Women are ditching their stylish high heels for the comfort of sneakers or flats.
The sales of stilettos have plunged across Australia for the past five years, an increasing number of women opt for more pain relieving options for their soles.
Here, FEMAIL rounds up the best footwear for work – and you can still look and feel comfortably stylish without hurting your feet.
Australian women are ditching their stylish high heels for the comfort of sneakers or flats
The Superga canvas quickly became the must-have wardrobe staple after Kate Middleton (pictured at a London marathon last year) was spotted wearing them during her royal duties
Joanne Mercer, Myer’s general manager of footwear and accessories, said it has become increasingly acceptable to wear sneakers at work.
‘The move to women wearing sneakers has been really strong. That’s partially casualisation of the workforce, people are less formal, Australians embrace a casual lifestyle and fitness is important,’ she told Fairfax Media.
So if you want to ditch style for comfort, here are some options:
SUPERGA TRAINERS – $89.95
The Superga Cotu Classic tennis shoes are the perfect practical footwear for work.
Sporty aesthetics are a bang-on trend right now, and women have been slipping into a more comfy style of trainers around the office.
The classic Superga canvas quickly became the must-have wardrobe staple after Kate Middleton was spotted wearing them during her royal duties.
Perfect for royalty, the Duchess of Cambridge has been rocking the cool kicks in a string of outings, alongside Prince William.
SPURR SLIDES – $24.95
Showcasing a simple and clean design, the Spurr Tiona Slides was recently described as The Iconic’s go-to sandal.
The minimal slides feature a black leather-look upper with a chic matte finish and a contrast brown sole.
The Superga tennis shoes (left) and the Spurr Slides (right) are the perfect footwear for work
ATMOS&HERE LOAFER – $109.95
The Atmos&Here loafer mules are the perfect staple if you want a budget without breaking the bank by purchasing a designer pair.
The black leather shoes feature s a gold-toned horse bit ornament, rounded toes and a 2cm stacked heel.
BIRKENSTOCK ARIZONA – $137.95
Birkenstock sandals have long been the chicest fashion staple among Hollywood celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Selma Blair, Naomi Watts and Julianna Moore.
For those who have a little bit more money to spend, Birkenstock shoes are great to wear around the office.
Featuring smooth leather straps and a moulded footbed, the sandals are the ultimate fusion of classic comfort and style.
The Atmos&Here loafers (left) are the perfect staple if you want a budget without breaking the bank by purchasing a designer pair – while Birkenstock sandals (right) have long been the chicest fashion staple among Hollywood celebrities
Adidas Superstars (left) have proved hugely popular with customers from around the world as the go-to sneakers for every occasion – while the Zara flats (right) can keep you in fashion while feeling comfortable on your toes
ADIDAS SUPERSTAR – $120
Adidas Superstars have proved hugely popular with customers from around the world as the go-to sneakers for every occasion.
Debuting in 1969, the Adidas Originals Superstar sneakers were the first all-leather, low basketball shoes.
Known as the streetwear staple, the cool kicks has a smooth leather upper, three-stripe detailing and an iconic shell toe.
ZARA FLATS $49.95
Pair your professional blazer and pants with these sophisticated flat satin shoes. The Zara flats can you keep in fashion while your comfortable on your toes.
Featuring an asymmetric detail on the sides of the upper, the three-tone flats are comfortably perfect to wear around the office.
The sales of stilettos have plunged across Australia for the past five years, as women opt for more pain relieving options for their soles
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Sydney podiatrist Nicole Reilly, from Sole Therapy, revealed how you can wear heels comfortably without hurting your feet.
‘We always recommend sticking to the 80/20 rule, where 80 per cent of the time you wear sensible shoes, and keep your highest heels for limited activities,’ she said.
‘It really depends on the activity level. If you’re working around the desk a lot, stick to lower heels or wear thicker wedges – they’re more beneficial than stilettos.’
Practitioner Jordan Ryder, from Performance Podiatry Sydney, said wearing high heels over time can lead to serious health problems.
‘High heels are often constrictive, forcing the big toe towards the mid-line of the foot and increasing the risk of developing bunions,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Lifting the heel will also cause anterior tilt of the hips increasing the pressure on the soft tissues that cross this joint including the hamstring tendons which is one of the main causes of lower back pain.
‘Wearing high heals forces the body into an unnatural, antalgic gait pattern which is both unstable and inefficient.’
Foot experts warn wearing high heels overtime can lead to serious health problems
Perfect for royalty, the Duchess of Cambridge has been rocking the cool kicks in a string of outings, alongside Prince William
He there were many options to look at when choosing a comfortable pair of heels.
‘Choose a lower heel and a shoe with adequate width around the forefoot. Heel height should be limited to two inches,’ he said.
‘Avoid shoes with a pointed toe and a leather innersole which will cause the foot to slip forward. Choose a wedged heel over a stiletto so that more weight is taken through the midfoot.’
For those who do wear heels, the podiatrist said there were simple ways to help recover your feet after sticking out long hours in them.
‘Regularly stretching the calf muscles and hamstrings to avoid shortening and strain that will occur over time in heels,’ he said.
‘Relieving tension and limiting inflammation in the plantar fascia afterwards by freezing a water bottle and rolling it up and down the foot on the ground will help with recovery.
‘Elevating the feet after use, using ice and a light compression to prevent inflammation and help with injury recovery.
‘Use a more supportive shoe to and from work – commuter shoes. Take short steps. Shortening the stride will keep forces evenly throughout the foot and help maintain balance, preventing ankle sprains.’