7 Things Girls Who Can't Walk in Heels Understand

Because putting on a pair of heels and walking into the sunset isn't a possible thing.

While some women can run a la Carrie Bradshaw across busy city streets in high heels or walk up and down an office for seven hours straight in not-too-sensible pumps without so much as a thought, the rest of us are left standing there, slightly bewildered and more than a little envious. For us gals who can't manage to walk farther than the end of the block in one-inch heels, there's a certain reality we experience that not many people understand.

One can't just put on a pair of heels and begin walking. There are years of practice and fumbling that are involved, and we just never got around to starting that process. So instead we stick to our flats, acknowledging the fact that the struggle is real. 

Below are 7 things girls who can't walk in heels can only understand: Join our plight and feel for our woes.

1. It’s Not That You Hate Them As A Rule. You Just Never Learned How To Stiletto

Somehow you missed that grace period between the eighth grade dance and senior prom where it was socially acceptable (and expected!) for you to awkwardly stilt your way across hallways and dance floors.  

But now that you’re into your twenties, it’s a little painful making people watch you Bambi your way down Main Street.

2. Since You Never Learned, You’re Forever Confused How Women Do It

You watch a woman run for her bus in perfect form in stilettos as tall and thin as pencils, and feel like you should give up an ovary. You don’t deserve it. You watch another walk past you in the grocery aisle like she’s wearing flats and not Eva-Longoria-platforms, and sort of are inclined to believe she’s a white witch.

How? Are you missing a gene? Is it like how half the population can’t taste cilantro, and the other half can? Who has these answers?!


3. When You Do Wear Them, You’re Convinced the Wipeout is Around the Corner

Say you’re somehow conned into wearing a pair for the night. (And I use the word “conned” here accurately. Ain’t no heel-fearing woman going to just get a “whim” to wear stilts for a night of cocktails.)

That night isn’t going to be filled with champagne sips and wild dance moves to ‘90s throwbacks like it will be for your friends. It might have been if you went with those trusty black flats but no, for you it’ll be about being on high-alert all evening for that moment you twist your ankle and fall face first in front of a sizable group of people.

Maybe it’ll be when you’re walking down a flight of stairs to the bathroom (because bar architects are assholes). Maybe it’ll be that moment you walk to the curb to hail a taxi. Or maybe you’ll just be leaning against the bar one moment, and then be flat on your butt the other, with no real explanation as to how you managed to fall while standing still.

All you know is that it’ll happen. You have the prior experience to know it.


4. You Try Them on at Stores Like You’re Visiting a Secret Lover

You know you’ll never be able to share a home together, you know you’ll never feasibly get to take them out to a restaurant—out in public—where you might run into your friends. But damn if it doesn’t feel good to dip out during lunch and visit the fantasy, if only for a little while.

You try on three-inch heels at department stores, slip into stylish wedges at trendy little boutiques. And you strut down the carpet and towards the mirror like you know what you’re doing, and like there’s actually a chance you could make this work. But you know you can’t. It’s just a dream.

But it sure is nice to feel female once in a while.


5. You Have a Pair at Home You Never Ever Wear

You can’t be strong all the time; sometimes a pretty pair of shoes slips through your defenses. There’s a pair of heels somewhere in your apartment, never worn or bearing a telltale scuff on the nose, hinting at a lesson learned. And you wear them while you’re dusting, or try them on with a new dress just to see what a different world would look like. But when it’s time to head out, it’s your trusted flats that make the cut, not those scary beauties.


6.  You Walk Around on the Balls of Your Feet and Don’t Get Why It’s That Hard

You can tiptoe across the room easy. You can run while balancing on the balls of your feet like no big deal. You can hold that foot-arching pose for minutes—probably hours—yet you can’t make it across the office in simple pumps. What kind of broken science logic is that? Is physics failing you here? Why world, why?!


7. There Are Moments You’ll Admit Flats Really Do Suck

Girls who can’t walk in heels will stay adamant that flats look every bit as good as platforms and killer stilettos. And they are, they totally are.

But there will be moments where you’re wearing a bodycon dress or a gorgeous, slithering silky number and really, really wish your mom forced you to wear those one-inch heels to junior prom. So you could have learned the female art of pumps and led a normal life. But you slip into those trusty penny loafers and pretend it’s alright, that your life is all good.

Because at least by the end of the night, you’ll be the only one not haling taxi cabs barefoot.




Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: marlenkomar.com