There has been a lot of media coverage over the last couple of weeks regarding a temporary receptionist who was sent home from PwC for not wearing stilettos. Frenzied conversation ensued as to whether or not it is right to expect women to wear heels and if by wearing heels women are victims of a sexist society.Whatever your view, one thing women seem to agree on is that most stilettos are painful, cause discomfort and, over time, lead to foot deformity. Iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin famously said “I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say, ‘Oh my God! That looks so comfortable!” Easy for him to say when he doesn’t actually have to experience the pain that goes with squeezing your feet into said instruments of torture! I am a lover of high heels. Being a rather modest 5ft 4″, not only do heels make me taller, they also make my legs appear longer. So often, however, I have found myself on a night out wearing a pair of killer heels which are, quite literally, killing my feet. Why do women wear shoes that cripple their feet and yet men, quite sensibly, wear shoes that fit properly? How often have you seen men late at night walking down the road, hobbling barefooted and holding their shoes? Yet, this is a common occurrence for women. But before we start accusing women of being vacuous slaves to fashion, perhaps we should point the finger at the shoe industry who I believe has failed to recognise that women’s feet are getting wider and haven’t adapted their shoes accordingly. After the birth of my first child I discovered that my feet had got wider. This is a common side effect of pregnancy (and a permanent one). I was annoyed that I could no longer fit into half of the shoes in my wardrobe. On a positive note it did mean the excuse to shop for more shoes! This time, however, I decided to focus on wider fit shoes as not only did my feet now require them I also became conscious that they were beginning to show the signs of damage being done by wearing shoes that were too tight and needed to put a halt to their demise. The problem I found was that the choice of wider fit shoes, if you wanted something that was in any way stylish, was utterly pitiful. Believing there was a gap in the market that needed to be filled I started a small luxury shoe company specialising in stylish wide fit footwear for women. We that recently conducted a survey of nearly 900 women in the UK to better understand their footwear needs. Over half told us that they felt they have a wider shoe fit.
Read more on the shoe industry:
- 30 Digital Champions: The shoe brand getting orders from global musicians and royalty
- How Upper Street found success in luxury shoe market – and on crowdfunding platform Seedrs
- Goodwin Smith’s secret to attracting consumers in the busy footwear industry
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