It is C in Siberia's main city, Novosibirsk, but many young women here are tottering through the snow in elegant, but perhaps rather impractical high-heeled boots. And that, despite doctors' warnings and attempts by fashion professionals to promote far warmer traditional Russian footwear. Even at extremely low temperatures, high heels are still the number one choice for many here. And they contrast sharply with the felt boots, "valenki", worn by headscarved babushki in padded jackets or long fur coats. The city is covered in white. The crisp snow underfoot squeaks with every step, and the air is so cold, it is easier to breathe with your mouth and nose completely covered. Ksenia, 22, strolls through Novosibirsk's main square, passing by the huge Lenin monument and walking hastily through snow and ice towards the renowned Opera Theatre. Like many other young women here, she seems dressed rather out-of-synch with the Arctic-like conditions, wearing high-heeled boots, a pair of skinny jeans, a jacket and a thin hat. For year-old student Tatiana, high heels are a matter of fashion as well as habit. Other women reserve high heels for special occasions.
Could you imagine living in a world where you were banned from wearing high heels that were higher than a tiny kitten heel? Me either and the thought alone is actually quite horrifying — my feet are already cringing. Well, if Oleg Mikheyev, a member of Russia's parliament, has it his way that will be a dreadful reality.
The Russian winter is not easy to endure and it drags on much longer than temperate zones in Europe and the U. Russian women want to look elegant even in the frostiest weather, and that especially means wearing high heels. So, how do they do it without falling and injuring themselves? Of course, the Russian winter means lots of snow, and when a path is well-trodden the snow turns to ice, making it very dangerous to walk on. Experts suggest maintaining your posture, and step from heel to toe. Proper winter walking: step from heel to toe, gently move your weight forward as if walking on tiptoes, and bravely take the next step. The most important thing is to maintain your balance on ice. Some Russian women think that wearing heels in winter is safer than a flat shoe sole.
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