What’s a Girl to do in Congested Manhattan? Stop Wearing Heels?


This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)

Considering distance to destination and mode of transportation is a different process for the women of New York. Finding appropriate shoes that coordinate with an outfit is hard enough without having to shuffle through New York City traffic in sexy heels that will get trampled on, making your feet hurt even more than they would have without traffic.

New York is a dress up kinda of town, or at least this is true in the circles I run in. Heels are an order, and heels and the subways aren’t really the best combination. Thus when I moved back to New York a year ago I would not think twice about hailing a cab to take me to my destination – until I found myself parked in traffic at hours when traffic was suppose to be light. Not only was I annoyed that the taxi meter kept going up without getting much closer to my destination but in some cases it was no longer faster to take a cab over public transportation to get around town.

In fact, last year after about a month of living back in Manhattan from LA a taxi driver told me, after I had finished complaining about how the traffic was making me late to my appointment, “If you’re running late, it’s better to not take a cab.” I thought to myself, “Seriously, I only left the City for four years, did traffic really get that much worse?”

I knew the cab driver was trying to excuse his poor decision to go down 10th Avenue as opposed to the Westside Highway, but in the few weeks that I had been back I had subconsciously noticed that there was some truth to his view, but still I decided to informally test the taxi driver’s statement.

For the most part traffic in Manhattan has gotten formidably more unbearable in the past five years. On a busy night there are times that it takes me an hour (and almost $30) to get to get to the Lower East Side from Columbia, whereas before I could be there in 20 minutes. I can get to the same destination in 45 minutes to an hour if I take the subway, which only costs $2.25. But schlepping through concrete sidewalks and the subway in 3inch heels is no fun and can make the $25 plus worth it especially if you’re splitting the fare with at least another friend. But still, $30 bucks just to get to your destination is a bit outrageous when it is less than 5 miles.

The thing that I hate the most about wearing heels on the subway is that sometimes there are no seats for you to use or even worse, the subway car is so packed and there is nowhere for you to safely stand without being highly exposed to being stepped on. It all begs the question: what’s a Manhattan girl going to do, stop wearing heels? Maybe transport planners should consider if the public transport system is heel-friendly.

Image courtesy of John Fraissinet on flickr

  • http://www.kimharding.net/blog/?cat=9 Kim

    What is a girl to do? Learn from their counterparts in Copenhagen what else…

  • Ineke

    Learn from the Dutch: start cycling with heels. No problems!

  • http://twitter.com/Cantala59 CambridgeRaincoatCo

    Get yourself a nice upright bicycle aka Pashley, the Dutch and the Danish, subscribe to the Cycle Chic Manifesto.  Cycling in heels is so much quicker and easier than walking in them . . .

  • http://twitter.com/Cantala59 CambridgeRaincoatCo

    P.S. Get yourself a Savile Row styled Cambridge Raincoat so you still look cool & stylish in wet weather, all year round.  http://www.cambridgeraincoats.co.uk