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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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22 comments

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Those are more like foot art. Brava to you that you were able to totter about on them at all! I can’t wait to see that shoot. xo

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Eeee I feel your pain. I had to wear shoes 2 sizes too small and quite a few inches high too high for me in a shoot. Was in complete agony with my feet turning a lovely shade of purple.

A couple of my friends live in 5″ heels. Not because of what they see on the catwalk or editorials, but because they are below 5 foot (or there about) and paranoid about being short. I did make the mistake of wearing 5″ heels to fashion week (for the reasons you suggested) and was probably one of those ridicules girls tottering her way over the cobbles. You live and learn 😉

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Hi Sasha

I (literally) share your pain. I bought some beautiful purple suede Jimmy Choos a few months ago and wore them for the first time on Saturday night at the Dock Kitchen.

The shoes are utterly gorgeous but I had to hobble across the cobbles (unintentional rhyme!) because the heels are so thin and I spent all night wincing as my feet were being crushed and my little toes were sat under the ones next to them.

For me it’s not about the height, it’s about the width (I have no problem walking in five inch high heels). I have fairly wide feet and shoe designers make shoes for women with slim, dainty feet that most of us aren’t lucky enough to possess. As is so often seen in fashion, items are designed for the ‘perfect’ woman, not ones with normal afflictions such as feet shaped like door wedges.

Great post, thanks.

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PS I find it really irritating and fake that so many outfit bloggers show photos of themselves in high heels and then admit that they wear ballet pumps all the time. What’s the point in showing off outfits that they don’t actually wear? Again, it’s enforcing the impression that we could and should wear crippling heels 24/7.

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i read this post before seeing the pic and figured they must have been pretty high if you (who frequently posts about high heels) couldn’t manage them. and yes they are completely unreasonable. i wish they would stop making shoes like this. i know i wouldn’t even be able to flex my feet far enough to get into them!

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I have my *standing-only* shoes where I know that all I have to do is stand straight for a couple of hours – and obviously take a cab to wherever I have to wear them. But more and more, I really can’t be bothered with the excruciating back ache that comes as a result of standing in towering heels. I can do wedge heels but my stiletto days are finished!

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Holy smoke! I am all for 5″ heels, but I wouldn’t have even dared to wear those out! You were brave!

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They are beautiful but… dear God! How can anyone stand – let alone walk – in them!?!?!

You deserve a medal for surviving the shoot! 😀

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Totally with you on this! I have a pair of stunning red patent Christian Louboutin heels that I bought for my wedding. I practiced walking in them for weeks (around my apt.) and wore them for the photos but they were so excruciating that I had to switch into a lower (and very comfy) pair of red patent Cole Haan heels (with nike air padding inside) before even walking down the aisle. They looked incredible in the photos, but they’ve since sat in the dust bag in the box in my closet. I take them out and put them on every so often, but I know I can’t wear them in real life. The toe box is so incredibly short and narrow and the heel so high that I feel like I’m in point shoes. I think I should just give in and put them on ebay.

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