You Tell Us: Are High Heels Really On The Way Out?

To hear some people tell it, high heels are on their way out. A study conducted at Northumbria University and featured on Time.com this week shows that men don’t really notice when women wear high heels:

“The researchers wanted to know whether the changed posture that comes with high heels — longer legs, accentuated rear and tilted torso — get noticed by men. Turns out, not so much. Think about that next time you pick up a pair of stilettos.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean much for women who couldn’t care less about what men think, and who wear sky high shoes because they’ll always be in fashion. Right?

Wrong. This morning, New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn pointed out that “agressive footwear looks passe,” and that the freshest take on footwear is coming from Milan.

“With Milan’s designers removing the hard edges in fashion, and dropping hemlines, shoes have taken on proportions and tones to suit … In Miuccia Prada’s bunch- of- bananas show, there were stripey clutches and boxy canvas bags. The platform Mary Janes also came with stripes, to match the clothes; from certain angles they suggested a fusion with espadrilles or hip-hop sneakers.”

Some other Milanese presentations seemed to follow suit: D&G came with peep-toe espadrilles and platform Wellington boots. Antonio Maras‘s cream-colored dresses were paired with sandals lacking even the barest suggestion of a heel.

But no matter the argument, the form and the function of a good pair of heels cannot be denied — nor can be the global cult of devotion to them. Just last week, London’s Selfridges opened up the Shoe Galleries, the biggest shoe department in the world. And what did Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and the rest of the celebrity guests who showed up for the opening browse around for? Not Oxfords, not riding boots, but heels.

Renowned shoemaker Manolo Blahnik said just a few days ago that his (notoriously seductive) shoes have saved marriages.

“The male reaction to heels is half normal and half perversion, but some men tell me I’ve saved their marriage,” he says. “The first thing men look at are a woman’s legs, and there is nothing more flattering than high heels.”

For love or money, fashion or function, we’re curious to know — will you ever not wear heels, and why? We want your perspective, so be sure to leave a comment and help us settle this issue.

Related:

Stepping Back From Towering Heels [On The Runway]
Study: Men Don’t Notice If Women Wear High Heels [TIME]
Selfridges Opens World’s Largest Shoe Department [WWD]
Manolo’s Marriage Therapy [Vogue.co.uk]

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