I think I speak for many women when I say that heels are worth the suffering they inflict. Even the occasional tumble down subway stairs–not that this has happened to me (ahem)–is worth it for the miraculous changes they bring to the appearance of your legs, butt, and mojo in general.
I wear heels pretty much everyday. They rank in height from “I can walk across town in these” to “out of the cab and right to a chair, where I will dangle them for all to admire.” I’m just not a flats person. But I won’t lie and say that heels are always easy. Sometimes I’m happy to get the damn things off.
But there could be a solution: A British company called Afterheels offers a £5 ($8) emergency ballet flat for those times when you just can’t bear to run around in your Balenciaga architectural stunners anymore.
Afterheels are dispensed from old cigarette vending machines strategically placed in clubs throughout the UK (US and Canadian patents are pending). Michael Stead, the inventor of the Afterheel, worked with podiatrists, women who actually wear heels, and aerospace scientists to come up with the shoe equivalent of emergency contraception.
The shoes fold up to fit into a carton the size of a cigarette box, which also includes a pouch to carry home your offending heels. The weirdest/coolest part? Afterheels are biodegradable, and have the approximate lifespan of an oak leaf. They repel glass and presumably other nastiness that one finds on the streets surrounding a nightclub.
Afterheels are entering a sort of crowded cheapo ballet flat market. Rollasole ballet flats, which also got their start in vending machines in the UK, are sold at Target for $9.99, and got a shout out from Perez Hilton back in 2009. Dr. Scholl’s just came out with Fast Flats, and each pair comes with a “chic wristlet.” I’ve seen similar flats at the Gap, too.
My first thought was: do we really need these? My second one was: wait, I sometimes carry flats around for just this purpose. My third was: OK, maybe it’s a good idea, but let’s think about better marketing.
How about putting a vending machine in all shoe departments? Or better yet, each designer should make their own version and include it with all heels over four inches. There could be a huge collectors’ market for these. Imagine what Miuccia could do with little rubbery ballet flats.
Do you/would you wear these? Or would you rather suffer all night long in your killer heels?