There was a time when I was never seen in flats. At 5’3, I enjoyed the extra height and it came at little cost because I worked in an office setting and sat most of my day. My lifestyle has changed significantly since then, and now that I find myself on my feet much more especially in Old Town I own (and wear) more flats than I ever dreamed I would.
Still, over the years, I developed a theory on what I think makes a heel wearable. Wearability (a combination of comfort and walkability) does not solely rest on the quality of the shoe. Of course, well made shoes are always preferable but some of my most comfortable heels were relatively inexpensive. Nor does wearability depend on the height of the heel. In my opinion that is a total myth. I have owned 5-inch heels that I could wear longer, were more comfortable and easier to walk in than some of my kitten heels.
No, what makes a heel wearable is ankle support. If your ankle is supported, you can wear a six-inch platform just as easily as you could a two-inch kitten. Ankle support keeps you from wobbling around in the shoe. It prevents you from slipping forward, or slipping out. What makes heels difficult to walk is not that the shoe is balancing on the ground, but that you are balancing in the shoe. If you remove the balancing act by stabilizing the shoe on your foot, you can wear anything.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t wear pumps. They are classic and likely more flattering than some ankle-supporting styles. But if you steer clear of heels altogether because the height intimidates you, try on a pair of cage heels next time. Or a high-heeled bootie. Or really anything with an ankle strap. Just try it and let me know what you think! You can thank me later.