Men in Women's Shoes

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.

Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Ray » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:03 pm

Option 2 looks good. Option 3 looks great but like Steve, I'm wondering if the skirt isn't higher? Like Steve I think you have the right to wear men's shoes with your skirt, but I have to say, Oldsalt - I'm with you on this one.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby crfriend » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:34 pm

STEVIE wrote:For a start, is it the same skirt in each?
If it is, yeah the heels look better. To my mind, the middle shot is the most believable for a guy.

Is it that the heels look better, or that the heels are slightly more expected given the context? That's not a "shot" in any way, shape, or form, but rather a nuanced question designed to encourage us to think about how our minds think.

Here's an off-the-cuff "take" on the matter.

One of the problems that guys face is that there are precious few men's shoes that have heels that aren't boots of some sort. This has been the case for a few decades now, and even in the minds of some of the "older set" such things have been forgotten. The extremely "fine-lined" shoes worn for dress occasions by women haven't really evolved much and are what we would have seen for the past several decades. This is primarily evident in the vamp, or the top of the shoe where women's shoes have much less covering of the top of the foot than men's shoes do (and, as far as I can tell, pretty much always have).

Of course, the smaller vamp, coupled with the height of the heel tends to elongate the leg and minimise the apparent size of the foot -- and this is a well-known aesthetic trick, even if it can be, and frequently is, taken to ridiculous extremes. I think the reason it's never been an option for men (at least in my lifetime, or in any period I've really studied) is that men's shoes have pretty much always been built to take the sort of beating that men dish out in the course of an average day.

In the trio of photographs, as the footwear changes, notice also how other ratios change. As the heel gets higher, the legs look longer and the feet look smaller; the shape of the calf-muscle also changes as the muscle gets more relaxed as the load is taken off it; and the stance also changes to accommodate the extra height put underneath the (natural) heel.

Of the three, by far and away the most "feminine" one is the last -- but that's as much a socially-induced interpretation as anything else. The middle one works well enough, but due to the shape of the heel is perilously close to the silly-looking "kitten heel" popular in the 1950s; something of that height (or even slightly more) but as a block heel on an Oxford-style shoe was very common for menswear in the 1970s, and worked very well. The leftmost one, well, has all the charm and panache of clown-shoes; the look works when mostly hidden under trousers, but doesn't flatter in any way shape or form, and looks really out of place underneath any skirt shorter than calf-length (but that's likely conditioning as well).

As mentioned, I think many of us are fighting with our conditioning in this regard.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby hoborob » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:36 pm

I would go with either photo 2 or 3. The first one the shoes look clunky to me.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Caultron » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:45 am

oldsalt1 wrote:I am trying a little experiment. Some have said shoes don't matter some have said you can wear mens shoes. Whats your opinion. I know the photography isn't that great but my vote is for the heels

I would go for either #2 or #3, depending on the amount of walking. Legs really do look better in heels, and for me at least, heels are just more fun.

I personally would have trouble with #3 because the toe box is too short to keep the shoes from falling off my feet. But not everyone has that problem. For the record, I can't keep mules or flip-flops on either.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby JeffB1959 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:53 am

oldsalt1 wrote:I am trying a little experiment. Some have said shoes don't matter some have said you can wear mens shoes. Whats your opinion. I know the photography isn't that great but my vote is for the heels


My vote is also for #3. Since I only wear women's shoes with my skirts, I'll always gravitate towards a nice pair of heels. :wink:
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Milfmog » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:04 pm

Guess I'm the odd one out. I'd go for number 1, not because they look better, but because I value my comfort and plenty of toe space in a shoe matters to me. Besides, I'm a guy in a skirt so it really should not be too surprising if I have a guy's legs and feet (which is also part of the reason i don't shave my legs).

Have fun,


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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:31 am

"no period of history I have explored"

Look into European styles from 1400-1800. High-heeled boots were brought back to the European courts after a war with the Persians. Their cavalry wore them, undoubtedly because they helped the wearer stay in his stirrups. They became quite the male fashion statement as well as the origin for the expression "well-heeled." Not only were they a fashion statement, they made the wearer taller (always associated with power). Louis the Sun King was famous for his high heels (3 1/2" to 4"). Men abandoned them when too many women wore them.
Nonetheless, through that whole period when gentlemen wore knee breeches, they also learned the subtle art of "making a leg." Take a second look at the buckle shoes from that period. They have at least 1 1/2" - 2" heels.

"comfortable"

The only reason most people can't find comfortable high heels is because they don't look. They assume they're going to hurt so they don't look for pairs that don't. After Caultron said heels should feel comfortable within a few seconds of putting them on, I started holding new shoes to that standard and sure enough, I found lots more comfortable shoes. Payless Shoes has a good supply. The outlet stores and Famous Footwear often have Naturalizers, which is probably the most comfortable brand of high heels.

As for men not having shaved legs, tell that to professional bodybuilders, swimmers and bicycle racers to mention a few. I've had bare legs for so long it's hard to let them grow out when I feel I need to have them sugared so they're especially smooth for a special occasion, like my mother's memorial service. Yes, I gave her eulogy in a black dress, a Liz Claiborne sheath to be precise.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Kirbstone » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:54 am

I inherited feet that require canal barges to cover them. They don't come within several sizes of these in womens' shop shoes. On the 'net' its possible to get something that'll fit (13 wide) in pumps or flats. Not a great selection, though.

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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby crfriend » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:00 am

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:"no period of history I have explored"

Look into European styles from 1400-1800. High-heeled boots were brought back to the European courts after a war with the Persians. Their cavalry wore them, undoubtedly because they helped the wearer stay in his stirrups.

I have seen museum pictures of such shoes, but it's worth bearing in mind that functional heels are very different things than Fashion heels. To wit, see equestrian boots actually made for riding (you'll find they're not the same thing as most "cowboy" boots); they tend to be "higher" than most shoes, but seldom go more than 2 to 2/12 inches.

The Sun King can be considered a special case in this, as well as his entourage. That crew lived in a bubble, and whilst the influence may have spread slightly outside the bubble the real arbiter is what the peasants of the time wore. Nonetheless, through that whole period when gentlemen wore knee breeches, they also learned the subtle art of "making a leg." Take a second look at the buckle shoes from that period. They have at least 1 1/2" - 2" heels.

Correct, and the shoes I usually wear have 1 1/2" heels on 'em -- which is remarkably close to what one might want if one was to ride a horse, which most folks don't. [0]
The only reason most people can't find comfortable high heels is because they don't look. They assume they're going to hurt so they don't look for pairs that don't. After Caultron said heels should feel comfortable within a few seconds of putting them on, I started holding new shoes to that standard and sure enough, I found lots more comfortable shoes.

Of course they can be found, but "pain as a part of being in style" has been a mantra of women for so long that it's gotten ingrained and has even managed to make the jump to us lot. It's not the case, of course, and if you're causing yourself pain, you're doing it needlessly. Find a better design.
As for men not having shaved legs, tell that to professional bodybuilders, swimmers and bicycle racers to mention a few.

Again, those are special cases -- and they have their reasons for doing so. Personally, I shave mine because I can't grow a decent pelt, and unshaven they look like the moths have been at me -- so, it's out with the lawnmower, and "problem solved".

[0] Thank heavens. If we think pollution from automobiles is bad, contemplate what the problem would be like if we all rode horses! At least cars only directly pollute while the engine's running; a horse is "turned on" full time, even when asleep.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:44 am

Back to Oldsalt's original question: #1 looks TERRIBLE! #2 has the odor of a half-measure #3 gets the blue ribbon. Notice how much tighter Oldsalt's calf muscle gets as the heels go up in height. It's that muscle definition that makes many women say they think my legs look better than theirs. Personally, I prefer that nice sensuous, unbroken curve of a nicely turned female calf.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby JeffB1959 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:06 am

Nothing fancy about these shoes which I bought from Payless a few weeks ago. I've been looking for a penny loafer style shoe for the longest time, and these fill the prescription.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby scugog » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:47 pm

Hey Oldsalt - with your legs the 3rd pair look fantastic - I am also partial to that style but
would not wear those out in public
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Caultron » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:14 pm

scugog wrote:Hey Oldsalt - with your legs the 3rd pair look fantastic - I am also partial to that style but
would not wear those out in public

Hi, scugog, and welcome to the board. I hope you post a couple of paragraphs about yourself and your skirt-wearing in the Introductions section soon.

As to oldsalt's heels, I often wear that style and others in public and it's no big deal. Some people will notice, a few of those may raise their eyebrows, and that's about it. And what's a few raised eyebrows if you enjoy wearing your heels? You really ought to try it.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby Gusto10 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:40 pm

Oldsalt, If I would have to chose, either the second or third picture would be better, depending o the occasion. I do think the idea of the firat could work but with another model, more mocasin like, I have attached an example thereof. It's a model often enough also worn by women.
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Re: Men in Women's Shoes

Postby JeffB1959 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:40 am

Gusto10 wrote:Oldsalt, If I would have to chose, either the second or third picture would be better, depending o the occasion. I do think the idea of the firat could work but with another model, more mocasin like, I have attached an example thereof. It's a model often enough also worn by women.


Especially Japanese schoolgirls! :lol:

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