Saying that, women have driven in heels since the Victorian period and inevitably always will. However, as women became far more involved in sports, work and leisure activities, the simple Victorian boot became far more practical. The boot heel was lowered and as fashions moved forward the shoe gradually replaced the boot.
By the 1950s, the pump and sandal were a popular choice of shoe, with the stiletto heel visible on runways from 1954. Driving in stilettos was a tricky task and still is today as shoe trends still favor the high heel.
However, this need not limit your choice in clothing and your favorite pair of party shoes need not stay in the wardrobe simply because you’re driving. Just make sure you have a couple of low-heeled kittens, court shoes or Mary Janes for your driving activities.
Low heeled shoes are not simply safer, but they are sexy too and right now, as L.K. Bennett tells us, “the kitten heel is having a renaissance”.
The kitten heel is a shoe with a low, thin-based heel set in a little from the back of the shoe. This style of shoe was first seen on runways in the 1950s and offers a great alternative to the platform, stiletto and wedge. With major fashion designers contributing to today’s kitten styles, there’s no end to the different features, colors and fabrics used to re-invent this classic piece of footwear. Driving in kittens is therefore not just a practical choice, as it’s a fashion based one too.
For an alternative driving option, court shoes provide a safe yet stylish approach to driving in heels with a wide range of styles available to match an outfit. Wear court shoes with a skirt, a trouser suit or even jeans. With buckles, bows and plain, silk or in suede, this shoe will suit any occasion and any journey.
The practical qualities of the court shoe arise from its believed origin as an invention to stop a rider’s foot from slipping when on horseback. Styles have varied throughout history and although the court shoe was at one stage extravagantly embroidered and embellished, it has now become a simple yet classic choice when it comes to fashion accessories. It’s not surprising given their elegant look and lower heel that court shoes have become a key piece of footwear for the ballroom dancer.
A development of the court shoe and offering another fashionable option for the female driver is the Mary Jane shoe which, like the court shoe and later developments of this style, is broad across the toes with a low heel. However, part of the defining feature of this type of shoe is its single-buckle strap by the instep or around the ankle, which makes it a perfect choice for a comfortable driving experience.
With these three key fashionable options, driving need not be an activity destined for flats, but a chance to add a stylish twist to your existing wardrobe.