I discovered today why my high heeru (high heel) shoes are always getting banged up only around the heel stem - it's the mean streets of Tokyo. Last year I kept noticing that the fabric on all the heels of my shoes was getting ripped and scrunched up and the beau kept saying it's because I use the shoe on the other foot as leverage when taking them off. But no! Today on the way to work I had another heel-stuck-in-the-pavement-but-trying-to-look-cool-about-it moment. Luckily I was walking right next to a building so I ever so casually used the wall for balance as I wrenched out my heels while trying to look fabulous and carefree. When I took these babies (above) out this morning they were fine, fabric intact. Now upon examination I see they got ripped up when my heel got stuck in the man hole cover earlier today. Agh!
I have among other paranoia, including the sound of my own pee, developed heel paranoia. Especially with a certain pair of black pointy heels that I wear more than anything. I swear, I'll be clicking along when something just doesn't feel right. I try adjusting my pace or my gait but something is still up. I become more and more convinced that one of the heels is about to snap off any minute and be left behind on the sidewalk. And not without good reason. Last year I noticed a wobble in one of my black heels and sure enough, the heel had come unstuck from the rest of the shoe. I was still a fair way from a cobbler so I had to soldier on trying to walk so that my heel wouldn't pop off. The next minute it just snapped free and the worst part is, I didn't notice immediately because I was walking so fast - I looked back and there it was lying on the ground. Too mortified to see if anyone was watching I didn't look up but I know I'd laugh if I saw some poor woman's heel snap off like that.
When I got to the cobbler he said it was serious and would have to put some screws in the heel to keep it on. This would take several hours. I had to get back to work. So he loaned me an awful pair of dowdy Office Lady shoes - the kind those dark and dated no-name neighbourhood shoe stores sell (you know the ones if you live here). Kind of orthopedic but desperately trying to be trendy with a stubby square heel and a toe that can't make up its mind to be square or pointy. Plus they were at least a size too small so I could hardly walk. I didn't leave my desk the whole afternoon for fear of being seen in the OL shoes.
I never see Japanese women getting stuck, but I guess they are lighter on their feet than I. I've never seen shoes so beat up as I have here though. Before I found my first shoe cobbler I was convinced there were none after seeing so many women hobbling around on heels that had been worn down to metal nubs.
Aside from the broken heel incident I have constantly gotten my heels stuck in sidewalk cracks, subway grates and the runners of sliding doors. Up until now I never realized how much momentum I build when walking. This becomes painfully clear when your foot is almost ripped off when your heel gets jammed behind you. So even now I test the sturdiness of my heels every so often but I still feel phantom wobbling when I walk.