The fashion police have been squashed.

Flat. Kicked into the long grass by a ballet pump. Style savants have decreed the ballet shoe has had its moment in the sun and the gentleman's slipper is the footwear de rigueur.

Even when made in velvet to evoke the smoking jacket, gentleman's club sort of pretentiousness the slipper is a shapeless loafer. Designers were prompted to add distinction with studs but high street versions look tacky and velvet is an impractical material for anyone who wants to step outside. In leather, the style is, at best, too androgynous without the satisfaction of being a challenge and, at worst, a shuffling step away from the baffie and the old folk's home.

Fashion diktat is literally out of step with the view on the street. A saunter down Buchanan Street is enough to confirm the round toes are holding their own against seasonal sandals and even the ubiquitous trainers and their summer equivalent of canvas lace-ups. Those thirled to their heels continue to totter, but in reduced number, only sassy under-35s can carry off the pastel brogue in style while the smart-but-practical older generations will forever clump about in courts. All fail to appreciate the versatility of the humble pump to partner jeans, trousers or floaty skirts.

Yet these most innocuous of shoes can evoke strong feelings. In a previous incarnation, Michael Gove, now Education Secretary for England, cited the trend for ballet pumps as evidence of a retreat to childhood and thus adults' increasing tendency "to evade responsibilities and inhabit a perpetual adolescence from 14 to 40".

An unlikely combination of a bossy education secretary and fashion's fiercest pundits defeated by a popular movement in favour of comfort with style? That calls for a jete.