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Choosing head over heels

Lady Gaga can totter in mammoth heels, and even tolerate bloody feet, but a growing number of girls are displaying anti-heel sentiments, choosing comfort over fashion.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 07, 2011 00:14 IST
Shara Ashraf

Lady Gaga can totter in mammoth heels, and even tolerate bloody feet (check her out in her You and I video, which shows the singer’s feet bleeding as she walks all the distance from New York to Nebraska in impossibly high heels), but a growing number of girls are displaying anti-heel sentiments, choosing comfort over fashion.

Recently, at a Balenciaga fashion show in Paris, super model Gisele Bundchen refused to wear Nicholas Ghesquiere’s signature 4.5 inch high heels and the Balenciaga creative director had to design flat shoes for her to walk on the runway. Last year too, models Abbey Lee Kershaw, Natasha Poly and Sasha Pivovarova had chosen to quit the Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010 show, rather that tottering in 10 inch tall Armadillo shoes. Recently, Khloe Kardashian too, who’s rarely spotted without her killer heels despite a 5’ 10” frame, went out shopping in Calabasas, California, wearing flip flops instead of stilettos.

Comfort scores over fashion:
Closer home too, fashionistas who won’t trade their comfort for fashion say it’s better to ditch gravity-defying heels than get a twisted ankle. Model Pallavi Roy says, “Heels could turn very dangerous for a model, so if she refuses to wear such heels, there’s nothing wrong with that. Whether on or off the ramp, if fashion causes discomfort or pain, it’s better to shun it.”

Agrees designer Rina Dhaka, “My shoe came off on the ramp recently in Bangalore. That’s when I realised what scares models off. If a model refuses to wear impossibly high heels, it’s the right thing for her to do.”

Model Laxmi Rana too says that it’s advisable to give tower heels a miss than become a subject of ridicule. “There’s nothing trendy about falling face flat on the ramp when thousands of eyes are glued on you,” she says, adding, “Forget the ramp, some girls are so heel-obsessed that they wear heels even when shopping or during flights. It looks silly. Heels must be limited to special occasions.

For the rest of the days, one must wear flats that look super glam.” Dhaka, a self-confessed heelaholic, however, says it’s a challenge for a fashionista to stay away from heels. “Heels are like an addiction. They hurt, bite, torture, but you just can’t give them up. I’m yet to come across a devilishly sexy high heel shoe that’s comfy.”

What doctors say...
Experts say you can’t wear heels and not hurt your feet at the same time. Dr Naveen Talwar, sr consultant orthopaedic, Fortis Escorts, says, “There is no right way to wear heels. It’s always better to not to wear them. But, if one just can’t give up heels, then wedges are any day better.”

How to lessen heel discomfort
Wear heels for shorter periods. One should try to wear them for no longer than 2-3 hours at a stretch. When it’s required to be worn for long, always try to take off heels when you get to sit or relax. Soak your feet in hot water for 10 minutes everyday. Simply rolling your feet over a golf ball is also highly relaxing.