WHERE CAN I FIND HEELS THAT ARE CHIC AND COMFORTABLE?
I'm relatively tall and, nine times out of 10, I'll just wear flats (I find stilettos terribly uncomfortable). My work Christmas party is coming up at the end of the month, so I really want to dress up and wear a pair of heels.
I'm prepared to pay up to €200 for a nice, comfortable pair that I can wear through the night. I'd appreciate your suggestions?
Aoife (33), Wicklow
I've no doubt that wearing uncomfortable high-heeled shoes can be more of an endurance test than a pleasure. There's no point looking the epitome of glamour at your Christmas party, but being unable to walk, or indeed dance. Ultimately, it's going to be trial-and-error, but I can give you some pointers that should help.
Yes, it sounds obvious, but you need to physically try on the shoes before you wear them. The correct fit is vital. Not just in length, but if they're tight or there's any rubbing when you try them on, then steer clear.
The heel position is also paramount. Regardless of heel style or thickness, it needs to be positioned directly beneath the heel bone. If the stiletto is too far back, the equilibrium will be off and pain is sure to follow.
Karen Millen's camel-coloured suede courts with leather, pointed toe-cap (1 €175) are worth trying. The Kendra shoe boot at Clarks (2 €129.95) is made from gorgeous snake-effect black leather with a platform sole and clever in-built 'software' cushioning.
Given your height, you might like to try the low-heeled 'Satellite' shoe (3 €53.91, Asos). With a soft, velvet-style upper, adjustable ankle straps to support the foot and an eye-catching heel, they're the perfect party shoes.
Also worth noting, M&S has introduced the new High Heel Hosiery collection. This clever innovation in tights has in-built pads at the bottom of the feet to cushion the ball of the foot and eliminate pain. Priced between €8-€20 (4), it's certainly an affordable option if you find they work for you.