THE BLOG
07/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

To Heel or not to Heal

The Obama's dinner date at Blue Hill reminded me of my own romantic night there with my husband a few weeks ago. I enjoyed my meal at this cozy, slow-food eatery -- but not my exit. My dainty Prada ankle boot heel lodged in a drain just outside the front door, snapping off.

Thinking back, I wonder what would have happened if I were the First Lady. Surely, it would be a monstrous Manhattan story, "Blue Hill Snags Bama Mama!" There would be heated on-air analysis. There would be public apologies. Neo-con hack Sean Hannity would claim America was going the down the drain.

But I am no First Lady. Instead, I'm a keen observer of fashion. I admire how the tall and statuesque Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni impeccably integrate their flair for flats. However, flats and my feet are more foes than friends. Draw a line on the runway separating the stiletto wearers vs. the skimmers and I'm always on the high-heel side. Recently, a writer friend and me opted to walk the 20 blocks from my neighborhood to the Met to view the Model as Muse exhibit. I was in my flat black patent Miu Miu boots -- a big mistake. By the end of round-trip 40-block walk, my feet were in legitimate pain.

New York's famed podiatric foot surgeon Suzanne Levine, D.P.M., PC, wasn't surprised to hear about my heel predilection. High profile and well-heeled ladies hobble into her Park Avenue office with an array of foot ailments. Perhaps those flimsy flip-flops or pricey Chanel flats are hurting your feet. If you have a high arch, Levine recommends a little, two-inch heel. Indeed, I've always felt more comfortable in heels than flats; they simply look better on my petite frame.

Dr. Levine sees women well into their 90's wearing vintage YSL shoes, though says genetics do play a role in your feet. Intriguingly, the good doc says flat feet are more often found in women from immigrant backgrounds. So she provides custom-made arch inserts. A self-described shoe maven, Dr. Levine offers Stiletto Rx: Pillows for Your Feet™ for women who have lost fat on their soles.

The procedure injects polylactic acid into the balls of the feet, adding a cushion effect that can last for up to six to nine months. Levine cautions that pointy shoes aggravate bunions, but many of her clients gladly take the consequences. We're all loathe to give up fashionable shoes.

Last week, while at the MoMa strolling through the wondrous Into the Sunset show, a chic volunteer admired my Blahnik sandals and marveled at how I could walk in them all day. I told her this was routine and that, if necessary, I could sprint for a cab in them, too.

Levine informed me of her ongoing collaboration with major a shoe designer, wherein they just might develop that elusive killer heel that is harmless and über-chic. While I wait for this wonder, I love every step in my 70s inspired Chloe 5-inch wedges.