The phenomenon of impractical superhero costumes is not a new one. Countless comic book characters have had to fight bad guys while wearing the kind of garb that makes it difficult to do any physical activity, and that’s doubly true for the women. It goes without saying that, on occasion, the questionable costuming extends to the appearance of impractical superhero shoes.
The superheroes of Marvel and DC Comics jump, kick, and flip on a daily basis - and some of them do it in footwear that wouldn’t be suitable for walking a mile. High heels, platforms, and booties are all common items in a crimefighter’s shoe closet - right next to the combat boots and running shoes one would normally associate with their line of work. Sometimes, function takes a backseat to fashion - even when you're one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The costume Bruce Wayne provides for his young ward, Dick Grayson, in 1940’s Detective Comics #38 has a lot of immediate issues with it - and the footwear is definitely one of them, though perhaps not as obvious a problem as the lack of pants. The Batman sends Robin on nighttime missions against the worst Gotham City has to offer in nothing more than pixie booties - which fit loose and don't appear to offer any protection or support.
The Boy Wonder has to fight villains in slippers for the next few hundred issues and several decades - well into his time with the Teen Titans. Robin wears the spritely footwear until he gives up the gig to become Nightwing - and then Jason Todd steps into his booties. It isn't until the emergence of the third Robin, Tim Drake, that the Dark Knight's sidekick starts wearing more reasonable footwear.44142Is this impractical?
Tyroc’s White Workout Booties
Tyroc’s footwear is probably the least bizarre aspect of his overall costume - and that's saying a lot, because Tyroc's loose-fitting, oddly pointed workout booties are incredibly bizarre. Making his debut in 1976's Superboy #216, Tyroc is a problematic character from the start - and the discomfort-inducing design is par for the course when it comes to Troy Stewart of Marzal Island.
Tyroc's booties don't look like they'd be good for any physical activity outside of deep squats, but neither does any part of his outfit. He’s dressed more for an '80s workout video than for saving the world with the Legion of Super-Heroes. In later appearances, Tyroc is mercifully granted a less revealing costume - but he's still been mostly relegated to the dustbin of poorly thought-out comic book creations.32435Is this impractical?
Silk Spectre II’s Stilettos
Watchmen is a timeless comic, and as such, the costumes of its heroes don’t always correspond with the era in which the story takes place. That’s especially true for Silk Spectre II, who fights alongside Doctor Manhattan and Nite Owl in a pair of stylish - but not supportive - stilettos.
Stilettos have long been a trademark of the femme fatale, but they’re really not conducive to running, leaping, or performing spin-kicks - all of which are regular requirements of a non-powered crimefighter. At one point, Laurie Jupiter bolts into a burning building while wearing the kind of footwear that would get her booted off any job site - much to the chagrin of fire marshals everywhere.30854Is this impractical?
Black Canary’s iconic high-heeled leather boots have been a part of her attire since her debut in 1969’s Justice League of America #74 - as have the equally iconic fishnets that complement them so perfectly. Dinah Lance's overall aesthetic is an undeniable accomplishment when it comes to fashion, but it's a questionable choice for actually performing the duties of a Justice League member - especially one who relies so heavily on martial arts. One would think 6-inch heels might prove a challenge when performing roundhouse kicks.
Over the years, Black Canary has experimented with more practical garb, and each and every time she’s returned to the thigh-high look before too long. At this point, it’s just an accepted fact that she can punt villains in the face in high heels as well as anyone else can in reasonable footwear - and if that fails, she's always got her sonic scream to back her up.31277Is this impractical?