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Why Do I Always Buy Shoes That Don't Fit? | Manolo's Shoe Blog

I Want ‘em. I Buy ‘em. I Can’t Wear ‘em.

N.B. The Manolo’s internet friend Heather is not only the shoe-lover’s shoe lover, she is also the true deadpan wit, as you will see in this second installment in the Manolo’s Guest-blog-a-palooza.

High, elegant, in-step curving, vertiginous heels. I want ‘em. I buy ‘em. I can’t wear ‘em.

They line my closet shelves, singing their siren calls of elongated legs and a sexy pelvic tilt, mocking me with the knowledge that nothing about sad limping and oozing blisters is sexy. I fire back with every heel pad and shoe stickum thing on the market, but no. The burning of the balls of my feet beats me every time.

YSL Tribute Platform Sandal

YSL Tribute Platform Sandal

Sure, there are some heels I can manage and even find comfortable. God bless Stefano Pilati at YSL and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and whomever they have hired to design their shoes…

YSL Tribute Sandals are an absolute staple in my closet – I own four pairs in different colors.

The woven satin Lanvin platforms – another slam-dunk winner.

Lanvin Woven Satin Platform Sandal

Lanvin Woven Satin Platform Sandal

So I’ve learned, platforms are important for me.

Thin soles KILL me and the platform gives me height without putting the burden solely (Ha! A pun!) on the pitch and the poor ball of my foot. (Of course, we all know how Maestro Manolo Blahnik feels about platforms.)

So what do I do? Do I limit my purchases to things I know I can manage? I wish that were the case!

Alaia Snow Leopard Hiking Boots

Alaia Snow Leopard Hiking Boots

Right now, my closet boasts a pair of Alaia Snow Leopard hiking booties and a pair of Theyskens Theory Velvet Wedge pumps.

I LOVE them! I want to wear them. I want to show them off to everyone. I don’t want to need an orthopedic device afterwards. Neither pair has been taken out of their box. They are each nestled in their tissue lined boxes – taunting me.

Don’t try to convince me that everyone suffers for high heels. I know that isn’t true.

Theyskens Theory Velvet Wedge Pumps

Theyskens Theory Velvet Wedge Pumps

Meet my sister. I swear she was born with Barbie feet. You know, the ones that, even when naked are permanently arched so as to fit only into heels?

I think my sister is more comfortable in heels than she is in flats.

And here is my sister’s other genetic gift. We wear the same size.

I buy these beauties. Ogle them in my closet. Caress them before getting dressed. Totter around my bedroom in them before thinking better of it and returning them to the box. Eventually, the shoes are packed into a shipping box and sent off to live out the rest of their natural life with my sister. I love my sister. I want her to be happy. But supplying her is not why I buy these shoes.

Barbie Feet

My sister's feet look like this.

You know what? I want a class! There are all sorts of other programs offered to women who want to make changes in their lives. You can take fitness classes, you can take dance classes, you can take life guidance classes, you can take art classes. Where are the heel walking classes? Why is my local Y not offering such things? Can I hire a personal instructor? Hey! My sister is a personal trainer and she can walk in heels. I wonder if she’s ever thought to combine the two.

Seriously, I’ve invested thousands in shoes that have only ‘visited’ with me. I have treasures in my closet right now awaiting word of their fate. I’m an educated person. I’m physically fit.

Why can’t I learn this one thing?

8 Responses to “I Want ‘em. I Buy ‘em. I Can’t Wear ‘em.”

  1. Princess Dominique March 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I can so relate doll! We should start a club!

  2. Jane2 March 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    You must have way more disposable cash than I do. Sure I might love a certain shoe, or a certain outfit in size 0, but if I can’t wear them, why would I bother?

    It’s not that difficult to find fabulous shoes that you can wear, and it has nothing to do with “perfect” feet. For example, I can’t wear Tod, Ferragamo, Bally, Charles Jourdan…but I can wear Escada, Furla, Cole Haan, and Weitzman. It’s the shoe manufacturer, not your feet.

  3. erik nabler March 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    It brings to mind the timeless Steve Martin classic, “The Cruel Shoes.”

  4. Madame Suggia March 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    This may be of use…


    can’t vouch for it myself ( a glass back and badly bruised ankle are keeping me from heels for the moment, but one lives in hope, and probably dies in despair…)

    If you go for it, please report back!

  5. NDC March 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I have to go on record as being a woman of a certain age who used to wear stillettos to and from work for over two decades, who had two large drawers of heels stored at the office and whose Achilles tendons seemed forever foreshortened. I gave up on high heels about ten years ago and, lo and behold, the Barbie feet and the tight tendons gradually ameliorated and disappeared.

    I know that The Manolo lauds the architectural and glamorous and sometimes impractical feetwear for the ladies, but I have to say that, to be honest, I appreciate these confections intellectually at best and at most. I do not subject my rather fragile, thin-skinned (blisters, bones, tender skin, little collagen padding) to footwear that does injury while ostensibly paying homage to fashion.

    I also must agree with Jane2 that if I cannot wear it, I have no desire to own it. An attractive, foot-coddling pair of shoes is worth plenty to me, and I’m willing to pay for that elusive combination of function and form. I’m not willing to suffer for “beauty,” since the footwear that eventually injures is no thing of beauty to me.

    All the best,


  6. Sarah F March 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    It took me 2 years when I was 15-16 to develop heel-muscles, and 6 months to lose them during a lean streak in 2009. I’m trying to rebuild now. It’s a daunting task. I feel your pain, Heather!

  7. The Charlotte March 16, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    This resonates–I just bought two gorgeous pairs of Giuseppe Zanotti pumps for 60 percent off on Amazon. They both have pretty high heels, but I’ve never had trouble walking in other pairs of Zanotti shoes I own. These two pairs, however, seem to be doing me in. I wore one pair to a play the weekend before last, and fell onto the sidewalk twice while walking to and from the Metro (perhaps it was the uneven bricks on Capitol Hill). The other pair I wore to a concert last weekend–and found that I could hardly walk. I couldn’t even keep my balance! What to do? The shoes are spectacular-and they look dazzling with silk pants. Perhaps I’ll reserve them for taxi outings only, but it seems a shame not to be able to wear them more often.

  8. christian April 21, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    This shoes are so beautiful, I love this style more unique and very stylish!