It’s official. These are my favorite shoes for fall.
They instantly turn any outfit into an epic stop-you-on-the-street-and-ask-you-where-you-got-those-shoes! outfit.
On the other hand. Four. Inch. Heels.
Not to be a baby … but … walking in 4 inch heels is hard, okay?
Don’t get me wrong, I can fake it for a little while and stomp around like a model. But it only lasts from the house to the car, the car to the restaurant door, the restaurant door to the table, and then back to the restaurant door. They don’t even last all the way back to the car or the house.
Yes. I’m the barefooted girl, tiptoeing around in the parking lot, trying desperately to avoid the evil shards of glass.
No more. I’m going to do something about it.
I’m going to a shoe cobbler. To shorten the heels.
According to my research, it’s possible to shorten heels up to about an inch. Any more than that, and you start to mess with the shoe’s structure. But still. Three inches? Cake. Four? FML.
I’ll report back!
Have you ever taken your shoes to a cobbler? Ever shortened a heel? Do tell!
Shoes: Aldo — on clearance!
Jacket: old from Zara (similar)
Bag: Marc Jacobs
I own one lone pair of heels and I struggle to wear them out for an entire evening (I’m talking 2-4 hours MAX). I just can’t do it and I don’t want to. I don’t want to be in pain or uncomfortable – life is too short!
Pro tip: buy a pair of flats that can squeeze into your handbag and slip them on when the pain gets too much to bare – no more tip toeing bare foot in the parking lot!
You have to keep us updated on how the shortening of the heel went! I’ve never actually seen someone do that. So I wanna know, hot it feels walking in them afterwards and how they look.
Very interesting idea. I did not even know that was a thing. I also passed on these and similar shoes due to heel height. I am 5’10” and a 4″ heel just makes me feel too tall for everyday life. I do love theses shoes (and a similar from Madewell). Let us know how it goes. I do have a very good cobbler I use for repair. He is epensive but it can be worth it.
I adore the waves but im loving the straight hair for a ‘edgy’ look…woohoo hot mama! :D
Do let me know how that went! I got a pair of black ankle booties just like that, love them, but the heel is like half an inch too high to be somewhat comfortable for +30min…
Angela Beedle says
Please let us know how this works out! I own a pair of heels I’m constantly thinking would look amazing with everything, except I’m determined that the pitch had to be wrong from the beginning (tho it could just be that I’m really bad at heels). I always feel thrown forward in them.
Anyway, if this works for you I’m so doing it!
And thanks for admitting this. I sometimes think I’m the only one!
I am so glad I found your minimal style blog. I have been struggling with wanting to do this for some time. As an ex-retail manager I impulse shop constantly. Spending money on a bunch of clothes I wear once and end up hating. So thank you for this amazing blog.
I can’t wait to hear if you can shorten the heel! I’d be all about these shoes if they were shorter.
You look like a BA with your hair straight and a leather jacket on. So effortlessly cool. Awesome!
Robin Reetz says
Never shortened a heel but I am a big fan of cobblers. Those people can work wonders. Either way, I hear you – I kind of hate heels and never wear them. I just never really feel like “me”, you know?
Love the candor. So many style bloggers wear heels all the time, and I wonder how soon they come off after the photos. Is it really their “real” style? I’m a klutz, so I’m careful about heel height. I’d be dangerous in 4″ heels! Have you considered a pair of Tieks to toss in your purse? They are on my wish list!
I’ve heard some not-great things about the durability of Tieks. Which is a bummer considering how expensive they are.
Steph M says
My first pair of fashion boots my first year as a full-time teacher back on Boxing Day 2005: I loved them but the legs were way too big for my skinny calves. I brought them to an old Italian man to take in while we went to visit family and on the way back through Toronto, we picked them up. Totally worth the money. Another pair of shoes I bought that day were satin Nine West ballet flats; I’ve had them re-heeled. I also re-soled my knee-high grey boots from Holland. They are still going strong after four winters, and the flats are still in my wardrobe even though they are nine years old!
Yes, I’ve shortened heels but not more than the heel cap otherwise it ruins the arch. Certainly not an inch, however. Finding a good cobbler is priceless!
I would love some shoe designers to read this, and make all those beautiful shoes with shorter heels. I have definitely suffered for fabulous 4″ heels too many times. And while switching to flats is an option, it just isn’t as satisfying as having a slightly shorter, but still beautiful shoe. So come on shoe designers, listen to Caroline, and make shorter heels!
There exist ~fabulous~ heels with a 3 inch heel. It is possible to find them.
i never knew you could get heels shortened! As someone who’s 5’2 i really should learn to walk in higher heels but can never make it longer than an hour or so
I’ve never gotten my heels shortened, only re-lengthened after wearing them down so far! I make a point to buy flats almost exclusively because heels are just too damn bad for my feet. I’d be interested to see how yours look after shortening.
I loved the shoes you are wearing and purchased them myself a while back, but I passed on them for the exact same reason. They are very versatile and can go casual or dressy but I knew either way I wouldn’t be able to stand and walk in them for 8+ hours a day at work. I find that 3″ is tolerable, but not much more than that. I agree with Karen on your candor, it’s very refreshing and also why people love this blog-because it seems so much more real than the others! I too wonder when I’ve seen other blogs “Do they actually wear those shoes all day or just for the photos?” Kudos to you Caroline and thanks for the continued honesty.
You should try to get them shortened! I just came here after listening (only halfway through so far) to Jess Lively’s podcast interview with you. So far I am loving the idea of a capsule wardrobe, and your style, especially! Can’t wait to look around more.
I’m really surprised to hear you could lower heels an inch without messing up the arch/structure…wouldn’t the entire shoe angle be tipped up in the front? If this works out for you, I’ll be excited to try it myself!
You could only do about 1/4 in, anymore than that and you risk ruining the shoe.
I have a few pairs of shoes that I never wear simply because they are too high. I’ve never thought about having the heel lowered, and now I’m intrigued! Can you do an update one you’ve had this done? I’d love to know how they turned out.
Andrea H says
I haven’t shortened heals, but I love me a good cobbler! I had a pair of Frye boots (Carson pull ons) that I bought a few seasons ago made into a pair of shortie boots for this fall. Best choice ever! They are currently my favorite shoes this season, besides my leather vans :)
That is awesome, Andrea! I’m excited to hear that they transformed your boots into booties — so cool. Tucking that one away in the back of my brain. :) xo Caroline
What a difference an inch makes. :-) My limit is about 3 inches too. My favorite pair of boots have that heel height and I am about to take them to the cobbler to see if they can be resoled. Fingers crossed! I’m also curious as to how your heel lowering goes. I didn’t know that was possible.
Looking at your posts, I’ve always been surprised that you wear heels so often! They look great, but I always (personally) feel like if I’m wearing comfy jeans or sweats, the last thing I want to do is wear uncomfortable shoes! Especially since shoe discomfort is one you can really feel. I also live in New York so my shoe choices have to be much, much more pragmatic than if I was living somewhere where I commuted by car. Thanks for your honesty. Good luck with the shortening!
Hi Joanna! I think about that all the time — if I lived in a walking city, I’d be much less likely to wear heels. :) But as it is, especially in the fall, I love my ankle boots with a 2-3 inch heel + can walk in them all day — at least for the amount of walking I do. ;) xo Caroline
I have a pair that I could totally do this for! I am so excited to hear about your shoe journey :)
I have. I found the perfect shoes for my wedding, but they were too high for me – I’m a flats kind of girl. I bought it anyway and took it to the cobbler. It worked perfectly! If you find a good cobbler, he’ll know how much he can shorten it. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!
Yay! So glad to hear you had a positive experience, Anathalia! Thanks for sharing. :) xo Caroline
This is my favorite look so far! Also, those joggers look way better on you than on the Aritzia model—I never would’ve given them a second look, but now I kind of want them:)
Caroline, I found your blog via Shutterbean.com, listened to the Lively Show podcast and have been pouring over your blog ever since. Can’t tell you much your interview spoke to me – SO many ah-ha! moments for me! I have never ever had any desire to read a fashion blog, have struggled with shopping and there is a big disconnect from what I feel like I’d like for my “style” to be, and what the clothes in my closet actually say it is… I had a baby almost a year ago so I went nine months only adding maternity clothes to my “wardrobe,” then living in mostly loungewear for the past year since my son was born… I’m more lost than ever. I’ve been feeling ready to put more effort into my clothes and appearance because I always, always feel better about myself when I do, but I have been so overwhelmed about how on earth to even begin. Your blog has totally given me clarity and direction and I am SO excited to start getting things in gear. I filled out the wardrobe planner – and get this – my husband wants to fill one out too! Haha. I’m starting with cleaning out the closet today. :) Thank you, thank you!
P.S. GREAT idea to go to a cobbler! Can’t wait to hear about your experience!
Wow, thanks for mentioning The Lively Show! I’m binge listening now!
@Rachel – I hear you! A friend posted a link to this blog on Facebook in September and I was *totally* intrigued by this idea, and it finally got me out of the weird post-nursing Twilight Zone of ratty old maternity clothes and sweats. I’m wearing my first capsule now and am LOVING clothes like I haven’t in a long time (it’s been 5.5 years since my first pregnancy and I’ve been shlumping around in ill-fitting clothes since then!)
I’m finally excited about my wardrobe and appearance again, even if I’m nowhere near the size or shape I was before. I’m eternally grateful to Caroline for bringing the spark back to my fashion life :D
I have also taken boots to My Shoe Guy to get shortened. Its a Mom & Pop shop and I’ve been going to them for over 10 years. They have a 1 inch limit on heels as well, just like you said they mess with the structure of the shoe. I am a flats girl alllllllllllllllll the way so when I do find a pair of heels that I like I go straight to them. An inch makes a big difference sometimes.
Jackie (York Avenue) says
I’ve always wondered if that could be done! Being 5 foot 9 inches, I’m probably a lot worse at walking in heels than you (due to extreme lack of practice). Plus I always feel kind of like I’m towering over everyone when I wear heels. However, I’m definitely looking to branch out into heel territory, so I’ll be very curious to hear how this works out. I wish companies would make shoes with shorter heels! So hard to find cute ones with two inch heels, which I fear is my limit in terms of being able to walk.
Kelly L says
I do it ALL THE TIME! You know when the pressure is just a little too far forward and kills the ball of your foot and your toes? And sometimes you have a pair where the pressure is in just the right spot to make them comfortable (or at least bearable)? The shortened heel is just enough to rock that pressure back onto just the right spot. I’ve rescued at least 15 pairs of my shoes that were house to dinner to car only. You’ll be SO GLAD YOU DID! It made all the difference for my shoes I previously wore once and then let languish in the back of my closet…
So excited to hear your happy experiences, Kelly! I’m excited to try it! xo Caroline
Lani S. says
Yes, I shortened the heels on a pair of boots last fall. I think they took off about 3/4 inch. They will tell you how much they can take off without messing up the shoe structure. The difference was immediately noticeable and totally worth it! Love your blog BTW. I’m currently trying to put together my fall capsule wardrobe!
Yes, I have used a cobbler to repair shoes many times. Sadly, it’s a dying art & the one in my town retired & there is nobody to replace him. Now I have to go 40-50 miles to get shoes repaired :(
Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
As little as 1/4″ can change the comfort level of your heels, but shortening them too much can make them unstable and difficult to repair. Based on looking at them, I think you can shorten them by about 1/2″. I wouldn’t shorten them further without finding a true expert to do the work.
Thanks for the advice, Christin! xo Caroline
Hi Caroline! I look forward to reading your blog daily!! I was wondering what size your black Marc Jacobs bag is? There is the medium size bag, and the smaller “mini” version which is about 10″ or so wide. What a great idea to dress this up without the straps!!
Hi Diane! It’s the mini! I adore it. :) xo Caroline
Thanks Caroline! Your writings have been really inspiring! I have considerably changed my wardrobe (not at 33 yet:) Progress right? I noticed the mini bag also comes in a color called Faded Aluminum, but trying to be minimalist, the black is probably better, don’t you think?
I think it’s okay to go with whatever color feels most “you.” For me, that was black. :) I bet the faded aluminum would go with just about everything too.
Ok thank you Caroline!! I will see which one suits me best.
Hi! I too found you via the Joy the Baker podcast (with Shutterbean) and so glad I did! For the past few days I have been pouring over my closet and getting rid of TONS of stuff. My shopping was outta control because I’m an emotional shopper- it makes me feel good. But it really doesn’t because stuff doesn’t make you happy. Btw, I am sending my stuff to Twice Clothing ( https://liketwice.com/4ub1Z – this is a referral address) and getting a little extra cash- way better than hauling all my junk to a consignment store.
I have used a cobbler to stretch the calf of a knee-length Frye boot that wouldn’t go over my jeans. Best decision ever- I love those boots and they should last for many years.
So glad I was directed to your blog- it’s changing my life! :)
Lynn @ The Actor's Diet says
Girl, you are blowing my mind. SHORTEN YOUR HEELS?!? I had no idea things like this were possible! Just discovered your blog via the podcast you did on The Lively Show. You’re cool.
Those shoes really do look great on, and I thought the wider stacked heel would make them easier on the foot, but I guess not. Thanks for taking one for the team ;D
I had no idea a cobbler could shorten a heel. I’m curious about the price if you are comfortable sharing. I’d suspect that for most of the shoes I tend to buy (<$100) it might not be worth the cost.
Hi Anandi! I typically go for less expensive shoes too, but I actually don’t mind putting a little extra into them sometimes if I really love them. According to the bit of research I’ve done, it should be $10-15 per heel to shorten them. Alright with me — especially since I got the shoes on sale anyway. :) xo Caroline
Oh wow, that is WAY cheaper than I expected. Definitely worth a try! Thanks for sharing!
Didn’t even know that was possible! I have a pair of heels that could probably need a trip to the shoe cobbler too. Let us know how that goes.
Kimi, twenty-something simple says
I’ve never even heard of that being a thing…how much does it usually cost? Why wouldn’t you find a pair of booties with a heel height you’re comfortable with from the start? It seems like it would be a ton of extra money (maybe not a ton, but extra money nonetheless) for something you could avoid had you started researching earlier. Nevertheless, I’m interested to hear how it goes and see the difference in new posts (if the photos haven’t all been taken already, which I hope they haven’t cause I want to see the difference, haha)!
According to the bit of research I did, it should be $10-15 per shoe — which is great in my book + worth it to me. Of course we’ll see, but that’s the fun of the experiment! :)
These particular shoes were my “it” shoes of the fall — I actually had spent a good deal of time looking for similar shoes, but to me these were the ones. I was willing to deal with a 4 inch heel because I loved them exactly as they were + they felt so me. Then I discovered that it’s possible to shorten heels, so my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it out on my favorite shoes.
Also, while we took photos beforehand for the summer capsule (because hubby + I both have full time jobs outside Unfancy), this time we’re shooting as we go so you’ll get to see the difference. :)
I’ve never taken my shoes to a cobbler before but that’s a genius idea, I’ve lost my ability to walk in heels haha
Sophia // sophiebysophia.blogspot.com
I LOVE your blog! I have some similar items and I just ordered those booties (with a coupon and free shipping came to $53!). I like that you take very simple pieces and make them into amazing outfits. I too, like your other readers, am guilty of buying things simply because they are cute and ignoring fit and functionality. I also live with my boyfriend in a small apartment that cannot hold anymore of my clothes, shoes, and bags! Thank you for providing a way to stay fashionable without breaking the bank and your closet doors!
Elle T. says
As a new member of your readership, I just wanted to say that you are amazing at designing ensembles out of individual pieces that my extravagance-crazed eye wouldn’t have gravitated to at first glance. Everything has great detailing and when put together the way you do, the final effect is so harmonious and feels ready for anything! Also the photos taken by your husband look great; a lot more warmth and personality than simple tripod photos taken with a remote, and somehow I can feel the affection in them, if that doesn’t sound too crazy or weird. :) I love your can-do approach with modifying clothes to fit your needs, and this idea is a great one. Hope it works out! Thanks for being such a positive internet presence (we need more of those). Looking forward to future posts.
I love the way you’ve styled those joggers. I need to get me a pair like those. They look soo comfy!
I love those shoes and looked at them in the store, but knew the heel was out of my limited range.
Has anyone (Caroline??) seen anything similar with a lower heel (2 inch would be ideal)? I’m willing to lose a few degrees of cuteness for walk ability, but really love the style!
Love this outfit, Caroline! So urban cool, but comfy with the joggers! Genius tip and idea to have your heels shortened. 4inches are impossible for me. 3 inches can even push it a little too far. Excited to hear how your experience goes!
Davida @ SHE uncovered says
I am next level awkward walking in heels! Admittedly I totally buy my heels from comfort shoe stores where my grandma buys her super-grandma runners. I just shared my deepest and darkest secret with you haha
I know I’m late to the party on this post, but I wanted to ask you about your wool joggers! I can’t wear wool sweaters because they make me itch around my neck and decolletage, but I am LOVING those pants! What’s your experience with the fabric been?? I’m wondering if I could pull off wearing wool on my legs sans irritation.
Thanks for having such a kick-a$$ blog! :)
Hi Olivia! I’ve always avoided wool sweaters like crazy — I just can’t deal with it scratching my neck. But wool on my legs actually doesn’t bother me that much. If you’re worried about it, you can always try putting tights or thin leggings underneath them. :) xo Caroline
Jackie James says
I really really want to know what happened when you looked into lowering those heels! Please please….
Hi Jackie! I actually wrote a follow-up post here.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned :( xo, Caroline