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Stiletto heels - health and safety

(74 Posts)
cassandra264 Sun 21-Mar-21 20:03:51

This issue created a lot of discussion a couple of years ago. A receptionist legally challenged her employers, who wanted to sack her for refusing to wear high stiletto heels in a job where she would be standing for most of the day. Over the years, this practice is known to cause painful foot health problems, especially later in life.

Now, following the justifiable concern over Sarah Everard's death and the safety of women generally, I feel that women,
- especially those who appear on TV and who hold down jobs where appearance is not the most important attribute - (models, singers and Strictly contestants are perhaps in a different category) should be setting a much better, more empowering - and most of all safer - example to us all of what to wear at work.

Stilettos may be fun when dressing up. I have bought them myself in the past. However, worn for most jobs, they seem to me like the 21st century equivalent of the ancient and now discredited practice of Chinese foot binding. They are designed to change the way a woman walks to make her seem more attractive to men, while making it much harder for her to escape difficult situations. Now the figures state that one in four of us has suffered harassment or assault, is it not time to question those external pressures which encourage us to present ourselves in this way? And refuse to pander to employers who say, this is the only way for our female staff to look elegant?

What do the rest of you think?

Kim19 Tue 23-Mar-21 15:44:21

Gosh, some rather vitriolic, judgemental and nonsense opinions here. I've worn heels pretty much all my business life but never once by diktat and always choice. Fact is they complete my feeling of dressiness/smartness when I socialise. No pressure. Strictly my choice and always has been. In fact I'm looking forward to getting them back on again once my lunches restart. Can't understand the heatedness here other than if there was ever enforcement to wear. That it never acceptable.

Shropshirelass Tue 23-Mar-21 10:15:08

I used to love heels, not necessarily stilettos, but as I became older they were no longer comfortable and I now wear flats or very low heels. I have a friend who is now in her eighties, she always wore very high heels (she was very tiny!), the problems she had with her feet and discomfort changing to flats was awful, she also had to have knee replacements.

Saetana Tue 23-Mar-21 03:43:12

NOBODY should be made to wear heels as a part of a dress code for work! If you want to wear them, then that is your choice and I support that. However, stiletto heels are extremely damaging to women's feet, and it does your calf muscles no favours either. I wore stilettos when I was young and stupid - from my mid 20s onwards I have refused to do this and instead wear Doc Martens, low heeled boots, trainers or other suitable flat shoes that will not result in my feet being semi-crippled in later years. Of course men like them - they change a woman's posture to something more sexual, which is totally inappropriate for the workplace. 4allweknow what a disgusting statement - women can and should wear whatever they like without being considered as only dressing so to attract men!

CanadianGran Tue 23-Mar-21 01:32:53

In our province the employer cannot force a heel height. It was challenged in 2017 by a restaurant employee, and found to be an unsafe practice. I remember it being on the news, and thought 'good for her'.

Recommendations now need to consider employee safety, for instance rubber soles, etc. Not having worked in a restaurant, or going to one in the last year, I cannot say I have noticed what women were wearing!

I have in the past worn higher heels (but never very high), but that was clerical work mostly sitting at a desk. Years ago in my early 20's I did work as a bank clerk and would wear medium heels. Most of my discomfort was sweaty feet from wearing hose, not actual pinching toes.

I really don't see very many young women wearing high shoes these days, but then we live in a smaller remote town and everyone seems to dress very casually.

BlueBelle Mon 22-Mar-21 23:44:35

Sorry fat fingers plus no contacts in .........
‘I don’t think it had any bearing on a young lady being killed’

BlueBelle Mon 22-Mar-21 23:42:47

I always wore 3 ins stilettos when I was young not for the sake of men but they were fashionable and I felt better in them haven’t worn heels for a long time and I don’t think it had antipyretic bearing on a young lastly being killed she seemed to be wearing casual clothes with trainers
I noticed in her photos straight after her wedding vows ended my granddaughter had her high heels off and white trainers on with her wedding dress for the rest of her wedding last week 😂

nexus63 Mon 22-Mar-21 21:58:40

i loved my sling back stilettos back in the early 80s, but not when the buses went off because of the snow and i had to walk 5 miles home....lol soon moved on to low and high heel court shoes, now in my late 50s with severe arthritis it is flats or trainers.

Galaxy Mon 22-Mar-21 20:23:34

Yes I sort of got over that by my late twenties and I think I was quite immature in my outlook.

AmberSpyglass Mon 22-Mar-21 19:37:54

I certainly don’t wear heels for men to think I’m sexy! I couldn’t care less what they think.

CarrieAnn Mon 22-Mar-21 19:31:23

I agree with flexible friend,I worked in a chemist shop when I first left school and wore stilettos every day purely from choice.I liked wearing them,never had problems with my feet.I was an avid dancer and could dance all night in them even after a nine hour shift on my feet and a further three mile bike ride after finishing .work.If they make you feel good why shouldn't you wear them.I wish I could still wear them now but a broken ankle put paid to that.

M0nica Mon 22-Mar-21 18:45:29

I have never cared a toss whether other women were considered sexier to me. It was never a competititon I wished to take part in. As I said I wore stilettos for a year when I was young and foolish and then saw the light.

Someone trying to identify me when I was at university in the 1960s described me as 'the girl who always wears those low heels' because my shoes all had what were descrbed then as louis heels, or kitten heels as they now seem to be called.

PaperMonster Mon 22-Mar-21 18:25:29

I have a couple of pairs of Irregular Choice shoes with small heels and they’re about all I can manage for special occasions.

To work I mostly wear a very smart pair of Doc Marten shoes as they are comfortable and appropriate.

Galaxy Mon 22-Mar-21 17:59:50

I hope that by my age I understand that some women are sexier/more attractive than me.

Lizbethann55 Mon 22-Mar-21 17:57:09

What worries me are the truly vertiginous heels that Meghan Markle wore for " that" interview! Many of us love heels but they really were high! And don't we all remember being told to definitely NOT wear high heels when we were pregnant?

anna7 Mon 22-Mar-21 17:54:54

I'm with you Nanette1955. I think heels look better with some clothes. I've never worn really high heels because my husband is the same height as me and I dont feel comfortable towering over him ( although he doesnt mind) I have never worn them to be noticed by men or to be sexier than other women. I always wear a bit of makeup and always do my hair too, for myself because it makes me feel better, certainly not for anyone else.

BlueSky Mon 22-Mar-21 17:29:43

High heels = sexy, so we all wear them (well some) as we don’t want other women to be considered sexier than us!

Nanette1955 Mon 22-Mar-21 17:19:58

I totally agreed with that prosecution, however I do worry about the assumptions this post seems to make! Do we really wear heels so that we’ll be noticed by men? I love them and wear them whenever I can appropriately, but to make me more confident, taller, and they make my dresses, skirts etc move better. At 65 with a partner of 9 yrs, I don’t see that I wear them for any other reason than to look the best I can, within the limits of my budget, at all times. Within this I include wearing light makeup everyday, daily bathing, perfume always, and hair styled......well as much as this pandemic will allow, all to make me feel good about myself. Would we make the same assumptions those things, I’d hope not. 🙂

BBJS Mon 22-Mar-21 16:34:21

My daughter was sent home by her employer because she was wearing a trouser suit; His reason was because he was a Christian. Go figure that !

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 22-Mar-21 15:56:55

I’d love to get back into any shoes, my foot coverings at the moment are slippers and wellies. Because I’m either indoors or out with the dog.

AmberSpyglass Mon 22-Mar-21 15:35:29

Yes, but it shouldn’t be mandated by the employer! The way women’s clothing is treated is ridiculous.

Lizbethann55 Mon 22-Mar-21 15:01:40

I actually know the young lady who took her employers to court. She is a close friend of my son and they were flat mates when they were at drama school in London. She is an actress and was temping while waiting for acting work. The case did what she wanted as it raised her profile and got her face and name known. You may have seen her for a few months in Corrie. She really is a lovely lady, but is certainly not averse to wearing seriously killer heels at any time of day or night.

Jillybird Mon 22-Mar-21 14:37:32

I loved my high heels - I liked walking taller. I never found them painful in any way and I rather liked the way they enabled me to strut a bit! I'm immensely sad that I can't wear them any more.

Frankly I feel it should be up to the individual to make the choice, but there again, there have to be constraints. When I was teaching, some of the younger teachers wore clothes that I felt were inappropriate. It's surprising how much children notice what you are wearing. I think it's important to dress conservatively if you are in class as a teacher and not wear off-the-shoulder numbers or cut-out middles.
I have to accept, however, that I might just be old, stuffy and out-of-step. In the early seventies I worked in an infant school where it was forbidden (by the female head teacher) to wear trousers to school. I heard her telling off a teacher in trousers on a training day when there were no children in school, saying she looked as though she was dressed to do the gardening...

I don't think dressing in a certain way will either attract or detract from a mentally unstable, possibly drunk or drugged male person attacking a female. It's been happening since time immemorial when high heels were not even 'a thing'.

Juneandarchie1 Mon 22-Mar-21 14:24:31

Shout out for Joe Browns ladies shoes, not silly high but very feminine 😀

helen2020 Mon 22-Mar-21 13:48:50

I notice Nicola Sturgeon always wears heels and looks professional and smart

Musicgirl Mon 22-Mar-21 13:15:00

Stilettos made a comeback in the eighties when l was in my late teens/early twenties. Even then l found them very uncomfortable, especially when combined with slingbacks. I have an extremely high instep so the traditional court type of shoes is not for me. I need a strap, preferably T bar, or laces and round toes. I have a beautiful pair of Hotter shoes, which are black patent leather with a strap and block heels that have a floral pattern on them. They are attractive without causing agony when worn. No one would guess that they were made by Hotter to look at them.