Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

You can’t buy comfort – a story of McQ by Alexander McQueen shoes (and blisters)

I am terrible – and I mean terrible – at walking in heels. And this isn’t a case of having a low pain threshold, or being a complainer. A friend and I bought the same pair of wedge sandals, about …

Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 07:30


I am terrible – and I mean terrible – at walking in heels. And this isn’t a case of having a low pain threshold, or being a complainer. A friend and I bought the same pair of wedge sandals, about five years ago; she had bought them first and found them ridiculously comfortable and, crucially, didn’t mind my copying her. I wore them one night to meet her and another friend for a drink, an event that had me walking down a street about the length of Grafton St. By the time I got to the bar, my feet were in agony; the soles felt as if they were burning right off.

My friend thought I was being sarcastic, so I furiously whipped them off and showed her the soles of my feet – blistered and bleeding. That shut her up. She was so shocked by my condition that I felt entirely justified in my complaining. It was true; I really do have amazingly sensitive feet. So now, wherever I go, I bring flats. I can’t stand hobbling around due to blistered heels / soles / toes and I need to know that I can get from x to y, especially when there are shows on the line.

So for this week’s London Collections: Men, I brought with me two pairs of shoes (for four days, I brought only one piece of cabin baggage, more on which later) – a pair of SixtySeven Bullet boots from Buffalo, and a pair of shoes I had bought in Brown Thomas, by McQ for Alexander McQueen, and hadn’t yet worn. For the Hackett show, I wore my Bullets; today, for a timetable that involved seven shows and a cross-London jaunt (or three), I opted for my flats, thinking that they would be the best choice for a day on my feet. Boy, was I wrong!

Aren’t they cute?

Within 10 minutes, my right heel was blistered and bleeding; within 15, I could no longer walk properly and was hobbling up Wigmore St in London in search of a pharmacy in which to buy some plasters. Disaster! Once I got my plasters, my pain was soothed (marginally), but worse was yet to come – by the time I had sat through the Margaret Howell and Jonathan Saunders shows, my right big toe, little toe and the point at which foot met “rim” of shoe were all aching. Usually, when my feet start to hurt, I change into the handy flats I have in my bag – today, as I was wearing said flats, I had no choice but to give up the ghost and retreat home to my Bullets, tail between my legs!

It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on shoes (these were €250) – you cannot buy comfortable shoes. You can get halfway there by buying decent fabrics with solid soles, but the only way you ensure shoes are comfy is by breaking them in at home, with a pair of woolly socks and some patience.

Have you had a similar experience?

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