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Flat shoes … New trend?

In the words of our Prime Minister, the Honourable KamlaPersad-Bissessar, “flats instead of heels” … she also said “I’m going flat because it’s healthier … let’s try it throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Ladies, I’m sure you’ll feel far more comfortable splashing around in flats instead of heels, so be more comfortable and enjoy it!” I agree with her to an extent, although I know that some persons would take it literally and overdo.

Many women have either vowed to only wear flats, while other women have banished them from their wardrobe entirely. While this decision often has to do with the outfit being worn, or the height of the wearer, neither extreme is necessary no matter how short or tall you are.

Flats should have a place in every woman’s wardrobe. If worn correctly, flat shoes can be as stylish and fun as their high-heeled counterparts, and they often have the advantage of comfort that high heels will never beat.

So, whether you’re short, tall, or somewhere in between, give your feet a break every once in a while and slip into a pair of comfortable flats. The following guidelines will ensure that your fashion ratings are high even when your heels aren’t.

Look for Flats with Style                 

Flat shoes could be the ultimate in comfort. However, wearing them can have several different effects on your foot health and on the way people perceive you.

Since flats usually aren’t as dynamic as heels, look for those in fashionable colours, lush materials and rich textures, to help jazz up your look without having to resort to higher heels.

Accents like buckles, straps, gems or bows can also add a lot of interest to a pair of flats, although it’s best not to go overboard with embellishments. When it comes to flats, a chic look is typically better than a quirky one, and  it’s a lot more versatile as well.Make sure that your shoes fit both your feet and the occasion before you opt for this comfortable style.

Play Dress Up with Simple Flats

To make up for the simple styling of many flats, especially suited for work, glam up with a nice suit. Bright colours lift things and make them look that much more appealing.

Flats and Skirts

Having no heel on your shoes can make your legs appear shorter. If wearing flats with skirts, shoot for a hemline that is just above the knee, to regain a look of length to your leg. Wearing flats with longer skirts can give you a dowdy appearance.

The Right Pants for Flat Shoes

Capri pants and flats are a match made in heaven; but if you’re wearing long pants, make sure they aren’t too long. Having the hem of your jeans or trousers drag the floor, not only looks sloppy, it’s also a great way to ruin a pair of pants.

Areas to focus on…

Function

These shoes are designed for comfort and effective walking. However, even flat shoes can hurt your feet if they do not have arched support to help keep your feet in the proper position while walking. Flat shoes can also help minimise your height, and give you an appearance and a feeling of being ready for anything.

Features

The variations are thin soles, thick rubber soles, or even paper soles. While they tend to cover the entire bottom of the foot, they have little built-in support inside the shoe. Flat shoes can be extremely athletic or very fashionable, depending on your preferred style.

Types

They come in many forms. Ballet flats are very popular, but they can actually seriously injure your feet over time because they provide no arch or ankle support. Flat tennis shoes give you a bouncy look and feeling; loafers are suited for work; while flip flops are easy to kick on and off.

Effects

The effects on your feet vary, but most are positive; since flats are far easier on your feet than heels, which place unusual amounts of pressure on your toes and the balls of your feet. However, flip flops often cause blisters, and wearing ballet flats or other unsupported forms of flats can create serious arch problems over time making walking painful.

Even more serious consequences of inadequate support include fallen arches. This condition is not only very painful making even making walking difficult, but restricts exercise as well. One may also get inflamed tissues along the bottom of the foot, an ailment called plantar fasciitis. It can ultimately require medication, corrective devices, or even surgery to heal, if you do not correct your footwear.

Flats without arch support may cause lower back and ankle pain too, due to the poor gait that may develop.

Misconceptions

High heels have such a bad reputation that many people think that flat shoes are always a better alternative. However, a good pair of heels with healthy supports can actually serve you far better than a poorly made pair of flats. Regardless of what type of shoe you wear, make sure it fits snugly and does not place undue pressure on your toes, which can cause corns and bunions. Also, if your arches start to hurt while wearing flats, get a slightly wedged heel or an insert/arch supports that will cushion your arches and keep them in the proper position.

Warning

Flat shoes are great for walking, but they are not always safe for working environments, especially construction /industrial sites. If necessary, you should have steel tipped shoes. Also, if you are going for a job interview and you are a woman, you should avoid wearing flats if possible. They tend to appear unprofessional with female business attire, and that can hurt your overall impression and chance of getting the job.

Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!

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