Packing Under Pressure : It's So You!

Packing Under Pressure

by Mary Sheehan Warren on 09/19/11

Picture this: Miles of concrete city sidewalks, gaps between the cobblestones, slick subway platforms, and high speed escalators. What shoes does one choose for such an itinerary?

Why, platform stilettos, of course.


 (silly, silly girls)

This was the very question I faced as I packed for a few days at Fashion Week in New York with my friend Molly and a sylist named Bjorn. Sure, I confidently tossed into my suitcase a simple black sheath dress, a gray maxi skirt, and a dark denim pair of trouser jeans. Those were the obvious choices for such a trip. I am, after all, a fashion consultant.

But what about the shoes? I imagined glossy, fashionable people ruling the sidewalks in strappy 4 inch heels, each with her perky bag slung nonchalantly over a forearm. Wow. That's poetry in motion.

No, that's podiatry in motion. A snap back to reality gets my bunyons worked up and a second disk begins to herniate in my lower back. I can't help but wonder at the physics of a shoe like that. Is the adoption of this style defying some physical or physiological law meant never to be challenged? Oh the quandary!

So I developed general shoe angst over the choices (also known as GSA). I wanted to be glossy and fashionable. But I also didn't want to slip onto the third rail of the subway tracks. I searched DSW, Goldi's, Nordstrom, Macy's and even Kohls for some ideas. Then, I hit and the Walking Company. Finally, Stan's Fit for Your Feet.

Isn't there such a thing as a platform stiletto heel that feels good after walking, oh say, about 10 miles?

I guessed not.

But then I wondered about the eternal quest for a happy marriage of form and function. Maybe I own a pair of shoes that fills the need. (Well, many of my boots do, but it was only early September.)

So I packed everything: Equestrian boots, sling back 1" inch heels, 2 pairs of ballet flats, traditional pointed toe pumps (what was I thinking?), tennis shoes, slippers, sandals, and platform stilettos. There.

I wore my wellies onto the plane and giggled at my brilliance. Choice means power. Power means confidence. Confidence means glossy and fashionable.

But by late Thursday night, my wellies pinched my toes. The ballet flats I wore Friday morning made the balls of my feet ache and the sandals weren't much better.

But what did I wear to the Lincoln Center?

Platform Stilettos. And proudly too.

Yeah, I lost feeling in my toes and a third disk herniated in my lower back. But I was glossy! And fashionable! (At least until I traded them out for the flats stowed away in my perky bag.)

And, as you might guess, my interest in shoes was enhanced by the experience. Why do we do what we do? What is it about those shoes? 

See my adventures at

And guess which feet are mine?

Comments (1)

1. Maria Doll said on 12/14/11 - 05:47PM
So, Mary, why didn't you invite me??? Next time, okay?

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