Today I’m talking about why I’m giving up high heels, the last batch headed to charity shop behind me and by the end of the video you’ll have 3 reasons you should consider ditching the heels too. If you love your heels, then this isn’t for you – but if you’ve been thinking about ditching them, stay with me and see if any of my reasons resonate with you.
My first reason? They hurt. I know lots of women who love heels, but none that say they feel good. And if you aren’t sure, look at the number of women who traipse around cities in flats, whilst carrying their heels in a bag to put on when the show starts. If you are still not convinced, think about how frequently at any wedding, night out in a city centre or even at networking events how frequently you see women eventually out of their shoes.
And there’s a reason for that: podiatrists have shown that the shape your foot is forced into whilst in a heel is not dissimilar to the ancient practice of Chinese foot binding. Plus, as I’ve seen when watching my aunt painfully climb stairs, wearing heels every day shortens your calf muscles – which means you eventually have to wear them. And that’s all before we get to the wonderful world of corns and bunions and the delightfully named hammer toes.
My second reason? How you look is not your value to others. As you can see, I am no model, very few people are – I just a working woman who needs to make an impression on my clients. And the truth is, if that impression primarily comes from my feet or even how I look – I’m not doing my job well enough. You may be lovely, but by the fact that your watching this video – you are probably like me, in that your value to other people comes from what you think, say and do, not from what you wear and how you teeter around the office.
My final reason I’m choosing flats is that it silently gives permission to other women to do the same. The fact that I’m often on a stage or giving talks means that I get sized up pretty frequently – not just by men, but by women too. But here’s the thing – you get sized up to because if you are doing your job well, we are all role models. You may remember a few years ago a female receptionist, Nicola Thorp was sent home for wearing flats to work.
It made big news, because it spoke to what society expects from professional women. Nicola Thorp didn’t go to work that day setting out to be a role model, but the wave of support she had suggested she was.
Keep your heels if you want to but wear more flats if you’re tired of aching feet, you realise your value isn’t in how you look and you want women to be seen as professional no matter what they have on their feet.
Share this video with someone you know who loves shoes, type in your favourite brand of professional looking flat shoes in the comments section below or check us out at inclusiq.com for more on gendered expectations in the workplace.