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Ninja Shoes

By Amalah

Dear Amalah of cute baby and foundation brush fame,
I come to you humbly with my footwear dilemma.
I have these boots. They are pretty basic as boots go, black with a heel, but they make me look taller and I get compliments on them. However my problem is that they make me sound like a horse when I walk on hard surfaces. (This is not an exaggeration a male co-worker made a horse reference that confirmed what I already feared!)
The burning question is: how can I make it stop!!??!! Is the problem me? Are they just loud boots? Do I walk wrong? Is there a secret trick known only to the initiated for walking in heels to avoid sounding like the Kentucky derby? Is there a secret fix to make heels non-clacky?
Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated, and greeted with much rejoicing and possibly a nice thank you card with foreign postage stamps.
Thank you.

There is a secret fix! There are actually two. That I know of, anyway, which probably means they aren’t so much of a “secret,” because I only know really obvious, no-duh kinds of things. My knowledge is vast and very common!
So there is the high-tech secret fix and then there is the low-tech, kind of ghetto secret fix. Which would you like to hear first?
High tech it is!
Hush Heels are these pre-cut, adhesive foam pad things that sound engineers use to silence people’s shoes on movie sets and backstage areas. (I…uh…was kind of a drama geek back in the day. Okay, I was beyond a drama geek. Okay, I was the living embodiment of drama geekdom. Happy now?) You can get them online through various audio-type techie websites and occasionally they crop up on eBay.
duct.jpg And then there is the low-tech fix, which is simply to stick duct tape to the bottom of your shoes. And…yeah. Pretty self-explanatory. This will muffle the sound more than silence it altogether, but you could try this first and see if it’s enough to stop the horse-race cracks from coworkers. If your boots are still too stompy, try the foamy things.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • April

    December 20, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    OR you could have your local shoe guy redo the heel in a softer rubber so that it’s not as loud.

  • PaintingChef

    December 21, 2006 at 8:24 am

    So. I used to have the same problem. I started noticing it (or rather…my father started noticing it) when I was in high school. It made him absolutely insane so one day he asked me to bring all my “horse-boots” to him so he could fix them. After I made him swear on a stack of Vogue that he wasn’t going to harm them, I handed them over and curled up in the fetal position and quivered for a couple of hours. But he fixed them all! The problem is that the heels are hollow. The solution is to be fathered by or married to an engineer. (Actually, I’ve got this whole thing so down pat now, it takes me about 3 minutes per shoe to fix and I do it almost immediately upon bringing new children into the shoe family) Step one…remove bottom of heel. Step two…stuff hollow place in heel with cotton. Step three…re-attach sole with super glue and finishing nails. (Am suddenly plagued by New Kids on the Block song…damn.) I KNOW! It sounds like such a pain! But the extra-special good news is that aside from being silenced, the soles are going to stay on much longer because you’ve done a far better job of attaching them than whoever made them did.
    Also? Had I just known about these Hush Heels or the duct tape fix, I probably would totally have done that instead…

  • Isabel Kallman

    Isabel Kallman

    December 21, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Painting Chef is a star.