I’m definitely a “form over function” girl a.k.a. “looking good is higher up on my list than feeling good” (assuming the right fit). But as they say, why not have both fashion and comfort too, especially where footwear is concerned… Close your eyes, imagine the most yummy pair of shoes in the entire universe, now open your eyes and consider this:
Great Heels = Quality + Fit + Comfort + Style + Versatility + Durability
So basically a $430 handmade pair of heels might look unbelievable but hurt like hell to walk in or a $70 pair might look and feel great but fall apart in 90 days (hate that!) or a $180 pair might not “pair” well with a lot of your outfits and you really wish you could wear them more often…and so on… In other words, great shoes have to fit a lot of bills.
Here’s the point – know what to look at, look at what you are buying, consider your preferences and help avoid buying what you don’t want (or don’t need).
For this discussion let’s exclude expensive shoes and assume our price range is let’s say between $60 and $120. Let’s also limit our consideration to heels and only those that make up the “foundation” of your footwear – or as I like to say “what’s in the rotation.” And, as footwear can have dramatically different construction methods especially where the soles are considered, let’s focus there – this is very important, everything “springs” from the soles.
I wear lots of Nine West because in general, they fit my “great heels” bill; reasonably priced, stylish, good quality & durability, versatility, good fit & feel and they walk well. They periodically rotate through my work wardrobe – good “everyday” options. Sometimes I want (or need) a $500 pair because of the suit or the occasion, the other 75 percent of the time it’s the “everydays”, and 9W is in there.
Nine West does a great job standardizing their construction and they’ve improved it over the seasons. Below you have four distinctive Nine West construction styles.
I have all these, and can tell you that those at far left (although sturdy & comfortable) do not feel or walk as well (nor will they last a fraction as long) as the three sets shown on the right. This is because the sole, shank and heel are all one piece and the sole is either thicker or a hidden platform made of sturdy material (rather than leather). This gives them much more stability, better padding and much longer durability.
From a style perspective all these shoes look great on me, but not all are truly “great shoes” where I am concerned. All other things equal, durability and comfort make a huge difference. I love the common “platforms” designers use because they tend to offer a nice mix of style and comfort at a reasonable price. Consider construction when you buy everyday heels…