For many years, there has been an unspoken rule that women have abided by – that beauty is pain. Plucking, primping, adorning clothes and accessories that are uncomfortable, reducing calories, expending calories – all in the name of looking the part. 

One such unspoken rule lies in our adoration of high heels. Colourful, classy and sky-high – you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who hasn’t fallen madly in love with the same pair of heels she’s found cursing a few hours later.

So how does wearing the humble high heel effect our health physically, and can we find a happy medium? 

Love them or loathe them – there are some seriously grim stats to take note of when it comes to donning your favourite pair of spikes, day in and day out. 

Matt Dilnot, board director of the Australian Podiatry Association, Victoria, says “Walking in high heels puts approximately two tonnes of force on the ball of the foot and heel with every step, instead of an even distribution across the foot. In addition, the compression force on the knee joints when wearing high heels increases by 23 per cent compared to bare feet”.

“Although there is no defined height, the opinion is that the higher the heel, the more potentially damaging the shoe is to foot and body posture. Anything over 2.5cm can cause problems, but the consensus is that shoes should never be worn with heels higher than six centimetres. Six centimetres and above is pretty much where everyone is going to suffer problems, even if you only wear them for two-to-four hours,” he says.

While us fashionistas may equate a pair of aching feet to an average day at the office, we also need to be aware that that’s not all we need to worry about, with the likelihood of developing bunions or clawed feet significantly rising with each day you don your favourite Manolo Blahnik’s. 

Neil J. Cronin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Musculoskeletal Research Program at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, advises to try, if possible, to reduce the hours you spend in sky-high stilettos. While wearing heels “once or twice a week,” he says is acceptable, attempting to “remove the heels whenever possible, such as when you’re sitting at your desk” can also help to alleviate long-term effects on your calf muscles and tendons. 

In more recent years, we have seen women opting to bring a flat to change into to make it through big events such as the races and weddings. Likewise in the office, we are seeing more and more women opt for flats to get the most out of their day. 

Along with the relaxation of the corporate workplace, women are finding that a comfortable flat like the Cammino range will more than suffice when complimenting a corporate getup. You can check out our awesome casual chic guide to workwear wardrobes here.

foldable ballet flats for women

There is no shame in admitting that, as women, we have often found ourselves putting our physical wellbeing behind our understanding of the fashion status quo. We are, however, smart cookies. We’ve seen the trends changing, even among the hottest celebs on the red carpet as noted recently in The Age, and we’re fluid in our acceptance of what’s hot and what’s not. 

So there you have it ladies – while we love a gorgeous pair of heels when the mood strikes us, it’s all about balance (pardon the pun!) when it comes to your tootsies. If you are on the hunt for a beautiful pair of comfortable and stylish flats that’ll fit snugly in your bag to slip-on for the journey home from work, racing between meetings, picking up the kids, or dancing the night away, you can find our Cammino range here.