Dance Articles > "Women in High Heels"

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by BodiesByBija, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. blue

    blue New Member

    Re: heels etc

    Yes why? Is it difficult to make high heel shoes with arch support, or wouldn't it work for one reason or another? I have not really understood if this is what the Insolia stuff is about, or not.

    I had to ask about that when I bought my tango shoes. Was it OK that the arch did not tough the shoe? Sure, said the sales woman.

    Many years ago, I made a decision to never ever buy shoes with more than 2 cm heels. Such stupid stuff. Then I forget about my decision... but I would never wear them all day long. My 6 cm heels for tango make my feet tired in just an hour.
  2. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    i've been annoying all of my footwear professors with that question non-stop and i've yet to get an answer. from what i understand so far the answer is:
    1. women buy them anyway
    2. we'd have to change the way we're doing it now, which would cost us money, and see point 1
    3. men design women's shoes and since they won't have to wear them, and see point 1, they don't care.

    maybe i'm unfair to male shoe designers, in fact, i probably am. just makes for an easy target for sarcasm, i guess. :oops:

    what the insolia people did was put the little "bump" into the arch portion so it actually touches the arch and keeps the foot from sliding forward. :notworth:
    unfortunately, only a couple of companies are using those in their shoes. i'm going to nordstrom tomorrow to check them out :)
    will post with an update.
  3. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    oh yeah, and since there aren't any shoes that DO make an effort to touch your arch unless it's a flat one, what the sales woman told you is ok. actually it isn't, but sadly, it's all there is.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Maybe that's why I have so few problems with typical lady-killing shoes. Flat feet. :oops: :lol: Shoes with a built-in arch support take quite a bit of getting used to, for me. Now I understand why. :idea: 8)
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    If I may jump to the defense of the shoe engineers, I'd point out that men's dance shoes don't have any arch support either. I don't really think dance shoes are designed to support the feet - instead they are designed to provide a tougher skin to protect them from the floor, while letting them work as naturally as possible. In some cases they also extend the heel, in which case they need to support the ankle enough to help keep it in place over the heel and reinforce the arch enough that the shoe won't fold in half when the weight is on the back edge of the heel... but that's all.

    My understanding is that insolia's innovation is to try to keep the foot from sliding forward in the shoe and crunching the toes - I didn't get the sense that they were trying to support the arch for purposes of supporting the arch, even though it might be part of what they use to grab onto the foot.
  6. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member


    you DO need arch support in shoes, period. the thing is, we're not walking around barefoot, that's just the reality of it. your foot has to work more in order to make up for the added stiffness of the sole and the confinement of the upper, and no matter how good your shoes are, they need to make up for the fact that your foot does not sink into a soft natural surface, which would allow for your arches to function naturally. if the shoe makes your foot work harder still, as is the case with heels, you need it even more.
    and while dance shoes are vastly superior to just about any other type of high heel i've tried on, they still do not make up for the way a foot's position and work load changes when you elevate the heel 3" above the ball.
    women account for a ridiculously high percentage of very painful foot injuries precisely because nobody bothered to think of making heels hurt less. what the insolia people did (and about time, too!) was come up with a way to distribute the weight more evenly along the foot. arch support is really a catchphrase. your muscles should be supporting your arch, not a device. but that does not mean that it's ok to take all of the weight the heel and the metatarsals (the arch) normally bear and put in squarely on the ball and expect it to be ok. the thing that irks me about all the high heels out there is that the woman's arch, which normally carries quite a chunk of weight, does not touch the shoe, which makes it impossible for normal functioning. give it the little bump a.k.a. arch support, and it takes the load off the ball and the toes, which alleviates a lot of health problems, not to mention allows you to dance those extra hours. :)
    didn't mean to lecture anyone, sorry if it came out that way. :oops:
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    You can't dance with your weight distributed over a large area.

    At any given point in time, your weight as a dancer is concentrated in a specific area of the foot, though that area will change as you progress through each foot action.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Exactly why I prefer my heels to be lower. Three inches is too high for me. I always find it interesting to see how often women who wear beautiful high-heeled shoes have ugly feet. Not always, but often. I wonder if they see the correlation, but just don't care until it's too late. :?

    Just call it passion, not a lecture, RM. 8) Happens to the best of us. 8)
  9. blue

    blue New Member

    Yes, I think that is another issue. I am not sure whether or not supporting the arch would work in high heels or not - but all shoes for running etc. do, and so does my dance sneakers.
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I think arch supports are a must . . . even the very thinnest of arch supports in some very flexible shoes!
  11. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    i think i see your point, but i still think there's a difference between your weight being focused on the ball of your foot whether you want it or not, and being distributed normally along the shoe, *except* when you shoose to shift your center someplace, such as forward in latin.
    try some reeeeally high heels on some time and you'll see what i mean :)
  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Perhaps dance shoes are specialty tools - designed to permit fine control for dancing, but not necessarily comfortable for standing around in. Though from what I hear, ladies dance shoes being better thought out than some similar social ones, they often are above average in comfort.

    Also, dance shoes are designed to be used on sprung floors, so they can have very little padding or really much of anything but a bit of soft leather between your foot and the floor. I think one might quickly go lame wearing thin ones on pavement - walking shoes are made with thicker, more compliant soles. And mine get insoles - the street shoes, not the dance shoes.

    Have to find some the right size... while I'd like to try the experiment, I don't have quite the determination of the friend who went out and bought his own court shoes.
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Try ebay. :wink: You can find some great bargains on larger sized court shoes. :lol: I've always thought it would be interesting to see a few guys try out heels, just for the educational value.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    But then we get into the buying shoes without trying them on thread
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  16. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    dancing in shoes with no padding, even on sprung floors, is ok for maybe an hour or two. but do too much of it, and you'll get tendonitis in the ball of your foot and it's not fun at all. had it a couple of times, went and bought better shoes.
    besides, the sprung floors are expensive, and other than big, established, professional ballroom studios, hardly any places have them. :(
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    So what's up with the Latin competitors who dance in the paper-thin, flexible soled shoes? Are they doing irreparable damage?
  18. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    A woman dance friend and I were dance shoe shopping yesterday and we came across wooden soled Argentine tango shoes. We were both curious as to what the deal is with these?
  19. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

    Or perhaps we choose sexy choose BECAUSE we don't like our feet. Personally I don't think feet are that attractive anyway... but you're unlikely to find mine without a pedicure and toe ring, and generally in sexy shoes.
  20. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    I've seen a lot of women who have decent-looking feet, but don't take proper care of them so that they're not presentable in high-heeled sandals. Get out that pumice stone girls, and a bottle of dark-colored nail polish for chrissake! It isn't all that time consuming... :?

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