Quake city hell on high heels

Last updated 08:19 26/08/2012

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Women stilettos are having to be 'piggy-backed' through car parks full of potholes, tiptoe around puddles and face the humiliation of losing heels to pavement cracks in Christchurch's broken streets.

Some of the city's shoe-repair businesses have fielded an increase in snapped stilettos, worn-out heels and liquefaction- soaked soles needing to be re- glued since the Canterbury earthquakes rocked the region.

Mustufa Primus, the manager of a Mister Minit shoe repair business in the eastern suburbs, said he had seen an increase of about 15 per cent in demand for "basic shoe repairs" since the quakes.

However, the city's shoe shops say women have remained loyal to their stilettos regardless of the road conditions.

Mi Piaci shoe store manager Katie Parker said customers were still buying stilettos despite being sceptical about the opportunities they would have to wear them around the city.

"There's nowhere to wear nice shoes out any more but that's not stopping them," she said.

Georgina Stylianou, 23, of Christchurch, still "pulls out the big guns" on a night out, but said it can "definitely be a little treacherous".

Last Friday night, she had to get piggy-backed by a friend across a car park that was covered in potholes and gravel because there was no way she could tackle it in heels.

Another high-heel enthusiast, Josie Springford, 23, likened stepping out in a pair of stilettos to "danger living".

"When you walk from one bar to another you are looking at the ground the whole time because it's kind of like an obstacle course."

Springford preferred to wear wedged heels, which are a "bit more practical".

Other women have reported being "forced into flats" for everyday wear because of the city's "daunting" roads.

Terri Growcott, 23, used to love wearing heels to work every day but said it was near impossible to walk from her car to the office so she now wore flats.

And Francesca Lee, 22, was caught out in a pair of "five-inch studded stiletto booties" when the February quake struck but said she had since learnt her lesson.

"Whenever I wear heels, I always carry a pair of flats with me, just in case," she said.

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- Sunday Star Times

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