Q. I love the idea of wearing heels but can’t bear my feet being uncomfortable. In the summer I can get away with pretty sandals and espadrilles, but I find winter really hard. What can I wear that’s suitable?

A. The historic answer to this question has been to wear the ballet pump or the flat knee-high boot. Unfortunately, these can look a little un-polished and casual. A ballet pump is just as uncomfortable as a vertiginous heel as they lack arch support. It is also very unflattering with a longer skirt hemline and too underdressed for trousers. Knee-high boots are hard work and won’t go with everything – great for the weekend, not so great for the office.

The alternative is a flat with a very slight heel (similar to a man’s dress shoe heel). In a patent, the shoe will look smarter (and infinitely more weather proof). A patent shoe also holds its structure much better.

Another option is the wedge heel – you’ll feel like you are wearing flats and gives the structure you need for rushing across a cobbled London street while the slight elevation gives height and improves your posture. Rupert Sanderson’s Earl style is supremely chic. If you feel the cold, then a wedge ankle boot is even better. They make a fiercer look which contrasts nicely with feminine dresses. Pair with opaque tights and a blazer and you will be able to transform a summery dress into an autumn wardrobe. A black wedge with black tights will give the illusion of a never ending leg – winter’s equivalent to summer’s nude heel with bare legs. Try Rupert Sanderson’s Hanover boots which are sexy, but safe.

The catwalk collections for this season and next spring are full of the lower kitten heel. If you keep the shape sharp and modern with a slightly cut away shape, it will be equally as flattering as a larger heel and will look endlessly more graceful as you stride out with confidence rather than tottering in fear.

A final option is the properly sensible brogue, which is absolutely everywhere this season. Keep them smart and choose a patent. Enjoy its versatility by wearing with a trouser suit or skirt above the knee – the midi length won’t work with this one.