These days you would be hard pressed to find a woman in America who thinks that creating the illusion of an incredibly tiny waist is worth breaking a few ribs to achieve. Yet for centuries women did just that in order to look good.
While that seems unthinkable today, we women still have a version of the rib crushing corset – high heel shoes. However that is changing and all signs point to heel high shoes going the way of the corset and the numbers prove it.
Sales for High Heels are Going Down
High heel shoes are so deeply associated with women and women’s fashion that one woman noticed that all text emojis on her iPhone for women’s shoes were high heels. She brought it to the attention of the people at Apple. Today, a ballet flat appears among the shoe emojis for women.
The change reflects a growing movement in our culture surrounding women’s shoes. Women are no longer swapping out their heels after a long day at the office for sneakers on their commute home. They are coming to the office in hot sneakers and jazzy looking flats!
Shoemakers are wisely taking note of this trend. Last year, the number of high heel shoes sold fell by more than 10%. At the same time, the number of sneakers purchased by women grew by almost 40% resulting in sales topping $2.3 billion. That’s despite the 28% increase in high heel shoe production over the same period.
Numbers like those have caught the attention of sneaker companies like Nike. The company is starting a new line marketed specifically for women; a line of sneakers designed by women and sized to fit all different types of women’s feet.
There’s a Shoe Revolution happening in the Workplace
Runways in some of the most elite fashion shows are swapping out ankle breaking 6” heels for ultra fancy flats and sneakers while celebrities in film and TV are also unabashedly sporting comfortable shoes at gala events. This revolution is even happening in the workplace all over the world.
A report a few years ago prompted a change in law in Britain when a receptionist was sent home without pay for showing up to work in a pair of flats instead of high heels. She did not let it go. She started a petition that brought the issue to Parliament. What they found was many businesses had dress codes that were and still are sexist and archaic.
Women across the country told investigators about dress codes at work that required them to wear makeup, dye their hair, change their attire to be more feminine or “revealing.” That is unacceptable in the 21st century and women are letting it be known all over the world.
Women are Saying the Benefits are Not Worth the Pain
As a receptionist, Nicola Thorp – the British woman who started the petition – would have had to be on her feet all day directing people around the building. She refused and forced a change that will benefit all women who have decided that appealing to men’s ideals of feminine beauty is not worth the pain.
There are all kinds of reasons for this change. For one, millennials drive less than previous generations, opting to walk or bike to and from work. Additionally, a large portion of the workforce now works from home where they don’t have to wear shoes at all!
Most importantly, high heels are harmful to women. According to the American Osteopathic Society, wearing high heels that force women’s feet into unnatural angles not only hurt their feet. They create a ripple effect throughout the body, adding stress and strain to the spine, the neck, the back, and even shoulders.
We agree that it is not worth the pain. At Kira Bani we believe that all women deserve the same foot comfort that men enjoy – on the red carpet AND in the workplace. So say bye-bye to toe torturing heels for good and trade them in for a brand new pair of Kira Bani flats today!