The low down on high heels


I confess – have a foot fetish; I adore designer shoes. Well, if you put your foot in your mouth as often as I do, it’s simply got to be well shod. As I’m only five foot three, I also like to wear heels so I’m not constantly looking up men’s noses. Nor do I like to be marooned at flatulence-level.

Yes, I would have preferred to find a way to look blokes in the eye that was less painfully crippling, but scientists have proved curiously reluctant to take time off from improving Hadron Collider speeds to invent me a shoe which is flat all day, then simply pumps up into a high heel for partying at night. I already have a name for it – “The Social Climber”. Now that really would give a girl a head for heights.

I’ve been head over heels about high heels from the first time I tried on my Mum’s pink slingbacks, aged six. As I said in a post here yesterday, I clearly have mummy-ish shoes. (Don’t groan! I warned you about the foot-in-mouth-disease in my electronic chat with you all, too.)

But having worked for home for a year now, I’ve had no reason to take off my trainers. Sco Mo’s flight caps mean I’ve been marooned in London for most of that time. British Lockdown rules are so strict that you’re not allowed out of the house except to attend your own funeral. And even then you could get turned back. In Australia life looks pretty much back to normal. But life over here, with much of Europe going back into lockdown, is about as much fun as an open coffin – and definitely no reason to put on your party shoes. At least FOMO is a thing of the past. I mean, how can you have FO when there’s no MO?

Anyway, having exhausted the thrilling activities of alphabetising the spice rack and excavating my bellybutton fluff, I was cleaning out my wardrobe (will the bacchanalian Fun Fest never cease?) and gazed longingly at my racks of shoes – slinky slingbacks, leopard print mules, diamante kitten heels, purple paten leather pumps…. In a fit of nostalgia I popped on my favourite spangly stilettos and attempted a little sashay. But instead of feeling like a sophisticated glamazonian, I howled in pain then lurched sideways at a vertiginous angle like a toddler taking to the ice. How did I ever wear these bloody things?

Men are so much luckier than women. Not only do blokes not have to give birth, but they only require one or two pairs of good shoes for the whole of their adult lives. And it seems that post COVID, the women of the world are going to follow in men’s unfashionable footsteps. High heel purchases are at an all-time low.

Shoppers of 2021 have turned on their heels and embraced trainers. Stiletto king Kurt Geiger’s spring-summer collection is solely focusing on flats and trainers. Even Victoria Beckham, who’s been photographed wearing stilettos to the beach, in the snow and on a treadmill has just launched a range of trainers. Giving us the ultimate low down on High Society, Serena Williams wore trainers to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception. And let’s not overlook Melania Trump – hard to do when she’s in heels, but easy in the comfy flats she wore off the plane, after leaving the Whitehouse.

Some women say wearing heels makes them feel sexy. But in my experience skyscraper shoes gives a very literal meaning to “falling for a guy.” I was once invited to a party to honour Al Pacino. Desperate to impress I wore my highest shoes. But the razor-thin heel kept catching in the thick shag pile carpet, meaning that I was forced to walk towards him like a dressage horse so as not to trip over. The Hollywood star was already casting dubious looks in my direction, no doubt expecting me to say “Yah” or “Neigh” and possibly start counting with one hoof, when I suddenly succumbed to gravity and toppled forward into a full face-down spread eagle on the floor before him. Boy, I was feeling sexy then… about as sexy as a half-thawed rissole. I wanted him to be head over heels in love but ended up heels over head instead – not a good look on a girl whose dress was so tight she’d chosen to “go commando”, which meant, that yes, I’d also flashed him a fallopian on route. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot.

Clearly, time wounds all heels. So, yes, let’s cast the stiletto off into sartorial Siberia, along with corsets, ruffs and bustles. From now on I’m putting my best foot forward in a pair of birkenstocks. But as I pack boxes of high heels for the charity shop, I confess I am keeping a few sexy, slinky pairs…. just in case I occasionally need to keep on my toes.

Looking through my photos, I seem to have sky scraper heels in every snap, as attached. But from now on, I’m lowering my tone. What about you?

Also, for any mums going through a rocky time with your teenage daughter, may I humbly suggest you read one of my novels, “To Love, Honour and Betray”. It’s set back in Cronulla, scene of Puberty Blues, but this time told from the mother’s point of view. I’m sure it will provide some comedic comfort!

Cheers for now, chums, Kathy xx

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