’m already taller than one of the attorneys I directly report to, and a few inches shorter than the other two. I have a vision of me running back and forth to my office all day long to change shoes from flats to heels depending on who I need to talk to.

    I personally prefer to wear a 2″ or 3″ inch heel because (a) I think it looks nice on me and (b) I can wear them comfortably. Shouldn’t these be the things we’re thinking about when we choose our shoes, ladies? I’m glad the guest poster found that pumps and wedges work for her, but if someone needs to wear flats for medical reasons or even personal preference (like I am today), who cares?

    • Co-signed. I’m 5’10″ and while I really like heels, I’m stopping far short of saying women in a corporate setting “should” wear them, regardless of the reason. I can’t wear heels every day because (1) stupid genetics and weird foot structure (2) stupid ballet and years of foot abuse (3) stupid bunions and my desire *not* to have bunion surgery again.

      • Corporate Tool :

        I’m 5’8 and one of my (male) co-workers is 5’4. When I wear heels I manage to put his head at chest height. Not really what I was going for…

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        Can I be curious about your bunion surgery? What led to it (i.e. how “bad” did it get before your Dr. decided that surgery was appropriate)? Excuse me if this is a dumb question, but after the surgery you still avoid heels… Isn’t the point to remove the affected portions which cause pain therefore making it easier to wear heels in the future? I know it sounds superficial, but I don’t wear heels often because of bunion pain, but I would like to think that if I ever get the surgery I will be able to wear them without running the risk of requiring additional surgery.

        • Weighing in on the bunion surgery – I had mine done after watching my grandmothers’ and mothers’ get worse. I knew mine weren’t going to improve. And I say, seven years later, absolutely no regrets. I can stand / walk /shop/ hike all day and not be in pain.

          I can wear cuter shoes (higher heel, pointier toe), but save them for special occasions (presentations, weddings) and still find a 2-3 inch heel and wider toe box to be most comfortable the rest of the time.

        • Diana Barry :

          Ditto! I have developing bunions, but they don’t hurt yet. Did you get both feet done, or just one? If both, was it at the same time?

          • I got both feet done at the same time. 2 days of needing to be helped to the bathroom dependency + 10 of work-from-home, mostly laptop-in-bed recuperation, + five weeks of hobbling around with/without crutches. 2 months of diligent physical therapy twice a week. All healed.

            Gained five pounds. Lost calluses and tough foot skin.

        • Can I be curious about your bunion surgery? What led to it (i.e. how “bad” did it get before your Dr. decided that surgery was appropriate)?
          ________________________________________________

          When I got to the point where every step felt like walking on broken glass (if the broken glass was inside the joint, I mean), I didn’t need much convincing to have surgery.

          Many different things can cause a bunion (which, let’s be clear, is a dislocation of the first metatarsal & sesamoid bones–at the ball of your foot–not some kind of cosmetic issue, or something simply to be removed). In my case, the structure of my feet (and the relative lengths of my toes and metatarsals) gives me a genetic predisposition to bunions. The dislocation can be surgically corrected, but there’s no guarantee you’re fixed for life. My surgery was 10 years ago, and I still have occasional pain.

        • I understand that bunion surgery’s goal is not to allow you to wear bunion-causing heels again with impunity. Rather, it is to allow you to not feel pain any more.

    • I think shorter ladies would prefer to be a bit taller, and given that the average is closer to 5’4″ for ladies, this post speaks to the majority. I’m 5’10″ and realize that I am lucky that I have the option to go flat or kitten heel all the time and not feel shorter than everyone else.

      • Actually, I’m 5’2″ and unless some boor makes an issue of it, I am quite happy with my height.

        I get so tired of encountering this nonsense. If you don’t know your sh__, or if you’re in an environment where women aren’t respected, it doesn’t matter what you wear on your feet.

        • Maybe nonsense, but millions of women choose to wear heels, and most of them probably enjoy the little extra height. That’s all. No big issue to be made if you are unique and not one of those people. My mom is 5’2″ and likes to wear heels (even though she’s in her 60s) for the look and the height – pretty average sentiments I’m sure.

          • Thank you! Whether or not you personally think professional women must wear heels, or even if you don’t care, why snub some good work wear suggestions that many of this blog’s readers will find useful and relevant?

          • 62 Inches :

            ATC & KD:

            It’s important that other views be represented. If you can’t take someone else’s opinion, whose problem is that? To state the obvious, this is a blog on which readers are explicitly asked to give their opinion. I post partly in the hope that some shoe manufacturers or store buyers will get the message.

            BTW:

            –I hate wedges, low or high. To me, they are awkward, clumsy-looking and unprofessional.

            –I hate patent leather. I’ve worn patent leather shoes because nothing else was available, but I felt like a little girl in her Sunday School shoes. Patent leather is cheap (anyone who knows anything about leather considers it inferior), and difficult to restore if it cracks.

          • @62 Inches – who can’t take someone else’s opinion? I was just posting my reply because I have an alternate opinion, and I want it to be represented. Weird how it works both ways, huh?

    • When I am not in “formal lawyer” gear, which for me involves 3″ heels, I commonly wear flats. I can’t be bothered to change back and forth and flats are just way more comfortable. I do keep a pair of emergency black heels in my office, but seriously, if I can’t get my point across while I am 5’4″, then being a couple of inches taller isn’t going to help me any.

    • R in Boston :

      I also find this funny, but from the opposite angle. I’m 5’1″, so the heel height I’d have to wear to be anywhere near eye level with the men in my office would be pretty office inappropriate. Unless stilts have come into style and I just missed it.

      I also don’t necessarily think all of these shoes would work at a more conservative office; I’d still be changing out of them when I got in. That said, I do need new commuter shoes and these are cute.

      • soulfusion :

        My boss barely scrapes in at 5′ and she never wears heels but she is a powerhouse. I tower over her at 5’9″ in flats and am a giant when I wear heels. Her height – or anyone else’s for that matter – does not influence my decision of when to wear heels and when to go with flats. The weather, how much I will be walking and what is on my calendar is by far the biggest influence – oh, and what I’m wearing. She has taught me it isn’t about stature, it is confidence and how you conduct yourself that exudes power.

      • anotheranon :

        Agreed. At 5’3″, no heels are going to put me at eye level with someone 6 feet tall. Perhaps I should look into stilts?

      • R in Boston — exactly my thought! Can’t dream of being eye level with the vast majority of people in my office unless stilts are an option.

    • On average, tall people earn more and are promoted faster than their shorter counterparts. There may be a career advantage for shorter women to wear heels at work every day. Whether the potential extra earnings offset increased medical costs from foot and knee damage is another matter.

      • Thanks for the last sentence. But even if you’re a short woman who wants to accommodate that attitude, you need to make sure you’re not going to look like a damned fool as do many women of any height in high heels.

        More fundamentally, if I read that, say, short, bald men are discriminated against because of their appearance that offends me. That is idiotic. My first reaction is not to try to make up to people with those attitudes.

        I understand that most of us feel fairly powerless and acted upon in the workplace, but it would be nice to see some push-back.

    • “Unless you’re blessed with height, women in the corporate world should wear heels. Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels.”

      I laughed out loud at that phrase too and I’m 5’4″. Really now. Come on.

    • Anonymous :

      The edict!

      It’s just as hysterical and silly for petite chicas.

      Wear something tailored and lovely and bearable-to-comfy and always, appropriate. Wear a heel or don’t No should about it. To say ‘should’ is very little girl imagining grown-up life. It’s not reality and it’s almost charmingly wrong, rather than offensively.

    • Also cracked up at the thing about women wearing heels in the corporate office. How Mad Men!

  2. Don't Buy It :

    “After years of searching, I’ve finally discovered what works – and it’s not flats. Unless you’re blessed with height, women in the corporate world should wear heels. Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels.”

    [Choice acronyms.]

    I am under 30, under 5’5, and I wear flats to work (and everywhere else in my life) every day. My feet, hips, and back feel better when I do. I work in the corporate world, and if people don’t like it, screw them. I could wear heels, but I choose not to, at least on 362/365 days of the year. The eye-level thing is B.S., the “if you work with men, you need to be tall like them” is B.S., the idea that I am not “blessed with height” is B.S., and I don’t care what you think about the shoes you’re reviewing because your introduction was so off-putting to me.

    I think this is the most irritating post I’ve ever read on Corporette (happily, it was not authored by Kat), and it is gratuitously so.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I was a bit offended by that sentence, too. I’m 5’2″, so the only way I’d be eye level with my male counterparts is if I wore the kind of shoes that should never see the fluorescent lights of a professional office.

    • I disagree completely, I’m under 30 and 5’3″ and find heels more work best for me at work. To boot, I also have a younger looking face (e.g. at 21 I was carded for curfew, at 23 a flight attendant asked me if I was over 15), so I agree that being perceived at eye-level with my coworkers is important. I say “being percieved” because I feel that having strong posture is just as important as actual height in this regard.

      I actually find heels (specifically 1.5″ to 3″) actually more comfortable than flats. I have flat feet, however when I’m on tip-toe my arches aren’t fallen at all. Hence I can walk all day in some good heels, but feel like a duck and get a sore ankle when I wear heels.

      It’s too bad you’re so so easily offended by the guest poster, I think she has some lovely wedge heel recommendations for the office. To me the tone of the post was light and fun, and not at all intended to seriously mandate that all >’average’ height women must wear heels.

    • Agreed with the tone of this post being irritating.

    • I completely agree. I read that and said, if this was the stuff Kat put out, I would stop reading this blog. I’m 5 ft 4 inches. I am not wearing 5 or 6 inch heels just to be eye level with men. I’ve heard of wearing heels because they look great with an outfit, or wanting to be a a bit taller, or just preferring the look…but to be eye level with men??? Really?

    • Co-signed. I wear flats almost every day. I’m not going to subject my feet and back to the (documented) negative effects of daily heel-wearing. I love pretty heels, and I’ll wear them for special occasions, but in my professional life, I’m convinced I can kick the world’s rear-end in flat shoes.

    • 62 Inches :

      Don’t Buy It, et al.,

      Thanks so much for confirming that all women have not been brainwashed. Some of the smartest, most dynamic and confident women I’ve ever worked with have been very short, and they didn’t have to wobble on stilt shoes to do it.

      • I don’t care if someone wears heels or not. I prefer them, but you don’t have to. However, I just need to say that if you are wobbling, you are doing it all wrong.

        • This! Thanks as usual, AIMS.

        • 62 Inches :

          I see lots of women wobbling. Also does it make sense to have to “train” yourself to negotiate your footwear?

          This is one of those situations that can easily be reversed: Men would NEVER put up with this. Men’s clothing is designed to compliment, protect, and be comfortable. As long as women permit themselves to be treated like little dress-up dolls for whom safety and comfort are the least important factors, nothing’s going to change.

          There is something in between Golda Meir and a supermodel that fashionable professional women could wear. If designers showed some imagination and true interest in their clients, we might learn what that is.

          • At some point I had to learn to sit up straight, to not slouch, to not walk with my feet facing each other… I never formally learned to walk in high heels, but when a shoe is too high for me to be graceful in, I don’t wear it. Everyone has their limits and it’s important to fix what you can and be realistic about what you cant.

            To say that men would never put up with “it” raises a good point but also misses it, I think. Men put up with lots of other things that we don’t have to, like for example having to wear a button down shirt, tie, undershirt, wool suit and heavy leather shoes with socks in 90 degree weather, and we get to wear a short sleeved dress and open toed shoes.

            I agree that there is a middle ground between Golda on the one hand and Tyra on the other, but I also don’t think you need to wait for designers to show you the way. I think this blog is a very good example of that, and it disheartens me to see this kind of “one way vs the other” debate take place. I guess all I am trying to say is wear what you like, heels or flats, but no need to judge anyone’s choices. Let’s not get all Catherine Mackinnon here, sometimes a pair of heels is just a pair of heels. If you don’t like them, you’re not necessarily a frump, but if you do it doesn’t make you a brainwashed twit either.

    • I feel pretty much the same way. I am 5’0″ and have foot/leg problems that I literally cannot balance in heels (a half inch wedge is about the best I can manage). Yes, I’d prefer to be taller and to wear heels (they are so pretty!), and I don’t begrudge others for doing so, but man, what a needlessly hurtful way to introduce your picks. “women in the corporate world should wear heels” … “it’s important to be eye level with your peers” — sigh!!

    • agree it was irritating

  3. SF Bay Associate :

    Wow, I agree across the board, except for the you-have-to-wear-heels part. I vouch for the Marli Too wedges, which I have in black patent and have worn a lot. Try on both your size and a 1/2 size up – I needed the extra half size. The Air Talias are on their way to me now for exactly the purpose described (“sneaker equivalent”). I have also had my eye on the KS Dale, and if my bonus ship comes in (ha!), the SF Flos will be mine!

    • I’m going to have to break down and get the Air Talia wedges as well one of these days!

    • I have two pairs of the Air Talias, and they are truly sneaker-like. I have to say though, that I have one pair of Air Laineys, and they are even more comfortable despite being about an inch higher (total 2.25 inches). The Air Talias fit my very slightly wide feet a little pinchy, while the Air Laineys are perfection in the same size.

      I would rather wear any of my Cole Haans than just about any other shoe though.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I think I must be missing something with Cole Haan shoes. I bought some pretty Air Talia pumps, and they are the same as all my other heels? I don’t feel that they are more or less comfortable than my *much cheaper* Nine West heels of the same height. They just have more padding at the bottom.

    • Friend swears by the ferragamo wedges and I love the CH ones….

      But at 5″4 I still don’t like the poster’s remark that I have to be eye level with my male colleagues…..

  4. ugh, let’s please not get into the old argument about wearing flats vs. heels and what that says about women, men, society, our bodies and the world at large, etc. that has definitely been covered elsewhere.

    let’s just agree to disagree and talk about pretty shoes instead, whatever height they are …

  5. I think the post about comfortable commuting heels is well-intentioned, but I agree with others that the attitude — that heels are a necessity, rather than a style or comfort choice — is unfortunate.

    In any case, for those of us shopping at a lower price point, I’ve had good luck with the Andrew Geller Yumm wedge (available at DSW and online) and various styles from Scarpasa.

  6. Short Stuff :

    Well, at 5’2, I’m never going to be eye-level with most of my 6′ + male colleagues unless I wear stilts, so I guess I should just throw my career aspirations out the window…

  7. Threadjack: I’m looking for an online (preferably with iphone syncing ability) address book/contact management. system Ideally it would also keep track of/notify me of birthdays. Is google contacts my best bet? It seems so cumbersome to enter the individual fields, and I haven’t seen a birthday option (though I guess I could enter them on the calender manually, but that’s another step, esp considering I don’t generally use the google calendar). I don’t have outlook (my work uses lotus notes–my thoughts on this program are unprintable). Any suggestions?

    • Can’t answer every part of your question, but my Android phone which syncs with Google Contacts 1) pulls birthday info off of Facebook and ports it into my (Google on Android) calendar (some people don’t like this, and you can disable viewing your Facebook, or any, calendar on your phone).* 2) Google Contacts, called People on my phone, has a birthday category. You do have to Edit Contact and then touch Birthday and enter it manually there.

      *for example, I have my calendar, my husband’s calendar, and my daughter’s calendar all viewable simultaneously on my phone but I can opt to view just mine.

    • You can add bday to your contacts in your iphone phonebook, and I think there’s a way to sinc that with the calendar feauture so you get reminders re: bdays. You can sinc both with your mac mail account and probably gmail as well.

    • if you have an iphone and a mac, the iphone contacts list already syncs with your computer – there’s also a “birthday” field in the iphone contacts list that populates the iphone calendar and can be set up to remind you when a birthday is coming up.

  8. That’s such a strange comment about wearing heels to be eye level with your peers. It assumes that a) all the people you need to be eye level with are tall males, and b) you’re only negotiating while standing. By this logic, women who are shorter than most men while sitting should also invest in a booster chair to be at eye level while in the boardroom.

    I have the Air Talia wedges in beige and absolutely love them. They are a bit snug and in the Air Talia heels I have to go up a size.

    • Haha, hopefully boardroom chairs are adjustable office chairs.

      RE the Air Talia sizing, do they tend to be snug width-wise or length-wise? Thanks!

  9. Corporate Tool :

    Threadjack (sorry to do it so early), but did anyone else read this?
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2011/08/16/blueprint-for-a-womans-life/

    I know I should take Peneleope Trunk’s advice with a grain of salt, but I was speechless on this one, and wanted to make sure I wasn’t the only one.

    • Tired Squared :

      Penelope is joking, right?

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I hope so. The few kernels of useful advice are far outweighed by the large amount of crazy. I, for one, will not be getting plastic surgery, going to business school, intentionally ruining my relationship with my employer after childbirth, or homeschooling my children. I guess that means I’m screwed.

        Side rant on her homeschool manifesto: I realize she has a son with special needs, but does she think that every single woman is more qualified than experienced teachers in every single subject such that every woman (not ‘parent.’ ‘woman’) can ‘beat’ professional, trained teachers? Even suppose that we all are crackerjack teachers, does foregoing a full-time salary and work experience for 18 + years really make financial sense vs. paying 40k in tuition? Homeschooling is a good option for SOME families, but as a blueprint for every woman’s life? Does she live on the same planet I do?

      • She’s just out to drum up controversy and web traffic. And doing so successfully, i might add. The post is hilarious.

        I also can’t believe she didn’t say to spend your 20s chasing after the older rich unhappily married men of the world, that seems like an approach she would embrace.

    • I find PT very, very hard to stomach. Most of her advice seems aimed at being controversial merely to increase her blog hits. She also has a very myopic view of what career options are out there.

      What metric for success is she using? Owning a startup? Most of them fail. It’s risky. I know that’s what she’s done, but that’s not everyone’s idea of success or life goal.

    • Anon Career Girl :

      I found this article horrifying to read. I used to read her blog but it got to be too much, and that was like a year ago. All that talk about finding a husband and making him happy – what about finding a man who appreciates what you bring to the table and admires you if you make more money. And the thing about divorce is total BS. My mother got divorced when I was a year old and I’m far better adjusted than my two-parent household friends.

      Women really are their own worst enemy and this woman proves that. I’m all for women making their own choices but find it incredibly rude to be told that the way to succeed in life is to marry a smart career man, devote your entire life to him and any children you have, and then make sure you have plastic surgery so he doesn’t stray. Disgusting, shame on you Penelope.

      However, I do remember reading in one of her posts that she has Aspergers syndrome so that probably accounts for the lack of filter. Also, she’s divorced with two kids living in the midwest somewhere after moving there from NYC, no wonder she’s unhappy.

    • Yeah, I thought it was pretty horrifying. The thing with PT is I’m never sure when I’m supposed to take her seriously and when she’s joking. Unfortunately, I don’t think she was really joking. I have to say, what she describes is not a world I’ve ever lived in.

    • She always seems seriously mentally ill to me (literally, not in a perjorative sense) – I don’t understand how she has any serious fans.

    • Wow, that is not satire. Wow.

    • Holy crap.

      Wow, is she more sexist or more classist? Or ageist? It would be so fun to diagram all the ways in which that article is offensive and boneheaded.

    • A Regular Lurker :

      Oddly, that post seems like something Ellen could have written. Perhaps they are friends?

    • People read this? She contradicts herself all over the place in a single post – she tells women to stay at home with their kids and then a few sentences later tells them to start a company. Huh? She seems crazy. I think the homeless guy yelling at the park down the street gives better advice.

    • Penelope Trunk reminds me of Dan Savage, in that people in the blogosphere seem to talk about her all of the time, but I have absolutely no idea why anyone would be the slightest bit interested in what she has to say. In other words, I don’t get her appeal. That said, I think that the plastic surgery part at least was a bit tongue in cheek, and I do object to women who object to the idea of pleasing husbands (in that, assuming that one has a spouse, one should seek to please that spouse).

      • Anonymous :

        Have to stand up for Dan Savage here. He has a lot of coherent and important things to say (like that we as a society should be protecting our LGBTQ youth and it is unacceptable that so many children commit suicide because they are not protected from LGBTQ-themed bullying in their schools, for one). I don’t think it’s fair to compare that to this.

        • Agree, didn’t Dan Savage start the whole It Gets Better movement?

          This woman reminds me more of Ann Coulter, or maybe certain rumored Presidential candidates … but again, just one humble opinion.

        • Yeah, and then he goes and makes nasty sex-jokes or “that person acts gay” jokes about politicians that he doesn’t like (but we’re supposed to believ e that it gets better, right?). I’m not saying that he doesn’t have any good qualities ever in the world, but I’ve read his columns; they’re self-absorbed, frequently mean-spirited, and just plain long-winded. And, based on some of his recent work about his support for open relationships, it strongly appears that he treats his partner, who’s significantly younger than him, like dirt.

          Sorry, I have absolutely no respect for the man. The fact that people think he has something to offer is disturbing to me.

          • I can see how you may not agree with his approach to sex and relationship advice, but…

            “that person acts gay” jokes about politicians that he doesn’t like

            If what you mean is, he gives closeted politicians and clergy a hard time if they actively campaign against equal rights, but then go and have sex with male prostitutes/trolling for sex in public washrooms/propositioning teenage male pages/go to pray-it-away camp and marry Christine O’Donnell…?

            The fact that you have a problem with that says more about you than it does about Dan. And it’s disturbing to me.

          • Anonymous :

            What Sam said, and also, because they are defining their own relationship how they want to, you think that means he treats his husband like dirt? I don’t see how you get there.

          • I dunno.... :

            Everyone is entitled to feel differently, but based on your comment it does not appear like you have read much Dan Savage, or at least understood the context of what he was trying to say.

            Re: politicians, I would second what Sam said.
            Re: open marriage, he was expressing perfectly valid thoughts, which if you read in full, you would understand are not offensive to anyone who wants to be in a monogomous relationship because, hey, it’s your call. All he is saying is be upfront about what you want with your mate.

            You don’t have to agree with him on everything or even anything, but the fact that you are disturbed by people thinking he has something to offer makes me sad for you. For you to take someone’s relationship, who you don’t even remotely know, and to judge it like that and pronounce that “he obviously treats his husband like dirt….” is seriously sad. I really hope no one judges your relationship that way. “Oh, Lyssa, got married so young, she must be brainwashed,” or “Oh, Lyssa the lawyer is married to a guy in sales, she must call all the shots in that family….” It doesn’t feel good, does it? And, that’s not based on you sharing anything remotely as personal.

        • Dan Savage is a pretty terrible person but not crazy and occasionally makes legitimate points and does good things (see, e.g.: http://www.getreligion.org/2011/07/who-is-dan-savage/). I wouldn’t read his column, but I understand why some people do.

          Penelope Trunk, on the other hand, is just crazy.

          • Anonymous :

            He’s a pretty terrible person? Jeez, wiht the people out there, I don’t see how he even makes it into that category.

          • Did you even read the link I posted? I think that calling for someone’s violent murder just because one disagree with his politics qualifies one as a terrible person. Particularly when that’s just one example of a series of verbal and in some cases physical attacks against people one disagrees with.

          • Little Lurker :

            I think Dan Savage is evolving and, one hopes, maturing. see: his views on the “existence” of bisexuality.

            I think the It Gets Better campaign was a great moment for him, but he relies on shock value just like every other in-your-face columnist seeking attention.

          • Dan Savage Lover :

            He was speaking off the cuff and using hyperbole, and this is a pretty extreme case of what he says (rather than a typical comment). He later commented on his own blog, “But here’s the diff between me and Coulter: I regret using that truck metaphor, and didn’t mean it literally, and it was in poor taste, and I regret it.”

            http://slog.thestranger.com/2006/10/five_minutes_with_da_1#c475768

            He is often saying things that are over the top, but I don’t think they make him a terrible person. He’s not issuing an actual call to arms.

            In any case, I’ve been reading him since middle school, and I love him, although sometimes I wish he would tone things down a bit.

          • Anonymous :

            @Eponine: Yes, I read it. He apologized immediately and profusely for the truck statement. His verbal attacks are usually based on pointing out the hypocracy or bigotry of others, see Sam’s comment above. Yes, he goes too far sometimes. So do the people he’s attacking. In contrast, Dan tends to apologize when he goes too far.

            Physical attacks? The licking the doorknobs thing? There’s some debate about whether that’s true (or whether it was a tale he was spinning for effect). Regardless, no one got sick.

      • Dan Savage has a lot more useful/insightful information to share than PT, I’ve found. The subject matter, though, is of a very different nature! He also does a lot of work on behalf of gay teens (It Gets Better Project) and marriage equality.

        • Dan Savage is incredibly useful! I know lots of people whose love lives and inner mental health is better thanks to his columns. Not sure who this Penelope person is, but lay off my Dan Savage ;)

    • Was this meant for April 1?

    • Devil's Advocate :

      As an intellectual exercise I’d like to consider the possibility that there might be some redeeming value to what she has written. Please don’t flame me for this. (My initial reaction, like many of yours, was nausea)

      Maybe she represents a backlash against the whole “you can have it all” ethos that so many of us grew up with? That she’s trying to say that women should face certain realities about sex inequality and deal with it, rather than fight it? I went to B-school, and there *were* plenty of women there going for an MRS, not an MBA. And yes, some of those women are now married to classmates and staying at home. She goes to extremes, mostly for effect I think, and I agree that her view sets women back as a whole. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some kernels of truth in there somewhere for individual women here and there …

      Anyone else agree, or am I trying to polish a turd here (as a former colleague would say)?

      • I’ve gotten the general impression that that’s her schtick (though if it is, I think it’s rather poorly done, in that it’s not completely clear). But, like I said, I don’t deliberately read her.

  10. I have the Air Talia wedges and love them. J.Crew has a new shoe this fall that looks like an exact copy of them. Boo.

  11. I like the idea of commuting in wedge heels, vs just shorter heels or flats. The wedge heels, per the examples posted, are all skinny and have a nice, professional silhouette. Yet the wedge aspect makes them easier to walk in, and won’t get stuck in a sidewalk crack or grate!

  12. Anonymous :

    OK ladies, on the topic of shoes, I really need someone to talk me out of buying these: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-jasper-mary-jane-pump/3219211?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=0
    I have never owned platforms, I have a few pairs of conservative 3″ Calvin Klein heels that I wear occasionally at work, but I generally prefer flats. But I’ve had these platforms seared into my brain since I saw them earlier this week in the Nordstrom catalog. I.Love.Them but really really don’t want to be spending more money on frivolous things.

    • I’m currently trying to find a job (and running out of places to look!) so I am clearly not going shopping anytime soon. But wow. I love those. I usually hate platforms but those are really different and I just really really like them! Sorry this isn’t helping you not buy them but I just wanted to share that I agree! They are lovely!

    • I think they look like working girl shoes, euphemistically speaking. I can’t imagine how they’d fit into a corporate woman’s wardrobe, even just for the weekend.

      • I agree not for most (or any) offices (unless you are lucky enough to work at a fashion magazine). But there is something fun about them for weekend wear. Or even just to look at

      • I find the color blocking limiting. That and the fact that they are platforms will mean these will go out of style by next year. We’re on year 3 of the platform trend, it can’t last much longer, can it?

      • Always a NYer :

        These look like something Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman would wear. That and I think 5″ is far too high for the corporate world.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      I’m afraid I can’t help you either! I fell in love with them when I saw them this past weekend. I am afraid this will be an unrequited love for me, however, since the doctor says I probably shouldn’t be wearing heels for the next several months…

    • I dig the color combo a lot, but I’d say that, if you’re not really into platforms, they can be much harder to wear than you might think. I have fairly small feet, but I always feel like Herman Munster clomping around in platforms much smaller than those. My foot hits the ground oddly in a way that makes it difficult to acheive that “sexy walk with high-heels” that I would aim for, and I just feel un-graceful. Plus I agree with others that these are a little too “clubby” or “working girl” to be of much use for you.

    • You could always online-stalk them until they go on sale?

    • Sorry, but these are SO cute! They actually look like something my daughter would love (and they come in a 12 as so few cute shoes do). Is it too early to shop for Christmas?

    • They’re cute but look like they’d get very limited wear. Definitely not work appropriate if you’re in a traditional office.

  13. “Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels.”

    Or adjustable conference room chairs, which every office I’ve ever been to has. As a bonus, adjustable chairs aren’t bad for your knees and back, and I’ve never twisted an ankle while using one.

    • By the way, my comment should not be taken as an endorsement of the premise, which I think is ri-freaking-diculous.

    • I am 5’2″ and I’ve always adjusted the conference room chairs down so that my feet comfortably hit the ground. It sounds like some people adjust their chairs up, so their face is at a higher level. Have I been doing it wrong all this time? I would rather have my feet on the ground and good posture, sitting a little lower than the tall people, than to have my head up higher but my feet swinging back and forth in the air like a kid sitting at the dining table.

      • I know, sutemi, it’s like you have to pick your poison. I have neck and wrist problems so I tend to adjust so I can write in an ergonomic way, and just rest my feet on the office chair foot/leg. For brainstorming meetings in conference rooms, I tend to just pull up an extra chair so I can have a foot stool under the table, or fold my feet under myself. Don’t worry, I do so in a still lady-like manner since I wear skirts/dresses more than slack ;)

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        I’m 5’5″ and I adjust the chairs down so my feet are on the floor. I balance my shortness by expanding horizontally (i.e., take up space on the table by spreading my papers out).

      • I was being sarcastic. I sit low too so my feet hit the ground. My feet, which are clad in flats.

      • I split the difference – position the chair so that my feet reach the wheel spoke things easily (but floor if I slouch a little) – stability AND height :)

  14. I love wedges. They’re my go to shoe for my commute as well, as besides subways stairs, an overcrowded train, and lots of perilous grates, my trip to work involves about a mile of walking to and from the subway.

    For anyone looking for a lower priced, but still very comfortable wedge heel, I recently stumbled on a pair by CK called “Yana.” I got them in plum suede for about $50 at Nordstrom Rack and I must say that they don’t look any worse than my CH suede wedges from last fall (though we’ll see if they are truly as comfy on 10+ hr. days). I see them available online (in gray and black, too) for $98. Very comfortable, and I think I will wear them to death, as I usually do with all similar shoes. An aside: a trip to the cobbler pre-wear to reinforce the sole, etc., makes them last much longer overall.

    I am also a little bit in love with this Delman pair, on super sale at NM Last Call, though up till this post I was wondering if they were a bit too Golden Girls for someone my age (glad to know I am not alone in my love for “grandma” heels). Maybe now I will take the plunge and see if they can work in my regular rotation. Hopefully, the gold studs aren’t overkill for work.
    http://tinyurl.com/3v4sp9v

    This pair also seems cute, but alas, my size is unavailable (posting b/c it’s such a fantastic deal for a size 6 or 6.5) — http://tinyurl.com/3to2rex

    Anyway, I am sure there will be a lot of discussion vis a vis “needing” to wear heels, and how some of us just prefer to commute in sneakers, but I just want to say that I thought all the shoes posted were cute and I am looking forward to seeing others’ recs (and please inc. comfortable boots as I am always on the lookout for a new winter pair).

    • Thank you for this list. All of the wedges listed above are splurges for me. But I’m definitely looking for wedges that I can wear on the T and at work. In fact, my mother and I were just shopping for them today.

    • Thanks for posting some more affordable options. I was surprised by the price point of those in the post.

    • So I just looked at the Delmans. They’re not grandmaish but I think I had those shoes in the 80s. Something about the studs throws me off. Love the color though.

  15. Anonymous :

    PSA: Neiman Marcus has the air talias for $80, NMRUSH will get them rush shipped for free!!

  16. Annoying comment aside, this type of shoe is really great. They’re about the perfect height, and the wedge makes them really comfortable. I’ve had a few pairs of shoes like this over the years, and I always wear them out.

  17. About the Sassy Silk Dress from Boden that Kat featured a couple weeks ago:
    After a long time, I bought a dress featured on here, and am happy to report that it was a great recommendation! I bought the Multi Bouquet version of the dress, which has dark blue and purple flowers, perfect for my workplace with a dark purple cardigan.
    It’s a rare combination of a great length for me (5’5′) – mid-kneecap and a great neckline that’s not too low, on a dress that has sleeves. I bought a size 6 and it flatters my pear-shaped figure by just skimming my tummy and thighs (~128lbs). The slightly higher waist doesn’t make me look pregnant but emphasizes my narrowest part. The lining makes it drape well. Overall, I highly recommend. Buoyed by this success, I’m now scouring the Boden clearance dresses racks. :)

    • Corporate Tool :

      I bought it 8 long in grey silk. I had to get it taken in, (fit everywhere but waist) but for $60 and free shipping, it was amazing.

      Love. Love. Love. AND they just sent me a coupon for $10 off. I’ve had nothing but success with Boden skirts and dresses.

      • FYI – I just got an email from Boden – buy 3 items and get the 4th free, plus free shipping. Yes, this is a big purchase, BUT, I’ve never seen a promo where one can get an entire dress/coat/jacket for free. This is a great deal, and I’m very tempted to bite.

  18. You know, as nice as the shoes listed are, I just cannot imagine that any of them would hurt my feet less than standard heels – that is, they’d still hurt. I have bunions and wide feet, so to start, I doubt any of the shoes listed would fit. I can/do wear heels in the workplace, but for any commute involving serious walking (that is, more than one or two blocks from a bus/train), I’d have to change my shoes if I wanted to wear heels during the day.

    (Also, hasn’t this site expressed concern before that wedges weren’t appropriate for all offices? I mean, I work in a market where pretty much anything goes, so I’ve never grasped the raging debate over whether e.g. peeptoes are appropriate for the office, but I thought wedges weren’t always corporate enough. I could be misremembering, though.)

    • I had never heard that wedges weren’t OK, but then again I’m in a business casual environment.

      Also – Cole Haan makes their shoes in all sorts of widths. I bought a pair of shoes that were AA width and hadn’t seen those in a store in years, so I’d assume they make wide widths as well. And the air technology really does make a difference. I can walk all day in mine compared to a almost identical cut of shoe that doesn’t have the air technology. Might be worth a shot.

  19. Is this thread for real?

    $500 shoes to wear on the subway and trotting around dirty city sidewalks?

    [insert eyeroll here]

    Here’s my own particular commute shoe dilemma. I work from home. I occasionally have meetings downtown. To get there, I have an 8 block walk to the subway (driving/bus not an option), followed by a 25 minute ride involving a change of trains, and then another 5 block walk to my meeting space. That location has a metal detector, and chunky heels inevitably set it off, creating more of a fuss.

    Even if I had a professional shoe comfortable enough to survive that trek, I doubt it would last long, as I picture heels breaking, scuffs, rain and mud, and sidewalk flotsam and jetsam just shortening the lifespan of those shoes to a point where it’s just not financially practical.

    So, what kind of commuter shoe should I wear? Keep in mind, I won’t have a desk to store them at when I get to my location, so they will need to fit in my laptop bag.

    Any ideas for me?

    • Fashion Faux Pas :

      What about foldable ballet flats? My friend has a pair of Tieks (omitting link to avoid moderation) and loves them. I’m not sure if there are any cheaper equivalents.

      • Neiman Marcus has some CitySlips for $58 online; they look like they have anti-slip soles, too.

        I’d suggest Sperry loafers. I used them for walking to class in college and they held up really well. Very comfortable and had that signature boat shoe sole, so they were fantastic when the sidewalks were wet. The Montauk, Lakeside, Palmdale, and Marin models they have online right now look cute. Some of the slip-ons are on sale now, too!

    • Black slip-on Skechers. The uppers are soft so they flatten, and I wear little half-socks with mine. You can walk miles in them, they don’t look much less dorky than sneakers, and they’re always on sale (got mine for $40 three years ago). And you won’t ruin your nice heels/work shoes.

    • Yes, this thread is real. There are people who have the money to wear $500 shoes on an everyday basis (I suspect the post author is in this category) but they tend not to be the type to walk on sidewalks or take trains. “Driver, please….”

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Not true at all. I take trains, walk on sidewalks, and love my Ferragamos ($500) and Kate Spades ($350). I think it is because I spend money on high quality, well balanced shoes that I can comfortably do these things. Many (not all) inexpensive shoes are poorly made and/or use poor-quality materials, causing blisters and tired feet.

        • Anonymous :

          Ditto. I wear my nice, low heeled shoes on the subway/walk to work all the time. They are well made and I take good care of them. They have all held up well.

      • That’s incredibly not true. I don’t even know where to begin, but you’d have a very hard time living in New York without walking on sidewalks, and most people here take trains . . . even with their YSL purses and Prada pumps. A pair of Kate Spades would hardly be out of place.

        I wholeheardtedly agree that this post would have benefitted from a couple of lower priced options, but can we be a little bit less judgmental in our comments? What someone chooses to spend money on is a personal decision, you don’t know their life.

    • Fit Flops are great in the summer. I usually wear flat boots in cold weather.

    • I like Munro American shoes from Nordstrom. They usually have a heel and a rubbery sole so they are easier on the feet. They’re in the $100-200 range.

      Personally I change shoes when I get to work. DC can be very wet and I am not rolling in extra $500s to be ruining suede shoes in unexpected rain.

    • I only own one pair of $700 shoes – and I mostly wear them on the subway and trotting around dirty city sidewalks. In addition they are flats with fairly thin soles so they’re even closer to the dirt than heel or wedges would be. I’ve never found the subway dangerous for any shoes.

      One year of wearing several times each week and they still look good. To me it’s worth it to have something perfectly comfortable that I feel confident looks both good and professional.

  20. On heels and mostly-male offices: I worked for a time at a ratty startup. Wore a suit and heels once because I was going to a luncheon. Walked into the office and said hi to two of the engineers who were in their usual nerdcore t-shirts, ripped jeans and sock feet. Engineer 1: “Wow, you look really nice today.” Engineer 2: “And tall.” Got a good chuckle out of that… plus I could finally reach the snacks atop the fridge.

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