What Even Is a Heel?

What Even Is a Heel?

The phenomenon of men in heels is sweeping the universe, according to various close observers of the fashion world. But when I think of heels, I think of a pointy-ass stiletto. I think of a shoe that crushes your toes together like sweaty, screaming sardines, and breaks your kneecaps so you can’t walk again for a week. I understand there are lots of types of heels—kitten, pumps, wedges, whatever—and that they don’t all fit that narrow description. But are the shoes on Shia LaBeouf’s feet heels? Or are they just…shoes?


Don’t get me wrong, I like them. According to Vogue, LaBeouf wore the Gucci loafers to the London premiere of his new film Honey Boy. As the magazine puts it, The ’70s inspired, retro-chic shoes are the perfect heel height for dipping one’s toe into the trend without being as intimidating as, say, a full-on heel.”

If we’re going to applaud him for wearing a heel, it should actually be a heel. (See: Sam Smith, Jonathan Van Ness), and not just a slightly-elevated dress shoe. Also, I don’t think LaBeouf is really fearful of courting attention. Remember the rat tail? Remember literally everything else?

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