Walking on sunshine

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The fashion industry may try to tell us that high is style, but women are increasingly attracted to flats.

I came across a refreshing article in the Guardian today, detailing the quiet, secret love of British women for their comfy shoes. 

Well, thank God, really. I wouldn’t want to think that real people were actually trying to walk around in what the fashion industry thinks are shoes. These great clumpy, pointy foot-torturers are meant for sitting down in or having sex in, not for actually walking around the place. 

The writer says that she likes heels so that she can look men in the eye. Well, that’s never been an option for me. A 4" heel would bring me up to 5′ 5", so I’d still be looking up. And the truth is, a great many advantages in my life have come to me from being small, so it’s really not a problem.

But I don’t wear high heels because my comfort remains more important to me than anything else, and that’s a decision I made a very long time ago. My flirtation with higher than high heels was very brief – probably a few months when I was 18 (and by high, I mean a 3" heel). A ‘slipped disc’ at the age of 11 taught me everything else I needed to know – my back will simply not stand for heels that are too high, and the truth is, neither will most women’s.

High heels – which medically speaking means 2" and above – put a dreadful strain on your gearing, particularly the knees (this is why double arthritis of the knee is almost unknown in men). Women have FOUR TIMES as many leg and back joint problems as men, and the primary cause is wearing high heels. It is just not worth it – sex appeal or no sex appeal, women cannot spend all their time trying to appeal to men as if there was nothing else in life. 

It is, admittedly, harder to look ‘stylish’ in flats, and this is partly to do with shoe designers not giving a flying fuck about those of us who don’t want to totter about like pigs on stilts. It is terribly hard to find nice flat shoes – most of them are ugly and thoughtless. Boots are often a far better option. 

One of the reasons for my love of trousers, incidentally, is my love of flat shoes. When you wear skirts, your eye draws down the length of the body and ends in – what? a great clumpy pair of Crocs, or loafers, or Uggs. But when your shoes are only peeking out of the bottom of a pair of long, long trousers, you can get away with nearly anything – at this time of year, I’m mostly in Uggs, wellies or leather riding boots, which has been my winter wardrobe for over 10 years. For summer, as aforementioned, I’m now a convert to Crocs – can’t wait to get my next pair.

For a range of pretty, flat shoes that a girl can actually walk in, visit Clarks



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