Step it up

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In some respects, Heels carries what you'd expect: heels. But with all the variety in that category, there's plenty of the unexpected.

Calf-high, pointy-toed boots in bright pink patent leather.

A sneaker-boot hybrid with a leather-like body, brass buckles and a gym-shoe toe and sole.

Wedge heels that climb a steep four inches and attach to feet with peachy-pink straps.

They sit in a sea of rows that fill the store's warehouse-style floor, set against a bright pink back wall that brings an unexpected splash of color. It sets the pace for some of the high-energy high heels and matches the music and runway videos rolling on seven TVs along the walls.

The store tries to cater to every woman's shoe dream, with offerings in all the colors of the rainbow, styles that range from work to weekend, and across-the-board price points. Labels include Chinese Laundry, Jessica Simpson, House of Dereon and Vince V. Camuto.

"Right now, we've been selling a lot of our wedding shoes, homecoming shoes," said Michelle Pyle, Heels' operations manager. "But people like the big, funky, chunky heel. They're saying that metallic is in; I've even heard animal print."

Strappy summer heels are being cleared out at 20-to-30-percent discounts as the store makes room for even more boots, and there's always a wall of clearance items along the back. And since the store opened last fall, they've added a small collection of flats and flip-flops at customers' requests.

Plus, oversized, hardware-covered handbags in animal-inspired prints and bright colors along with a sampling of jewelry like watches and bracelets make this one-stop accessories shopping.

A second Heels location with a more boutique feel will open in Eastland Mall sometime in October, Pyle said. It'll be the same concept as the original, but the choices will be tailored to a smaller selection.

"We won't have as many styles," Pyle said. "Stuff will be just as hot and trendy as it is here."