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Eat your Heart Out Imelda Marcos!

Okay, I might not be quite the symbol of excess that Imelda Marcos was, and I’m sure she wouldn’t be caught dead in any of these shoes. But the fact remains that I have bought more pairs of shoes since becoming a RES™ than I have in several years previous.

Being a super tall woman, I was never one for heels, and many of my clients say they never wear heels! but in fact, they always wear heels, they just don’t think of it the same way I do.

You see, the term “positive” heel is a mathematical term, much like the thermostat, where ‘0’ is nothing, and anything above that is more than nothing (or something), and anything below that is less than nothing. So in shoes, ‘0’ is flat ground, where the heel and the ball of the foot are on equal ground, and ‘positive’ is when the heel is higher than the ball. Even 1 degree higher is considered positive.

So this cute ballet flat (J.Crew) has a positive heel, even though just about anybody would call it a flat, and indeed it is described as a ballet flat.

j.crew ballet flat


Granted, it is about as low a heel as I could find. Until recently. Now shoe manufacturers are making shoes with zero heel height, due to demand. (Imagine, even kid’s shoes have positive heels!). Running shoes usually have a positive heel of 1/2″ or more, and many people use them for everyday casual wear.

Any kind of positive heel affects your geometry in a not-so-positive way, so it is a good idea to go barefoot or in socks when you can (if you can – if you’ve been a high heel wearer for a while, you might need to do some calf restoration before you can drop your heel back down to toe land without damage). Then, when it’s time to select a new shoe, try to get one with a smaller heel than you are used to, eventually going all the way to zero. Eventually, you might have a shoe selection to rival mine:

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (1) Back row L-R: ballet flats from Town Shoes Toronto (not a flat shoe company, I just got lucky), Soft Stars, Vibrams Five Fingers, Zuuks, Altra Zero Drop, New Balance.

Front row L-R: Town shoes again, Sou Sou SF (Japanese split toe shoes), Keens, Kigo, Xero Shoes, Sou Sou SF split toe slip ons.

Here are some handy links to some of the companies listed above:

If you are in Toronto, you can buy Xero Shoes and Tabi shoes (different company) at Cool East Market, on Danforth.



2 thoughts on “Eat your Heart Out Imelda Marcos!

  • Gee, thanks Carol. I was trying to be good, but it looks like I have some shopping to do! Hoping I will get lucky in San Fran this spring. I find online shopping tricky and the stores in Toronto seem slow to catch on to the zero heel movement.

    A few of my faves not on your list are VivoBarefoot/Terra Plana and Merrell Barefoot (though tend to be a bit narrow).

    Appreciate the info; thanks for sharing,


  • My Altras were my first pair, bought in San Francisco! I also hear good things about Lems but haven’t tried them yet.

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