I've worn heels to the playground with success -- kitten heels, wedges, what I would call a practical little lift. They were nowhere near the 4-inch heels with a 1-inch platform I fell in love with and decided I needed when discussing not your typical kind of mom style. I saw nothing wrong with wearing sky-high shoes when out playing with the kids. So I decided to try it myself.
I didn't go to a concrete playground. Nor did I visit one that was covered in flat rubber mats. I went big and bold for my day out five inches taller to play with my 2 1/2-year-old twins. I went to a playground with the ground covered in mulch. I played on the swings, and slides, and the wood castle-like maze structure. And I even went into the sandbox, heels and all. Check out my adventure.
Wearing heels on soft ground is quite different than prancing around in them on something solid. Actually, prancing is a good word to use to describe the feeling of essentially tip-toeing on mulch. The mounds that surround the swings were particularly challenging -- uneven ground makes a five-inch heel inches higher. I might as well have worn ballet slippers and felt my calf muscles straining. A little extra workout when out with the kids? Don't mind if I do. Toppling over because my heels got caught up in the dirt? No thanks. Mama doesn't need any unnecessary boo-boos.
Let me say this: I'd like to think I'm a high heel professional. I've been wearing them for years, never wear sneakers unless I'm working out, which isn't often unless you count riding a bike, and I can wear heels when I bike, too. I wore heels all through my twin pregnancy up until the time my feet got so swollen I didn't fit into any shoe anymore. But I did do all my heel wearing on hard floors and concrete. Playground heel wearing is a totally different thing. Particularly when they involve uneven surfaces. I do think a little wedge is the perfect shoe. I like a little lift. My feet thank me when they are on a tiny incline and hate me when I wear flip flops. But heels like this at a playground like this was a walk into the unknown.
It's doable but can be dangerous. If you have kids like mine who decide that they want to be "uppy now! uppy now!" and dash into your arms when you least expect it, you realize how easy it is to twist an ankle when your heels are far from the mushy ground. You learn how unsteady you really are when trying to "save" your kid from the top of the castle maze. Balancing a 30-something-pound toddler on your hip while you are trying to push the other one on the swing becomes a true test of the strength of the balls of your feet.
Still, I didn't impale any children while sliding down the slide. I didn't soar feet first into the air on the swing with my weapon feet. But I did venture into the sandbox. Wearing high heels in the sand is an interesting feeling -- one that took me way back. I think the last time I did such a thing I was over a decade younger and it involved the beach, booze, and boys. A trifecta of dangerous Bs when combined. This time I was with my twin toddlers -- who combined always have danger potential. At their loopiest they do act like drunken little hell-raisers who go from tears to screaming, "I'm happy, Mommy!" six times in an hour. Oh sand in my toes! Sand rubbing against the soles of my shoes! My nostalgia was quickly interrupted by my son who decided to bury my heels in the sand.
Not exactly the kind of activity good for expensive shoes. But sand brushes off easily, and I'm nowhere near as uptight as I once was about things like that. Something inside me softened once I entered mom-territory -- thank goodness. I'd rather have fun with my kids than worry about what I'm wearing and if it will get ruined or stained. Which is probably why my sensible and so comfortable Worishofer sandals are in desperate need of a cobbler. I wear them every day, everywhere I go, and never have that Oh gosh! I wore these shoes yesterday, I can't wear them again feeling.
It was a neat experiment to wear these very high heels to the playground though. I did feel pretty fabulous -- sexy heels will do that to you every time even in unsuspecting places, even with an audience that sees everything as a toy. But they aren't the most comfy choice, even for me, the heel lover. Would I do it again? Sure, if the situation called for it -- if I needed to wear high heels somewhere and the playground was just one part of our day. Or even if I just needed or wanted that boost. You know like how you wear a sunny dress on a rainy day? Same deal. Just because we're moms doesn't mean you have to stop being you. Sure we make concessions, but we don't always have to. And if I ever saw another mom at the park in a pair of sexy stilettos, I would think she's damn cool.
Would you ever wear heels at the playground?
Images via Samantha June/Arius Photography