26th May 2020

To Heel or not To Heel?

Wisconsin sisters, Jenilee 6’4″ and Caitlin 5’11”, aka formidable duo The Real Tall, discuss: to heel or not to heel.

It would be impossible to forget the many times other people have inserted themselves into this conversation with a bossy declaration: “you’re too tall for heels”. As an impressionable teenager, I couldn’t help but agree with them. Internally, I felt that I took up more than my fair allotment of space. I felt that taking up more would make people feel more uncomfortable in my presence.

As tall women, we live a heightened experience (pun intended). By that, I mean that most women live their lives hearing unsolicited feedback about themselves. If you’re not wearing makeup and you typically do, maybe it’s: “you look a little under the weather today.” So while every woman gets opined on pretty regularly, for a tall woman, the frequency of literal strangers handing out their opinions can be overwhelming.

 

I would have told you, even back in my college days, that heels weren’t for me and I would believe it too. Ten years ago, I Jenilee standing at 6’4″, thought wearing a 1.5” heel a couple times a year was daring. Even Caitlin, being the shorter of us at 5’11″, used to say a resounding no.

Oh, but how our relationship with heels has evolved!

Now, I regularly wear boots with 4″ heels. My mindset has shifted from, “Do I want to be 6’8″ if I wear these heels?” to “Are these heels comfortable enough for me to stand and walk in?”

Nowadays, after experimenting with different heel heights, Caitlin’s personal preference is a 2″ block heel. All the comfort with all the benefits. You might think, “5’11″ isn’t even that tall, she can wear whatever heels she wants, easily.” I’m even guilty of thinking that it’s no comparison between 5’11″ and 6’4″. But just this last year, Caitlin attended a wedding wearing those two inch heels. The wedding photographer told her not once – but multiple times – that she was too tall and didn’t need to wear heels. Um… what?!

Aside from being outraged at that person’s behaviour, it just goes to show that whether you’re 5’11″ or 6’4″, people can’t help but notice a statuesque woman. So why not let them notice your legs in their full glory in a pair of heels? I’ve noticed that if I’m wearing something I feel good in, the comments roll off a lot easier.

Fact is, flats will mostly win out for comfort’s sake, but we’ve found an appreciation for heels and we still want the option to wear them. So thank you Long Tall Sally for keeping our feet outfitted in flats, 4″ heels and everything in between.

The bottom line in the debate is this: do you want to wear heels? Have you ever even put a pair on to consider the possibility for yourself, or have you resigned yourself to flats to make others feel more comfortable? We’d challenge you to explore the answer to the question for yourself. We spent years letting others answer the question for us. Truly, their opinion is more about them than it is about you. No more of that! So, to heel or not heel, is an entirely personal preference indeed.

Read Caitlin and Jenilee’s blog The Real Tall and follow @therealtall on Instagram.