Our right to [stylish] shoes

Greetings BusiChic,

Happy Monday! I hope that I don’t weigh down on you with today’s post; it’s a post in which I get sad about shoes. You see, I was looking at this image of the talented shopper Yasmin Sewell whose personal style I love:

Shopper and Personal Style extraordinaire: Australia's own Yasmin Sewell

[Image credit]
What a completely BusiChic outfit! Classic monochrome palette in pieces that are tailored enough for the office, relaxed enough for personal comfort and accentuated with statement heels that show the wearer’s individual flair and good taste.

Let’s look at that last sentence:

statement heels that show the wearer’s individual flair and good taste.

Regular readers of BusiChic will know that I recently watched Seasons 1-4 of Mad Men. It’s not rocket science but a line from partner, Burt Cooper struck me; that consumers buy things because of who we want to be… so yes – I’d like to be someone with individual flair and good taste and find it really painful to have to buy ugly things!

Regular readers of BusiChic will know that I have to wear orthotics because I fell down some stairs. That’s right, Cinderella’s trip gets her a prince and me – I get to wear orthotics and the selection is looking like this:

Women's Orthopedic Shoes: What do these say about the wearer??

When I go shopping for shoes these days, I’ve made the following observations about orthopedic shoes:
1. They look chunky and clunky.
2. They are expensive. Seriously, the prices we’re expected to pay for fugly shoes – it’s astounding!
3. When they do look kind of ok, the materials that are used aren’t of great quality and the workmanship (i.e. stitching) is clumsy relative to designer shoes in the same price range.

Ok ok, I could spend a lot of time banging on Carrie-Bradshaw-style about the sad state of orthotic shoes and what it means for the sad souls who find themselves having to wear them.

However I’ve noticed that this could be a growing problem so let’s try to get constructive about it. You see BusiChic, I spend a bit of time streetstyle stalking which means that I see lots of men and women walking around. The men are usually wearing pants so I can’t quite see what’s going on for them, but there are lots of ladies wearing too-flat-flats that are doing this:

A common sight on the street: flat feet - are your shoes making you the before-shot??

[Image Credit complete with scary orthopedic sandals]

So the moral of this post is, please look after your feet so that you don’t find your right to [nice] shoes revoked!

What can you do? I’m not an expert but considering that it is now cold enough to be wearing winter boots, now would be the time to wear orthotic shoes as they are much easier to hide in boots than they are in summer shoes. Make an appointment with your physiotherapist to check whether you have flat feet and your body (i.e. your back and neck pain) is compensating for it; they’ll then refer you to a podiatrist to make your orthotics. Hurrah!

Are you an orthotics-wearer? What would be your tips to help prevent others from having to wear them 24-7? And do you have any advice for sad-sole me??


  1. I think my feet often look like the before pic! Oops! I find myself buying flats with padding inside now, they are much more supportive than cheap ballet flats. Not as good as orthodics, but better 🙂 I can’t wear heels often due to a knee injury, but my physio did say heels are easier to fit orthodics in that flats surprisingly! Maybe an option for you? I’m guessing they don’t have to be very high heels.

  2. This is one of my biggest peeves! WHY do comfortable shoes have to be so damn fugly?
    And you’re so right that some (most?) flats are no better for your feet than heels are.
    This extends to outdoor footwear and clothing too. Its all mostly quite hideous – because if you like the outdoors, apparently you have no fashion sense (and yes, I may not look like it, but I do enjoy hiking! Hehe).
    I would solve this problem for myself now that I sew – but access to hi-tech fabrics is difficult. And forget about making my own shoes…THAT’s a nigh on impossible task. What to do? I simply refuse to believe that style and comfort are two mutually exclusive notions.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not wearing orthotics (yet) – I am trying to put it off by wearing ‘sensible’ shoes.

    Ziera was recommended to me by the podiatrist and the shoes are definitely exxy, but some (note: only some) styles are quite good. I’ve also found Naturalizer have a pretty good range and they are substantially cheaper at around $150 a pair.

    I have SO many beautiful pairs of impractical shoes in my wardrobe, and I try to wear them in the evenings only when I have something on; but my feet are usually so sore by the end of the night, I’m wondering if it’s really worth it!

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