Dear Designers, we need more mid heel shoes!

by Sylvia

We need more mid heel shoes!

I feel we need to talk about high heeled shoes. Specifically why they need to be so high? Is that really necessary designers? Is it not ok just to add a little height, say 2”, do we really need 5”. Do those really high heeled shoes really look good on anybody? Do we really want to sacrifice our health and our sanity for fashion?

Why do we need super high heel shoes?

Let’s start analyzing.

For height?

If you are short then you would benefit from some extra height. But as I already lined out in my article on how to dress when you are petite, really high heels will not look good on petite women. It will just look out of balance. If you are of average height, around 1.65, you could wear almost any shoe, but I cannot believe that you will be comfortable in heels that are any higher than 9 cm (3.5”). As for the taller women above 1.70, you would also want to wear some heels, but I don’t think you would really want to tower over your husband and boyfriends. I personally do not like a tall woman wearing very high heels.

High heeled shoes from Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein

For style?

If you’re wearing those really high heels and you look more like you are stumbling, rather than walking, you will not look stylish at all in my opinion. If you have a petite frame or are short in height your shoes will look totally out of balance as well. Not stylish at all.

High heel posture problemsFor posture?

I sometimes hear (I may have even said it myself) that you walk straighter with high heels. However, if you read some of the medical reports on the Internet, it seems that wearing high heels is not good for your posture at all. Have a look at these drawings which were pulbished in the Washington Post. And there is a multiple of other issues as well, which result from wearing high heeled shoes. These issues are only more  highlighted as you get older.

For Fashion?

Yes, with many of these shoes you will definitely make a fashion statement. But again, if these shoes look out of  proportion and you can’t walk in them, you look more like a fashion victum, rather than fashionable.

And what about 40+ women?

I still want to look good and yes despite all the risks etc. I still want to wear high heeled shoes in certain occasions. I like the elegance of it and like the extra height it gives to my legs. But I want a decent height! Something I can walk on and look comfortable in. And no, I do NOT want a sensible shoe. I want a decent height shoe, that is trendy, fashionable AND comfortable. And I’m sure so do millions of other 40+ women. It just seems that all the heeled shoes I see in shops these days are for 20+ trend setters and way too high. I can’t remember how many times I bumped into shoes I really liked but would never consider buying because they were simply too high.

Here is one of my own examples

black and grey shoes

The grey and black shoes above are my favorite shoes ever. I have had them for more than 10 (!) years and they still look kinda good. They are great quality, I think they still look current AND they are comfortable. I knew instantly at the time that these were great and luckily I bought 2 pairs. They are starting to look a little bit more worn out now though, but I cannot throw them away, because when I need a heeled shoe that I will be able to walk in for any amount of time, these are always my go to shoes. For years, I have been trying to replace them with new shoes, but I simply cannot find them.

Black shoes with heels

Until about a year ago when I bumped into the black shoes at Zara (above left). Similar design, decent solid heels. Still too high, but it was getting closer to my beloved shoes, so I bought them. Unfortunately, there is a problem with these shoes, they are not the greatest quality and they are made of a special fabric. That fabric cuts into my toes, so these shoes have started to become unwearable.

Yesterday, while I was shopping with a reader who is visiting Singapore from San Francisco (more on that later) I bumped into these Ecco shoes (above right). They looked like my favorite shoes, alas a trendier version, so even though I was not in shoe buying mood, I decided to try them on. They felt comfortable immediately due to some padding in the shoes and in the end I decided to buy them. Remember, it’s 10 years since I bought my favorite shoes and I never see anything similar.

need more mid heel shoes

Even these shoes are too high heeled as they are 9 cm, 3.5” tall. It’s compensated somewhat by the higher and padded sole which makes the actual height about 8 cm (3.1”), but still. I would definitely have preferred them lower. It is a gamble and I’m just hoping that these shoes will be wearable and as comfortable as my beloved old black heels. I can’t imagine wearing heels that are higher than this though, so that will be the absolute limit for me. How do women walk in 5” heels?

Designers, if you want 40+ women to buy more shoes, create more mid heel fashionable shoes!

I like shoes. I want to wear fashionable shoes with heels, but whenever I see a shoe I like, it’s always too high. I’m sure I would be tempted so much more if designers would just lower their heel height designs a bit . This is also one reason why I do most of my shoe shopping in Holland. Few women in The Netherlands wear these really high heels and they tend to be more practical. So a few more options there in the mid heel range.

Claudia Strater shoes

Have a look at these nice heels I bought years ago at Claudia Strater, which are perfectly wearable.

Another great fashionable designer who creates fantastic shoes with lots of color is Hester van Eeghen, Unfortunately, not available for ordering online but definitely a store you need to visit in Amsterdam. (if you’re interested I could feature her the next time I visit Amsterdam). Below photos are taken from her blog.

Ester van Eeghen Shoes

I maintain a list of recommended arch support shoes in my shop. So be sure to check those out!

So what do you think ladies? Do you agree with me? Would you love to see more MID high fashionable shoes in the shops?


{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cynthia

Maybe it’s due to my personal taste in shoe styles (I would never wear any of those three on top — they just bear no relationship to the rest of my style!) but I have been finding a lot of great shoes with wearable heels. The highest I’ll ever wear is about a 1.5″ heel, and I’d really prefer to be in flats (or my grossly unstylish but beloved negative-heel Earth Shoes). I have a whole pinboard of red shoes, many of which come in realistic heights. My favorite brand is currently Fidji.


2 Sylvia

Great collection Cynthia. Still it does not have any of the mid straight heel that I’m so much in favor of… Will have to keep an eye out for Fidji.


3 Tracey

My favourite fluevogs are a nice mid heel. I often end up with wedges, as they are comfortable enough to be worn a bit higher.


4 Sylvia

Yes, wedges are easier to wear. Still I’m not a big fan and only have 2. I just like the look of (straight) heels so much more.


5 Suzanne

You know how much I love shoes and boots. 🙂 I once could rock the high heels but not so much now. I do have a few pair of 4 to 5 inch heeled formal strappy shoes but I only wear those to dinners or parties where there is valet parking and I am 100% sure I will be sitting or standing most of the event. And I do not bother to wear them if my gown is long as what is the point of being uncomfortable when the pretty shoes can not be seen? I can do 3 inch heels for 4 to 6 hours but if I know I will be walking a lot for 8 to 10 hours I try to stick to 2 inch heels. Wedges are especially comfy. Today I bought my first pair of Spring 12 shoes and they have a 2 inch wedge. They are orange and nude. If they are easy to walk in I will buy them in the tan and silver color too. I have learned that if I find a mid-heel shoe that is cute it pays to buy them in different colors as they are not that common. I have also learned that high heeled shoes with a platform are easier to wear. I have a pair of 4 inch heels with a 1 inch platform so they actually feel like 3 inch heels to walk in. You just have to try a lot of styles and learn which brands are a good fit. Most of my fashion boots have a higher heel too but they are easier to walk in than shoes. Maybe because the heels are chunkier? I love the Hester van Eeghen shoes. They are stylish but look very walkable. The first red pair and the leopard print are my favorites.


6 Sylvia

Wow, you are good. 4-6 hours for 3” heels is quite remarkable! You new shoes sound great; I like the nude-orange combination. I visit Ester’s shop every year and it’s always a lot of fun to see the new collection. Safar have not been lucky yet of finding the perfect shoe for me there in my size.


7 Heather Fonseca

I totally agree. I wish lower heeled shoes would come back in fashion. Last year there was a resurgence of kitten heels and I wish I’d bought like 10 pairs, but I thought they’d stay in for a while. Nope. This year the heels have gotten even higher if that’s possible.

Your favorite shoes look a lot like my favorite shoes which I purchased some ten years ago. They have the same chinky flared heels. I haven’t found anything to replace them yet.

I do now have a lot of super high platforms. I only wear these out with my husband or I photos. I find high high heels look great in photos, but I’ve yet to see a woman walking gracefully in them. You can’t go very fast that’s for sure!


8 Sylvia

I think mid heels should always be readily available. It seems silly that we are given the choice to either have super flat shoes or super high. That seems to be the choice in most shops.


9 Terri

Personally, anything over 3″ is a no-no for me. The older I get the more I want stability with style.


10 Sylvia

yes that’s why my favorite shoes are so good. Very stable, good padding, yet stylish!


11 Luc

You totally read my mind! I want stylish shoes with a bit of height, but something I can walk in all day! I was looking for lower wedges just yesterday in the shops. I’ve got quite a few pairs – collected over the years – but I’m sure I would buy more shoes if I could find a decent height that didn’t look too “nanna”! Sylvia, can we send this to shoe manufacturers?


12 Sylvia

This is kind of my open letter to them. It’s there for all of them to read. The more women share this article / letter on facebook, tweet it, pin it etc. the more chance they will actually read it and do something about it 🙂


13 erin

Totally on the same page as you. I’m on my feet a lot at work, sometimes for a continuous stretch of 3 hours and mid-heels are called for. Well, honestly, flats would be the most comfortable, but somehow they lack that polished look. Today, I’m wearing a nice brown pair with 1 1/2 inch heels, but it’s the only one I have in this height. Wish I could find more of these shoes 🙂


14 Sylvia

Let’s see if I get some responses with good shops to buy these shoes in. I already have a few. Then I can follow up with a post for the best mid heel shoes!


15 GreetjeKamminga

Although I agree that low heeled shoes feel much much better, I don’t like them. I have flat feet, which means I have a very low instep. So even with a size 5,5/6, my feet look really big and silly when I wear flat shoes. So for many years high heeled shoes were my favourite! Around 3 inch high. No more. Perhaps there is the odd 3,5″, but those are exceptions. And agreed, these past few years, the designers are getting worse and worse. Did you notice how many of the models in fashion reports and fashion advertisements are leaning, sitting or plain lying? It is because they cannot stand on those hights. Shoes designed by men who have NO IDEA how it hurts. And the female designers have to follow otherwise they don’t sell.
As I got older, I got the bill for abusing my feet: now I really need to wear support in my shoes. Oh horror. What helps is buying your high heeled shoes half a size bigger than you need and put a gel pad in them under the ball of your feet. And pay good money. The higher you get, the more money it takes to make the shoe comfortable. However, not all manufacturers use the extra amount they charge for their expensive shoes, to make the shoe better. And yes, if I have to walk a lot, I wear flat shoes.


16 Sylvia

Yes, I think you are right. Best to look for high quality shoes. I’m hopeful about the Ecco shoes. Not cheap, but they seemed well made. Best to go for fewer (but high quality, high comfort) shoes and save your feet.


17 Nanne

I used to wear high heels all the time when I was younger, but now I prefer my heels to be no more than 2-3 inches, at least for everyday wear. I have a pair of tan leather pumps with a stacked 3 inch heel that are amazingly comfortable, because of an inside padding and a 1/3 inch sole, plus there’s a thin rubber-like sole under the heel and in the front. I can’t remember the brand, but I wish I could have more shoes like that.


18 Sylvia

Thanks Nanne. Keep me updated of any brands that create comfortable but stylish shoes!


19 Nanne

Check out these brands:
Campers –
Aldo Shoes – also have stores in Singapore.
Clarks –

Hope you find something you like:)


20 Sylvia

Thanks for the recommendations Nanne!


21 Angel Collins

Those are beautiful shoes design, but i don’t use to wear more than 3 inches,it makes my legs cramp.


22 Sylvia

Hi Angel, I agree we need more shoes below 3 inches. Please designers, let us look great but be comfortable!


23 Susan

This is a huge pet peeve of mine!! I agree so much, you have no idea! I love fashion but I have a weak ankle and I have brought many shoes on shoe sites even though the heel is way too high and they end up barely worn, but because I love the style I have them! I just don’t understand why designers do not understand that there is a huge market for lower heeled designer shoes!! They don’t have to shop offer high high heels but they could definetly tap into the market of woman like us that need lower heels!! I am so passionate about this that if I was a millionaire, I would market them!! I have even looked into having my favorite pairs cut down, but usually it ruins the shoes.. I just do not understand why it is next to impossible to find realistic low heeled designer shoes. As a writing teacher and a fashion blogger, I can tell you it is not realistic to wear 5′ inch or higher heels in the classroom, or even out to stay fashionable. Is there no way to stay a fashionista and still wear heels that don’t kill you!!!!


24 Sylvia

Thanks Susan. Glad you agree with me! I was a bit more successful finding mid heel shoes in The Netherlands but the big brands certainly still have very few to offer. I will keep on promoting mid heel shoes.


25 Dee

I am in my early 20’s and I am 5 ft 7. I love shoes but all the heels and wedges I fall in love with make me look so tall (5″+). On the rare occassion I have found beautiful shoes with a decent height (3.5″-4.5″). To me, that is what ‘mid heel’ should be. When I type in mid-heels to search for shoes, all that comes up are 2″ heels which I would classify as ‘low heel’ and which I wouldn’t wear, but which my mother loves. There are loads of these low heel shoes about and there are loads of 5″+ heels around, but where are all the FASHIONABLE in-betweens for us ‘not too tall but still tall’ girls?


26 anna

Agree with you 100%. There doesn’t seem to be any problem finding heels that are either low or very high… it’s the mid-height heels- anywhere between 2-3″ that are hard to come by. I’m 5’2 and though I do like to add height to my petite frame, anything over 3 inches is often considered inappropriate for the office. So my favorite heel height is 3 inches, but MAN are they hard to find! I spent all day looking for your basic black matte leather round toe pumps with around a 3″ heel and I just could not find anything either over 1.5 inches or anything under 3.5 inches! Basic Black pumps in a mid size heel are a staple and should not be this difficult to find! 10-15 years from now these super high heels will likely be out of style, but the midsize basic pump will NEVER go out of style regardless of trends and that’s where I’d rather invest my money.


27 Sylvia

As you know I agree Anna. Thanks so much for your feedback!


28 Schuanne, Stylist

I’ve recently written a post about mid-height heels too. I was just checking whether or not my page ranked amongst the top results on google and stumbled upon this. I’ve included some shoes that are at the forefront of fashion, but also more practical. Perhaps, they will interest some readers who commented above.


29 Mina

Being a 22 year old 5ft 10″ girl really sucks. Really. I look at all the gorgeous 5″ heels out there with envy and hatred. Now, don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t want to cripple my feet in 5″ heels whilst being blindly drunk on a night out but why, oh why are low heeled shoes so ugly and, well…. not glamorous?! I want to wear amazingly stylish heels, but ones that are 2″ tall! Why is it so hard to find a decent looking pair?! Lets face it, i could just go out and buy some killer heels but that’d make me 6ft4″. Not a good look if u ask me. ESPECIALLY when my boyfriend is only an inch taller than me! Sigh, looks like its never meant to be!

That being said, i think i should make it my aim in life to set up a website and find an amazing shoe designer to come up with stunning low heeled party shoes for young girls! There is definatly a gap in the market to be filled! Watch this space! 😛


30 Sylvia

Good luck Mina and let me know when you are up and running with the new site!


31 rosevincent

the shoes you posted look comfortable but are just not sexy to me..I may wear them as casual wear but not dressed up….Hot shoes are hot shoes no matter the height…Yes I like a lower chunkier heel when running around and stuff… I where sneakers and cool low heeled boots…some low heeled pumps are cute…I also like a low heeled maryjane at times….
BUT….if i am going out on the town or dressed to the nines….there is no way i would wear a low heeled shoe like that..I think it takes away from the look…I am 5’6″ average height…
There is nothing better than having a wicked hot pair of shoes on…but low heeled in a gown or gorgeous dress…does not cut it for me…Having been in the hair and fashion industries….the shoe can make or break a look…
maybe because my family all have a very high arch…high heels just feel comfortable…i dunno all i know is my 78 year old mam rocks her heels…


32 Sylvia

Thanks for your feedback. Yes, I should do an article soon posting mid heel shoes that are also a bit more sexy. Although I do not fully agree with you that none of the mid shoes listed below are sexy. Of course if you have always been able to walk well in high heels, then by all means, go for it. It’s just that I know that many women over 40 find this very difficult. So even though they may not want to give up their high heeled shoes, they have no choice. Many fall in this category, so there is definitely a need for better (sexier) mid heel shoes.


33 Jody

I love the cool funky look of high shoes, and platform shoes, but would never ever wear them. I wish designers would come out with three versions of the same exact shoe.. one with super high heel, one with mid-size heal, one with kitten heal, all having the same chic high heel “look” but with varity of height. Wishful thinking!


34 Sylvia

That would be a great idea!


35 lyly

I found this great website with the most stylish and comfortable heels. Check it out, I love your article and the shoes on here.


36 Jane

I so agree with you! I’m just petite (5′ 3″ and a bit) and would love to wear higher heels, but my back just won’t let me. More than 2″ means lower back pain. I’ve just given in and take the time to find lower heels, but it is an uphill battle. The frustrating thing right now is that shoes seem to be either 5″ tall or flat. Neither work for me. And like you, I will not buy “sensible” shoes. Ugh!
BTW, I absolutely love your blog. It is really helping me find my style at 58!


37 Sylvia

Thanks Jane. I will keep on the lookout for fabulous mid heel shoes and will report back on this site when I see them. Great to read that you are enjoying the blog!


38 Jane

Thank you, Sylvia, and Happy New Year!


39 lj

I hope it’s not too late to comment on this post. I totally agree! I’ve never been able to wear high heeled shoes (3″ plus) comfortably. But now being 40+ with chronic plantar faciitis in both feet, it’s impossible.

I do have a tip: check out dance shoes, specifically those for BALLROOM or SWING dancing. I’ve found swing shoes that have heels from 1 1/2″ to 3″ high, some chunky, some narrow. Aris Allen is one popular brand.

Good luck!


40 Sylvia

Not too late LJ, but I always need to approve the comment of first time commenters. Your next comment will appear automatically. Thanks for leaving your feedback and your great tip!


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