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

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.

By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.