These heels transform to flats in one click — but can you walk in them?

These heels transform to flats in one click — but can you walk in them?

Post editor Catherine Kast takes the Runway Heels on a test run on the streets of NYC.Annie Wermiel

Melanie Griffith’s “Working Girl” might have come out 30 years ago, but one of its tenets still rings true: Many New York women still commute in sneakers and change deftly into the pair of heels they’ve carried in their purses the second they get to the office.

Every morning, I leave my Brooklyn apartment in my Nikes and switch to one of the five pairs of heels lined up under my desk like soldiers reporting for duty. But, after eight hours at the office, it’s my squished feet that feel like they’ve been to battle.

Former flight attendant and forty-something entrepreneur Melody Avecilla thinks she’s found a comfy and convenient solution to the shoe struggle.

She runs her fledgling company, Runway Heels, out of Studio City, Calif., where she is developing Silicon Valley-engineered shoes that convert from high heels to flats with the push of a button.

Close-up of Runway Heels slingback design. The button on the inner sole activates a spring, which releases the heel.Brian Zak

Avecilla funded the development and production on her own with a little help from the $11,000 she raised on Indiegogo. She kindly sent me one of the company’s early prototypes to try, with the caveat that they were not the final shoe that will go out to buyers this summer via RunwayHeels.com.

“They’re raw and unpolished,” she says of the red slingback pair I chose to test drive. “But we’re very close.” There will, ultimately, be five different styles and several colors available, including solid black and nude d’Orsay pumps and cobalt strappy sandals, and prices will range from $249 to the “mid-300s.”

When I unboxed the shoes at work, I was surprised at how sleek they were for a shoe that’s designed to be so functional, and the materials are high-quality — suede and lambskin with an antimicrobial Poron sole, according to Runway Heels co-founder and shoemaker Miguel Rodriguez.

One of The Post’s fashion editors marveled at the pointy-toe silhouette. “These are actually pretty chic,” she said, trying them on with a pair of ruffled socks and a pleated midi-skirt.

But they weren’t quite ready for a road test — despite how well they went with my kicky blouse and cropped pants. In flats mode, the elastic portion of the slingback strap was a little bit loose, which made it difficult to walk. I had to put some double-sided tape along the back of my heel to keep the shoes on, but, within an hour, they molded more to my foot and felt fairly cushioned and comfortable.
Rodriguez, who says he’s worked with big-name brands such as Louis Vuitton on footwear production, adds that they’re considering adding a buckle so the slingback strap can be tightened.

Kast, adjusting her slingback heels to create flats.Annie Wermiel

To convert the flats to heels, you push a button on the inner side of the sole and the heel springs out from the bottom of the shoe. I haven’t had to flash many switchblades in my day, but the crisp thwack that you hear when the heel pops out is probably as satisfying as starting a street fight with one.

Once the heels were down, they felt a bit wobbly, but fine for walking around a carpeted office. However, I didn’t dare wear the shoes out to dinner after work — they felt much more rickety than the Pour la Victoire pumps I favor.

Rodriguez assured me that the steel and aluminum heel mechanism was tested to hold 300 lbs. — “We have engineers in Korea who make parts for Hyundai” — and that there would be more design tweaks to address my concerns before they go into mass production.

“We’re going to add a steel T-bone on the arch of the foot to increase stability. That’ll give you more of a secure fit when walking on the high heels,” he says.

Until then, I’ll stick with slumming it in my sneaks on the subway.

https://nypost.com/2018/03/30/these-heels-transform-to-flats-in-one-click-but-can-you-walk-in-them/

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