HELL ON HEELS
CAN YOU ENDURE SPRING'S HOT SHOE?
By RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI
May 3, 2007 -- YOU'LL fall head over heels. Maybe literally.
The must-have shoe for spring is the "Tribute" from Yves Saint Laurent, adorned with a towering 5 1/2-inch heel. Sold out in most New York retailers, it's one of the tallest high-fashion shoes ever produced - yet celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani can't wait to walk at elevations usually reserved for Las Vegas dancers and Vivid Video actresses.
The $640-$660 Mary Jane style comes in four colors: violet, red, black suede and black leather. The slingback version comes in violet, black leather and green suede. Adding to the walking challenge - and the reason the heel can go so high - is the 11/2-inch platform on the front of the shoe.
But despite the steep price tag and even steeper height, the shoes are blowing out of stores. And the sky-high heels are so popular that most of YSL's shoes this season now come in a 5 1/2-inch option.
Sure, it's a tall order. But foot fetishists and shoe slaves will both agree that there's no other pair to get this season.
"You're not going to feel sexier in another shoe," says Chris Frey, accessories director at Lucky magazine. "It's one of those things you wear when you're jumping into a cab, going to the event, and jumping out of a cab. I have a shelf life of about two hours in a shoe like this."
Frey says the shoe's insane sex appeal isn't just about the height, but also the shape and style. Plus, she thinks there's something confident, gutsy and cool about a girl who can get that high.
"I think what's so cool about it is we've been seeing platforms for so many seasons and they're not going away. But YSL sexied it up by adding the stiletto," she says. "Plus it's a Mary Jane style that's so hot this season with an ankle strap that's not too high on the ankle so it still makes your leg look super-long."
For Frey, they're also inspirational.
"It's a lunge-inducing shoe because you want to wear the shortest skirt possible with them," she says. "It's like a gym membership for a year in a shoe, because as soon as you put them on you feel five pounds thinner."
But despite the physical and emotional benefits to teetering on these sexy stilettos, it can be a pain in the ankle, hip and back. According to Dr. Rock Positano, director of the NonSurgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery and The Post's health columnist, these shoes weren't made for walking.
"I tell people to wear shoes that make them feel good, but be intelligent in how they choose. If you're going to walk 30 blocks in 3-inch or higher heels, you have to expect the worst. It just isn't a good idea," he says. "If you're going to wear 6-inch-high heels, plan on standing in the corner without moving much."
Luckily, the "Tribute" also comes in a more manageable 3 1/2 -inch version. If you're a wimp.
- Additional reporting by Marina Vataj