Power Flats vs. Power Heels

CWIB recently tweeted about a new fashion trend in work shoes. Power flats may replace power heels in the future, but there is something to be said about a great pair of heels. Every girl has their favorite, go-to pair in their closet. Personally, when I put on a pair of heels I feel like I can take over the world—or at least I feel like that for the first twenty minutes before my feet start to hurt. Heels have a magic to them: “they add height, lengthen the calf and arch the foot flirtatiously,” as described by Christina Binkley, the author of the article “Power Flats Challenge High Heels,” that was published in the Wall Street Journal.

The reality of the work world today is not conducive to five-inch heels, but for a long time heels have been the symbol of women being able to do it all. Stephanie Burns, a writer for Forbes, captured this mindset of women in business: “No matter what is going on in our lives, we don’t stop until we get what we want. If we come across a roadblock, we find creative ways to get over it and around it – all in stilettos and Spanx. We’re not afraid.”

No woman doubts the difficulty of wearing heels. Binkley writes, “heels do slow you down: Just ask any woman who has lagged, mincing, behind the long strides of her male colleagues—or teetered on one foot outside the entrance to her next meeting while changing from walking shoes to stilettos. For that matter, consider the gross national product spent on taxis by women who can’t hobble six blocks in 4-inch heels.”

Power flats are indicative of modern culture and may have come to save the day. Women’s lives are busier, faster, and more demanding than ever before. The power flat, in contrast to the ballet flat, is angular and increasing in popularity for working women with complex lives. Thankfully, women now have the option of looking powerful in their flats when our feet just cannot take any more.

Yet despite the new trend in power flats, which are, pointy, strong, and comfortable, I doubt heels will ever truly go out of style. Although Binkley argues the irrefutable “comfort advantage” of the power flat, the feeling of power that come from wearing a great pair of heels may take a while to dissipate among women.

Regardless of the shoes we wear, authority comes from within. Our speakers this semester have shown us that in the end hard work and commitment are what matter. We as women need to be dedicated to and passionate about the work we do. When Lee Woodruff and Shannon Fitzgerald spoke about their careers and how they got there we were all impressed and inspired; however, I cannot recall if either of them wore heels.

At the end of the day whether you are comfortable in your power flats or achy from your power heels it is not what we wear that generates success. Power is within all of us as we embark on the path to our future careers. Although appropriate dress for interviews, internships, and jobs is important, we must remember and focus on the power and confidence within ourselves, not simply our shoes.

Be sure to check out these great articles:

Power Flats Challenge High Heels

Newest Flats Are Far From Dowdy, Bold for the Boardroom, Easy on Toes

Christina Binkley


Four Advantages To Being A Female Entrepreneur

Stephanie Burns



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