Dearest, torturous high heels,
The time has come. New data out of the US shows there was a 12 per cent drop in high heel sales last year, according to The Washington Post.
It’s a trend reflected in Australia also, according to Fairfax Media, and you’re right… You deserve an explanation.
There are several potential reasons for your demise.
Workplaces are becoming more casual, meaning a below-the-knee skirts and high heels are no longer mandatory. (Millennials are playing ping pong in the office, remember? You’re a hindrance to performance).
People are realising, too belatedly, that sneakers can be… cool. And, in a revelation you’ll never understand, us shoe-wearers can actually walk in them.
In fact, while your spiky bottoms have remained on store shelves across the world, the squishy rubbery soles of sneakers are practically running (sorry) out retailers’ doors. In the US, the sale of women’s sneakers increased by 37 per cent last year, and in Australia sport and casual shoe retailers enjoy a market share greater than 25 per cent.
Celebrities are leading the way. Angelina Jolie wore these loafers at an airport last year and the world had a meltdown. Sandals and ballet shoes are appearing on red carpets for the first time since the history of red carpets, and everyone is still living. And, thanks to Instagram, activewear with running shoes is practically the new Little Black Dress.
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People are more conscious about their activity during the day. And with the uprising of standing desks, also comes the uprising of comfortable shoes.
“Even after we get to work, we’re trying not to sit at our desks all day,” said Katie Smith, director of retail analysis at London-based retail technology company Edited told The Washington Post.
“We stand. We take the stairs. We walk to lunch. We’re constantly counting our steps, so it makes sense to wear comfortable footwear and clothing.”
So, women are finally pushing back. We realise the way you make us appear taller and trick our legs into feeling more shapely is, in fact, unnecessary and slightly problematic.
And the way you wrangle our toes into tiny wedges, rendering us immobile for hours after taking you off, well… we’ve had a gutful.
Don’t be sad. It’s not goodbye forever. As Smith explains: “This is not a burn-your-heels moment — the majority of women still have heels in their wardrobes.”
But it’s certainly time for some distance.
Like many woman across the world, I am finally moving on and doing so in blissful, flat-soled comfort.
Please, don’t try calling…
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