Thank you for posting that article Ummlila.
I'm doing a happy dance with Sarah.

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Janet - I'm right there with you, in fact , because I'm 5 years older than you , I'm actually one step ahead of you - lol. Been there, done that, thought that, got sad over it, and somehow came out the other end. I can't with high heels anymore - and although I could stand in them for an hour at a cocktail party if I had to, I find I can't actually WALK properly in them anymore! I hate to invoke the name of our favourite EA again, but she wears kitten heel pumps now as often as she does stilettos. Lots of people seem to see kitten heels as frumpy or odd , but I think they are totally elegant and sexy. It's all in how you walk and move anyways, not in how high the heel is, right?

It's been hard to find pumps and boots with a decently low heel, but they are out there. Now I look at the usual 3 inch heels on pumps and boots in stores and shake my head.

I've turned into my mother. Oh my god.

Apart from the Okalas & some boots that are 21/2 inches but I've let all my other heels go. I walk a lot too & I can't stand sore feet

I did read somewhere that the fleshy pads on the soles of our feet get thinner as we age so maybe that is a factor.

Janet, I haven't put my feelings into words but if I did, they would be nearly exactly what you wrote in this post. I may be moving to a smaller place and have really been struggling with purging my pretty heels that don't get much wear anymore. Plus I am realizing I have a hole to fill - flat(ish) dark shoes or booties.

I am with you on this journey. Please let us know how you progress. Will you be getting rid of some shoes to make room for more practical options like you mentioned? Will they go in a holding zone? I'm curious to see what your next step is as I probably need to do something similar if not the same thing.

ABC, thanks! The good thing is, I'm not heavily invested in high heels. I have a couple of special occasion wear pairs of shoes that qualify, but they're already sitting shoes.

When it comes right down to it, there are really only four pairs -- two booties and two tall boots -- that are that high. I am going to work each one into outfits soon to see how they feel for a day of moderate wear, and go from there. Since we're now getting into full-fledged boot season here, I should have opportunity, although I just realized my wearing season for any non-rugged footwear has gotten shorter because I spend a month or so in the cooler months at the ranch. No wonder my dresses went unworn last winter!

I agree with everything Angie wrote in her response.

Three years ago we moved buildings and I started walking from the parking deck to the office building. This made a huge difference in terms of shoes, outer wear, and totes. I needed to revamp everything to suit the change. No regrets. I found I loved being able to walk long distances without having to think about it.

I boxed up the shoes that didn't work for me anymore. I always assumed I would find other reasons to wear them, but I never really did.

1.5" is my sweetspot. I will go up to 3" for a dressy evening shoe, but now that I have the rockstud which are 2.5" well that's my dressy for the rest of my life shoe!! Thank god there are so many boots and booties that are just awesome at this height. Just slowing picking them up. Of course I also have the EF coax booties, although I don't have any other platforms when I need height I have it with total comfort. But I am firmly on team low heels!! I stride, not walk, comfort is key!!

I'm glad to see a wider variety of lower shoes also. I was never a big high heel person, style wise, but a few years ago I set my cut off at 2.5". More recently, like Janet says, I've been noticing that anything over about an inch and a half, depending on the heel style, I just don't want to wear all day, even if they are comfortable per se. It depends a bit on the style - boots with chunky heels and wedges are fine up to 2.5 but anything more teetery, or otherwise not as walkable, are less ideal.

I think it's the blogger at Amid Privilege that talks about the style type of the Sturdy Gal - there is a certain charm in being the person who can help out with things or go for a walk without having to worry about what you're wearing.

I guess I am struggling because though my day to day lifestyle is one with tons of urban walking and a need for flat comfy walkable shoes, I have to be ready to go to a client site for face to face meetings at any time. And that usually means business casual or dressier - and usually heels. So though they're sitting unworn right now I can't purge them all.

Janet, I've been doing the same - working items into outfits to road test them again. Some shoes and also some lesser worn items from the closet. It's really helping make the keep or purge decisions easier.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and putting mine into words!

I never got into the habit of wearing heels and I think my foot twin Angie summed it up perfectly - by 2 inches the balls of my feet are burning after a bit of walking. There are a few exceptions to this rule - my Anyi Lu Melanie shoes, which were a big splurge at the time, are extremely walkable and I have wore them to the ground. I have developed a mid-life taste for a bit of a heel, but most of the time I wear flats - my feet just like them better. Long live fashionable flats! (But I do not believe for one second that heels are going to go away.)

I'm in the club for under 3" heels! Pretty much what Shiny said applies to me.
Janet - you should check if you can get the heels shortened if you really love the boots. It can be done for some shoes.

Amen chorus here. I love the look of higher heels (and at 5'2" always crave extra inches) but just can't do it anymore. I have 3" heels, but won't walk far in them. I wish low hidden platforms weren't so hard to find; a 2" heel with a discrete 1/2" platform makes for comfortable walking and a still-dressy look. Shoe designers who thought to incorporate elements like these would, I'm convinced, make a fortune.

I attended a function last weekend-a semi formal affair, and much to my surprise there were several college age girls in their pretty cocktail dresses with heel heights around 3 inches. Only a couple in the very high heels, and they were more like 40 sh. I felt very stylish in my 3 inch heels.

Another supporter here! I find 2 - 2.5" to be the most comfortable, and since I was never a fancy heels gal, it hasn't been that hard to find comfy footwear. My only "too high for comfort" shoes are the Rag & Bone Newburys, for which I have an irrational love.

Una, the gunmetal Newburys are right on the edge for me. I can wear them for a long day, but I feel it halfway through. I adore them though.

In some cases I've been wearing higher heels than I used to, because I can wear a chunky heel in boots. But now that I've been there, done that, I may say "why?" and aim for 1" heel tops.

I just went to town on the flats as oxfords and loafers, including loafers with skirts. Not sure if I'm ahead of the style curve in my parts or seen as frumpy. Anyways!

For really dressy occasions I still like to try to wear something that looks like a girlie-heel, rather than a ballet flat, mostly due to the type of dress I would usually wear. I've noticed that for me it's a particular combination of height and balancing. Kitten heels are just awful for me because they're too teensy, even though low, and also because they're undercut. I do better when the heel comes down more straight from the back of the shoe.

I lucked into some pumps this weekend, just in time for gala, that have this particular style of heel that's a flattened wide heel--meaning narrow in the front-to back dimension but wider side-to-side as a chunky heel would be. Don't know what to call that. But amazingly it provides what I call "lateral stability" and they are very stable to walk in (not distance walking, but party-walking).

I've always liked flats. I love to walk & really stride. But I've kept heels for dress up & know how polished that can feel.
Now that I'm over 50, however, I'm appalled to see what the feet of so many lifelong high heel wearers really look like! Many women around my age in my yoga and Pilates classes have bunions and hammer toes and all sorts of horrors developing. It's barbaric, really... akin to foot binding. Conversely, a former business partner who never wore heels a day in her life has the feet of a 20-year old girl at age 65.
So I'm pretty firmly on team flats for lifelong optimal foot health and mechanics. I really think high heel wearing should be confined to 4-5 hour stretches without much actual walking, and only on occasion.
Sorry to be such a
High heels remind me of cigarettes. When you're young you can't imagine the net effect really happening to you!

PS: I count anything up to about 1.5/2" as flat or low heeled. Be sure there's adequate room in your toe boxes!