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mlroseplant

The High Heeled Ruminations Of Melrose Plant

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I think about posting on my thread often, because I think about high heels a lot. Sometimes, I wonder why I think about high heels so much. It seems unnatural to be attached to mere objects the way I am, but that's just the way it is. So I think about posting a lot. Actually getting around to posting is another matter, because what seems like a clever and insightful thought in the morning seems quite silly and insignificant by the end of the day when I actually have time to put it down on electronic paper. And then there is the matter of making a smooth introduction to my subject, after explaining why I haven't posted for so long. Today, however, I have some news of a physical accomplishment, the importance of which hasn't diminished with the passing of time.

Before I get to the accomplishment, I should explain, if I haven't before, that it is my goal to walk 1,000 miles in high heels. I've made it about 800 miles so far. Granted, it's taken me 2 1/2 years to get this far, but I don't have unlimited time, and my motivation/energy level is not always as much as I would like. In fact, this year I have made a pathetic effort. I have several months in 2015 where my miles logged are either zero, or in the single digits. However, December 2015 has been a good month, with 32.5 miles logged so far and five days yet unlived! It's been a combination of unusually warm weather, days off from work, and momentary freedom from social obligations which has allowed me to to this.

Now, for the accomplishment: Last nigh, I walked 5.3 miles (or 8.5 km) in "serious" heels, which are pictured below. I've done this once before in high heels, but it was in a pair of shoes with much lower and broader heels. I seem to have few effects from this walk, which was spur-of-the-moment, other than a tender (but not painful) left little toe. I'll still be wearing heels to church this morning. It took me about an hour and 40 minutes, at a pace of 18:47 per mile. Not a bad pace for such high heels. When I finished my walk, I didn't feel like I had to immediately get out of my boots, I was actually feeling pretty good.

The boots are Simply Vera Wang Velma. They have slightly higher than 5 inch heels, and slightly thicker than 1 inch platforms, so it is the equivalent steepness of 4 inch heels. These are cheap boots. They are not leather, and you can (or could, in the past) buy them retail at Kohl's for way less than 100 bucks, and that's if they weren't on sale. My very first pair of high heeled boots was identical to this in every way except for the buckles, and I threw them away after one season because they just wore out. I thought to myself that I would find a very similar pair that was real leather and higher quality. I still haven't found that perfect pair yet. I found another pair of these Simply Veras on ebay, however. In fact, I found 2 pair. I bought them both, and have taken steps to increase their durability. They truly are the perfect boots for me, I just wish they were leather. I have several other pairs of leather boots, but these are my day in, day out winter footwear. I know I can put them on quickly, not fuss with them, they go with everything, the heel is nice and high like I like it, but yet I know I can wear them all day if necessary. Although I love stilettos, I find that the slightly thicker heels of these boots are so much more practical in many ways.

Hopefully, I have more adventures to report before the end of the year.

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Very attractive boots, Mlroseplant! I can see why you like them. Congrats on your milestone. That's terrific. I don't keep track of how far I walk in heels, but it's a bunch!

Thank for posting. Keep it up!

Steve

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Great post, Mlroseplant and thanks for the idea of getting a walking meter to encourage me to be a more aggressive distance heeler.  

I have some BeBe Jazzie Boots and some pairs of Dolce Vita & BeBe Rio 8 Pumps of similar styling (shown below) with slightly thinner heels than your Vera Wang Velma Boots. They have 5.25" heels with .75" thick platforms, which makes them 4.5" equivalent high heels. I have enjoyed wearing these heels so much that I have worn off a few heel tips. With the patent leather cap pieces on the toes of the pumps, under a pair of jeans they look a lot like men's footwear until the heel shape and height are noticed. It's amusing to watch people take the extra time to really look and discover my footwear is high heeled.

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On occasion, I am asked whether I wear heels to make me taller. It's a fair question, as I am a shortish man (5'5 1/2" or 167cm in bare feet) in a society which values height in so many subtle ways. Most are surprised when I tell them that no, there are many reasons why I like to wear heels, but the fact that they happen to make me appear taller is not one of them. 

In fact, even after 3 years of wearing heels on a regular basis, I still find it a little disconcerting how it changes the angle at which I look upon other people. For example, in the attached photo, it feels somewhat unnatural to me that I should stand nearly a head taller than my wife, who is actually only 2 1/2" shorter than me. Happy Holidays, by the way--we happen to celebrate Christmas. 

Having looked at the world one way for 45 years, it is still surprising to me just how much difference a few inches makes. I tend to notice it much more with people I've known a long time who are close to my height or shorter. Very tall people are, of course, still very tall, so I don't notice it as much. People who are very short, like the old ladies at church, suddenly seem very far away from my face when I talk to them, and it is a bit of an uncomfortable feeling. I don't know how you tall people manage, haha. 

I have a friend who is a tallish woman. I guess her to be about 5'9", maybe 5'10". After literally (and figuratively) looking up to her for so many years, it seems very strange to look at her straight on, as my heel heights have risen to the 5" range. Actually, that would be a good topic for discussion the next time I visit with her. 

Has anyone else felt this same awkwardness about viewing the world from a different angle?

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Happy holidays to you, Mlroseplant! Regarding your comments on heels and height, I'm 6'2" in my bare feet, so I darn sure don't need to wear heels for additional height, I wear them for the simple fact that I enjoy them. Now, I'll admit to some vanity in that I kinda get a kick out standing head and shoulders over the crowd as I approach 6'7" in five inchers, still, it's all about the true fun of wearing heels. Always has been. Enjoy your passion, my friend.

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Good post, Mlroseplant! Being taller IS one of the reasons I like to wear heels. My wife is taller than I am and I like being at her height in 3" heels when she's in flats. It narrows the gap, which I long ago learned not to be too self-conscious about, but heels help psychologically. Besides, heels are great fun to wear and there's nothing like them in men's shoes. Even when I wear flats, I prefer women's. And everyone I meet is accepting or doesn't notice, so I'm happy wearing what I want.

And yes, I too feel unusually tall when I am with shorter people and look down on them (just physically). It's different, but I'm not uncomfortable about it. I've learned to ignore it, basically.

Happy Heeling!

Steve

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There are so many satisfying benefits over the cons in wearing high heels, certainly life without heels would be more mundane and bland. A cold drink of mountain stream water on a hot day is most satisfying, but having the options of an ice cold soda or a thick ice cream milkshake of your favorite flavor would be out of this world - fantastic. High heels are my milkshake of footwear.

At this point, I would like to add that high heels will only raise your height the amount that your ankles are raised. Platforms create a higher level of surface you walk on, but it is the ankle height from that surface level that increases your tallness. As an example: a 4" heel, depending on the sizing, will only raise the ankles around 2.5". A 5" heel will only add another quarter to a half inch over the 2.5", because the positioning of the ankle is sent more forward than up. A 6" heel will raise the ankle even less than a 5", so the maximum ankle height from the surface, floor or platform, is most likely less than a 3" rise. I think the styled slope of the high heel sole is one of the aesthetic features that captures our lusty gaze. For some high heel enthusiasts, the steeper the slope, the greater the attraction. There's usually a trade off in the comfort factor to wear steeper sloped heels, though. Yet, I have some higher heels that are just as or more comfortable than some of my lower heels. Take for instance my Italia Boutique Damen High Heel Pumps:

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are more comfortable than my Steven Madden Mikka Pumps:2304139-5-4x.jpg

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I'm not surprised. I've had several occasions where lower heels were less comfortable. Steve Madden shoes are usually comfortable but I've had more than couple that weren't and it wasn't due to the heel height. 

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As I have posted elsewhere, I have just returned to the USA from Vietnam. Although I don't have a lot to report, I did notice some definite high heel trends (among women, of course).

Heels are definitely getting lower compared to years past. I think this is a worldwide trend, but since heels are more common in Vietnam than they are in the U.S., it is definitely more noticeable. A couple of years ago, you saw 5 inch heels EVERYWHERE (with platform, of course). Now, the most common height is 2-3 inches for every day wear, and maybe 4 inches for going out, and platforms are much thinner, or gone altogether. Unfortunately, the latest style of heel seems to be the type which comes straight down from the back of the shoe, rather than curving slightly more toward being underneath the center of the wearer's ankle. See the attached photograph, courtesy of my friend Ugly Ngoc. She's not SO ugly, is she?

In any case, a significant percentage of Vietnamese women still wear heels most days, and this percentage has not dropped noticeably in the last 10 years.

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Why would you call her Ugly?  Is that your pet name or a a term of endearment?

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13 hours ago, mwhh said:

Why would you call her Ugly?  Is that your pet name or a a term of endearment?

I guess over the years it has become a term of endearment. It started out as a kind of mild personal insult, to let her know I was not "interested" in the way that many guys are on the cruel, cruel internet. Ngoc earns a fair amount of money as a part-time promotions girl/spokesmodel.

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I have said it before, and I will say it again: Wearing heels is NOT like riding a bicycle. It is like dancing ballet or playing a musical instrument. Daily practice is required for maximum effect. I have not worn real heels for nearly a month. Yesterday, I chose some pretty tall ones to go out to lunch, go shopping at the mall and at Costco. There was a fair amount of walking and standing involved. One month ago, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. Yesterday, after being out of practice for a month, my feet were very tired by the time I got home. I should have chosen a less vertiginous pair. Give me a week or two, and I'll be back in the saddle!

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That style of shoes are much nicer than the same style with a platform.

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I just returned from a visit to Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE. As it is Spring Break for the kids, my father decided to take my two sons there, and at the last minute, I decided to take the day off work and come along as well. I had been waiting for an opportunity to see if I could hack an all-day walking tourist attraction in some serious heels, and it was awesome!

I wore my Simply Vera Wang Velma boots, the same ones I had previously walked 5.3 continuous miles in. There was really no other serious contender for the outing. I did bring my Nike Sky High wedge sneakers just in case I chickened out at the last moment, or in case my feet hurt so badly at the end of the day that I needed something else to wear on the way home. Luckily, neither scenario happened. I decided to go ahead and risk it and wear the boots, being inspired to some degree by the fact that when I had recently visited a Vietnamese theme park, something like their version of Disneyland, at least 5% of the adult female visitors there were wearing some kind of high heel. If they can do it, I can do it. Admittedly, I didn't see anybody wearing shoes quite as ambitious as mine to the park, but I saw several examples of what you could definitely consider "high" heels. 

As it turns out, I was not the only one in heels that day! During the course of our wanderings, I spotted a woman wearing what looked to be about 4 inch, single-soled pumps. Of course, it seems rather unlikely that she was just a zoo visitor like us, because she was dressed in a sort of pantsuit, and was carrying what appeared to be a thick file folder. I felt disinclined to change the whole course of our group to investigate further, though I did point her out to my father, who grunted some form of acknowledgement. 

The facility itself is very professional and impressive. We learned quite a bit during the course of the day as well as having fun. I did not have any mishaps, and in fact, no one seemed to notice I was wearing 5 inch heels to a zoo, which would be unusual enough for a female. If they did (I'm sure somebody did), they kept it discreet. My feet were getting pretty tired by the end of the day, but they weren't screaming at me. The 2 hour drive home was more than sufficient full recovery time, and I walked to church choir rehearsal (in heels, of course) immediately upon arriving back home. No ill effects whatsoever the next day. 

Attached are pictures of the boots and my outfit (if you can call it an "outfit"). I didn't get any pictures of me at the zoo which really show my boots, so I had to do a sort of "selfie" in the driveway when I got home, mainly for the benefit of this online community. ^_^ I'm glad I had this adventure, and I also got to spend time with my family as well. 

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Impressive, Melrose!    If you were dressed at the zoo as in the 'striding' pic, with your boots in plain view, you must have been observed, despite your suggestion that 'no one seemed to notice'.   Did you really detect no reaction at all from others?   And what is your father's opinion of your heel-wearing?

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On March 18, 2016 at 4:57 AM, Puffer said:

Impressive, Melrose!    If you were dressed at the zoo as in the 'striding' pic, with your boots in plain view, you must have been observed, despite your suggestion that 'no one seemed to notice'.   Did you really detect no reaction at all from others?   And what is your father's opinion of your heel-wearing?

Yeah, it was the exact same clothing as in the "striding" picture, so it would seem that someone must have noticed. However, when walking more slowly, as one might do at a zoo, you can see that the pants drop down considerably. It may be that no-one that day cared, or it may be that I didn't care, who knows?

My father has been ok with my choice of footwear from the outset. My mother somewhat less so, but she's also come to accept that it's just the way I am. 

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mlroseplant,

Nice photos and story! Been to about two dozen zoos from Calgary to Philadelphia to Buenos Aires and our own first-rate Milwaukee County Zoo and never wore heels. That's a venue I haven't tried yet. I like your ankle boots and have two pairs very similar to those. Heels of that thickness are quite good for more extensive walking. That's cool your Dad is ok with your heels. I figure you live within 30 mi/48 km of Des Moines if the zoo was a 2-hour trip. I'll be passing through western IA and Omaha in 13 days as I head west from Wisconsin. I do remember seeing the sign for the Henry Dooly Zoo. Thanks for sharing your electrifying heels on our fashion outlet. HappyinHeels

 

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Tonight, I decided to push the envelope, and go out to a semi-redneck bar wearing 5 inch stilettos, my recently purchased Aldo booties, mentioned in the "New Boots" forum. The occasion for doing such was that some friends of mine were in the band that was featured there. It was an experience.

At first, it was the same as anywhere else, no one seemed to notice, but as the night wore on, people wanted to talk with me, as the guy who was wearing these impossibly high heeled shoes. Both men and women responded positively to my choice of footwear, but mostly it was the women, who wondered how I could wear such high heels. The defining moment of the night was when one woman commented, "You are so overdressed! (I was wearing a button-down shirt with a blazer and jeans) And those heels! Are you gay?" My buddy (a friend and coworker) piped up, "No, not at all. I know him too well." After that, her interest was piqued, and she and several other women marveled at how I could walk in high heels, and asked me many questions about my choice of footwear.

I felt awkward talking with these women, who all claimed that they couldn't wear heels, but I did the best explaining that I could. Hopefully, I furthered the cause. I certainly know that the cat is out of the bag among my coworkers, and they seem cool with it. I will keep you posted about that.

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Great story, MP! Now that the cat's out of the bag, you can be much more relaxed next time and not feel awkward. Sounds like you handled yourself very confidently.

Steve

 

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On March 19, 2016 at 2:35 PM, mlroseplant said:

Yeah, it was the exact same clothing as in the "striding" picture, so it would seem that someone must have noticed. However, when walking more slowly, as one might do at a zoo, you can see that the pants drop down considerably. It may be that no-one that day cared, or it may be that I didn't care, who knows?

My father has been ok with my choice of footwear from the outset. My mother somewhat less so, but she's also come to accept that it's just the way I am. 

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Great look, very well done. Stylish for anyone that loves heels!

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I am celebrating my 4th anniversary of heeling in public this week. It's been an interesting journey being a trailblazer. Here is a photo of me, taken by my friend and fellow high heeled shoe addict. I don't often dress quite this radically in public, but my friend likes it!

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Edited by mlroseplant
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Happy Anniversary Miroseplant! And nice pic too!

Edited by Mr. X

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Happy Anniversary, indeed! I love those sandals!

Steve

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Happy Anniversary!Thanks for your great contributions! 

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On 5/28/2016 at 0:10 AM, mlroseplant said:

I don't often dress quite this radically in public

????? what radically  :penitent:

Congratulations on your anniversary.  Heeling is a great way to get up in the world.

 

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On May 29, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Thighbootguy said:

????? what radically  :penitent:

Congratulations on your anniversary.  Heeling is a great way to get up in the world.

 

HA! Ok, point taken. And thank you!

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A summer Sunday outfit. It feels a little ho-hum. Still, here I am. 

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8 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

A summer Sunday outfit. It feels a little ho-hum. Still, here I am. 

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Nothing Ho-Hum about that look.  Great heels.

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Thanks! They are Michael Kors Oksana sandals. Just a tidge over 5" heels. 

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