Road Tested: Cole Haan Pumps

We tried it so you don’t have to.

Sometime around the age of 27, my tolerance for high heels plummeted. I used to wear them happily all the time—in fact, I felt oddly duck-like when clomping along in flats. But suddenly, heels started to hurt, and I found myself gazing at them in the morning, thinking, “Who am I wearing these for today?,” and reaching for skimmers instead.

But a woman cannot live on flats alone, and so, over the years, I’ve click-clacked away in a variety of heels. Heels that get kicked off the second I walk in my front door.

Supposed “comfort heels” are a dime a dozen, so I was only mildly interested when, a few years ago, I heard about Cole Haan’s pumps with Nike AIR technology in the soles. The look of a heel with the feel of a sneaker? Sounded way too good to be true. And at $298 or more per pair, I wasn’t going to try them on a whim.

I. LOVE. These things. Fine, you won’t mistake them for your favorite sneaks, but they’re practically the only heel I’m willing to wear anymore, and they’re holding up remarkably well. For me, they’re a bit of an investment shoe, but based on the wear I’m getting out of them, they’re cheap.

I went with basic nude leather in a 3.5–inch heel, and they go with everything—jeans, every color dress I own. I now crave a pair in every color—pink python, red patent leather, burnished brown, and more.


Available: Cole Haan, The Fashion Mall, 317-810-0160,