For years the plight of many women’s wardrobe was the killer heel. A staple in any fashionista’s collection and a constant reminder of how there’s ‘no pain, no gain’ in style. Designers have apparently decided to further exacerbate this mantra by creating the heel-less shoe. They’ve taken the fashion world by storm and now it’s time to see if they’ll ever creep their way into the average woman’s high-street wardrobe.
Heel-less shoes base their height on a platform that does not stretch for the entirety of the shoe. Essentially, they are platform heels without the heel. Often the platform curves towards the back of the shoe as though it has been cut-away.
Antonio Berardi pioneered these shoes in his 2007 runway collection and since being made famous by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga, women everywhere have been eager to get their hands on a pair. Having only previously been seen on the red carpet though, is there really a market for them in the real world? With clothing giants like New Look creating their own versions of the trend (and selling them for an eye-watering £129.99) it seems that practical judgement has gone out the window in favour of the shoes that appear more like pieces of art than sensible footwear. Yet fashion isn’t renowned for its desire for comfort so this is of little surprise. However, Berardi’s design is not yet common place on the high-street, with designs inspired by his own being few and far between. Ebay have a plethora of heel-less shoes of varying price ranges so despite not being common in store, they are relatively easy to get hold of.
A rather unconvincing claim comes from the creator that in fact the shoes are not as uncomfortable as they look and although they may seem daunting at first, many clients claim them to feel as easy to wear as regular shoes. It certainly seems to bring into question their idea of a ‘regular shoe’. The above belief is, rather unsurprisingly, not shared by a number of health experts who fear that frequent wear may result in permanent feet, knee and spinal damage. Is it a risk worth taking? Does the admiration gained from owning these articles outweigh the threat of injury?
For some, the risk of severe injury is a small price to pay to maintain within the fashion spotlight. Those women should be wished ‘good luck’. For others, it would appear that these shoes are just too extreme; a catwalk trend unsuitable for extending to the high-street. Surrounded by impracticality, it’s clear that Berardi does not design with the feint-hearted in mind. They’re stylish, they’re quirky and they’re certainly a statement piece. They’re not pretending to be anything else but if you are brave enough to be venturing out in a pair of heel-less shoes this season, the only advice that can be given is: be careful!