The Christmas party season has arrived. Towns and cities twinkle with lights, everyone is in high spirits and nights out with friends and colleagues are plentiful.
Sadly, it’s also a time where party-goers need to be vigilant and put personal safety first when planning a night out. With this in mind, we are urging high-heel wearers to take note of our ‘Blister Friday’ safety campaign by highlighting the best ways to have a trouble-free night out.
Over the past 12 and a half years, we have worked incredibly hard to create the perfect flats; beautiful and stylish, amazingly comfortable and cleverly foldable and portable.
We recently commissioned a survey* to find that 18 per cent of women have felt vulnerable when getting home from a party, because they were wearing heels and 15% have longed for flats, because they thought someone was following them. 11% have also felt at-risk, as they were having to walk home barefoot.
This has sparked a list of safety tips that, when taken into consideration, should help increase safety when travelling back home.
1. Stay in a group where possible
It’s true what they say; “safety in numbers!” Don’t go out in a group of fewer than three and stick together throughout the night. You’re unlikely to be approached or followed if you’re in a group. If you do find yourself separated from the group, make sure you go out with a fully charged mobile phone, have everyone’s contact numbers and let each member of your party know where you are.
2. Know your limits
Feeling a little tipsy can be fun and there’s no doubting that a tipple or two can lower your inhibitions, increasing confidence to cut some shapes on the dance floor. However, know your limits. Don’t over do it to the point that you don’t know where you are. And it may sound a bit sensible, but drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks could be a life saver.
3. Arrange a lift with someone you know
If you’re cadging a lift home, make sure it’s pre-arranged and you know the designated driver well. Don’t succumb to the false insecurities a few drinks can bring and thumb a lift. Make sure others know who is taking you home and when and where they’re picking you up from. And don’t forget, as old fashioned as it sounds, three rings to let friends know you’re safe and sound will put everyone’s mind at ease.
4. Take a picture of your taxi
Most women have had to get a taxi alone and as friendly as the driver may be, an uneasy feeling is always lurking away in the back of your mind. Any legitimate taxi driver will not mind a picture being taken; they may even encourage it. Once the picture has been taken, send it to your group so they know which vehicle took you home. It’s not accusatory, it’s about staying safe in a vulnerable situation.
5. Keep money and valuables hidden
Don’t make yourself a target for street theft. Turn any expensive looking rings onto the inside of your hand and keep money in a bag that is not easy to access. If you’ve chosen a clutch bag, keep it close to you at all times but a better option is a small, across- the-body bag, which is not as easy for thieves to grab.
6. Who knows where you are?
Aside from staying in a group, keep someone who is staying in for the night aware of your movements and location. That way, should any problems arise, more than one person knows of your whereabouts.
7. Comfy shoes if you’ve chosen to walk home
One of the main points that came out of our survey was that many women felt vulnerable because they had to make their way home in a pair of sky-scraper heels. Always pack a spare pair of foldable, comfy flats in your handbag so you can change into them for the journey home.
With an array of foldable, flat party shoes, from black to gold, that are suitable as first-choice party-night footwear or to keep in your handbag for later, each pair comes with a matching purse, and can be swapped for agony-inducing heels when needed. You'll also be able to unfold a little carry-bag from the purse’s back pocket, so you can easily carry your heels home safely too.
Another way to stay safe, if you decide to walk home, is to plan your route and make sure it’s well lit. Don’t choose to walk down back streets or alley ways because it’s quicker. Dig out your street-wise sense and walk the route that’s busy with people.
Janan Leo, our founder, said: "Some of the tips may sound more like common sense but if we’re honest, how many of us really think about personal safety when planning a night out? We hope that raising awareness of feelings of vulnerability will encourage party goers to make steps to stay safe whilst having a wonderful Christmas and New Year.”
*According to Cocorose London’s survey commissioned through Gorkana Surveys.