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Taking the pain out of high heels

By Julie Clothier for CNN

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The "Declic" has a three-inch foldaway high heel -- transforming the shoe from a stiletto to a flat in seconds.
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Every woman knows the downside of stilettos -- achy ankles and legs, back pain and the possibility of toppling over while wearing them.

With this in mind, Ella Kilgour has designed a solution -- the shoe that has a collapsible heel.

The 23-year-old design graduate caused a quite a stir when she created the first prototype a year ago, with women all over the world praising the idea.

Soon after, she secured a contract with fashionable UK shoe company Faith.

Since then she has been working with Faith to try and make the prototype a viable reality.

Kilgour says the project has been more difficult than both she and Faith had anticipated and things have taken longer to progress than first thought.

However, she still believes the shoe -- called the Declic -- will become a reality on shop shelves in the future.

The Declic's heel is three inches when extended, creating a four-inch stiletto.

The heel can be folded away in a recess under the shoe, creating a more walking-friendly one-inch pump.

Kilgour says the idea is perfect for commuters who walk a lot, when wearing stilettos is neither practical along uneven city streets nor comfortable for very long periods.

It is also the ideal party shoe.

Once you have finished on the dance floor and it is time to walk home or hunt for a taxi, the shoe heel can be greatly reduced in height, she says.

Now doing her Masters in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London, Kilgour says she has also come up with other clothing ideas that have an interesting "mechanism."

She says that although most of her creations so far have been fashion-based, her main interest lies in designing products that are functional.


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