High heel police want to ban stilettos in the workplace

High heel police want to ban stilettos in the workplace

Disturbing news has reached The Fashion Police (via Shoeperwoman) that another enforcement agency is at work, trying to decide who gets to wear what and when.

This time it's the Trade Union Congress, who have filed a motion proposing that women be required to wear "sensible shoes" at work, with heels more than one inch high being banned. Say what?

The TUC motion states:

“Congress believes high heels may look glamorous on the Hollywood catwalks but are completely inappropriate for the day-today working environment.

“Feet bear the brunt of daily life, and for many workers prolonged standing, badly fitted footwear, and in particular high heels can be a hazard. Around two million days a year are lost through sickness as a result of lower limb disorders.

“Wearing high heels can cause long-term foot problems, such as blisters, corns and calluses, and also serious foot, knee and back pain and damaged joints.

“Many employers in the retail sector force women workers to wear high heels as part of their dress code.

“More must be done to raise awareness of this problem so that women workers and their feet are protected.”

Patronising, much? Or are there women out there who genuinely believe that they are incapable of making informed footwear decisions for themselves, and who agree that the TUC should be able to make those decisions for them?

Personally, we'd much rather decide for ourselves what kind of shoes are appropriate for work: after all, The Fashion Police is actually real (gasp!), but the TUC is, and it would be a shame if they were allowed to force us into certain forms of dress. As Janine commented at Shoeperwoman, no one should ever be forced to wear high heels, but no one should be forced NOT to wear them either – unless, of course, it would pose a real hazard to do so. (Manual workers, nurses, soldiers, etc.)

What do you think?

23 Comments

  • August 11, 2009

    Veronika

    OMG, it’s the footwear nazis! srsly, these ppl are insane! If someone wants to wear high heels to work, they should be able to, if they want to. I often wear heels to work (thou I do change into different shoes there – I work in a hospital..) but if I wanted to wear heels all day I could at least decide this on my own. Ugh, disturbing!

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  • August 11, 2009

    Courtney

    how stupid… more to the point where can i buy these blue shoes?!?! 🙂

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  • August 11, 2009

    Lina

    I really think that if it were guys wearing stilettos, there wouldn’t be even a thought of a ban. Why can’t women wear what they want? I know women who can run and dance in stilettos, and they are perfectly sensible shoes for them.

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  • August 11, 2009

    k

    Nah, this will never pass. It’s just gonna be used as a newspaper item to get a reaction out of people..

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  • August 11, 2009

    bookmole

    I agree with the TUC in part. If I were forced to wear high heels as part of a dress code,I would have to leave my job. High heels throw my back into spasm.
    And wearing high heels for longer periods is bad for you – bad for your knees, for your posture in older life, for your back. Wearing high heels over long periods shortens the tendons in your legs, so when you are an old lady you WILL need a Zimmer frame to get around.
    I know it seems like the TUC are out to kill fashion but ye gods – high heels are not a life necessity!

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  • August 11, 2009

    The Fashion Police

    “ye gods – high heels are not a life necessity!”
    I don’t think anyone’s arguing that they are, though, Bookmole, just that it should be up to the individual to decide whether to wear them or not.

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  • August 11, 2009

    Rose

    I do not think that anyone should be able to tell me what kind of shoe I can wear and not wear to work except my employer. I personally think that would awful. Woman are allowed to choose to have an abortion, but are forced to not wear high heels in the work place… if we have a choice, then we have a choice!!

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  • August 11, 2009

    Katie R

    In the 1850’s and 60’s, women in mills weren’t allowed to wear hoops to work. This was because hoops = dangerous in a mill. Heels =/= dangerous in today’s workplace. Unless she works somewhere where she has to walk steadily (like a lab or an overstocked china shop), or else cause damage.
    Also, the rule about wearing heels as part of a dress code is equally stupid. What’s wrong with a pretty pair of ballet flats?

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  • August 11, 2009

    Amber

    If companies are really concerned, in a safety at work way (various industries mentioned) then it should be in the company dress code.
    Also, one inch is TINY! I don’t think it’s that bad ’til you hit about 3″.

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  • August 11, 2009

    Mia

    How stupid. If it poses a real problem, like in some work situations, it should be part of that specific work policy, not just a random broad statement like this. I don’t like the idea of being required to wear high heels, but the answer isn’t to go completely the other way and ban them. Both ideas are rather insulting.
    I’m vaguely reminded of a story my mother told me, when she was told that long earrings were “inappropriate”. My mother worked at an office, so there was no way it was because the earrings were dangerous.

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  • August 11, 2009

    Katie

    If they ban high heels, can they also ban ill-fitting suits because of the “visual distractions” they cause in the workplace?

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  • August 11, 2009

    jennifer

    Blue heels are from Zara, i’ve got them they are probably the most comfortable heels ever! Which is amazing considering the size of them x

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  • August 11, 2009

    Celeste

    REQUIRING high heels should be banned. But not allowing heels when it is not a safety issue should be banned. I usually work in flats, but wear heels for interviews/meetings so that I’m as tall as the men.
    Of course some jobs heels are a safety issue, but that should be based on a job by job basis not a law.

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  • August 11, 2009

    Wendy Moira

    I’m almost entirely certain that a man came up with this.

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  • August 11, 2009

    Kat

    I can understand them saying that its not fair for a company to require heels. I personally can handle it, but I have many many friends who couldn’t walk 3 steps in heels, nevermind a whole shift.
    However, I do understand it in SOME situations. I personally work as a waitress on the side, and we’re required to wear no-slip shoes, because the floor in the kitchen can get messy and slippery, and I’ve seen more than one waitress go down in flat shoes. So it makes sense to say that you cant wear them in a place where it really is unsafe, waitressing, factory work, etc. but as a blanket statement over all jobs? thats just silly.

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  • August 12, 2009

    Andara

    “I’m almost entirely certain that a man came up with this.”
    I’d be willing to bet it wasn’t a man, but a woman who hates how other women look in heels.
    While I totally agree that any requirement to wear high heels in most workplaces absolutely must go, a governmental ban on heels in the workplace is nearly as bad.
    ^-.-^

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  • August 12, 2009

    Meredith

    Our body, our choice. (I think this is the only thing stiletto rights will ever have in common with abortion rights.) When did women become so stupid and incompetent that they could not choose their own footwear? Plus, stilettos were designed by misogynistic MEN to make women look less dowdy. They can’t just take them away now that we’ve finally started embracing them.
    Yes. Mission accomplished. I managed to turn this into a feminism issue.

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  • August 12, 2009

    Alice

    This has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve read for quite some time, next thing they’ll be banning long hair for fear that it’ll get stuck in the photocopier… Damn I feel patronised right now >:(

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  • August 17, 2009

    Selina

    What the hell? Seriously? I am so heartily sick of trend towards ‘mother knows best’ type rules. Taken to it’s logical conclusion there will be no free thinkers left within a couple of generations.

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  • August 17, 2009

    Hoshi

    Just who the hell do they think they are? Our mothers?

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  • August 24, 2009

    roni

    let’s be real for crying out loud most people are sitting behind a desk all day.. the most walking they do is to get coffee this is ridiculous.. i love my 5 inches my ysl’s and louboutins are verrry comfy!!
    .-= roni´s last blog ..Beaded Cowl Back Shirt =-.

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  • January 19, 2013

    Carlos Vidal

    It depends, if the girl is attending clients in her desk almost all day long, there is not problem in wearing high 4″ heels or yet highest heels like 5″, by this way male clients wil try to have a better conversation with her, instead other girls doing the same business will not be so appreciated by them.
    I think this proposition was done by old fanatic religious men, and may also be proposed by old women that are not interested in using pretty female to improove the business.

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  • June 22, 2014

    Gayle Smith

    LEAVE WOMEN ALONE! Now congress wants to tell women how to dress! No woman wears high heel shoes 24/7. I have worn them all of my life, but only with appropriate clothing such as business suits and dresses. It is a CHOICE! Stop taking choices away from women. By the way…. my feet are just fine!

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