In years gone by, the typical “power” style of dress for high ranking women has, more often than not, been anchored by the inclusion of vertiginously heeled footwear. Yet, judging by the recent catwalk trends and trends sweeping the high street, it seems that high heeled shoes are being replaced in many quarters by the humble flat.
One of the latest trends to have taken hold of women’s footwear designers has been the embracing of androgynous chic; whereas stiletto styles have often been incredibly popular, in recent months masculine, thin soled shoes such as the Oxford brogue and even the slipper shoe, have begun to supplant traditionally feminine styles as the go-to shoe of choice for many a burgeoning fashionista. Pumps, as favoured by the likes of Zooey Deschanel and Alexa Chung, are more likely to be found on many women’s Christmas list this year than the ludicrously high heeled footwear made popular in the post-Sex and the City era.
Comfort over Style?
One of the reasons flats have seen a rapid increase in popularity is due to the way that designers have managed to retool the style and make them more pleasing to fashion conscious women. Formerly, flats were often seen as the “comfort” option, something to be worn only on casual occasions, rather than a style which could be sported at more formal events yet, recently, they have shed their former dowdy image and managed to combine the best in both high fashion and wear-ability too.
One simple trend that has really seen the flat shoe become revitalised is through the adornment of studs and spikes to shoes. Whilst initially this trend began on high heel designer shoes, the style has trickled down and become an almost omnipresent addition to women’s flat shoes on the high street. Similarly other high fashion statement ideas such as utilising less obvious materials, shying away from canvas in favour of snakeskin, leathers and even metallic styles, have helped the no-heeled shoe design become more appropriate for women wanting to not fall behind the latest fashion curves.
The emergence of flats as a viable alternative has proved to be some relief to many women who, although aware of the benefits that heels can bring their wearer, would, on some occasions, at least prefer an alternative to the discomfort that wearing heels on a permanent basis can bring. As a compromise, many ladies have taken to carry a spare pair of heels with them whilst conducting most of their daily business in flats; this allows them to change in to their more traditionally glamorous pair, shoes with a leg lengthening quality, only when needs be yet still look chic and on trend in the period in which they are not being worn.
Have flats over-taken heels?
So whilst it is unlikely that flat shoes will ever be replacing heels on a full time basis at any point soon, the emergence of an alternative is rather telling. In a world which is getting continually faster, many high powered executives simply don’t have the time to wear heels which, of course, significantly decrease the wearer’s mobility. Flats offer the wearer better balance and comfort and makes getting from place to place far easier. By embracing flats whilst not giving up entirely on heels, women are able to stay on trend at all times whilst also increasing their comfort and mobility. Due to this, it’s easy to see why flats are enjoying something of a renaissance!