True story: Marci thought I was roughly 5’9 when we first met. Though it pained me to correct her with my actual height (5’2), I knew I would be living a lie if I didn’t.
It’s highly likely that the reason for this deception is my penchant for heeled shoes and their less obvious counterpart: shoe risers!
It’s true: in my non-heeled shoes, I stick a two-inch piece of foam in the bottom to facilitate this falsehood. What can I say? I like being a little taller! When you have been short your whole life, you not only can’t reach the olive oil and flour above the stove, you also have to give up playing most sports that require you to be taller or jump high or something. I had to kiss that nonexistent modeling career goodbye long before my blossoming phase.
I don’t hate my height, I just hate being the approximate size of a tween but with woman parts. I can’t help wanting to live among the airspace of the slightly taller.
For as long as I can recall, I was getting scolded for walking on my tippy toes. My first pair of heels was a measly 1.5-er from Sketchers—those iridescent babies that came in white, silver, and iridescent blue. Back then, we were pretty poor, but my Aunt Mary was the jam and bought me cute shoes more than a few times. Second pair? Doofy Candies loafer-ish shoes with a three-inch heel, back in the Delia’s days.
I accepted my actual height for a brief period, from about age 15 to 22, when I also eschewed nearly all makeup (and even moisturizer). Let’s just say I never want to go back to that. Later, I was required to wear heels at work as a cocktail waitress, and instead of bitching about the sexism and shade of it all, I almost literally grew to adore the shape and form of my body with a two- to three-inch lift. Once you've climbed couches and hopped velvet ropes like a cartoon version of yourself in said heels while in hot pursuit of a thieving jerk, you truly can wear them anywhere.
This brings me to current times, where I wear at least two extra inches every day. It’s like second nature to me at this point! Sure, I wear slip on sneakers to walk the dog, but most often, you won’t catch me below the 5’4 altitude.
To me, wearing a little something-something is like a bold, red lip—just a fun, simple way for me to feel sexier. I don’t feel self-conscious in flat shoes, but I also don’t feel fully dressed. I consider it much like the difference felt when peeling off leggings to put on skinny jeans. One is comfy and OK, one is slightly less so but looks damned near perfect!
So I mostly rock mid-heel boots with a few strappy Matt Bernson’s in the mix (sample sale prices, of course), but when I want to wear my riding boots or vintage faux-croc Docs, it’s risers for me! You can get them on Amazon and sometimes shoe repair shops have them. If those are too high for you, you can start with 3/4-inch pair from Invisible Heels.
I don’t consider it a major insecurity—just something fixable with fashion. And frankly, if it weren’t for Yoga Toes I don’t think I would ever have been able to wear heels the way I do, which is nearly every day. Will I someday cease to abuse my feet in this way? Perhaps. But the pain of city pedestrian-ing is far less than a 10-hour bartending or waitressing shift, so it’s nothing like it once was, and nothing an Epsom salt bath and some toe spreading won’t fix!
- Anyone else wear risers?
- What's the tallest pair of heels you own?
Photos: Darnell Scott