High-heel way to heaven: a feminist’s solution.There have been times when clothes have let me down. When I’ve wished that there was a way to wear my vamp dress on a cold June night without a thick winter’s coat covering it, when I’ve used safety pins to make a jacket fit me better, and when I’ve cursed my lovely lace-up ankle boots for their merciless pinch. It’s at times like these, when walking bare foot across a dance floor, heels swinging over my shoulders that I’ve stopped and asked myself: “Isn’t there a better way of doing things?”
And there is. A certain Tanya Heath, Canadian feminist shoe designer working in Paris, has decided enough is enough. The well known “I-look-fabulous-in-these-heels-but-if-I-don’t-take-them-off-RIGHT-NOW-I-may-lose-a-toe” torture that women regularly put themselves through must come to an end.
So enters her invention: a multi-height shoe with changeable heels. Yep you heard right. Gone are the days where comfort is found only in a pair of flat veldskoene with insoles. Now you can have your cake and eat it in a pair of Lady Gaga Lobster heels.
The “feminine feminist” designer spent years researching how the shoe will remain balanced and comfortable on both a high and low heel setting. Result? The world’s first luxurious leather multi-height heeled shoe that switches seamlessly from nine to four centimetres. The design couldn’t be anymore brilliant. Oh wait, it could. To takeaway from the “gee-whizz technology” Heath opted for a “deliberately nostalgic” feel so the shoes are modelled in a 1920s style. Drool.
The shoe’s solution is simple. Half way through the next dreaded event you’re at, when the only man who’s looked twice at you was a tattooed second cousin out on parole and your toetsies have started suffocating, take a deep breath and press a button in your shoe’s sole, slot out the painful high heel and replace it with a flat, kinder version. Now you can be sexy on your own terms and get relief as well as get home without the help of an ambulance, epidural or a fireman.
I like that this innovation was designed by a woman who is both a stylista and a savvy businesswoman. She’s the kind of role model I look for. Tired of aching feet but refusing to give into a future of crocs and plimsolls, Heath went out and solved her own pet peeve, helping a lot of other women along the way.
Not only is this a great invention, but it also makes me wonder. Wouldn’t it be great if we had clothes with other special abilities? A brown jersey with last night’s coleslaw clinging to the front you wore to buy Sunday’s latte that can miraculously change into a boat neck body-con dress when you bump into the broad-shouldered architect in the queue. Or a chiffon shirt with a plunging neckline that can suddenly transform into a misshapen polo neck when you walk past the sexist sandwich seller with halitosis.
Oh how the school girls of my past would’ve rejoiced at the possibility of eating breakfast with dad in a school skirt 2cm above the knee and then enter Science class wearing a hair-band around their hips.
I must still say though, whether these shoes find themselves on the shelves of Mr Price or not, you’ll still find me running for the train in my scuffed Doc Martins. What can I say? I’m a die-hard.