Last year my eldest daughter bought her first pair of high-heeled shoes.
It wasn’t a pretty sight, watching her teetering around, but she eventually regained stability and mastered the art of walking without a stoop.
I couldn’t criticise — I must have looked similar at her age, wobbling around at discos in towering strappy sandals.
That’s all in the past. I can’t remember the last time I wore high-heeled shoes. I gave them up as a student, when everyone wore Dr Martens, and haven’t gone back.
Now, all these years later, flat shoes are on the up. Sales now account for three in every five pairs of shoes sold, no doubt fuelled by certain celebrities — I won’t name them — who suddenly appear markedly shorter after ditching their heels.
Flat shoes are so comfortable. Fair enough, they’re not very elegant, and you’re not going to look like Sarah Jessica Parker, but you can run for the bus without falling over — last week I just missed one and ran a quarter of mile to catch up with it, I couldn’t have done that in heels — and you won’t get stuck in a grate.
High heels are meant to flatter your legs but, let’s face it, many wearers are anything but elegant. Hobbling along on Friday and Saturday night, they look drunk even before they’ve reached the pub.
There wouldn’t be a million websites on how to walk in stilettos — ‘proceed with caution’ many advise — if they were a doddle to master.
Surprisingly, high heels can help people to achieve better posture — but getting it right isn’t easy. I see people who have worn high shoes for decades crabbing along like old ladies.
High shoes can be agony to wear. I remember one pair so painful it was like walking round in a Victorian man trap. They sloped at an alarming degree, I might as well have worn ballet points. I had so many plasters I could barely get them on, but I persevered in the name of vanity.
Recently, my daughters tried to persuade me to invest in a pair of heeled shoes for a wedding, but when I tried them on I felt like I was on stilts.
There’s only one down side to flats: friends, whose feet are welded to four-inch heels, look down and call me ‘Titch’, when in reality I’m not shorter than they are.