When it comes to choosing footwear, our number one priority is comfort. If a pair of shoes can't support us running to catch the bus, or withhold us standing in a crowded bar all evening, then they aren't our perfect match.
And we're not the only ones who have no patience with blisters and aching arches: just last week market research company Mintel revealed that in 2016, for the first time, women bought more pairs of trainers than heels.
But that could all be about to change, thanks to a revelatory new formula devised by a podiatrist that promises to make heels comfortable to walk in.
The formula, fittingly called Perfect Heel Height (PHH), works by matching a woman to her comfiest heel height using measurements of her foot.
Designed by consultant podiatrist Emma Supple, the formula will help work out whether your feet are naturally fitted to a pair of flats or sky-high platforms.
"I noticed many patients complaining about pain and then saying...that they always wear flat shoes," Supple told The Daily Mail.
"What they didn’t realise is that the structure of the ankle and the foot mean some women are naturally more comfortable with a higher heel. If you consistently wear the wrong heel height for your foot, then you are more likely to suffer discomfort."
Supple hopes the formula will help women to choose the right height heel for their feet, and in turn banish discomfort: surprisingly, statistics from the College of Podiatry reveal that the average woman suffers 23 days of foot-related pain, which equates to a massive hour and a half every day.
So how can you find your PHH? See Supple's formula below...
How to find your perfect heel height
- "Take off your shoes, sit down and hold one leg straight out in front of you, relaxing your foot," Supple told The Daily Mail.
- "If your foot sits naturally at a right angle to your outstretched leg and does not dangle, then you have less mobility in the talus and will be more comfortable in flat shoes than in high heels. If the top of your foot falls forwards, in a straightish line following your leg, you are a natural heel wearer."
- "To find your optimum heel height, get a friend or partner to help stretch the tape measure from your heel in a straight line parallel to the floor, then place a pencil at the ball of your foot at right angles to the tape."
- "Reading the tape measure where it hits the pencil will give you your ideal heel height."