If you’ve been to New York you’ve noticed that some sidewalks have steel grates. They are for the subway and are very dangerous for high heel wearing women.
This is because the grates have holes in them that are wider than most heels. So getting your heel caught in them was almost a guarantee. This is very injury prone and it has been for years, with lots of women in high heels forced to walk around these grates or teeter over them risking injury.
Now all of this is finally starting to change. The MTA (the New York subway operator) has started to change the subway grates in the East Side Access project. The subway grates around East 55th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues). as well as some near 63rd Street and 96th Street for the Second Avenue Subway line, will have a narrower opening to accommodate all types of high heels. MTA notes:
The facility extends 150 feet below street level, but is entirely hidden from view on the street, with the exception of an emergency hatch and ventilation grates in the sidewalk. In order to be easier to navigate for those wearing high-heeled shoes, the sidewalk “high-heel friendly” grates are made with slip-resistant surfaces and the openings between the cross-bars are only ½ inch wide.
This means that it is finally that little bit more safer to walk in those sexy towering high heels on the streets of New York. MTA plans to install those grates on more streets. This will take time of course, but slowly and surely you will have one less thing to worry about when navigating the busy streets in high heels.
But keep in mind, that the grates are not fool proof. The Daily News reports that some women have already had their heels getting caught in the new grates as well. So if you wear very thin stilettos, you should be on the look out. But for most other high heel types, you should be good.
Great news. I usually end up switching to my 5″ wedge heels, or even my boots which I modified to deal with more difficult terrain: