Fight Crime In Six-Inch Stilettos? The Case For Flat Boots

Clothing and Cosplay GeekMom TV and Movies

As my GeekHusband and I finally finished watching Torchwood: Miracle Day, my takeaway from the show was somewhere between the message of how we, as a human race, treat one another and reinforcement of the lesson that in times of danger, pretty shoes do you no favors.

Lauren Ambrose, whom I’ve loved since Can’t Hardly Wait, spends an entire season of Torchwood in a lovely Dolce & Gabbana red trench coat (I believe it’s this one, although I can’t find it anywhere else) and even more lovely custom $1,200 shoes. You know when you see a beautiful woman on screen in beautiful shoes that she’s going to come to regret her footwear choice. When they don’t, and seem to pull off fighting in them anyway, TV Tropes calls it combat stilettos.

Even Catwoman, who in the comics usually makes rational footwear choices, ended up in combat stilettos when she came to the screen through Halle Berry in 2004. The first pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman looked like she was going to fare much better with combat-ready flat boots. More recent pictures say not so much. My condolences to her toes.

Open toes, too? OSHA will never approve. (Warner Brothers promotional image, Catwoman, 2004)

Zoe Saldana’s Uhura in the Star Trek reboot proves that flat boots are hot. They’re similar to DKNY’s Hyper boot–look at this practical sole!


Unfortunately, the Hyper is no longer available, but you could get close with Calvin Klein’s Marinah. There’s also the Aerosoles Tornament, which has a slight wedge heel, or the FitFlop Tall Toning Boot, which is supposed to tone your superhero booty while you concentrate on fighting evil, as long as you don’t mind a bit of a moon-bounce sole. (Read more discussion of Uhura’s boots.)

In fact, simple, black, flat boots could go a long way to help a lot of crime-fighting gals. They’re still super cute and won’t fall off. Let’s face it: you can’t be a lean, mean, fighting machine in flip-flops, and ballet flats aren’t particularly more practical for fighting than heels. The Miz Mooz Otis seems like a good choice for the modern battle lady. Black to go with everything, sassy laces, and no heel to break off at an inopportune moment.

In contrast, shoe manufacturers have been trying to shoehorn (ahem) characters’ looks into sneakers. It’s not really working for me. Who doesn’t love Wonder Woman? But I don’t think you’ll see me in the 2007 Bape Sta Wonder Woman sneakers. And then there was last year’s Star Wars Adidas line, including the Leia sneakers that would have easily won a popularity contest among the girls in my sixth grade class…back in the 80s. And they’re based on Leia’s slave bikini–when she already wears cute, flat boots!

But there is one fictional character I’m willing to let keep her heels: Seven of Nine. I figure the way the Borg conquer people, they don’t need to worry much about chasing or combat. And if I was going to have to be on screen in that silver bodysuit every week, I’d want the heels too.

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7 thoughts on “Fight Crime In Six-Inch Stilettos? The Case For Flat Boots

  1. In defense of comic book stilettos, going for practical fashion choices isn’t paramount. Capes, high heels, skin tight suits…they are made for the page, & hardly strive for a sense of…fashion realism.

    1. Except stuff like the cape is unrealistic for artistic choices. To make it look cool. And when it is translated to the big screen, practical matters are involved. Look at that explanation for Batman’s cape in Batman Begins.

      The high heels stuff is partially to look cool that but it’s more about “omigod, that looks sexy!” than anything else.

  2. I’ve had similar thoughts watching Bond girls fighting crime in their high fashion. Stilettos? Really?

    I’m reminded of Catherine Zeta Jones’ character in “Entrapment” where she had a couple of gorgeous gowns and then “rip rip”, the parts velcro off into this practical “I’m about to rob a big bank” outfit, complete with ballerina flats (or flatter shoes than stilettos, anyway).

    Great alternate choices, and way to go geeking out on one of my favorite topics: shoes!

    (I may be a geek, but I’m still a girl in many ways too!)

  3. My hubby and I have had that same conversation several times! LOL!! Shoes are never practical for the woman role! Thanks Ruth!! I am glad I am not the only one always having this debate!

  4. My wife has a lot of cool boots – some of which would get her killed if she tried to run in them. However, she’s been wearing the Converse Chuck Taylor xx-high boots lately (with black soles and blindingly pink laces) lately.
    I passed her a link to this article in case she wants me to expand her collection for the holidays this year – thanks!

  5. DUDE. Stilettos. Jeez, I miss wearing them. But the back won’t take it, at least while I’m making people. 🙂 BUT, I do still have awesome chocolate brown flat boots that have lovely exposed bronze zippers on either side. They are, of course, aptly named “Harley”. Very Firefly-esque. I wore them along with my very first try at a steampunk outfit for a steampunk tea party and got good reviews. Which begs the question, why not more functional-comfy-type stuff for the superhero chicks? Because they cater to the nerdboy fantasy set, mainly. That simple. So yes, when we see the Halle Berry iteration of Catwoman, we women mostly just shake our heads and mutter “Silly boys” while smiling to ourselves. And speaking of iterations, I simply adore Menger Sponges. Wikipedia it. OK, randomness stopping now.

  6. Also, I am desperately behind on my Torchwood as I am a SAHM with a crazy 22 MO daughter. Thankfully, I finally finished Doctor Who season 5. Yay Netflix streaming on Google TV, boo Netflix for not staying current to season 6, but I guess that’s what Amazon Streaming is for!

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