“Are you ready boots? Start walkin!” (Lyrics by Lee Hazlewood. Sung by Nancy Sinatra in 1966)
Whether it’s Spanx, skinny jeans, or stilettos, it seems there’s no limit to the amount of discomfort we women will put up with to look good. The last time I wore any seriously high heels was in the late 1980’s. I was working in the City and it was the era of padded shoulders and big hair. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to get from A to B in them, given that I was walking to and from the station every day, not to mention negotiating escalators, tube doors and the perils of uneven pavements. My knees and ankles must have been a lot more resilient in those days, but no longer.
Over the years my shoes have got progressively flatter and although I can, at a pinch – both figuratively and literally – wear a low block heel, my feet soon start to protest: coupled with that is the fact that as a photographer I always have a considerable amount of gear to lug around and teetering on heels whilst carrying two cameras, various lenses etc is completely unworkable for me. Which is why over Christmas I invested in a pair of Fitflop boots. I’d been having quite a bit of pain in my left foot after walking round Winchester all day in my block heels (by most women’s standards, these wouldn’t be considered even remotely high) and visited their site only to find a beautiful pair of 60’s style, black leather boots with their trademark Supercomff sole. When I took them for their first outing my feet and knees noticed the difference immediately – I was practically bouncing along in them.
Is it strange to eulogise a pair of boots? Maybe, but these have made my feet very happy. Yes, heels do look lovely and I appreciate their lengthening effect; and being on the short side, a few extra inches certainly wouldn’t go amiss. However, I’m not prepared to ruin my feet for the sake of fashion, so when it comes to walking much further than the length of Guildford High Street, I will continue to be a committed wearer of flats.