Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Is shoe shopping bad for your health?

It doesn’t take an increase in media coverage to get me interested in shoes, but this Monday morning was a real treat, with the ‘Miss KG Goldie’ heel splashed all over the news. Featuring a celeb-worthy 6 inch heel and a shiny gold platform, these glittery beauties have hit the press because they are the highest heel available on the high street. Demand from us mere mortals to look like the super-stylish Posh or ever popular Cheryl Cole has led to these super-sized creations appearing at Debenhams for the very reasonable sum of £65.

However, it’s not all fun and games for ladies looking to add a pair of skyscrapers to their wardrobe. Apparently, the NHS already spends £29million each year treating foot conditions caused by ill-fitting footwear, and two million work days a year are believed to be lost due to injuries sustained by problematic shoes. High heels can lead to all sorts of health problems, particularly to the feet and back. The Trade Union Congress, who are campaigning for high heels to be banned from work uniforms, recommends that heels should be no higher than one and a half inches and shorter than an inch if worn for prolonged periods.

This news has appeared alongside every report of the ‘Goldie’, with po-faced health officials warning against them at every turn. When you think about it, it’s a great angle to take. This story was guaranteed coverage – the combination of the highest heel on the market, the celebrity link (as discussed by our own Kate last week on this very blog) and the health scandal provides an angle for every media channel.

Plus, it’s too late for the health warnings to discourage the target market of these shoes – we’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for them already. I predict a stampede to the shops though, so next week you might be seeing more coverage of shoppers being trampled into the ground on a high street near you…

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