What Katy Did: The battle for my sole

Columnist Katy Evans discovers the pitfalls to wearing high heels to work.

During my recent two-week break, in which I was dressed largely in paint-splattered combat trousers and a slightly yellowing white tank top as I decorated houses, I decided that my appearance at work, just like the dated interior of both properties, was in need of improvement. Not that I was in any way scruffy (at least I hope not) but I too often take the easy option of black trousers and suit jacket, only varying the look with a variety of coloured vest tops underneath.

Feeling a need to try different clothing combinations, I sauntered into work on my first day back in a new brown wrap dress, bringing back into employment my brown handbag (at last it matches something - I never normally wear brown). But with no brown shoes to go with said outfit - and black was just not going to work - I opted for a pair of dusty rose-coloured court shoes with killer heels, which I hardly ever wear but matched the pink flecks in the dress.

Being slightly on the drag - well it was my first Monday back - I scurried into town in flat pumps and changed shoes in the loos.

And after spending the day having to duck (well almost) through doorways, such is the height of said killer heels, I remembered just why I never wear these shoes. They not only live up to their name by killing my feet, but they make a loud clacking sound when in contact with concrete, or any other shiny surface for that matter, making me feel rather conspicuous as I clopped around the building.

Normally one to stride about like a woman on a mission, my steps were instantly shortened as I adjust to tottering around on the stilt-like torture devices. My visit to the canteen at lunchtime was particularly treacherous due to the mirror-shine linoleum over which I had to tiptoe for fear of misplacing a spiked heel and skidding over onto my behind - not really a move to enhance my new ladylike image.

But at least being desk-bound for much of the day I had little need to walk far; the odd (slow) trip to the kitchen for drinks and an occasional visit to the loo, taking care to watch every step down the stairs.

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The worst of it came though when I decided, through sheer vanity, to walk the half mile back to the car without changing back into my more frumpy yet comfortable flats. A few metres up the road my feet were on fire and I was developing a rather sharp pain in my right patella (knee, for those who didn't pay attention in biology).

By the time I got to my car, after climbing the oh so steep 0.5% incline hill by the church, I felt like I'd run a marathon. Usually it takes a mere ten minutes to march from car to workplace but those shoes must have doubled the trip time, not to mention quadrupling the actual trip potential thanks to the pavement becoming a mini assault course. Stumbling over loose stones and keeping an eye out for lethal cracks in the pavement (lethal to the life of the shoes, that is, which can snap in two when wedged suddenly between paving slabs), meant my attention was down on the grounds more than observing my surroundings, and as for cobbled streets - don't even go there, literally.

How Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City managed to nimbly hop and skip her way around Manhattan on Manolos without so much as complaining of blisters or bunions I'll never know. Yes, it's fiction but there really are women who spend their working week in three-inch heeled footwear, and I take my hat (or should that be shoes?) off to them.

So did I revert back to flats on Tuesday? Heck no! Still keen to create new looks, I revamped a pair of old, black cropped trousers with my even older (we're talking nearly a decade) black three-quarter-sleeved jersey top by adding a snazzy red belt and ... red, open-toed court shoes! These ones don't hurt my feet and are much easier to walk in, thanks to having heels wider than a pin head, but they have another downside - a tendency to slip off at the back, which can look very un-cool when walking past a whole row of colleagues to the kitchen (but then what can you expect for £12.99).

But winter is beckoning and so I'll be back in my comfy boots before you can say stiletto (which, by the way, will be confined to the back of the cupboard until next summer - or a night on the tiles, as long as it's not icy or snowy).

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