Thursday, December 16, 2010


Back in the day, I was moved up a level in a tap dancing class. Along with the more difficult choreography came a pair of tap shoes with heels. There I was - gawkward, pre-pubescent, shuffling around the studio like Bambi on ice. I could not walk, much less flap-ball-change in these babies. My teacher looked immediately regretful.

I was undeterred. This team was wearing black tuxedo outfits with a built-in sparkly blue vest/tie combination. There was talk of a matching top hat if we sold enough poinsettias in our Christmas fundraiser. This was the big time.

I spent the next week walking circles around our postage-stamp kitchen, holding on to the cupboards for dear life. First, a sad little march with my knee leading the way. Then a smaller toe-heel balancing act. Then heel toe. This is how, at age 11, I learned how to walk (and triple-time-step) confidently in heels.

That’s also how I came to judge women who can’t walk in heels. Not to say that I have an enviable stiletto strut, I just think one of the rules of wearing heels is to not look like you’re playing dress up. Moreover, fabulous ballet flats and riding boots for any occasion have never been easier to find. There’s really no need to wear heels if you are going to look like a goober the entire day.

At least, that’s how I used to feel. Then I bought a new pair of boots… and wiped out twice in one day. These boots are the devil, in soft-black-leather-with-exposed-gold-zipper-down-the-side form. They were also dirt cheap, so my original plan was to just scrap them altogether.

Then I remembered all the effort my 11 year old self put into the art of wearing a good looking heel. And I got back on the horse. Dubbing them my "fall boots" - as in face plant, not autumn - I started to wear them to public places where I was terrified of wiping out.

Stop One: Miss Minnesota USA pageant
My cousin was a contestant and I could think of no worse place to biff than an auditorium full of professional walking coaches and judgy stage moms. Off I went. Then, my cousin won the whole thing and began gesturing wildly for all of us to join her onstage for a photo op. I’d be lying if I said my mind wasn’t filled 90% with abject fear, and 10% with excitement for her win at that point. I prevailed. (I also took this as the best possible opportunity to test out the “hand on the hip, chest out” photo pose that all my dancers are so fond of. Not for me.)

Stop Two: The Fall Lobby
I’ve worn said boots to work three times since the fated two falls, and it seems as long as I focus only on walking, I can remain upright. (Not the most efficient work strategy, though.)

Stop Three: Mall of America
Hey, did you know they put in a new super slippery floor on the fancy South side of the mall near the Apple store? They did. Yesterday I happily clacked across the entire mall and then, down five trecherous outdoor flights of stairs on the way to a coworker’s car after. There was a small misstep that required the handrail.

Next stops are unknown. Shoveling the snow-ridden streets of Minneapolis? Dimly lit Christmas Eve mass complete with lighting a personal taper candle? New Year’s Eve? Bring it on. I'm dubbing winter 2011 "Amazing Race: SatanBoots". No challenge is too ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

I'm swooning over those satan boots.

And I know what heels make me look like a complete goober - and more often than not choose not to wear them. Which leaves me with about 3 reliable pairs of heels if I want to be able to walk in them the entire day.

Gina Marie said...

I really do love my satan boots, but they're killer.

... if you need to borrow a pair of tap shoes, Sara, to get the hang of it...

Jamie said...

I'm pretty envious of you. I can't walk in heels AT ALL. When I first started dating my fiance, I tried to wear them a lot (the 6'5-5'2 spread is pretty insurmountable). I kept getting injured, over and over and over again. It was horrible.

I do love some cute flats though :)