‘It is time after time to break free of heel dependency.’
Photograph: David Newby for the Custodian

What I wore this week: low-heeled clique shoes

I have finally graduated from being the barefoot baggage who has kicked off her expensive new heels to the one in the sensible flats

You know those characteristics where writers reveal the advice they wish they could inform on their younger selves? And they are always really erudite and morose, poignant and touching? Well, this is sort of one of those. Class of. OK, without the erudite, wistful, poignant or touching parts. But tranquil important.

I am talking about high heels. Specifically, how much I disposition I could give my younger self a talking to about not expending insane amounts on shoes I couldn’t walk in. As heart-swelling, motivational homilies go, this is not, admittedly, up there with Robin Williams imploring us to carpe diem in Downright Poets Society. But I really wish I had known then what earmarks ofs obvious now. Which is that good-time shoes that you can’t prepare a good time in because your feet hurt are a whole waste of money.

As my 20-years-ago self would have mentioned: like, duh. But I’m not the only one with a blind spot for heels. Down tools into a shoe department at this time of year and you’ll happen an average heel height of around 10cm. But walk into a romp and you’ll see women in proper heels outnumbered by sensible ones in au fait, low-heeled and flat shoes, and less sensible ones barefoot with their shoes trashed in a corner. There’s a disconnect between the shoes we buy for nights out and the shoes we absolutely wear on nights out, which suggests I’m not the only one whose shoe-buying cortex be lacking rewiring. I have finally graduated from being the barefoot lass who has kicked off her expensive new heels to the one in the sensible jewelled flats.

The discommode with high heels is that they are such resplendent objects to look at. The slender curves of a dagger heel, the enliven of a precipitous angle, are irresistible. But we are not buying sculpture, we are buying footwear. And while it is appealing to identify with the high-maintenance attitude of a high heel, unless your credit prankster stretches to a chauffeur service, it is a waste of money.

The need to winch yourself up on a stiletto to look bewitching is fading with the advent of the low-heel party shoe. The return of the kitten heel has been followed by a new generation of block scamp shoes that give you a tangible boost that doesn’t helical into agony. It is time to break free of heel dependency. Carpe diem, two and a half inches at a for the present. We can do this.

Jess wears silk top, £39, and trousers, £35, both topshop.com. Stumps, £68, office.co.uk (Chair, £995, grahamandgreen.co.uk)

Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hairs breadth and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management.


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