Although I am not quite five feet tall, I almost never wear shoes with high heels, although I strangely have 10 pairs in my closet gathering dust. As an experiment, I decided to wear heels for a week to see how I (and my feet) would survive.
Day 1: I decided to start easy, and wore a pair of glorified loafers. They do have three-inch heels, but because they have thick, stacked heels, they are relatively comfortable and easy to walk in. They are also, I admit, pretty ugly. I had planned to do some errands after work and after walking half a block decided not to, even though it was a nice day, and I could have used the walk. So I guess I wasn't all that comfortable after all. Instead, I went home, put my sneakers on and walked on the treadmill instead.
Ratings: Aesthetics 0/10, Pain 0/10, Mobility 6/10
Day 2: It was a beautiful day, one of the last days of summer, so I wore a pair of Aerosoles sandals, bought especially because they seemed comfortable. I have only worn them a couple of times in the three years I have owned them so it would be a true test of their comfort. They are dressier than the shoes I usually wear, so I put on a skirt and felt very glam. I found myself walking slower than usual and had some trouble walking down stairs, but didn't feel any overt pain. One plus: I did get a "you seem taller today" which I guess is a compliment. One minus: I had to forego getting the mail because it seemed too far.
Ratings: Aesthetics 6/10, Pain 2/10, Mobility 5/10
Day 3: On this day I wore my Via Spiga shoes, which were a splurge -- $180, not on sale -- which I bought several years ago because I thought they were beautiful. The heels are only 2 ½ inches so they are fairly comfortable. Unfortunately I wore them without socks, so by the end of the day my feet were sore and swollen. Why do my feet grow bigger during the day? If this happened spontaneously to other parts of my body I would worry, but it seems to be expected of feet. So today was half-and-half: fine until the afternoon, then painful. It was my own fault for not wearing socks, even if they would have looked funny. By this point in the week the mail would continue to pile up until the weekend.
Ratings: Aesthetics 10/10, Pain 5/10, Mobility 4/10
Day 4: Today I went all out and wore a pair of ankle boots with a spiked heel which I borrowed from my daughter who conveniently wears the same size as me, but has much more glamorous taste. I have to admit I felt kind of flashy and uncomfortable at the same time. My colleagues at work took pity on me and kindly refrained from saying anything, but I suspect they are concerned and possibly planning an intervention of some sort. I may need to explain that this is an experiment, not a mid-life crisis. In spite of my embarrassment, the boots were actually pretty comfortable, and easier to walk around in than I thought they would be. I probably wouldn't wear them again, but I did survive the day and even went out for lunch. However, my big toe now looks kind of scary.
Ratings: Aesthetics: 0/10 if you are me, 9/10 if you are my daughter, Pain 2/10, Mobility 7/10
Day 5: TGIF will now stand for "thank goodness for flats." I went for broke and wore a pair of four-inch suede stilettos I bought years ago for a party, which I have not worn since. I put them on and immediately felt as though I was going to fall down. Unable to do more than totter, I practiced a while before I left the house. The day was an utter nightmare. I could barely walk, and when I did I wobbled so much I must have looked drunk. My colleagues at work were too polite to say anything, but I did notice a few concerned looks. By 10AM I have to confess that I changed into a pair of flats that I brought with me just in case. My feet were still sore so even in flats I was not too graceful. I didn't bother with the treadmill tonight, and spent the evening in my comfiest slippers. My husband asked about the mail and I showed him my toe, which still does not look good.
Ratings: Aesthetics 7/10, Pain 10/10, Mobility 0/10
All in all, I am glad I completed my experiment ... with all of my toes intact. But, the next time you see me, I'll be a few inches shorter as I'll surely be wearing my comfortable flats.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more