‘Women should not be compromised by their shoes, they should be empowered by them,’ says Nanna Liv, who founded Sargossa shoes for ‘busy lifestyles and professional women’. Alas, at this time of year as we’re trotting off to various Christmas and New Year parties, it’s all too easy to get overexcited, cram your feet into something glitzy and then spend the rest of the night wincing instead of dancing.
Sargossa’s beautiful heels have been designed with passion and crafted in luxury fabrics in a choice of heel heights from 7cm to 10.5cm. Some of the shoes have even been included in the V&A exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, running until 31 January 2016, which focuses on the extremes of footwear through the ages. ‘It’s assumed that women will blindly accept the saying “No pain, no gain”, says Nanna, who lives in Notting Hill, ‘and I wanted to put and end to that.’
Here, Nanna gives us some tips for going the distance in heels…
What should women consider when buying heels? Is there more to shoe size and foot shape to consider when making a choice?
Fit: It might seem obvious, but it’s key to remember that the shoe needs to fit your foot and not the other way round.
A balanced heel: I highly recommend buying stilettos, which distribute your weight evenly across the shoe. Ideally, a woman’s weight should be distributed from the heel to the forefront of the foot. With a higher heel, the decline of the foot creates pressure on the balls of your feet, resulting in pain. If the arch of the shoe isn’t aligned properly, it will result not only in sore feet, but also discomfort for your knees and lower back.
Padded sole: A cushioned insole will help to add in comfort when wearing heels. You can buy these to place inside your heels, but this can make the shoe too small. Alternatively, buy heels with an integrated cushioned insole.
Space for the toes: I highly recommend open toe heels as much as possible, as they allow your toes to lay in their natural way. It can be hard to find heels that actually make space for your toes. Pointed heels look great, but are very restrictive and compress your toes.
Genuine leather: Your feet take you through life, so treat them well and do not force them into a pair of plastic heels! Synthetic materials don’t allow your feet to breath as well such as a natural fibers and flexible material such as leather.
Do you have any tips for walking in high heels?
Have good posture and stand tall and straight. Engage your abdominal muscles, keep your shoulders back, and secure long hair behind your shoulders. This helps if you have any pain in the balls of your feet to counterbalance your weight back onto the heels and prevent back pain. Look straight out, half a block ahead. Walk heel to toe, and get in good rhythm. Avoid a wobbly walk by strengthening your ankle muscles. I recommend an exercise done by dancers, which involves sitting on the floor and spelling out the alphabet with your toes. This will train your ankles, and make you feel more stabilized in a higher heel over time.
Prices range from £165-£365