SKY-high heels were everywhere at Fashion Week, elongating the models even more for the catwalk. But what about the rest of us? I’ve been trying to walk around in some of these vertiginous shoes sold on the high street. Many of them look gorgeous in your hand, elegant and exciting with lovely bright colours, patents and suede – very tempting. Never mind that you take your life in your hands if you try to attach shoe to foot without sitting down. Because when you stand up in those heels and look in the mirror, you feel slimmer and more elegant, too. At this point you like what you see, remove the shoes and pay for them. But I implore you not to, because shoes are made for walking and that’s what you need to do. Even if you’re travelling around by cab, you still have to get in the door and work the room. So I urge you to walk purposefully around the shop in them. Can you? Because the majority of shoes I tried on were physically impossible to walk in, let alone suitable for negotiating a set of stairs.
Quite apart from the comfort and deformity factor, how flattering are they? My ankle looked unnaturally stretched, my calf bigger, and my knees were bent because stretching the ankle and walking tall was physically impossible. Then my bum stuck out and I couldn’t help that pained, strained look on my face. I dare say with a few months’ practice, and a dozen blisters, I might get the hang of it, but why would I want to?
My clients often ask me about heel height for the office. My answer is: whatever is comfortable. Someone who is clip-clopping around the office as if they’re in the dressage finals is hardly ready for action, and certainly not in a position to be professional and glide seamlessly around the office. Comfortable footwear is less tiring and small heels look just as elegant. And when you’re working long hours plus commuting you want some energy left to enjoy the weekend. And that’s where the killer heels come in – pop a bottle of bubbly and drink it from your seven inchers in your kitchen – that’s all they’re good for.
Sara Hollamby is a business image consultant for WorkingVoices.com. Email