My back ached, my knees creaked, my feet felt twice their normal size and they looked red and angry as I finally slipped off the "comfortable" black suede heels I'd been wearing that night.
Sound familiar? Of course it does, because the chances are if you've worn heels, and most of us have at some point, then you'll know that they're never as comfortable as they claim to be.
As a general rule I don't wear high heeled shoes... they make my feet hurt, they put my hips and back out of alignment and my knees will ache for days afterwards. But even if they didn't cause me physical pain, they still wouldn't be my footwear of choice.
I'm short and on a tall day I stand at just over 5ft 1, everyone who knows me is well aware of my height so who am I trying to fool?
Sure it makes your legs look longer and slimmer, and yes heels do bring a certain amount of "sex appeal" but when was that decided? Let's be honest, it was probably a man who decided women looked best in heels... amusing since men themselves used to wear them, while these days most would give you a very funny look if you suggested they try on your stilettos.
I was really interested when I heard about recent research** that showed in the last year more women bought flat shoes than those who bought shoes with a heel. Overall, 51% of shoes bought were flat, followed by trainers as the second choice. The same research showed that even ignoring who bought which shoes, 59% of women preferred to wear flat shoes!
But not only are high heels uncomfortable, they can damage your health.. something I think we all know, but that many are happy to ignore. If you wear heels regularly it can shorten your Achilles tendon, meaning when you do wear flatter shoes you'll experience pain and that makes you more likely to injure yourself. Thanks to gravity, when you wear heels your toes are pushed right to the front of the shoe which can cause ingrown nails, corns and calluses. You can damage your toe joints and even develop arthritis!
Ignoring the damage it does to your feet, we all know that wearing heels makes you walk differently. You shift your centre of gravity to stay upright, as well as trying to make sure you don't slip... this means you're more likely to suffer issues with your lower back.
It's not painting a very pretty picture, is it?
Are heels bad for you? Yes absolutely, but if you want to wear them for a special occasion go ahead but make sure you have a comfortable pair of flats with you in case you want to change.
Also, make sure you take care of your feet; trim your nails properly, perhaps stuff the toe with cotton wool to provide some cushioning, use gel insoles to protect the ball of your foot and make sure you give yourself a good foot massage with your favourite foot cream after a night tottering about.
I've taken the decision lately to get rid of all of my heels, except the pair that is closest to being comfortable. Not only do I now have lots more wardrobe space, but I'm not having to look at gorgeous shoes and think "I wish I could wear you but you hurt me", now it's boots, trainers or flats... all comfortable, all fit well and none of them leave me slipping my shoes off under a table because my feet hurt me so much!
Do you wear heels or are you a flat loving female instead? I'd love to know your thoughts no matter which footwear you choose so please drop me a comment below!
Stay safe, x
** If you'd like to read more of the research I mentioned, here's the link.