As a frequent wearer of high heels let me just say that it takes YEARS to train feet to get used to them. YEARS! And even then somewhere in the back of my mind a small but vital past of me is whispering, 'what about loafers, or flats, I bet they'd be more comfortable.' Or on angrier days (these are tools of the patriarchy! Stop wearing them, let your leg hair grow, wipe off that lipstick damn you, what do you mean you want to look your best? You shouldn't have to torture yourself to do so, what do you mean you don't accept them au natural either? What about beards? What? Who's Hugo Boss?)
But while flats would indeed be more more comfortable, certain ensembles require a decent heel to tie it all together. And on days when I pull out the higher of the heels you can be damn sure I am, A- going to where I am going by car, B- doing a lot of sitting down when I get there, and C- getting a taxi back. Even then it will be with a certain amount of relief when I get home and kick said heels off, and my feet are FAR from beginners.
So there, I have said it, I am a heel wearer, a good heel wearer in fact. An EXPERT heel wearer.
Which lead me to my post this gloomy wet day. (screw you rain!)
'Stilettoes are the new gym accessory!' Scwwweams The sun.
Reporter Dulcie Pearce goes to her local gym to try out the new 'rage'
Let the foolishness begin...
"DUSTING off my gym bag, I entered the changing rooms with a familiar fear that comes from being surrounded by super-fit people."
(Ah yes, because remember folks, everybody who goes to the gym, esecially in January are super fit triatholons, just sitting buffly in the changing rooms waiting to point at your gutsy and laughing like this 'mwaameaaahhhh!' Perpetuate myth one straight out the gates)
'After pulling on my slightly dated tracksuit and squeezing into my highest heels, I hobbled to the dance hall which had shiny floors and 360-degree mirrored walls."
"My instructor, Zoe McNulty, who was stretching with the usual suppleness of a dancer, explained: “It doesn’t matter if you’re thin or fat, short or tall, old or young – this workout is made for everyone to enjoy.”
(I assume most men are not going to join up, so the 'everyone' bit has me puzzled)
"She continued: “Wearing the stilettos changes your centre of gravity, forcing you to pull in your stomach, while improving your balance and making you feel sexy and confident.”
"Then Zoe took me through a succession of complicated lunges, squats, spins and wiggles that were quickly put together to make a ten-minute dance.
“It’s time to release your inner kitten and become the master of your stilettos,” Zoe said, turning up the music.
Following Zoe’s every move to the beats of Britney Spears’ Toxic blasting out of the stereo, I actually started to enjoy myself. If it hadn’t been for the searing pain up my calf muscles, I would have forgotten all about the stupidly high heels I was prancing around in."
Okay then, as actresses flogging shampoo the world over say, here comes the science bit.
'When you wear high heel you are immediately throwing your body out of its natural alignment. It affects your posture, as well as putting pressure on your back, knees and can negatively affect your feet as well.
Generally, we're not built to wear high heels for everyday walking, and the position you are forcing your feet into is unnatural (and normally worse the higher the heel), can restrict blood flow, cause cramps give you backache and lead to severe posture problems.
As for your back, it's not so much a matter of affecting the backbone, as causing problems for your disks as they have to support your vertebrae in a completely different way to when you're wearing flats. It can those lead to malformations and joint pains.
And your poor feet suffer such conditions as bunions, swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe; hammertoes, a permanent bend in the middle joint of a toe; neuromas, nerve problems that cause shooting pain into the toes; ingrown toenails; and even stress fractures. Australian Podiatry Association (NSW) vice-president Brenden Brown claims high heels wear likely to increase the risk of foot and ankle injury and pain. "Your tendons claw up, so your toes are clawing up. Your calves may look fantastic, but your feet are going to look like a 90-year-old's," he said.'
Okay, so heels are not great for the body as a whole, most of us know that and limit our time and endurance in them.
SO why in the name of God would some eegit go exercising in them?! We have great things for exercising in, they're called runners. They are comfortable, lightweight, shock absorbers. You can run safely in them. You can jump and bounce and turn and do all sort of things that burn the old calories.
This kind of flummery gets my dander up, almost as much as 'poledancing class' or as I call it, 'How to emulate a stripper' class, I mean give me a bloody break.
Stilleto shoes do not belong in a gym, and seeing a bunch of women hobbling about in them wearing tracksuits would make whole parts of my womanhood shiver in despair. I might hand in my membership badge in disgust and go off deep into the woods to try my hand at rearing dalmation sheep.
High heel exercise, I'm against it! And so should you all.
I'm off now for a run, rain be damned.
I won't be wearing heels.