Hell on heels

Ladies, if you're going to risk your lives on the hills of Hong Kong in Christian Louboutins please make sure they are real.

Ladies, if you’re going to risk your lives on the hills of Hong Kong in Christian Louboutins please make sure they are real.

“You’re going to have to wear much higher heels in Hong Kong,” my husband told me when he returned from a recce ahead of our move. “The women there wear VERY high heels.”

He was right. Five inches seem to be the norm when I scan both the lunch time and after work crowds. With the diminutive stature of the average Hong Konger, skyscraper (AKA stripper) heels have been heartily embraced here.

The thing is, I’ve never really been a heels kind of girl. My teenage years in the Eighties were spent in Doctor Martins and loafers rather than white stilettos and then in my twenties the Patrick Cox Wannabe with its manageable two inch solid block of a heel ruled.

Admittedly I now own a pair each of Christian Louboutins (bought as an empowering tool when my boss landed me with her public speaking duties) and Manolo Blahniks (bought by accident – drunk in charge of a credit card after my office leaving lunch). But for me towering heels are strictly limo wear.

While in my thirties I could happily wear highish heels all day in the office and then out drinking after work (how?), now I only put them on if I’m a) getting a taxi (easier/cheaper in Hong Kong than London) and b) then sitting down most of the evening in a bar or restaurant.

My husband doesn’t understand my footwear pain. “All the women here seem to manage it,” he says when I complain about having to walk to dinner. “But they aren’t wearing stilettos!” I hiss. Those sturdy five inch heels with a platform sole are, frankly, cheating. Negotiating slippery mall floors, uneven pavements and ridged escalators in three and a half inches the width of a pencil is a far trickier prospect. Although hats off to the women who manage to walk down Peel Street et al in platform stilts.

Thankfully I find a pragmatic solution to the problem. “If I scuff the heel,” I tell my husband, “that’s a few thousand dollars down the drain.” His face pales. We flag a taxi.


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