31st January 2019



Researchers took an in-depth look into the shoe wearing habits of the nation and discovered, the stiletto, once the very essence of seduction, has been replaced by far less glamourous shoes such as trainers and brogues.

The word “stiletto”, comes from the Italian word stilo, meaning dagger and started being used to describe high heel style shoes from the early 1930s.

However, the history of heels dates right back to 15th century Persia and began with them being created for men.

After a wave of popularity in the 1950s, their status faded, until a version of the stiletto heel was reintroduced in 1974 by Manolo Blahnik, with Marilyn Monroe famously declaring “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot”.

But according to new research, the trainer has been revealed as the shoe most likely to help women meet their match, dispelling the myth that heels are the number one ‘seduction shoe’.

And this may signify the end of old-fashioned glamour, with as many as 36 percent of females saying they would always opt for a trainer on a romantic date. In fact, only a quarter of females said they would wear a high heel to impress a man on a date.

But it seems modern men are not bothered about the demise of the high heel, with as many as 44 percent of males saying trainers are the shoes women should wear on a first date and 20 percent opting for a brogue. In fact, only 30 percent of the men polled felt that a female should wear a killer heel on a date.

The research, commissioned by Deichmann Shoes, also found an incredible 63 percent of Brits admit to judging people by their shoes, with 8 percent even saying they would probably end a relationship with someone if they wore inappropriate or undesirable footwear.

When it comes to the top footwear choices for men, the study found that stepping out in a classic pair of black dress shoes is the best way for British men to ensure a successful date - according to the nation’s women.

Black dress shoes were chosen by 27 percent of women polled, while one in four said that they liked their men to wear brogues and 17 percent preferred a man in a pair of box fresh trainers.

The nationwide survey of almost 2,000 British adults also shows the average Brits owns 14 pairs of shoes, with women owning an average of 18 pairs and men owning 10. 

Simon Wilson, Head of Buying and Marketing at Deichmann, said: “Fashion is forever changing, but we have noticed that certain styles remain consistent. It’s interesting to see that trainers, once thought too casual are now one of the most popular date shoes.”

Men and women were united in choosing the biggest footwear faux pas to wear on a date - the infamous sock/sandal combo, followed by scuffed shoes and dirty trainers were the three worst options for both genders.

And if you do match up the wrong footwear with the wrong people, they will judge you. The study found 15 percent of women thought that men in trainers were “not serious” and 6 per cent thought their feet would smell.

On the other side of the coin, 12 percent claimed that people in business shoes were “trying too hard”, and 9 percent thought their “mum probably helped them get dressed”.

Glasgow is the shoe capital of the UK where people own 18 pairs, twice as many as people in Cardiff who only have nine. Norwich was the city with the most high heel fans where 46 percent of women would wear them for a first date compared to 20 percent of Sheffield women. 

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