Not to sound like an Internet meme, but the relationship a New York woman and her heels foster is one of significance. Besides investing a considerable sum of money into our vast collections, we’ve learned how to traverse the dangerous city atop their spindly spikes with an anomalous grace native only to us female city dwellers. Hopping from a cab and over subway grates; plowing through bustling sidewalks, or even daring to stand at a party on platforms, you’d think we were in sneakers until you happened to look at our stiletto-shod feet. In a city that so often makes you feel small, walking on stilts helps help New York women feel like Amazons. So it’s a pretty hard blow when a foot injury temporarily takes you out of the heel game.
Still recovering from an unseemly leg injury, I attempted to slip into a pair of relatively “innocent” heels—three inches, practically child’s play—and I had to admit the incline was too much to withstand. Cursing, I slipped back into my “baby heels,” a term I have affectionately given my Martiniano Glove block heels that stand at 1.75 inches tall. Immediately I began pondering not only my health but my style. What was I to do with boot season fast approaching—especially if I wanted to avoid hobbling along in, ahem, a medical boot?
Hence, zeroing in on the chic heel alternative the season begets—the closed-toe slipper, back-to-school-cool Mary Jane, the flat bootie. While Avec Modération’s Aspen Mongolia faux fur and shearling slides don’t necessarily provide height, their shaggy nature certainly would lend plenty of kick to any ensemble. Miu Miu’s Mogador and patent leather ballet flats are sure to keep one grounded in a fast-paced world, while Gucci’s Polly block heel loafer stays in chic and quirky step with the unyielding pace of the city. And isn’t that enough to elevate any look?
Above, a look at the season’s 20 best options for the shoe fiends among us who know that giving up a little height doesn’t mean sacrificing style.
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