Jump to content

The High Heeled Ruminations Of Melrose Plant


mlroseplant
 Share

Recommended Posts

I find it interesting that all of the conversation, boot vs. sandal, seems to center around the temperature and relative comfort, but that's not really my motivation. The fact is, I do wear boots all summer for the majority of my waking hours because I have to, and sometimes, if I am very unlucky, they are the knee-high, rubber variety. Maybe we can talk about socks sometime!

I got to thinking about it, and I think my love of sandals started very early in life (as did my love of heels). When I was very little, in the 1970s, and for that matter, well into my high school years in the 1980s, it was quite fashionable for girls to wear sandals or even go barefoot all summer. This is a complete reversal of the norm from 50-100 years earlier, where it used to be that "Boys go barefoot, girls wear shoes." By the time I came along, girls had somehow co-opted the social acceptability of going barefoot, and boys did NOT go barefoot or wear sandals in public, with some narrow exceptions for the beach or the swimming pool. It just wasn't done, unless you wanted to be made fun of. Even back then, I thought this was very unfair, but I also didn't have the fortitude at that time to not conform, either. Does this sound familiar at all? I don't have any evidence to back me up on this, but I get the feeling that sandals weren't really a "thing" you saw on the street every day in America until the 1960s, and by then it was largely a female fashion, with the exception of the brief Hippie era in the late 1960s-early 70s, and even that was kind of a counter-cultural thing which was never really accepted mainstream.

I believe that my desire to wear sandals as much as possible is a subconscious reaction to the culture I grew up in, rather than any desire to feel more comfortable. It just so happens that during half the year, it is more comfortable. It could also be because I have always carefully protected the appearance of my feet. I can remember in my early 20s, long before my sandal wearing days, if I went out somewhere for the evening, like to a bar or club or some such place, one of the things I did to get ready is to make sure my feet looked good with trimmed toenails and such "just in case." The word "pedicure" had not yet entered my vocabulary, but that's in fact what I was doing. I imagine I was in the great minority of guys worrying about such things. Now that I can wear sandals in public, perhaps I feel like I need to make up for lost time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Your experiences mirrored mine - except mine involved boots. I liked knee and over-the-knee boots (I wasn't concerned about heels) and thought it was unfair that men were not allowed/not supposed to wear them. For many years I accepted that as a fact of life, as immutable as  mathematics, the law of gravity or DNA; simply the way things were. I wished they weren't that way but nothing could be done. It wasn't an obsession or anything. Indeed the only time I gave it any thought was in the autumn when the winter fashions would come out and I would see pairs of boots in high-street shop windows that I liked and wished it were possible for me to buy and wear them. It took ages for the light to dawn that I could if I wanted to, if I dared. Eventually, I dared.

Curiously enough I did wear sandals back then and never thought anything of it. To be sure, I did embrace the hippy era quite enthusiastically. But I never had any grief over it. Indeed, it wasn't until I started reading things here on HHP about sandals that it occurred to me that there was any sort of discouragement of men wearing sandals. First I heard of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Shyheels said:

Curiously enough I did wear sandals back then and never thought anything of it. To be sure, I did embrace the hippy era quite enthusiastically. But I never had any grief over it. Indeed, it wasn't until I started reading things here on HHP about sandals that it occurred to me that there was any sort of discouragement of men wearing sandals. First I heard of it.

I can't really speak to anything outside of the Midwest USA at that time, perhaps things were different elsewhere. I'm sure things were different even other places within the U.S., like Florida or southern California. Unfortunately for me, my reality growing up where I did was that boys and men did not wear sandals, unless you were an eccentric, and even then, it wouldn't have been anything I was remotely interested in wearing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Growing up on the beaches of southern California we wore flip-flops and running shoes all summer long. Flip-flops are still the rage here in the Monterey Bay area. I stopped wearing flip-flops years ago. I took me many years to find a men's sandal that would fit my feet, and it was just a marginal fit. When I switched to only women's shoes it was easy to find sandals that fit. Now in summer you'll find me at work in high-heel sandals and open toe wedges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the UK (at least in the southern part), until at least 1960, men's sandals were either a 'perforated shoe' with a closed toe or, less commonly, a leather open-toe 'Jesus sandal', both types invariably worn with socks.   It took the advent of the ubiquitous rubber flip-flop and, a little later, the hippy era for men to start wearing sandals barefoot in public to any extent, and even then it was considered a somewhat eccentric activity and almost always one for the under-30s.   But British men travelling on holiday to Mediterranean countries could scarcely ignore the greater popularity of sandals on the locals they met and, from the mid-70s, men of all ages have progressively accepted and worn sandals of various types, generally barefoot, in most situations where the weather allows and formal dress or foot protection is not a requirement.   (Women still have the 'distinction' of being generally able and very willing to wear sandals in most formal situations, including the workplace, and almost regardless of the weather.)

My mother (who never wore heels of any significant height and was not a slave to fashion) was always a sandal wearer when circumstances allowed.   I liked the look of open sandals and wanted to wear them in the summer months as a young teenager in the mid-60s when they were still considered too casual or too feminine for 'real' men - and as I never embraced the hippy culture (yuk!), I had to wait until the mid-70s until I considered it 'safe' to do so.   Fortunately, the styles then becoming available to men were lighter and less frumpy, and many are now unisex, with some further styles intended for women being perfectly acceptable for men if sizing allows. 

Sandals and boots are both types of footwear which can and should be more or less unisex in style and appeal, with heels an optional extra for those men who want to push the boundaries a little further.   That said, high-heeled boots are an easier fashion for men to embrace than are high-heeled sandals, probably because (a) boots are still essentially more rugged and 'masculine' in appearance and purpose than sandals; and (b) boots can be concealed, if necessary, under long trousers more easily than can sandals, which in any event may require shorts to give the right overall look. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Spring might be here! I took an early morning walk in my newly re-heeled Miu Miu mules (5" heel, 7/8" platform). The temperature was crisp (35° F, 2° C), but quite nice compared to two weeks ago. The mules are actually a little too big for me, but I stuffed some dryer sheets in the toes, which works surprisingly well. It actually brings the bend in my foot slightly backwards into perfect alignment with the slope of the shoe, in addition to keeping them smelling fresh. These are walking shoes for sure!

Sorry about the slightly odd pose. It's a little tricky to take a photo with the self timer on the phone with no tripod. At least I managed to soften my "resting bitch face" somewhat. I know y'all are a relatively forgiving bunch. 

IMG_0270.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put my knees together, point the heels out right and left, and dig in with the heels.  It’s a routine I deliberately practice every morning after doing floor exercises, and I like the ankle workout.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, heres my "two cents."  I have always liked sandals, boots and pumps not so much.  A native to California, the weather is warmer than other parts of the country and conducive to lighter clothing.  As a child I wore sandals (mostly rubber "thongs") and went barefoot a lot.  As I grew up I noticed that the gals wore "different" shoes than the guys and I eventually started to wear gals shoes - sandals, and love it.  

Out here in CA, one can wear sandals year round most of the time, especially here in SoCal.  The past month I have routinely been out in heeled sandals, so glad that warmer weather and summer is here.....   Here is a pic of one of my favorite pair of sandals......    

Have fun all....   sf

IMG_6490.jpg

"Why should girls have all the fun!!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, p1ng74 said:

I put my knees together, point the heels out right and left, and dig in with the heels.  It’s a routine I deliberately practice every morning after doing floor exercises, and I like the ankle workout.  

It took me a bit to figure out what you were talking about, but I think I have a mental image of it now. If I understand correctly, you're talking about going into a squat from a sitting position in order to rise to a standing position. I'll have to experiment around with it, but I am not sure that I have the hip flexibility to do it quite that way. I did have another idea in the meantime. I got the idea from watching hip-hop style dancers on Instagram. I searched there on purpose because I know that style of dancing often has the dancers rolling around on the floor. Logically, this led me to ponder, "Well, how do they stand up?" From what I have observed, I figure that if you can make it from your butt to your knees somehow, getting to a standing position with a minimum of awkwardness is a piece of cake! The most novel way I saw to get on your feet from a seated position on the floor was to go into a bridge pose (a sort of backbend), tuck your feet close to your butt, then lift your upper body and rise to a standing position. Yeah, pretty cool, but I won't be doing that anytime soon.

23 hours ago, SF said:

OK, heres my "two cents."  I have always liked sandals, boots and pumps not so much.  A native to California, the weather is warmer than other parts of the country and conducive to lighter clothing.  As a child I wore sandals (mostly rubber "thongs") and went barefoot a lot.  As I grew up I noticed that the gals wore "different" shoes than the guys and I eventually started to wear gals shoes - sandals, and love it.  

Out here in CA, one can wear sandals year round most of the time, especially here in SoCal.  The past month I have routinely been out in heeled sandals, so glad that warmer weather and summer is here.....   Here is a pic of one of my favorite pair of sandals......    

Have fun all....   sf

IMG_6490.jpg

Yes, as my ex-wife is from Orange County, I can totally understand what you mean. I remember looking at pictures of her as a child (late 60s - early 70s), and I do not recall a photo in which she was wearing shoes. We used to laugh about that. If for some unforeseen reason I moved to southern California, I would probably never wear enclosed shoes again!

However, as I've mentioned, the social culture here in the Midwest was completely different. Guys just did not show their feet. Girls were certainly allowed to, and encouraged to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mlrose......   Funny you should mention it, I have family (dairy farmers) living in rural Minnesota west of the twin cities. Way back then, and even now, I would visit in the summer and be in “flip flops.”  More than once It was mentioned in a non negative way that I was wearing sandals.  The context was that wearing sandals routinely on a farm might not be the best idea (for safety reasons), I agree.  Men and women work outside in closed shoes and the gals who stay inside occasionally wear sandals....

When the cousins come out west to visit most are in sandals...

And yes that’s they way those crazy Minnesotans behave - ha ha....   I always liked the Minn Iowa jokes and banter......

see ya....sf

 

"Why should girls have all the fun!!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a Midwesterner mostly (I do have some ties to Pennsylvania as well) I can back up what mlroseplant has said. Guys didn't wear shorts or sandals especially in the rural areas except when you went swimming. We had a backyard pond so it was often. Wearing sandals around the farm was NOT a good idea. Manure from animals, the odd nail or fence staple, or even stuff that surfaces from frost heave each winter like some old barbed wire will make a mess of your sandals and your skin.

My parents were always concerned about reasonable safety. My Dad excavated the back yard between the house and pond with new sifted dirt and new grass which looked like the type used on a football field so that we could get a running start and use the rope swing to splash into the pond. I didn't go barefoot except on that patch of our yard. 

As for California I did once live there in 1981-82 and remember lots of sandals there year-around. I also remember how cold that Pacific Ocean was especially Monterey Bay. The weather is warm but the water is not. The warmest beach water in California is normally around Venice Beach in Los Angeles/Long Beach and that usually peaks at just 70F/21C. Lake Michigan usually peaks at 75F/24C in its southern end. Lake Superior is a whole other matter! HappyinHeels

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever the case may have been in each area of the country, that was my experience growing up, and in any case, I guess it doesn't do any good to lament the past. Even had I been bold  enough to wear sandals all summer long, my options back then as a boy were rather frightening. I  still won't do the rubber thong/flip-flop thing. So maybe it's all right that I stuck with my tennis shoes (paired with striped knee high socks) all summer. Made for some mighty weird tan lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rubber thong/ flip flop sandals were known as "shower shoes" when I was in pilot training in the military.  No one ever wore them anywhere except to an from the shower room.

  • Like 2

Being mentally comfortable in your own mind is the key to wearing heels in public.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Shower shoes" now there is a memory. The military has a way of transforming the way many once spoke. Everyday things like toilet, bathroom, and vending machine became shitter, head, and geedunk after going into the Navy. "Geedunk" for those scratching their heads is the proverbial sound the coin made as it went down into the machine and dropped into the metal box inside. If you're organised you are "squared away" which is a very good thing to be especially at sea. Bubba's right, shower shoes outside to/from the bathroom was a no-go or a no-no. Same thing. Getting used to seeing so many guys in later years wearing shower shoes gave me post traumatic sandal syndrome but I'm okay now. My therapy was wearing high heels :wink: HappyinHeels

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, HappyinHeels said:

"Shower shoes" now there is a memory. The military has a way of transforming the way many once spoke. Everyday things like toilet, bathroom, and vending machine became shitter, head, and geedunk after going into the Navy. "Geedunk" for those scratching their heads is the proverbial sound the coin made as it went down into the machine and dropped into the metal box inside. If you're organised you are "squared away" which is a very good thing to be especially at sea. Bubba's right, shower shoes outside to/from the bathroom was a no-go or a no-no. Same thing. Getting used to seeing so many guys in later years wearing shower shoes gave me post traumatic sandal syndrome but I'm okay now. My therapy was wearing high heels :wink: HappyinHeels

I was in the Navy for twenty years and remember all those terms well, along with "roach coach" for lunch wagons. Because of my time spent in the military, I would never wear flip-flops outside the house because I knew them as shower shoes. Besides, the damn things are ugly.

  • Like 1

I don't want to LOOK like a woman, I just want to DRESS like a woman!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep they were ugly. "Boondockers", or steel-toe workboots, were not much to look either at but were practically indestructible. I still have mine issued in 1980 and they're the only true steel-toe shoe I have. You can still read the word "Goodyear" on the bottom. Walking on tyres, I love it :fine: HinH

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was never in anybody's armed services but I did once spend some time at McMurdo, a large US Antarctic base, which as its own vaguely militaristic feel and slang. We were issued with these hideous insulated white rubber boots known as "Bunny Boots" - a 1940s or 50s design which would supposedly keep your feet warm down to some ridiculous low temperature - and I suppose they would - but all the time you would be standing in pools of sweat, because they did not breath at all. You could practically wring your socks out every night. They were required to be worn if you were in the field or travelling - I used to get in trouble because I would carry a pair of quite excellent Scarpa leather mountaineering boots and change into them at every opportunity.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HappyinHeels said:

Yep they were ugly. "Boondockers", or steel-toe workboots, were not much to look either at but were practically indestructible. I still have mine issued in 1980 and they're the only true steel-toe shoe I have. You can still read the word "Goodyear" on the bottom. Walking on tyres, I love it :fine: HinH

Wow.  Nearly all my shoes have a Goodyear welt but that is taking it to the next level!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, HappyinHeels said:

Yep they were ugly. "Boondockers", or steel-toe workboots, were not much to look either at but were practically indestructible. I still have mine issued in 1980 and they're the only true steel-toe shoe I have. You can still read the word "Goodyear" on the bottom. Walking on tyres, I love it :fine: HinH

At the risk of starting a competition, I would just mention that when I was in the Army Cadets at school in 1962, I was issued with boots made in 1943 - which lasted well beyond my cadet service into the late-70s.   And I'm sure my greatcoat had previously belonged to some Tommy in the trenches c1918 ...

I quite like flip-flops - but definitely not the rubber variety.   (Why is it that the cheapest-looking rubber ones are usually the dearest to buy, and usually the least comfortable?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got quite a surprise today. As I may have mentioned just a few times before, I have a very good friend who is my partner in crime when it comes to shoes. It just so happens that I have been doing some babysitting for her lately, because of her work situation. "Babysitting" might not be exactly the best word, as the children in question are 8 and 12 years old, but anyhow, they have been staying with us for several hours a week.  My story has to do with the 12 year old girl. She is a bit of a tomboy, does not like wearing dresses or worrying about her hair or anything else like that, and up to now, she has sworn up and down that she will NEVER wear high heels. Well, look at what she showed up to my house wearing this afternoon! I would like to think I had something to do with that change of heart. And they weren't little heels, either. They were 4 1/2 inch wedges.

IMG_0307.PNG

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

mlroseplant,

I imagine the wedges actually belong to her mother and this girl just happens to be that size right now but will probably outgrow them. It was nice of her mother to encourage her to wear them probably in deference to you :cheeky: HinH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HappyinHeels said:

mlroseplant,

I imagine the wedges actually belong to her mother and this girl just happens to be that size right now but will probably outgrow them. It was nice of her mother to encourage her to wear them probably in deference to you :cheeky: HinH

HA! I think you got it backwards. I doubt her mother's encouragement would count for much. It's probably more like my encouragement in deference to her mother. Her mother can't understand why her "problem" child always behaves like a perfect angel for me! Ah, kids. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been ruminating on the masculine vs. the feminine in the last couple of weeks. I have continued to refine my walk, although it's been a very long time since I took a video of myself walking. It may be time to do that again, to see what I really look like. The issue is, I am basing my walking goals on what I perceive to be attractive walking by women, both in real life and through the wonder of internet videos. I have watched a ton of videos of people, mostly women, walking, to try to figure out what makes an attractive walk, and to my mind, a traditional "masculine" walk is not really compatible with heels.

Is this just my cultural bias? We keep mentioning "guys as guys in heels," so what is wrong with "walking like a guy in heels?" I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It looks goofy as hell. The question is, why does it look goofy? Let me see if I can put this succinctly: The traditional macho man walk is clumpy and awkward, not fluid and graceful at all, flats or heels. At the other end of the spectrum, the female model runway walk is equally ridiculous and inefficient, not suitable for the street. My ideal walk is fairly athletic, feet and legs close together, but staying on the side they belong, not crossing. Relaxed spine, shoulders down and back, arms swinging naturally but not excessively, gaze straight ahead as a "return" position. A minimum of bounciness. Although I haven't tried this exercise in a long time, I imagine that one could balance a good sized textbook on his head while he is walking.

Is this ideal too feminine for a guy as a guy in heels?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Very interesting. 

I have often wondered how a guy in heels should walk. 

If we want to keep a masculine look but just with heels,neither the cowboy walk nor a model on a catwalk are ok. 

The way you described is obviously the only one. It's what I am training for. 

Just one more tip: the shoes are very important. The right height,too law is as bad as too high.And the position of the heel under your own heel and nor behind: that's the most important for me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, mlroseplant said:

Is this just my cultural bias? We keep mentioning "guys as guys in heels," so what is wrong with "walking like a guy in heels?" I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It looks goofy as hell. The question is, why does it look goofy? Let me see if I can put this succinctly: The traditional macho man walk is clumpy and awkward, not fluid and graceful at all, flats or heels. At the other end of the spectrum, the female model runway walk is equally ridiculous and inefficient, not suitable for the street. My ideal walk is fairly athletic, feet and legs close together, but staying on the side they belong, not crossing. Relaxed spine, shoulders down and back, arms swinging naturally but not excessively, gaze straight ahead as a "return" position. A minimum of bounciness. Although I haven't tried this exercise in a long time, I imagine that one could balance a good sized textbook on his head while he is walking.

Is this ideal too feminine for a guy as a guy in heels?

There is nothing feminine about your description of the ideal walk at all, whether it be in heels of flats.  Sounds like the way I’ve walked my whole life.  If the “macho man” walk is to waddle around like a gorilla, I’ll pass.   

Edited by p1ng74
clarity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no reason in the world a man cannot walk gracefully in heels. He does not need to adopt any alien feminine walk to do so. We associate femininity with heels and so we mentally are expecting a feminine walk. Truth is walking in high heels is not natural. Women have to acquire the knack and grace too. If one was more used to seeing men in heels, we would see that men can walk in heels perfectly well and with a masculine gait

Men can also walk elegantly in flats too. A masculine walk is not necessarily or naturally some simian waddle - some men may walk that way, some women might too.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trouble is when you over think your walk you look clumsy. Before I started wearing heels I use to walk around on my toes a lot, it was ankle exercises for my reconstructed ankles.

If I want to  I can make my behind wiggle as I walk, and I only do that when I want to mess with someone mind. Otherwise it's just my normal walk. Since I have a very high arch, heels help to absorb this arch and I don't walk with my feet point out

You want to get to the point where you don't think about. You need to walk with good posture for balance.

In fact I suggested a colleague wear heels for her posture. She had a tendency to look down as she walked and was starting to develop a hatchback. Heels would force her to look straight - not down or fall over.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using High Heel Place, you agree to our Terms of Use.