Whilst a pair of ballet pumps may seem extra smart and comfortable than towering stilettoes, they may be the resource of serious foot and back again ache. In reality, with their lack of arch support and cushioning, do you know that donning flat shoes can in fact hurt your ft?
It’s a lesson I acquired the challenging way.
This time very last year, I was in agony. presented the wonderful weather conditions, I deserted my typical higher heels and started putting on ballet pumps, sandals, and also plimsolls, to work.
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They were largely low-cost and cheerful sneakers, acquired in the likes of penneys and H&M.
I had also splashed out on tickets for a series of concerts and festivals. In previous years, I’d worn my trusty Hunter wellies to rain-sodden music festivals, but I now found myself standing all day in flip flops, instead.
The agony started in the sole of my left foot and slowly spread up one side of my ankle. My knee and lower back started aching on the same side, too, and I developed a limp.
Then came the cramps. I’d wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though I used to be being electrocuted, my toes rigid and discomfort shooting through my calves. When the spasms stopped, I’d need to spend a half an hour walking around in heels to stop them coming back again – not what you want to be doing at 4am, three nights a week.
The final straw came when I went to see pop band The Killers in the phoenix park final July. As the crowd went wild jumping up and down to the closing song, I had been sitting on the ground with an agonising cramp in one foot.
I went to see a podiatrist that week and was fitted for orthotic lifts that allow me to walk in flat shoes pain-free.
It is just as well that I did, because flats are the must-wear shoes this summer.
Already made popular by the likes of fashion favourites Alexa Chung, Fearne Cotton and Olivia palermo, flat footwear dominated the catwalks at the SS14 shows.
Even Victoria Beckham, usually known for her six-inch heels, was photographed in buckled brogues at the start of the summer, which prompted Marie Claire to describe flats as “having a moment’.
Stylist Courtney Smith, who is a regular on TV’s Xposé, says that moment is set to continue into next season, too.
“Whether it was brogues, pumps, sneakers or a new, chunky 1980s jelly shoe, one of the things that really stood out at the autumn/winter shows was the amount of flat shoes,” Smith says. “Celine, Chloé, Simone Rocha – almost every designer is doing their version of the flat.”
Smith is no stranger to flat shoes herself. “In my industry, stylists and models live day-to-day in flats, for comfort, and the heels go on for events and jobs. There is too much running around to survive in heels, otherwise.”
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