Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shoes with Heels Too High for Comfort

pumps with 3-inch heels

Do you have a pair of shoes you love - but the heel is a bit too high for comfort, so you find you don't wear them? Sure, you could sell them or donate them, but there's another possible option: have the heel cut down.

I would never have thought of this, but I just spoke to someone today who had this done on a number of shoes - and now she wears them all the time, so it was well worth the money to her.

Looking on the web, I see this has worked for some other people, too - who caution that you need a really good cobbler, and you need to be realistic about how much the heel can be shortened.

Over on the Australian Vogue Forums, Fiorella wrote:
I went to a really good shoe repair guy (in Perth though!) and he fixed my heels. ... He did a wonderful job and cut them about 2cm?? But made them so much more comfortable. I wouldn't have been able to get through the night without them being cut down! You just have to make sure that they fit the size of the shoe. They can only go down a certain amount. [Jeri's note: 2 cm is a bit less than .8 inch.]
And over on You Look Fab, Lisa wrote:
I had my FAVORITE black patent Stuart Weitzman “Lady/Princess” pumps cut down. The shoe repair took 3/4 of an inch off and it really made a big difference. If you know that shoes… they are gorgeous but too tall to walk comfortably. The idea came from the Stuart Weitzman store in Las Vegas.
On LIFamilies there's another success story:
I bought a GORGEOUS pair of pointy toe black leather boots 1.5 yrs ago. I really love these boots! The only problem is that the stiletto heel was just a little too high for my comfort level. My boss recommended her shoe repair guy in Islip. I just picked them up and I am SO happy! He only cut the heel about 1/2 an inch, but that makes a huge difference for me! Now I can wear the boots and not have to worry about being uncomfortable
And here's the word from a press release by Jane Baron:
Unfortunately many of the most elegant dress shoe designs are 3-inch heeled monstrosities. ... The good news is that heels can be shortened, but the modification must be done carefully. Changing heel height alters the balance of the shoe and can make a shoe un-wearable. ... It is rarely possible to shorten a heel by more than an inch (and even this amount of reduction is too much in some cases).

8 comments:

The English Organizer said...

I have my share of uncomfortable shoes, but it's rarely just a question of heel height. That said, I'm impressed this technique works... a good cobbler is clearly a great friend to have!

wem9876pt said...

Great idea and thanks for the tip! That makes those shoes on clearance look much more attractive! But how much does it cost so we can figure that into whether buying the shoes is worth it?

Jeri Dansky said...

Sorry, I don't know the cost - and it's likely to vary from place to place, and cobbler to cobbler. I'd just suggest finding a good cobbler in your area, and asking that person what the cost would be.

But I will ask someone in my area, and post another response when I find out.

Simpler Living said...

Finding heels I feel comfortable wearing is such a struggle. I'm going to take mine to a cobbler today to see if they can be shortened. Wish me luck!

Simpler Living said...

OK, Jeri, here's my update: I took two pairs of heels to my cobbler, and he can take off half an inch (which is good enough for me).

It's $30 per pair, which is definitely not cheap. But it's a local business, and they do good work, and I'm committed to wearing the shoes that I have for as long as I can.

Heel height has been one of my major frustrations with the modern women's shoe industry. I'm not comfortable in 2 1/2 to 3-inch-high heels, but it often feels like that's my only choice if I don't want to wear flats.

I'm already looking forward to getting them back. Thanks so much for the tip.

Simpler Living said...

Hi, Jeri,

Here's my update:

Both pairs of heels are back, lower and more comfortable. The cobbler took half an inch off each pair, but he also had to put a new heel on, so I'm not sure if they're actually half an inch lower or closer to a quarter-inch. I didn't do before-and-after measuring, but I'd keep that in mind for anyone else who decides to do it.

The cost is still a consideration; at $30 a pair, I'd still think twice before buying heels I'd need to shorten to wear comfortablly. I'm very happy with my "new" heels, though, especially since I have such a minimalist wardrobe. Thanks again for the tip.

Jeri Dansky said...

Simpler Living, this is a (very) belated thank-you for sharing your experience!

NSF1969 said...

Jeri,
This is not an comment. I do have a question though. I'm just wondering if anyone from SA,TX had their heels cut down? I had to return some Gucci boots last yr because the heels were 4 inches this yr I've found some Coach Booties but I refuse to buy them unless I can have the heels cut down. Can you help?