UNSUPPORTIVE and unreliable, the most popular shoes of the Noughties were like a bad boyfriend . . .
They looked great on you but you knew they would never go the distance.
Kate Moss adored the ballet pumpCredit: BackGrid
Alexa Chung wears a pair of two-tone pumpsCredit: FAMOUS
Kendall Jenner recently slipped back into ballet shoesCredit: BackGrid
Megan Markle rocks the look wearing a £660 Chanel pair at the Invictus GamesCredit: Getty
Jennifer Lopez pairs pumps with this blue gownCredit: Getty
Spotting a wall adorned with the slipper-like footwear, Primark fans shared their dismay on social media.
“I don’t think my ankles can take it again,” said Emily on TikTok.
Another pointed out how they leaked water through the soles, while a third said she had “PTSD” from an injury she picked up while wearing them.
One announced: “I don’t think anyone could pay me enough to wear these.”
But should we be wearing them?
It is undeniable that the ballet flat is one of the least foot-friendly shoes out there.
It is notorious for its wafer-thin sole and a lack of support which podiatrists say can lead to foot cramps, as well as knee and hip pain, because of the lack of shock absorption.
Emma McConnachie, of the Royal College of Podiatry, says: “They tend to have very thin, flat soles and have no support or method of staying on the foot. They also often have soles that do not cover the width of the foot.
“As they have nothing across the top of the foot, the tendency is to claw your toes to keep them on your feet.
“In the short-term this can cause blisters and corns and long-term can cause your toes to claw and change shape.”
I wore them with everything, from drainpipe jeans to leggings and dresses — to any and every occasion.
I used my toes to grip on to them, and could feel every lump and bump in the pavement.
I would flip them off at the end of the day and notice a creaking in the bones of my foot.
Yet I persevered as I wouldn’t be caught dead in trainers.
But what I’ve learnt is that with every shoe trend, you just need the right pair.
Chanel first created “Ballerinas” in 1957 — designed with a contrast-colour toe to make the foot look smaller and the leg longer.
They conjure up a picture of elegance
A winning combination.
Any style that’s been around that long can’t be all bad, especially when it has come from Paris — the capital of one of the world’s best-dressed nations.
But for those who don’t have six hundred quid lying around, there are sturdy and stylish slip-ons available.
Good old Marks and Sparks have created their own for £35.
Available in black and pink, their leather style comes with M&S’s “Insolia Flex” technology.
They’ve crafted soles which redistribute your weight evenly throughout your feet, to reduce pressure on soles and ankles.
I’ve tried them, and they’re very comfortable.
And that’s the key — look out for specifications and details that mean you won’t end up at the GP with chronic cramp.
Emma says: “If you really like the appearance of a ballet flat, look for a pair that has a thicker, cushioned sole and that isn’t very narrow across the arch.
“Avoid the ones that look like they have a cardboard, glued-on sole similar to the outline of a footprint.”
A very slight heel is also a good idea, as on the Chanel original. It had a 10mm heel then and still does today.
You will have the ballet “flat” aesthetic but it means the natural arch of your foot will be supported.
While some Noughties trends like thigh gaps and low-slung jeans should be left behind barres, the ballet pump is not one of them.
For me, they conjure up a picture of elegance — think Audrey Hepburn. Delicate and demure.
With ankle-grazing trousers or any length skirt and a pair of black tights for winter, they equal chic.
As long as they have a supportive sole and are waterproof, I’ll be poised to welcome them back with prima ballerina open arms.
PRIMARY school teacher Esha Seth, 39, from Stockport, has favoured ballet shoes for the past ten years.
She tells Yasmin Harisha how she has now got bunions.
Esha Seth has favoured ballet shoes for the past ten years
She said: ‘After wearing them for the last ten years, my feet have developed bunions’
“For school, I wear flat shoes as it’s more comfortable – ballets are my go-to.
But I always feel like my toes don’t have enough space. And even if they are the perfect size and fit, my toes always have the feeling that they are being bent a little.
After wearing them for the last ten years, my feet have developed bunions and I have got a bony lump on my toe, just next to my nail. It appeared gradually over time, but now it is quite obvious.
I went to a doctor about it, and they said it was caused by the rubbing of the shoes and that there is no cure, but I can try things like a foot massage, which hasn’t made any difference.
It’s irritating because I want to wear nice, comfortable shoes but now my bunions are protruding a little. I can feel the constant rubbing when I walk around, which causes pain.
It’s difficult because ballet pumps are smart and supposedly comfortable – great for a teacher – but I feel like they aren’t good in the long term.
What are we supposed to wear and still look smart? Trainers are seen as too casual for work.
In the winter I try to avoid wearing them as much as possible, and wear boots, but in the summer I have no choice. I start to feel pain after about three hours.”
From left to right: Cream and black, £34.99, Office; Lilac, £36, Next; Dusty pink with strap, £35, Marks & Spencer; Leopard print, £16, Tu at Sainsbury’s; Bronze, £10, George at Asda
From left to right: Silver, £38, River Island; Navy, £17.99, New Look; Navy, £17.99, New Look; Bright pink, £49.99, Zara; Bright pink, £49.99, Zara
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