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Adjustable high heels, anyone?

Afraid that your killer stilettos will ruin your feet? Check out shoes that come with changeable stems

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 27, 2012 17:08 IST

Tanya Heath is on a double mission: to prove women can wear heels without ruining their feet. Her answer to their plight, a heel that switches from high to low, is being made entirely in France. The Paris-based Canadian designer started with a simple idea. When your shoes start to hurt — during a party, a wedding or a workday — press a button in the sole, slot out your dressy high heel and replace it with a version better suited for walking. “My shoe is designed to be sexy — but on a woman’s terms. You can do your two-hour meeting, and then just take off your high heel,” the 42-year-old explained at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris this month.

This fruit of three painstaking years of research is the world’s first multi-height heel, a patented luxury leather shoe that switches seamlessly from nine to four centimetres (3.5 to 1.5 inches). From pastel pink patent sandals to strappy dancing shoes or demure lace-ups, with either stilettos or chunky heels, high or low, the shoes are pitched at the high end of the market, starting at around R17,300.

A passionate heel-wearer herself, Heath’s project was born partly out of personal experience, having suffered foot deformations from heels, like an estimated 38 percent of women worldwide do.