Monday, February 9, 2015

Heels Vs. Pumps

What defines a shoe as a high heel vs. a pump? While there are certainly more critical questions facing our world, the right shoes can make your outfit. Learning a bit more about the terms used to describe shoes can help you pick out the shoes you want when you are shopping online or via a catalog, reducing returns and making your outfits perfect from head to toe. Picking out the perfect shoes in your local shoe store isn't so hard, but knowing more can still help you know what you are looking for before you start trying on shoes.


    Platform shoes of various sorts have a long history for men and women. Sturdy platforms could provide protection from both weather and the dirt of the streets. During the Middle Ages, both men and women wore pattens, or detachable wooden soles with their shoes. Chopines, an extreme sort of platform shoe, became quite stylish during the Venetian renaissance, sometimes reaching extreme heights of as much as 30 inches. Heeled shoes were also worn for riding; however, by the late 16th century, heeled shoes, sometimes quite high, were fashionable for royal women. High heels remained fashionable until the end of the French revolution, when flatter shoes were favored.

The Development of the Modern Heel

    Low-heeled slippers, boots and shoes remained fashionable until the 1860s. The invention of the sewing machine made high heels more accessible. Advertisers promoted the health benefits of high-heeled shoes, including reduced backaches and better posture. The delicate instep created by high heels, as well as the appearance of a petite and dainty foot was eroticized, adding to the popularity of heeled shoes among women. Flatter shoes came back into vogue at the beginning of the 20th century and remained so until the flapper era of the 1920s.


    There are a number of styles of high heeled shoes. Pumps are the most basic high-heeled shoe. The shoe has a relatively low vamp and surrounds the entire foot. A sling back replaces the back of the shoe with a strap. A peep toe can be cut like a pump or have a stiletto heel; however, there is a small opening allowing the toes to show. A heel without a significant curve is standard for a pump. Kitten heels are quite low heels with a very fine point. A stacked or chunky heel has a wider base and is a more stable shoe. Stiletto heels are quite high with a very thin heel.


    Pumps are the classic choice for professional women's wear. Choose a pump with a mid-height heel for a clean and businesslike look. A 2-inch to 2.5-inch heel is comfortable for walking. Choose quality leather pumps in a classic style for a shoe that will last for years and work with a variety of outfits. If your budget allows, purchase a new pair of pumps occasionally, opting for a trendier heel shape or details to keep your look fresh. Chunkier heels can still work well with a pump and may be more comfortable.


    High heels remain the elegant choice for evening wear. While a very high strappy heel is beautiful and sexy, the appeal is lost if the shoe is uncomfortable and makes walking difficult. When choosing high heels, be sure that you can comfortably walk in the shoe. If you dislike very high heels, a kitten heel offers a pretty and practical alternative. Chunkier heels have been a favorite among women and can be quite appropriate for evenings out, especially in a dressier material or if accented with a pretty peep toe or other detailing.

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