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Carola Long: Heels add authority to professional outfits

The catwalk

In an office where heavy machinery is limited to the coffee machine and most of the day is spent sitting, high shoes hardly pose a major safety risk. A sleek pair of stilettos can add instant polish and authority to a professional outfit; in male-dominated offices many women rely on them to ensure they aren't towered over.

And it's not only women who wear elevated shoes; many men are partial to a sneaky Cuban heel. Besides, who determines what constitutes a high heel? In the fashion industry anything under six inches is deemed practically flat. Will the TUC stomp down to London Fashion Week in their sensible footwear?