Poll Results: Towering Heels

Christian Louboutin’s Marie Antoinette shoeAbout a week and a half ago, we asked a pivotal question: at what point does a high heel become TOO high for work? As always, the poll is still open, but the initial results are in:

– 44% of readers said a medium heel height was most appropriate for work — 3.5″ being the absolute highest.

– 33% said 3.5″ or higher was acceptable, so long as the shoe itself was appropriate for work — nothing a teenager would wear.

– 12% said any heel height was fine, so long as you could walk in it

– 9% said low heels were the only ones appropriate for the office: 2.5″ or under.

Pictured above: Christian Louboutin’s Marie Antoinette shoe, available only in Paris boutiques. Commenters repeatedly stressed that the heel had to be in proportion to the outfit: the higher the heel, the lower the hemline of the skirt — if not wearing pants with your towering heels. Some noted that they only wore 4″ heels with pants. Proper hemming is very important here: your pants should almost entirely cover the heel. (We would argue that readers should trek to and from work in the same height of heel that they wear at the office, but for those who don’t agree with us there are gadgets to help you hem your pants temporarily, such as Zakkerz, pictured below.)

how to temporarily hem pants

There was general agreement that platforms are not acceptable office shoes; wedges were also not popular with readers. (We would disagree with that and say it depends on the kind of wedge — the chunkier the wedge, the more inappropriate it is — but a triangular-shaped wedge that blends with the shoe would be all right with us. For example, something like the Nine West – Tuffy (Brown) – Footwear, pictured at right (available at Zappos.com for $78.95.)

Above all, though, readers noted that the shoe itself should be tasteful. As one commented, “never, ever wear clear heels to work. Never.” Another suggested readers not purchase their heels at the Hustler store. (Or perhaps, just save those Hustler shoes for the, uh, weekend.)

(Check out our guide to comfortable heels if you’re looking for more tips!)


  1. Reminds me of this line from “The Practice” where notorious womanizer attorney Alan Shore turns colleague-attorney Sally down for a date, and tells her something like: “When I say I like professional women I mean… a different kind of profession. Sure, you look like a hooker, but the thing is, you aren’t.” (quoting from memory here, don’t pin me on the exact words please)
    She’d wear the colourful heels pictured on top to work. I know I would not.

  2. Marie Antoinette shoes, clear heels, Hustler gear…everything is fair game on the weekend!
    At the office, not so much.

    However, I maintain that it’s not always what you wear, but HOW you wear it.

  3. My rule is: the plainer the rest of the shoe, the higher the heel can be without it being inappropriate.

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