Why do we wear Cruel Shoes


Why do we wear cruel shoes? What is wrong with us?! When I go shoe shopping, I am automatically drawn to the most incredibly uncomfortable torture devices in the entire store! I have recently bought a few pairs of comfy flats to wear with vintage ensembles but for the most part, I'm all about very high heels that dig into the sides of your feet and make me want to crawl in a hole and die. I like my feet, honestly. Why do I treat them so badly? These fabulous green heels are my cruel shoes. They are so cute, match my two favorite dresses perfectly and make me feel miserable when I wear them. Why don't I throw them away? Because I love them! Yes, very stupid, I know. I have been on the look-out for new green shoes that treat my feet well but so far, no luck! Do you wear cruel shoes? Do you have a trick to combat the very unfashionable limp by the end of the day?

My husband has a very silly sense of humor and is a big Steve Martin fan. He brought home his book "Cruel Shoes" and this short story made me laugh....but only because its SO true!

Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin

Anna knew she had to have some new shoes today, and Carlo had helped her try on every pair in the store. Carlo spoke wearily, "Well, that's every pair of shoes in the place."
"Oh, you must have one more pair...."
"No, not one more pair....Well, we have the cruel shoes, but no one would want..."
Anna interrupted, "Oh, yes, let me see the cruel shoes!"
Carlo looked incredulous. "No, Anna, you don't understand, you see, the cruel shoes are..."
"Get them!"
Carlo disappeared into the back room for a moment, then returned with an ordinary shoebox. He opened the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But these were not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had a right angle turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inwards like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.
Carlo spoke hesitantly,"...Now you see why...they're not fit for humans..."
"Put them on me."
"Put them on me!"
Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes. The screams were incredible. Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.
"I like them."

Read Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes for other wild and crazy short stories such as "Women Without Bones" "How to fold Soup" "Dogs in my Nose" and "The Vengeful Curtain Rod".
Blouse-handmade by me
Skirt-handmade by me
vintage stockings-country meadow antiques in Alton IL
cruel shoes-payless shoes by American Eagle


  1. I wore heels ONE night at Viva this year, and even then I ditched them after 4 hrs. Yes they look cute, but only if you can walk in them...otherwise, cute or no, you look ridiculous. I have decided, that since 99% of cruel shoes are beyond the heel height of our vintage ancestors and are also made of PLASTIC...I won't buy them anymore, no matter how cute. Instead, I will save up for shoes from the likes of Remix, Rocket Originals or

  2. Ah... I know the feeling. All of my favourite shoes seems to be 4 and hald inch heels at the smallest and 7 inch at the tallest. I'm a firm believer in "no pain, no gain" and wear these shoes almost every weekend... or whenever I go out. I simply do not feel that my outfit is complete without killer heels.

    I have now learnt which shoes rub where, and i wear "preventative band aids" in these spots to stop blisters. Only fabric band aids work as plastic ones move to easily. Stockings are a must to cover any visable bandaids. It actually helps quite alot and usually gives me a few good hours in them before I need to kick them off, but I can usually be found sitting rather then dancing or cabbing to places rather then walking.

    The only other thing that keeps me going is party feet, without these fabulous little gel pads I dont think I would make it out of the door. hehe.

    I love the Cruel Shoes story... so many women would do that... me included. Sad, but true.

  3. YES! I'm pretty sure every pair of shoes I own have a personal vendetta against my feet. My most painful pair are gorgeous red leather Faryl Robin heels that I would seriously wear every day if not for the bone crushing agony.


  4. Aww the price of beauty! I have to have the cruel shoes, why is that those that are the most painful work wonders? If I'm wearing heels all day or know by a certain time my feet will begin to hurt I try and sit or lean somewhere as long as I can, try and stand on a cushioned surfaced and secretly take my heels off when no one is around and it's kinda isolated. haha

  5. Oh one more thing! Those are very cute photos love your outfit!

  6. hahahha! I love this post! Probably because it is soo true (and I am a hug Steve Martin fan!). I actually have been trying to find crazy, yet comfortable shoes as of late. I will let you know if I find any! haha

  7. I normally give away shoes to charity if I find that they cut my heels or give me blisters. It's just not worth it! I can take a bit of pain in my heels but if it gets too much I have a sweet boyfriend who carries me :)

    My one true pair of 'cruel shoes' is a size too small for me - they are just too gorgeous to give away though. They're green leather with gold acorns and leaves etched into the design, and they're vintage! I just can't give them up, though it's a weird feeling to take them off and have my bones kinda... slide back into place.

  8. I'm also a huge fan of heels, although I prefer 2-3 inches, otherwise I can't dance in them =) Also, I have to count on havng to walk a gerat deal, even if I'm just out shopping. I use to wear heels every day, but now my feet have their own opinion about that and I'm tuck with orthopedic shoes =( However, when I want to feel pretty of course the painful but beautiful shoes comes out from the closet! =)

    I love your outfit, btw, and the pictures are just great!

  9. I'm so glad that I'm not the only silly woman out there who can't get rid of her cruel shoes. I will someday, sooner than later I hope! Rueby, have you tried on Rocket Originals or Remix? Are they the comfy kind of shoes you can wear all day? If so, I'd love to save up and get a pair! I do look ridiculous limping around after about 4 hours and would love something that is as comfy as it is cute!

  10. This is so true, I have been trying to replace all my cruel shoes with pretty but sensible ones but there are a few pairs that I just cant let go of no matter how much they hurt me.

  11. I havent put on a pair of heels till I bought my Madddens i told you about. Before that I have wore 7 inch heels. thats another store. I twisted my ankle in them. I remember it all so well

  12. I wear heels a lot, but recently I've had to lower the heels or go for flats during the day or if I have a lot of walking to do so I don't end up crippled or bankrupt from getting them reheeled!

    I'm with Miss Kitty Boo. Gel Pads on the insides is the answer!

  13. haha so true! im convinced they make all shoes for us as uncomfortable as possible. i even own flats that dig in and rub in all the sensitive places! flats!

  14. I love cruel shoes, but usually opt for comfy flats....they can be cute, too ;) I love your photos for this post! Especially the sepia toned looks so authentically vintage!

  15. i usually opt for comfort, actually, but i absolutely love your photo narrative of shoe pain!

  16. That's so funny you posted this now, because I was actually in heels all weekend (for once) and my feet are killing me. I love a "cruel shoe" once in a while, but I do so much walking since I'm in school with no car that I usually just wear Mary Janes

  17. HAHAHHHAHAHA That's what I wonder eeeeverytime I walk home from a night out...I am just in love with every pair of shoes that literally kills me and make my feet bleed... I don't know why, but the more uncomfortable, the more I like them!! :(
    Anyway, i'm Georgina frm Barcelona and I've jsut discobered your blog.. and I reeaaaally love it!! I never find vintage clothes or vintage style clothes in my size.. But I still love my big boobs (not that much love for my tummy and lack of butt, I think....)

  18. Is it ok that I NEVER plan to give up my cruel shoes???
    I promise someday I will stop wearing cutoff jean shorts and oxfords tied at the midriff but if I take off my cruel shoes they will ship me back to Munckinland, I'm sure of it!!!!

  19. We all know that situation well! My favorite pair of 1950s stilettos I can't live without...but also can't live within for too long!

  20. I bought a pair of awful shoes at the resale shop last year and wore them the rocky horrow picture show. It was 17 degrees outside and after barhopping I was two miles from my car but i walked it in stocking feet because that was better than leaving the shoes on. My two smallest toes on my left foot were numb for three days, and purple for five.

  21. i HATE when that happens, i have larger feets and i used to have so much problems finding comfy shoes in a reasonable height and price that didn't hurt like hell! but then i found REMIX vintage shoes, they are fantastic, comfy, and look sooo vintage! Also, clarks has some vintage inspired footwear too, they are suuuper comfy !

  22. My secret: carry lots of band-aids and have a pair of flip flops in the car. Or just keep drinking...LOL!

  23. no tricks...high heels high pains! ahahahhahahahahaha but who wants to look so pretty must suffer a little :)


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