The phrase "commuting shoe" is enough to send many professional women over the footwear-edge, haunted by visions of modern day Working Girl troops in laced up New Balances or pedicure-exposing Havaianas.
While the silhouette of a stiletto looks infinitely more stylish and commanding than a running shoe or thong sandal, professional women making their way into office-buildings in cities and suburbs across the country in comfortable shoes have the right idea. "Wearing heels will change a person's center of gravity," says Dr. Robin Ross, D.P.M., a practicing podiatrist and spokeswoman for the New York State Podiatric Medical Association. Altering the balanced position of your body can lead to falls, sprains and breaks, not to mention back pain. The many effects of tight high-heels read like a laundry list of unsightliness: bursitis, bunions and corns included.
But is there a middle ground between angry, callused feet and the self-consciousness of sportswear commuting?
Blogger Laura Schooler, of Guerilla Shopper is one of the millions of professional women who bypass this fashion dilemma by wearing comfortable flats on the commute and changing at the office into what she calls her "good shoes." She carries her Elie Tahari pumps when she walks to the office each day in flats, but is careful to bring them home with her in case she wants to wear them out at night.
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Image: Fashionable Flat - This stylish (and waterproof!) flat is from Geox