Ooh-Sala-La, or How I Gave Up Wearing Heels… ish

(But not really, because your girl has to compensate somehow for the height)

I’d like to think of this as a companion piece to the last thing I wrote, which was about going through the aftermath of a back injury through an unexpected accessory. This time around, it’s a different coping mechanism—one that’s very near and dear to me: Shoes!

Considering the aforementioned height (precisely, the lack thereof), I’ve always been a fan of high heels. Wore them the moment I could, and you can bet on anything I blew past the maximum heel height requirement my college uniform required. Did it matter if I occasionally struggled a little while walking downhill towards the campus’ Mango Avenue gate? Of course not. I was tall!

So you can imagine my horror when the good doctor from the Cebu Orthopaedic Institute told me to avoid wearing high heels post the apocalyptic event that was me getting a lumbar strain.

To be fair, in the first few weeks, I was in a state of discomfort and exhaustion that I could barely comprehend the ramifications of the doctor’s orders. I was just so relieved when the Backjoy helped me stay seated enough to work without getting pain in my back, moreso that it became an accidental fashion accessory (heh) and encouraged other people in my circle to invest in them.

But then, I got bored. At this time, I was rotating between my Havaianas, a pair of black slides that I got for ₱200.00 (steal!) during a random stopover in Gaisano Moalboal, my white Nikes, and my favorite Odette swandals from Sala Chaussures.

While I swear by these and have, in fact, declared them my go-to sandals for days when I feel lazy yet dressy, keeping them in rotation for long enough was starting to get monotonous.

Since walking out of the doctor’s office with a prescription for painkillers and relaxants, and a whole slew of do’s and don’ts, I felt justified in needing a new pair of shoes. I’ve stopped by shoe boutiques in numerous malls, and you’d think I could never turn down any excuse for new shoes, but I could never muster up enough enthusiasm to get myself some flats. They were too meh and uninspiring, I felt.

The light at the end of the tunnel: A post from Sala Chaussures announcing one of their newest styles, the Brigitte flats. And I nearly smacked myself on the face for not thinking of them sooner. I was already a big fan, having had a pair of the Odette Swandals as well as their iconic Apophis Heels which always give me the ultimate Mother-of-Dragons feels when I wear them.

I’m always such a sucker for good design and love pieces that are immediate conversation pieces; not to mention, they’re a homegrown brand run by certified shoeholics (one of them, Celyn, is a friend). If there’s anything I can’t resist, it’s supporting local. Two pairs of new flats, added to cart straightaway!

Easily my favorite is the Brigitte, which is Sala Chaussures’ take on the classic flat. Inspired by old Hollywood glamour, this design’s pièce de résistance is the giant satin pink bow in the back.

The Brigitte Flats by Sala Chaussures

It’s such a delicate, gorgeous contrast to the rest of the shoe, which is decked in man-made leather. The reverse-V cut in the front also elongates my feet—something my size-5 wearing self is all too happy about! I also love how this pair instantly turns any outfit into something extraordinary.

Tweed jacket and A-Line skirt from Forever 21, bag from Ralph Lauren, and the Brigitte Flats by Sala Chaussures

Loathe as I am to admit, though, I have to be careful in choosing when to wear these. Rainy days are the enemies for those gorgeous pale pink ribbons, and they’re not exactly detachable. Thankfully I’ve only had a little dirt on them so far, and micellar water has been my go-to solution for cleaning them in a pinch.

The Rayos Slides in Frangipani by Sala Chaussures

I also could not resist the urge to get the Rayos Slides, if only for the eye-catching hue of the Frangipani variant. While I’m not averse to color when it comes to shoes, lately I’ve only had pairs in neutral colors.

The pop of these hot pink slides appealed to me on a near-spiritual level. I love how the vibrant shade just breaks through monotony, perfect for those days when my girly heart wants to shine through my almost all-black aesthetic.

I do find I occasionally pop one shoe off while walking because the slide ends a little too close to the balls of my feet where I flex. It would be perfect if the design was a tad bit longer, but maybe that’s just me.

Tweed jacket and pink skirt from Forever 21, white sleeveless turtleneck from SM Woman, bag from Ralph Lauren, and the Rayos Slides by Sala Chaussures

Although, it’s been two months now since recovering from my lumbar strain, so heck if I won’t indulge in wearing some of my favorite high heels to special occasions… occasionally.

But from feeling down about not being able to wear heels all the time now, Sala Chaussures has saved my soul and made me excited about my shoe game again.

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All photos by Antonio Java of Rider’s Block. Locale: Cicada Tapas Bar at Circa 1900

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