I have always had a passion for shoes. Unlike clothing, you can purchase shoes no matter what your mood or how you are feeling about your weight. They are a little friend that is always happy to see you, sitting on a pretty display in the store calling out to you as you pass by. Winking, promising, enticing you into taking them home.
Lets face it. Women love shoes but few know the proper terminology to use when discussing them. They will refer to their shoes as “heels”, “sneakers” , “flats” or “flip-flips”.
“Heels” is just a general term for any shoe with height. It’s like calling a woman “Mame” or “Miss” rather than “Christie” or “Beth”. Come on ladies, lets be a little more intimate with our shoes. Get to know them and their proper names.
You may be wondering with so many types of shoes where to start!
Let’s start with the basics.
One of the basic parts of a shoe is the heel.
What is a Heel?
Definition: “The heel is the outer part of the shoe that is placed under the heel of the foot. Shoe heels come in a wide variety of styles, shapes and heights. In fact, even shoes that are referred to as “flats,” will often have a heel, although it’s very low. Some casual shoes, such as sneakers, do not have a separate “heel,” but instead have an out-sole that runs the length of the shoe.”
Although there are many types and several of them can be combined into one “Über Heel”, lets focus on the most common types of womens heels.
1. Stiletto: Named after the Stiletto Dagger, it is an ultra-thin, ultra-high heel which became popular in the 1950’s. Usually 4″-6″ in height and tapered sharply, like the spring-loaded knife for which it is named. Generally considered the ‘sexiest’ of heels.
(above: Stiletto Heel with platform front Christian Louboutin Relika Patent Mary Jane Pump Neiman Marcus)
2. Pencil Heel: similar to a stiletto, but whereas a stiletto tapers smoothly from top to bottom a pencil heel is straight all the way down and even thinner that a stiletto. (these are very difficult to walk in)
(above: Pencil heel Christian Louboutin “Big Lips Pump” Neiman Marcus)
3. Wedge. A wedge is based on the same shape as a triangular door-stop. The heel extends from the back of the shoe to right under the foot, running in a wedge shape from back to front. Wedges come in different heights. Traditional wedges are flat at the ball of the foot, but there are also platform wedges.
(above: Wedge Heel Jimmy Choo Patent Leather wedge Nordstrom)
4. Kitten: low heel from about 1.5 to 2 inches high, set in from the back of the shoe. These are more of a cute heel than a sexy one and they are super comfy.
(above: Kitten Heel Romantic Soles“Keira” kitten heel Zappos.com)
5. Platform. These heels are preferred not only for the stylish look but also for the fact that they are immensely comfortable. A platform heel helps you keep a proper balance on the shoe, so there is absolutely no stress on either front or back body part. Platform shoes are thick soles that sit under the front part of the foot and are combined with wedges, chunky heels or stilettos. They are known as platform wedges, when they are combined with a wedge heel. The most current designer trend pairs a stiletto and a platform with the platform hidden on the front of the shoe between the out-sole and the fabric of the shoe.
(above: Hidden Platform Stiletto Dolce & GabbanaLeopard print peep toe 4 1/2″ stiletto with 1″ hidden platform Neiman Marcus)
6. Cuban Heel. Also known as Latin Heel. A broad heel of moderate height with a slightly tapered back and straight front. Often used in dance shoes and mens boots)
(above: Stacked Cuban Heel Delman Jocelyn heel Zappos.com)
7. Stacked heel. A substantial heel, made from thin slices of wood sandwiched together. Can be squared off or tapered, as on cowboy boots. Usually brown or beige, stacked heels are designed to give the illusion of thin layers of wood that have been stacked up to create a flat, wedge or high heel.
(above: Stacked Heel Marc by Marc Jacobs Zappos.com)
8. Louis heel. Also known as a French Heel. A heel with graceful curves on the sides and back. (can be of any height) Originally designed for King Louis XIV, of France.
(above: Louis/French Heel DSQUARED2 Vixen heel Zappos.com)
Not all shoes are created comfortable! Loving the look of your shoes is one thing, being comfortable in them is another! There are several products out there that can help your feet feel as great as they look in those hot heels!
Here are few of my favorites I use as a Stylist to help Models with comfort in the sometimes crazy shoes they have to wear!
No more slipping!
“Get a grip! HeartStoppers red, heart-shaped no-slip shoe pads stick to the outer sole of shoes for a sturdy step- every time. Avoid the nightmare plunge on slick floors in front of crowds of gasping onlookers. HeartStoppers shoe pads are made of PVC to provide traction on slippery surfaces. They work brilliantly on all slick floors – even wet surfaces and black ice!” I LOVE LOVE LOVE These! A Definite Must-have! http://www.summersoles.com/
Smelly sweaty feet be gone!
“Fragrant Footings– Step Into True Luxury! Bring fine essential oils to your feet – straight from the garden. Each time friction takes place, our step-to-release technology transfers to your feet microscopic bursts of the finest dry, natural aromas. So your feet get an awesome kick of fragrance – not the room! Dermatologist tested. Hypoallergenic.” Available in full or ball of foot sizes.
“Regardless of whether you are looking for extra cushioning in your heels or to reduce discomfort due to perspiration, my fragrant Footings insole line is posh enough to complement your most prized Jimmy Choos or Ferragamos” —Summer Soles Founder and CEO Shannon McLinden http://www.summersoles.com/
FRICTION BLOCK™ Stick
LOVE this product! Solves all those rubbing issues that irritate the skin and give you blisters!
BAND-AID® Friction Block™ Stick has a lubricating formula that glides on smoothly to instantly reduce rubbing on skin. It forms an invisible barrier, making it ideal for open shoes, and provides an easy, non-messy application.
Alright Ladies! This week Summer Soles and Band-Aid have teamed up with me to give your feet some must need TLC.
1 Lucky winner will receive a set of Summer Soles “Heartstoppers”, Summer Soles Fragrant Footings (1 full and 1 ball of foot set), and a Band-Aid Friction Block stick!
Leave a comment on this post (between Aug. 23-Aug. 28) telling me what style of heel you’ll be rockin’ or what style you’d like to see the ladies rockin’ this Fall/Winter.
(comments can be left by scrolling to bottom of post or comment icon at beginning of post at top right depending on your browser)
(last weeks winners: Michael McPhee=White Collar Bag and Eric Pena= John Varvatos Tie! Congrats!)
Good luck! Keep reading and repost on your facebook and twitter!