These Uggs aren't made for walkin'

Are the boots about to mooch off into history?

Hell on heels: High and mighty? Stilettos have a lot to answer for

The women of Torbay have much to learn. They are so unsteady on their high heels (admittedly only when drunk) that they are to be offered free flip-flops. Perhaps they should study Victoria Beckham. She totters down Bond Street and Rodeo Drive with skyscraper heels pinching her bunions, and never seems to stumble, turn her ankle, or feel even a twinge of pain.

James Lawton: Adlington's rare essence deserves poll position ahead of Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is cruising to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, a 4-9 favourite in whose wake even one of the scrappiest ever representatives of young British womanhood, Rebecca Adlington, can only flounder at 11-4.

Fashion: Sell high, buy low?

Political upheavals and economic woes may come and go, but our fascination with the vagaries of female footwear reigns eternal. Last month, an announcement by shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin, in which he unveiled his dastardly plan to unleash a pair of eight-inch stilettos on the world, led the fashion press to declare that heels, and women's irrational love of them, are set to reach new heights this season.

Shoes don't fit? Try a toe tuck

British women are hot on the heels of their American counterparts when it comes to designing their feet to match their fashions. Rachel Shields reports

Well heeled: A rare audience with Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik tumbles into the room wearing an extremely dapper royal-purple suit, purple and yellow knitted tie, orange suede shoes and black circular glasses à la Le Corbusier. He stretches out his hand, and when I shake it he squeaks in pain, shaking, then retracting it. Have I accidentally crushed the phalanges of the world's finest shoemaker with an overly firm grip? Thankfully, no. He has had a sudden attack of cramp. This is the result, he explains, of just having flown in from Spain the previous evening; he is very tired, he says, and a bit disorientated.

Sleeping around: Falling for the fantasy

'They know just how to get you back: by pulling a grand gesture'

Rebecca Adlington: 'A statue of me? With these shoulders?'

She swam from obscurity to stardom – and in record time. Mansfield's most famous daughter talks to Nick Harris about fame, Jimmy Choos and starring in Strictly Come Dancing

Golden girl just wants a burger with chips

She won by miles, and shattered the world record. She took her second gold of the Games, to become the most successful British swimmer in a century.

Brian Viner: Crazy game can make you sane again

You don't have to dislike football to welcome the new Premier League season with arms firmly folded. The first Saturday of the season, heralding another nine-month burst of feuds between managers, savaging of referees, flawless triple Salchows with pike in the penalty area, and men on £100,000 a week agitating for better pay deals, always seems to arrive just a little soon. This is not, however, a broadside questioning the sanity of those of us still in love with the beautiful game, despite its disfiguring scars. On the contrary, it is intended, on the very day that we roll our eyes at the thought of more Premier League madness, to show football can do wonders for one's sanity.

Skyscraper heels: They may be painful and expensive but we've seen nothing yet

Just when you thought heels couldn't get any higher, guess what: they have.

Rich seams: Haute couture is riding high again

Critics have predicted its death for years - but haute couture is riding high again

Sarah Sands: Feminism is no match for a giddy pair of shoes

Moral opponents of the Beijing Olympics reel off China's history of human rights abuses. This is a country where families dispose of their baby girls because of the one-child policy and grandmothers are still crippled by the old practice of foot binding. Their toes were broken and bound in infanthood in order to achieve adorable looking feet.

Essentials: Kate Reardon, writer

As someone who works from home, my top style tip is to make sure you get dressed in the morning. I spend a lot of my life in pyjamas, but if I'm feeling slinky I'll wear a silk pair from Shanghai Tang (www.shanghaitang.com).

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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