These are the Guiseppe Zanotti heels I wore on the shoot on Friday. Although they are, to me, aesthetically pleasing, (and looked great with my frock), they are basically un-walkable in. And un-standable in, for that matter.

I inched my way from wardrobe to camera in the manner of someone who has recently spent three days in the saddle and aches in every joint. Propping myself against a window for the pictures,  I slouched with my hands in my pockets, shifting my weight infinitesimally from foot to foot, in the way I was once shown by a very famous model who swore it was the only way to stand for a while in high heels.

But then when I was asked to move into the centre of the room I could barely keep myself upright. If that shoot had gone on for 30secs more I would have toppled over onto the floor. I now know why stars on the red carpet always cross their legs in that slightly odd scissoring manner: it isn’t just because it makes your legs look unnaturally long. It’s because it’s a very effective way to stop yourself toppling over on the stilts from hell and going splat in front of the camera lens.

Every day I see women tottering down the street in heels in which they patently obviously cannot walk. Because of this I have been meaning to write for ages: do not try to emulate what you see in fashion editorials or on red carpets. No one actually walks anywhere in these shoes. Save yourself the bunions, and drop an inch on your heels. (And your arthritic hips will thank you in twenty years’ time.) There’s nothing more sexy or empowering than a woman who can actually, you know, walk in her shoes.

(Polly Vernon wrote a great piece on killer heels in Saturday’s Times. Great minds think alike etc etc)

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They look agonising. Truly agonising. I remember my first heels were a pair of acid yellow stilettos (gotta love the 80’s) I went to a disco at my new school in them, wearing a fluoro orange pencil skirt. I looked constipated due to the shuffling stagger I had to adopt in order to go anywhere, which was not what I was aiming for. The final humiliation was getting my heel stuck in a grating and losing shoe integrity.

Still, all power to your elbow for being able to move at all in them.


Jeez, how tall is that!? They look amazing but they’re also kind of scary to wear.


They look absolutely beautiful, but more like a piece of art to display rather than something to wear AND walk. Totally agree with what you say here. There’s nothing less glamorous and more funny that a woman trying to walk in uncomfortable shoes. And God doesn’t it hurt! I understand that “a woman has to suffer to be beautiful”, but prefer leaving the “suffering” part to a regular need to shave rather than wear shoes that require a degree in gymnastics and health insurance. x


Those shoes don’t even look attractive to me. That heel is out of control! They’d be so beautiful if it was two inches shorter. I don’t understand the point of unwearable shoes like that. A nice three or four inch heel looks great, and (for me, at least) is very walkable. So why the proliferation of five and six inch heels? Many shoes with that high of a heel look stripper-ish to me. The last impression i want my shoes to give is that “my job involves a pole…”


Heels and pointy toes are murders, I had my first injury at LFW 4 seasons ago with a nasty black toe nail which had to be pinned into…ok ok too much detail. My body suffered from shock because of the pain I had to endue all day, block heels and round toes are saviour and thank goodness I have no bunions 😛


You know I always wondered about that scissored legged pose – now I know why. The shoes look beautiful but there is nothing beautiful about a woman hobbling along in too high heels. I noticed that all the female contestants going into BB5 (yes I am ashamed) all wore very high platforms & not one of them could walk properly – they all shuffled along looking like Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon in “Some like it Hot” (you know the scene). I don’t think that was the look they were aiming for!


They are truly beautiful but clearly not worth the pain. I’ve spent too much time in contraptions like these – I’m 26 and have had bunions for 4 years!!


They look very beautiful but I really wouldn’t like to wear them.

You’re absolutely right, there’s nothing attractive about a woman who can’t walk in her shoes, no matter how lovely the shoes are.


Gotta say I don’t agree with this article entirely, I have a lot of friends who wear five inch heels pretty much all day, everyday, so just because you can’t walk in these shoes doesn’t mean no one can, some people are just better built for heels than others.


@Ellie: I fear that may be because you are missing the point! I didn’t say I can’t walk in heels. I said I cldn’t wear the shoes in the photograph. And I think that would be true of pretty much most women. A 5″ heel with an inch or more platform – perfectly feasible, although a tad stripper for my taste. Balancing a female body on a 6″, single sole spike? Come off it! Who’s built for that?!

As for the res of the post, I was talking to the women who persevere in wearing vertiginous shoes, because they think are both fashionable and feasible, when clearly they can’t walk in them. I was pointing out that many women in the industry, who people think *can* walk in vertiginous heels, in fact can’t do so because these ultra high shoes are just not engineered for anything much beyond a quick totter from door to cab…And this I know from styling & working with hundreds of models & celebs throughout my career. So it’s crazy for young women to try to emulate the footwear choices of stars when the stars themselves only wear that kind of footwear for promotional appearances.



I shld also have added in the post that the fact that fashion editors & stylists are very very rarely seen in super high heels but use them in editorials all the time rather proves my point – editors know that they look gd on shoots but also know full well that they wld be crippled if they themselves wore these shoes for work. LLGxx

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