Thursday, July 06, 2006

Flat footed

As I ran out the door this morning, I paused, went back inside and swapped shoes. On the face of it, an innocuous female bout of indecision. That's what I thought too, until I gave it closer consideration en route to the tube (my Ipod was out of power so I had to think for a change).

In taking off my uncomfortable - to the point they make a dentist's drill orgasmic in comparison - heels and putting on flats, I was adjusting my behaviour in response to having lived in New York and London during terrorist attacks. Somewhere in the eternal sunshine of my far from spotless mind, I was preparing for the eventuality of another attack. In which case I wanted to be able to escape quickly and with ease. Hence, the relationship between terrorists and comfortable shoes.

I will refrain from any emotional homage to tomorrow's anniversary because I am still not psychologically able to deal with the first one. I realised this when I walked into the local Odeon last weekend to see United 93 and walked out 5 minutes later. It's definitely too early for a film like that.

What I have learned from both though is the importance of comfortable footwear when living in a City. This applies to commuters universal. Cyclists need clip on gadgets which would certainly scuff a pair of brogues. Have you ever tried to drive wearing stilettos? You can't. And we need not worry about walkers, they are typically sensible people to begin with. But for the majority of us Transport for London sufferers, no journey is predictable and that doesn't account for disasters where the City becomes stranded in unity.

Moreover, it is empowering to wear comfortable shoes. The day has so much more possibility in a 'get up and go' way, not in a look like a starlet way. As a woman you feel instantly less attractive and often invisible. Men must notice shoes more then they are conscious of. I suspect flats interfere with clear mating signals by transmitting 'today I can hunt and gather for myself, I am no longer weak and encumbered by sore feet.' I am surprised the feminist revolution didn't make more of this point.

So show your resolve, your defiance, and your courage tomorrow by going flat footed. Come Autumn it's back to Chinese foot binding.

Trend tip:
In a season of femininity, is it any wonder that the ballerina flat is one of the trendiest shoes going. But channelling your inner Audrey Hepburn can come with big price tags. As an alternative, you can find hundreds of real ballet flats at traditional ballet shoe suppliers like French Sole, Their store is at 6 Ellis Street, Sloane Square, Chelsea. Tel: 020 7730 3771. Or next day delivery from the web. Princess Diana loved these shoes.

Oh, and today's G2 section of the Guardian has an article from the author of the book about using animal techniques to train men. We talked about this last week. But it doesn't mention anything about male behaviour towards women in flat shoes. We discovered this today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant column today
I look forward to my read every day
Keep em coming

1:07 pm  
Blogger EHoward said...

Excellent writing. Can't stand the sight of ballerina flats. I think they basically make everyone look stubby and when worn too often, they get just plain grubby.

But then we are in the seasons of ugly clothes, and I have never been a fashionista. One should never wear cowboy boots, in my opinion, unless you are wearing blue jeans.


2:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At risk of sounding shallow; shoes are important, massively so actually, but they are all part of a package. Manolos can't help some!
Also, i suspect, most women would prefer a man who consciously noticed their shoes.
Finally, all this flat-footed-ness is lovely and isn't so unappealling but we men also do enjoy giving an indulgent foot rub; gives us a chance to build up our brownie points.

3:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree flats are a girls best friend!
Love your site
Am bookmarking it now

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I used to work in New York City ...which was about fifteen years ago I remember seeing alot of women walikng to work in cross country sneakers and carrying their
fancy office heels in a bag. i thought all women in the city did that?

5:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

definitely a new yorkers wit there

just ordered a pair of the shoes for £60

thanks you, great tip


5:12 pm  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hi cityslicker!

Thanks for the look-in on my blog. I'm with you on the footwear issue. I tend to go for comfort rather than style in the summer coz I like to go for lots of long long walks. Needless to say I was very happy to be wearing a pair of comfy boots last July 7th as the walk home from work was nearly 2 hours.

I do occasionally give in to a heel though-- I've got a funky pair of cork wedges for this summer (max wearing time: 1hour) and when I'm wearing them I can actually reach up and kiss my 6 foot 5 BF...

Have you noticed that wearing flat sandals in London is a bit ofa disaster though? I always come home with black feet from all the dirt and grime. Urgh!

5:35 pm  
Blogger ems said...

Flat shoes clearly are a girl's best friend as far as I am concerned.

Had to laugh when I saw the Guardian article - seen here first!

7:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top drawer City Slicker
Bragged to mates that Guardian is old now
Logging on religiously

12:38 am  

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