Foldable Flats: The Second Best thing to Comfy Heels

I marvel at women who can glide down the street in three inch heels on a daily basis and, as if to taunt me with their superior femininity, have a perfect pedicure visible through peep toes.   How do they do it? If my feet hurt I’m generally pretty grumpy. Usually, I avoid wearing heels altogether and, since my work usually requires relatively casual attire, I get away with ballet flats and fashion sneakers. A part of me thinks that I shouldn’t ever have to wear heels if I don’t like them, but I’m 5’0” and stalky. Flats with a cocktail dress look frumpy unless you’re Natalie Portman.

When the occasional corporate or formal occasion calls for heels I usually have some semi-comfortable, not-too-high, pumps in my closet. Nevertheless, by the time I get home, I’m in pain. And grouchy. I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way. Forbes.com journalist, Kym McNicholas, struck a chord with me when she created this impromptu video in the bathroom at the Summit Series cruise earlier this year. Smart, successful women sacrificing comfort for fashion and yearning for a comfortable, pretty heel:


A few weeks ago a co-worker was cleaning out her desk and she handed me a little pouch. Inside was a pair of thin, folded, ballet flats. The simple concept is that after a night on the town, when you’re ready to ditch your heels, these little things can save your feet and (if you’re me) your mood for a few more hours of partying.

No, it’s not the pretty and comfortable shoe solution McNicholas and her companions were seeking, but it does allow women some relief when we simply can’t bear the pain of tromping around in our Jimmy Choos (or Payless knock-offs). It turns out that there are several brands of foldable shoes on the market and most are reasonably priced. Whether or not women should have to endure uncomfortable footwear in the name of fashion is another blog, but in the meantime I’ll be happily tucking my "Afterheelz" into my handbag and, at least, partying in comfort until the perfect heel is invented.