As a modern woman, I have some serious life decisions to make. Will it be marriage or independence? Children or career? Shave or wax? But nothing has brought me more existential angst lately than deciding which shoes I should wear.

A few years ago, I swore I would never demean my legs with any footwear that didn't have at least a three-inch heel. Like my fashion hero Carrie Bradshaw - who deemed that a pair of Manolo Blahniks was mandatory for living fabulously - I believed with an almost religious zeal that the height of a woman's shoe reflected her confidence. The higher the heel, the closer to God.

However, there has been a price to pay for my lofty style. My lower back has developed knots that aerial yoga can't unwind. And it's been too many times now that a pair of stilettos have embarrassed me with a strap or heel snapping off in the middle of an important social event.

My devotion to platforms and pumps is wavering not just because I've ended up literally head over heels on slippery and uneven floors - it's also that my belief in Carrie's gospel has been shaken by those two awful Sex in the City movies.

But mostly it seems that fashion trends are changing. It has become socially acceptable - nay, stylish - to rock a funky pair of sneakers in non-formal situations. I've seen many ladies forsake their Jimmy Choos for fancy trainers at high tea lately.

And wearing athletic shoes doesn't mean one is sporty or even exercises. For some of my heiress friends, a gym membership is merely something to hold while waiting for a country club membership to be approved. They're only wearing sneakers because all the big-name designers are embracing the trend.

When I saw Chanel sending sneaker-wearing models down the runway at last spring's Paris couture show, I thought Karl Lagerfeld was trying to punk us. But then Dior and other labels jumped on the bandwagon, and my worldview was turned upside down. What's next - will we have to put up with Nike showing at New York Fashion Week, in addition to Kanye West?

There are many tai tais who are glad it's now OK to rock the flat-footed look. But for other ladies accustomed to running around Central in five-inch wedges, it's been a struggle to relearn how to walk normally in ballerina slip-ons. In Hong Kong, that is an act of transformation nearly as brave and courageous as Caitlyn Jenner's.

As for me, I am not quite ready to give up my vertiginous heels. When one's identity is so linked to a specific look, it's hard to give that up. Changing the world is easy, but changing your shoes is harder.

The Aristocrat