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Arts Post
Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 03/27/2012

Shoe vending machine offers relief from achy feet

A beautiful pair of heels is an exquisite torture. That’s why, after a night on their feet, you’ll see women in various states of disability, hobbling home — feet wrapped in bandages, limping with pride to a taxi stand, some walking barefoot on the pavement, and the lucky ones getting a piggyback ride home.

Those with large purses might come prepared with a pair of flats for achy toes, but more often than not, a giant purse isn’t practical for a night out. That’s where two Los Angeles entrepreneurs come in. Ashley Ross and Lindsay Klimitz are putting ballet flat vending machines in hot nightclubs in L.A. — and they’re hoping to expand.


Hobbled by heels like this pair, by French designer Philippe Guilet? A shoe vending machine can help you walk again. (Vadim Ghirda - AP)

Ross and Klimitz’ emergency footwear business was inspired by their own bleeding feet, they tell LA Weekly.

"We would complain," Klimitz said. "You go out in your heels to dinner. Then you go to the nightclub. By the time you get to the nightclub you can barely stand."

They tried inventing their own shoe vending machine, but the British company Rollasole had beaten them, so they bought the rights to distribute Rollasole vending machines in the U.S. Though the machines are new, Rollasoles have been available at retailers since last year.

The ballet flats come rolled up in cans, and in enough colors and patterns to match any attire. With machines near top nightclubs in Vegas and L.A. (where you can also get cupcakes from a vending machine), the shoes cost about $20 — and Ross and Klimitz say those machines will be “the first of many.” If you don’t live in a city with a Rollasole vending machine yet, the compact shoes are available online.

Of course, you could just avoid high heels to begin with, if you take the recommendation of Jennifer Moses’ op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, which called heel-wearers out for being bad feminists. ”It strikes me as bizarre that in the aftermath of feminism, American women, who are perhaps the most liberated women in the history of humanity, choose, of our own free wills, to cripple ourselves. Now we can barely stand at all, let alone march for our rights, in our 6-inch heels,” wrote Moses.

Jezebel, in a rebuttal, declared, “Feminism has less to do with what you put on your feet than what you put in your head.” So, slip on those Louboutins with confidence, ladies, even if you know you’re going to be pulling them off in near-agony later that night — when you’ll hope there’s a Rollasole vending machine nearby.

By  |  01:01 PM ET, 03/27/2012

Tags:  fashion

 
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