Is it time to wave farewell to heels and embrace trainers?

Wave goodbye to body-con, say hello to jeans


Ah the humble heel. It comes in many forms, from stilettos to wedges to blocks. It’s forever been a staple for women across many generations. People associated the heel with femininity, sexiness and glamour, this is why it has always been seen as a must have item for a good old night on the town. I for one am I heel lover (tbh I’m just a shoe lover in general) I love the way heels make my legs look and feel, the higher the better for me. There will never be a day when I say no to a Jimmy Choo no matter how many nails feel like are being rammed into my feet.

But ever since I came to Manchester for university I’ve noticed another side to going out, one that doesn’t take hours to perfect and is a lot more comfortable. I turned up to freshers with my false lashes in tow and was shocked to see people going out in leggings and tracksuit bottoms (I was pretty mortified not going to lie). After standing out like a sore thumb now my uni nights out consist of trainers and jeans, I must discard my beloved Kurt Geiger gladiators and opt for a stan smith or maybe a superstar.

This made me question, are modern women turning their back on a dolled up night out? Are young girls choosing the trainer over the heel? I asked a few other girls and got some surprising responses.

Alexa Russell, 20 , Auburn

Alexa loves her superstars

“At my school people usually go out in oversized t-shirts and shorts on the weekdays if they go out early. On the weekends you can pretty much wear whatever you want but most people dress up a little bit, not a lot of heels but wedges sometimes. Only one of our bars has a dress code and it’s more for guys than girls. I personally have started wearing my adidas out on weekdays but on weekends I usually wear booties with chunky heels because my Adidas and Converse get bar sludge on them.”

Bethany Johnston, 20, Manchester Met

Bethany is a heel lover

“I feel like I always wear flats on a night out, but would rather go on fancier nights out more where I can wear heels. The student places in Manchester though more or less everyone just wears trainers because it’s easy and casual.”

Bethan Traynor, 20, University of Manchester

Bethan is a heels babe

“I don’t even think that I own a pair of trainers. My idea of being dressed down is wearing block heel boots instead of high heels.”

Kerrigan Stern, 20, University of Maryland

It’s all about comfort, honestly. Do you want to be at a party and feeling uncomfortable in your outfit and constantly adjusting it? No. You want to have a good time. The only way you can do that is in an outfit that you feel great in!”

Victoria Fleurat-Smith, 18, University of Arizona

“Being 5’11 a casual night is a dream come true because I don’t stand out wearing my flats. For this night out I went to dinner with a friend and paired this outfit with Adidas (super basic I know).”

Lizzy Gulino, 19, Ithaca

“My friends and I usually tend to dress up when we go out so I’m always wearing some sort of heel especially since I’m only 5’1, but Thursday nights are pretty casual. Here’s a pic of me and some of my friends when it was ‘hat night’ at a bar and you got cheaper drinks if you wore one. Probably the most casual I’ve dressed to go out.”

Chloe Brooks, 19, Manchester

Chloe likes to go all out glam

“I actually don’t mind either, trainers if it’s a casual night and heels if i want to dress up and look nice for a big event.”

Laura Hampson, 20, University of Leeds

Laura likes more of a glam flat

“I wear flat sandals literally all year round because they’re a combo of both, you can still be dressy but also run around still and not be taller than everyone in the club. But trainers if it has to be one.”

Shannon Dixon, 20, Manchester Met

At home glam is a must for Shannon

“I’d say it depends where I go but I probably prefer heels just because I feel a bit more dressy but deffo feel just as comfortable out wearing trainers whereas like a year ago I wouldn’t.”

Jamie-Lee Appleyard, 20, University of Manchester

Heels make Jamie feel jazzy

“When going out heels are a must, they make the outfit and I couldn’t really consider wearing flats for going out.”

Mared Emlyn Parry, 19, Cardiff University

Mared thinks flats are a God send

“In Cardiff there are certain clubs where it’s normal to wear trainers and to dress down. I am actually disabled as I have problems with my right leg and back and I have had surgeries on my hip which has made my leg weak, which is why not wearing heels and instead slipping into my trainers is a God send. I still go out on formal nights in a nice dress just with some converse instead of heels.”

Kimberly Tsang, 20, Manchester Met

Kim truly embraced the Manchester vibe

“I prefer wearing trainers on a night out in Manchester because I’ve become accustomed to wearing them now. The places I go out to are mainly filled by students. No one wears heels in these places and everyone dresses very casual.”

Lauren Gordon, 20, University of Newcastle

Lauren is ever so glam

“When I go out at uni then I would always wear flats but when I come home I love my heels. Yeah they aren’t as comfy but I feel much more glamorous than in flats.”

Jazzy Dress

It’s safe to say that we have a fairly even split between the girls who took part. It’s dependent on situation, and in many places, on location. But even after all that you couldn’t swan into Liverpool on a Saturday night wearing flats, it better be heels and a bodycon or else.