Love the look of a heel, but hate walking all day in stilettos? These sustainable block heel shoes are a great solution!
By Lora O’Brien
To paraphrase Marilyn Monroe’s famous quote, if you give a girl the right shoes, she can conquer the world! And we think we’ve found the shoes that can do just that.
Despite the trend for trainers, heeled shoes are inevitably a big part of most women’s wardrobes. Why? Well, whether you like kitten heels or stilettos, heels are just simply sexy! They elongate legs and boost height and confidence. They’re a statement accessory for any outfit. I mean, shoes can make or break a look, am I right?
And that’s been true for decades. If not centuries. In fact, the history of high heels is pretty interesting. For example, did you know heels were originally worn to avoid walking in the filth that once littered our streets? And that other heels were designed to be worn by men?
Like most things, heels have evolved hugely over the years, and many styles have come and gone. But one style that has withstood the test of time and always remained on our radar is the block heel. And what’s not to love? These heels are stylish without being uncomfortable. You don’t have to worry about them snapping or getting caught in the cracks of the pavement. And they’re effortlessly chic!
But where did the block heel originate from? Let’s explore.
The history of the blocked heel
Blocked heel shoes evolved from what was called the pump. This footwear dates back to the 16th century. In this era, one-inched heel shoes or boots were super popular, for good reason: the heel stuck in the stirrups, making horse riding easier. Persians invented this look, and it was mainly worn by men.
Around the same time, Catherine de Medici decided to rock a heel at her wedding. She was only around 150 centimetres tall and apparently wanted to appear taller at her wedding.
Blocked heels remained popular throughout the centuries with European royalty – both male and female. I mean, what better way to quite literally raise yourself above your subjects (and the rivers of poop and pee that littered the streets?).
Louis the XIV was particularly fond of the style. He loved elaborately decorated, colourful block heels. Bows, buckles and jewels often embellished his footwear.
Fast forward to 1965. Designer Roger Vivier introduced a new shoe silhouette on the YSL runway: the Pilgrim pump. The shoe featured a square toe and heel and a buckle. It was revolutionary. Women – including members of the British royal family – loved this style. Vivier’s shoe was the catalyst for future chunky-heeled shoes that were all the rage in the ’70s. And which are making a huge comeback today!
Why Wear Blocked Heels?
As a woman, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: heels are a pain, literally! I’ve worn heels many times and ended the evening massaging toes that felt numb from being pinched in stilettos. But alternatively, sneakers aren’t always the vibe we’re going for. This is where chunky, block heels fill a void.
The perfect balance between comfort and chic, they still allow our legs to look fabulous, but they’re also super practical. Easy to walk in and no chance of our heel getting stuck in drain grates – hurrah!
Like many things, the block heel shoe has evolved since its first launch, and they’re fresher than ever. With more height than the original YSL Pilgrim, they’re a popular silhouette shape for all seasons, whether it’s for work or play.
And it’s not just about fashion. Lower heels are better for our overall health, too. Aside from the risk of injury when wearing skyscraper heels, wearing higher shoes places excessive stress on the back and lower extremities that can profoundly affect posture, gait, and balance.
That’s in addition to causing foot pain, as well as changing the structure of the foot over time. This can even lead to bunions, hammertoe, neuroma and other conditioners that may need surgical intervention further down the line. Yipes!
Meet The Block Heel By VIVAIA
So, where can you find the ideal block heel shoe? VIVAIA!
This company aims to create stylish and sustainable footwear that’s both eco-friendly and socially responsible. The result is a stunning range of shoes, created from recycled materials and 3D technology. And one of their most popular designs is The Julie.
These heels are two-toned and fuse the comfort of sneakers with the elegance of heels. With its chic retro rounded toe and thick heel, everything aspect of this shoe is perfectly tailored for modern living.
Not keen on two-toned? VIVAIA’s block heels come in over a dozen colours to choose from!
No More Chicken Runs
Ever notice how some women look a bit like a chicken when they walk in heels? They jut out their chests and butts in an attempt to gain some kind of stability. Well, no more ‘chicken runs’ with VIVAIA’s block heel shoes!
These babies offer better balance. Their soft, antibacterial inner cushions are not only deodorising, but make these the perfect shoes for wearing all day, with zero fatigue or odour.
Some reviewers have even said they could carry toddlers around all day whilst wearing these, or make a dash for the bus in no time flat.
No wonder VIVAIA calls these ‘running heels’ on their site!
All Vegan, All The Time!
Another reason to love the VIVAIA block heel is the fact that it’s a highly sustainable and vegan shoe. VIVAIA uses a range of innovative materials such as hemp fibre, recycled faux fur, rice husks, recycled plastic bottles and natural rubber. They never, ever use any animal derivatives, highlighting just how stylish cruelty-free fashion truly can be.
If you’re looking for cool, classy and comfortable footwear, VIVAIA is the brand to shop. All of their shoe designs, including their trendy blocked heels, are created with real women in mind.
Their block heel shoes go with anything, from jeans and skirts to shorts and dresses. No more forcing our feet into shoes that are painful and often the cause of damage to our bodies!
Why not give them a try?
Main image: @anneorion on Instagram
This was a paid partnership with Vivaia