The view of Dr Maxwell Barnish, of University of Aberdeen, lead author of the High Heels study

This review is the first to bring together both the health aspects and the psychological aspects of wearing high heels.

We examined both the positives and the negatives because it is too easy in these type of topics to concentrate on the negatives.

From the positive point of view, heels are rated as more attractive by men and other women, and also they influence men's behaviour to women's benefit. So, for example, there was a story where a woman had dropped her glove and the man was more willing to help her if she wore heels. That may be a bit old-fashioned and could be culturally bound.

Negative aspects are the increased risk of bunions, back pain, and injuries such as to ankles, and could lead to work absence.

If it is bad for your health we should not be requiring women to wear high heels. It should be a matter of choice.

Nicola Thorp launched a campaign after she was sent home when she refused to wear heels at work.

The government response was that they do not believe in old fashioned attitudes towards women, and they don't want women to have to wear them at work, but they felt that the Equality Act 2010 was doing the job. But this was the Act that was in place when the incident involving Ms Thorp occurred.

The Herald:

The Conservative party is the party of the employer, the party of the capitalist economy, so I suppose what they are trying to do is not to impose too much on employers.

Maybe they are focussing too much on the employers rights rather than the employees' rights. We need greater clarity of what the Equality Act says because different people are holding different views on it, the government issue statements but they are not the clearest statements in the world. And if they are not clear things just go to courts all the time.

There needs to be clear interpretation of what it means for the sake of businesses so that they understand it.

Devolved nations in the UK have devolved health powers, and if Wales and Scotland felt the Act was not doing enough, if they wanted to they could introduce specific legislation as a public health issue. Equality issues are not devolved but health is. My preference would be further legislation in line with what the Canadian province of British Columbia did [in scrapping the dress code which requires female employees to wear heels] to make it really clear.

But I don't know whether there is much political motivation for that at the moment. It will all come down to what the politicians feel is required or what is in their best interests.