Why Collagen High Heel Treatments Got Off On The Wrong Foot

Why Collagen High Heel Treatments Got Off On The Wrong Foot

A model dons heels to walk the Stephane Rolland couture catwalk. Photo: PA

About three years ago the beauty industry crowbarred the idea of cosmetic fillers being somehow beneficial for the feet of high heel aficionados into our collective consciousness.

The idea was that injecting fillers such as collagen directly into the balls of the feet would remove the need to wear cushioning products such as gel pads in your shoes.

A Daily Mail article from 2009 announced that use of collagen feet fillers was on the rise - apparently the temptation of pain-free heel wearing was proving too much to resist.

And yet, two years down the line, I'm on a heck of a lot of beauty PR lists and foot-focused cosmetic surgery hasn't been mentioned once - not even during the Christmas party season cited by the Daily Mail article as the time which saw the most interest.

So, in an age where The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons is expressing 'serious concern' over the fact we can purchase botox alongside cupcakes, what's with the lack of interest?

Perhaps the expense is the issue.

Why would a woman - especially one on a budget - choose to spend over £200 on a procedure that aims to mimic the actions of gel pads that cost less than £5? It's not even like the foot fillers outlast the gel pads as you can only expect to reap the benefits of the cosmetic procedure for two or three months, while some of the gel cushions are washable and reusable.

It might be the fact that many of us have a natural caution when it comes to injecting unnecessary chemicals into our bodies.

In 2008 a custody battle ruling revealed Sharon Stone to have suggested that her son Roan - then eight years old - get botox injections in his feet to cure an odour problem. While Stone was criticised for this (and other incidents) and ultimately denied custody of her son, ex-husband Phil Bronstein was praised for his "simple and common sense approach of making sure Roan wore socks with his shoes and used foot deodorant". You can argue that Stone was calling for botox as a medical procedure rather than a cosmetic one but the end result was that of positioning use of an injectable cosmetic product as a complete overreaction.

It could be that the reality of wearing heels doesn't marry up with what we see on the catwalk.

After all, very few of us wear heels 24/7. There are pairs lurking in desk drawers for client meetings, in wardrobes for nights out and lying pristine in their shoeboxes awaiting the perfect special occasion. When we do finally don our spectacular stilettos we do so to stride into a meeting room or onto the dancefloor, hold the pose (and the feeling of power) for a second and then either quietly slip them off under the table or abandon them in a dark corner of the club to be retrieved (but not worn) at the end of the evening and flailed madly in the direction of a passing taxi.

Or perhaps it's simply because the attraction of most cosmetic surgery procedures is that they claim to counter our insecurities. In the many articles I've read on the subject, I've seen women highlighting a hatred of a huge variety of body parts, from bums to earlobes, but I have never once heard of a woman dissatisfied about how well-padded her feet were.

Perhaps practicality is far less of an incentive than self-esteem.

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