Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Painful shoes can send women to the hospital

A new survey released November 12 shows that fashion-conscious women often go to extreme and unhealthy lengths to wear stylish stilettos.

The Hotter Comfort Concept survey was conducted by Hotter Shoes, the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer, with onepoll.com, who interviewed 3000 women who regularly wear high heels between October 29 and November 1.

Results show that one in ten women have had to receive medical attention or even be hospitalised because of their vertiginous stilettos. Nearly half of women have twisted their ankle because of their footwear and two thirds admit to wearing shoes that have caused them injury. The top injuries caused by painful shoes included broken ankles, twisted knees, infected blisters, bunions and torn tendons.

Hotter Shoes conducted the survey as a way to understand what motivates women to buy certain shoes. Lisa McCarten of Hotter Comfort Concept Shoes said: 'As a comfort shoe maker we were amazed to discover the pain and discomfort that women were prepared to endure for a pair of killer heels or an ill-fitting impulse sale bargain. Today's active woman needs to be able to be on her feet for work, family and her own social life.'

Yet with celebrities increasingly wearing sky-high stilettos and platform shoes like Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham and the cast of Sex and the City, consumers are increasingly demanding higher heels. The Hotter Comfort Concept Study was released on the same day that UK tabloid The Daily Mail reported that a shoe manufacturer is planning to roll out a nine-inch stiletto. The 'Sky Heel' will be the highest ever sold on London's High Street.

The 'Sky Heel,' available in sparkly red or gold, will cost under $100 a pair and will hit stores next year. They will be sold by the trendy shoe retailer Parmars in their London boutiques and on their website. A spokesman for the firm said the design was inspired 'by the catwalk, for the sidewalk.' He added, 'We've seen the five-inch and six-inch, and we've even seen the seven-inch heel. The trend is bigger, bigger, bigger - and the Sky Heel is the biggest of them all.'

But bigger isn't necessarily better. Lanvin head designer Alber Elbaz recently told the press that he had to scrap several of his heels for his Spring 2011 fashion show because he realized during a rehearsal that his models couldn't walk properly: 'I saw the agony in their faces. They were shaking; they looked like alcoholic girls.' Actress Gwyneth Paltrow recently wore Lanvin's Spring 2011 mesh pumps to the Country Strong premiere and admitted that she was in pain. She told celebrity magazine People: 'I feel like I'm in a torture vice.'