PUBLISHED: 09:47 03 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:47 03 March 2015
Struggling with skyscraper heels? So was Angela Belassie, until she took lessons in how to wear them
What do you do if you have tiny size two feet and want to wear high heels? Take lessons in how to walk in them.
Angela Belassie, 36, a PR consultant for Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich and Colchester, had resigned herself to a life of flat shoes because she struggled find heels in a size two.
Until, that is, she met clinical orthotist Martin Bell who helped her find high heels that fitted and helped her to learn to walk in them.
Angela said: “At a size two, I struggled to find a pair of shoes to fit me or the weddings I had to go to – in one shop alone I tried on 10 pairs.
“My gait was not that dissimilar to John Wayne. And on my own wedding day I was not so much walked up the aisle, as supported along the way.
“I had resigned myself to a life in flat shoes, with heels only making a very brief outing only at weddings, before changing into comfy shoes as soon as possible.”
But she then underwent a course of treatment with Martin, who specialises in correcting postural problems.
He analysed her gait and posture, then prescribed a series of exercises to strengthen her core muscles and correct her stride.
Martin has worked with Olympians and Paralympians to help overcome recurring injuries and improve their performance.
And he has introduced a ‘Perfectly Poised’ class after treating numerous women for joint pain caused by wearing heels.
He said: “Many women complained of back, knee and foot pain caused by walking in heels.
“It seemed to be an all too common problem and it inspired me to devise a course to teach women how to walk properly in their shoes.
“I work with women to help improve their physical strength and muscle tightness. I teach them to walk properly in their shoes - so they still get to wear their favourite footwear, without damaging their joints.”
Martin, who used to teach people to walk with artificial limbs, said it was important to wear shoes which fitted properly and offered support, such as a strap.
He put Angela in touch with Tom Reader, who has set up Pretty Small Shoes to offer fashionable footwear starting from size 13.
Tom’s partner, Jiyeon Yeom, 41, has only a size 2 shoe and knows first-hand the difficulties of buying stylish small shoes. She has been the inspiration behind the business.
Tom said: “The shoes sizes in the general population have been getting larger over the last 30 to 40 years.
“The percentage of women with small size feet, which are below size three, is therefore now very low and at around just two to three per cent of adults.
“We worked to build a range of styles that were contemporary and found instant success due to demand and the desire to wear fashionable, well-fitting shoes.”
Following the end of the sessions, Martin played the before and after video and Angela was amazed by the difference.
She said: “I walked much more gracefully and almost looked comfortable in heels.”
Martin added: “At the end of the sessions women are thrilled by the dramatic change to the way they walk. They feel much more confident and balanced.”