Is this the perfect shoe for a 12 hour working day?

nicholas kirkwood
Leda heels, £475, Nicholas Kirkwood

The entirety of the fashion advice my mother has ever given me is as follows: ‘Just be clean and wear black.’ It’s a simple, comprehensive view that probably applies to nearly every workplace beyond fashion and media, where – as you’ve no doubt surmised – we’re more likely to wear cold-shoulder dresses, statement earrings and platform sandals on a chilly Monday (ahem) than anything as sensible as a skirt suit.

Dorateymur Turbojet patent heel loafer, £399, Boutique1 ; Maryam Nassir Zadeh bi-colour pumps, £335, Browns

One of the many ways to fall short of Mum’s concise brief is to wear the same busted pair of flat slipper shoes on the tube every day, holding one’s breath until arriving at one’s desk and confirming with relief that, yes, one’s preferred pair of shoes is still in the shoe graveyard under one’s desk. This approach is problematic for a number of reasons.

First, most of us keep our feet under our desks all day, making the walk into the office one of the only times our shoes get their due showing.

Suede pumps with Insolia flex, £35, Marks & Spencer ; Marymid patent pumps, £298, Stuart Weitzman

Second, you will only ever run into your chief executive/professional rival when shlumping into the office, hoping you don’t see anyone until you find the good shoes.

Third, sometimes your intended shoes aren’t there. And then you might have give up and stick with the slippers, which… well. Let’s not think about that.

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So let’s resolve, please, to wear the same shoes in the office as we do there and back again. For this to work, we’ve got to set some ground rules. Your shoes should be flat, or up to 70mm tall, so you can whip through a train station during rush hour with the best of them. (If you need more height, a subtle platform will help here.)

They should look equally good with black tights and skirts as with tailored trousers. Most days you’ll want a chunkier heel for stability, but sometimes you won’t be able to resist a stiletto heel, like the one on these Nicholas Kirkwood Leda pumps (above). Sharp, elegant, definitely clean – even Mum won’t care that they aren’t black.

 

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