To say that the advertising industry is going to new heights would be an understatement. At least, that’s my view (literally) after attending the week-long thinking-networking-socializing annual fest known as Advertising Week. Seems the big question of the week was totally missed. “What is an agency?” “Who owns social?” “Is advertising dead?” “What is the future of media?”
Nope. None of those. The big question was “Comfort or Style?”
And most women reading this right now (sorry guys, no slight intended) immediately know what I’m talking about. How do you maintain style in your footwear but keep those feet comfortable as you navigate the Advertising Week venues located throughout a very congested Times Square?
Believe me, there were a lot of women who apparently kicked comfort to the curb and went all out for style… high style to be exact! From Christian Louboutin to Prada and Michael Kors and more, those 5-inches-and-soaring heels were spotted on female attendees on the panel stages and on the streets.
Times Center to B.B. Kings, NASDAQ to the Liberty Theater. That’s a whole lot of hoofing it around. I just want to know, what’s the secret? How do those footsies survive in those heels through five full days jam-packed with panels, parties and concerts? So, I decided to
conduct my very own (and very unscientific, thus no hard analytics here) survey of women (and men too!) to get some answers.
Irina was spotted in 5” Michael Kors heels making her way out of the Liberty Theater. Her big secret weapon? She’s a former ballerina so I immediately knew she has a high tolerance for pain and the great ability to dance around in tight little hard shoes and look great doing. But, she says ankle strap shoes makes a huge difference and can be the key to “not falling on one’s face.” Ahhhh. Ankle straps. Who knew?
Next up, Mia, another high-heel pro, says she finds it rather effortless to make it through the day in her 4+ inch pumps, unless of course they are a new pair and need a bit of breaking in. This was Day 2 in her new pair and they were feeling pretty good. So there is comfort in those pumps? Again, who knew?
While some of these ladies were in these shoes for an entire day, others told me the way they keep Dr. Scholl’s at bay (and this is certainly the general rule beyond Advertising Week) is the tucking a pair of flats or low-heeled shoes discreetly in those sporty tote bags.
One communications expert said she “never wears flats unless I’m home” and makes her way through Advertising Week by starting out the day with an average heel and working her way up to a higher heel for the evening events. A reporter I queried (it was kind of fun to turn the tables) prefers heels but is always packing a shorter pair in her tote bag. For those schlepping around the large tote bags this presents a far different comfort versus style issue–potential shoulder problems–but that’s for another blog and maybe another Advertising Week survey.
An agency executive weighed in with a far different approach. By Friday, she’d shed the heels altogether and donned a pair of comfy and cute sneakers. Now that’s the way to mix comfort and style with a little moxie thrown in.
Overall, male attendees were seen in everything from sneakers to boots to loafers and oxfords, all with rather height-less heels. Clearly, this gives men an upper hand on the comfort versus style issue if they’re only navigating their way through the day in a one-inch heel. But, I did learn from one association executive that lace-ups are the more comfortable choice while another agency staffer said slip-on shoes make it easy on the feet.
While I got some interesting answers, it seems the “comfort versus style” question lingers on just like “Is this the year of mobile?”
By Portia Badham @PRAdGal, admitted shoe addict and SVP, Marketing & Communications at the 4A’s.