High risk fashion stakes


September 20, 2012

Heel-less high heels, the latest trend in fashion footwear, are raising both the fashion and injury stakes for young women.

The sky high shoes are inspired by Lady Gaga’s outrageous heel-less shoes but have been adapted into a slightly more wearable design.

They have been spotted on the red carpet, with Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian both photographed sporting the trend.

Now the craze is set to take the mainstream market by storm with ZU shoes and Marie Claire shoes both starting to stock the design.

Gravity defying heel-less shoes

Model Elizabeth Abbot is used to wearing towering platform heels.

“They’d be fabulous for the catwalk,” Abbot said.

But even she admitted she would be scared to take to the streets in the perilous footwear.

“Going clubbing or walking down the street would so hard,” she said.

“It’s freaking dangerous!”

Alan Bryant from the Podiatric Medicine Unit at the University of Western Australia agrees the shoes pose a potential injury risk.

“Any lateral instability, such as if stepping off a curb or onto an uneven surface, could lead to a worse ankle injury than would be encountered with a shoe with less overall elevation,” Professor Bryant said.

Professor Bryant said lack of stability was another risk factor.

“Not having a heel may lead to a wearer falling over backwards and sustaining a fall injury if the wearer was to bump into anything or be pushed in a crowd,” he said.

His advice?

“Leave them for someone else to wear!”

Sacrificing comfort for fashion

But some fashionistas are willing to sacrifice comfort for style.

Laura Famlonga said she regularly hit the town in a pair of towering stilettos and really liked the new trend.

“I think they’re kinda funky,” she said.

“I like them and I wear heels even if they hurt.”

Ms Famlonga said she would be willing to put up with pain to stand out from a crowd.

“They are definitely interesting, not so much the normal looking shoe but sometimes different is good,” she said.

The attraction of the heel-less shoe look is often attributed to the ballerina like posture the wearer takes on, as if they are walking on tip toe.

However the long-term survival of the trend will depend on the willingness of women to put their toes, and gravity, on the line in the name of fashion.

Photos: Krista Collingridge

Categories: Fashion

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