Tanya Heath is on a double mission: to prove women can wear heels without ruining their feet, and that her answer to their plight, a heel that switches from high to low, can be made entirely in France.
The Paris-based Canadian started with a simple idea. When your shoes start to hurt -- half way through a party, a wedding or a workday -- press a button in the sole, slot out your dressy high heel and replace it with a walking version.
Fruit of three painstaking years of research, Heath's patented answer to the riddle is billed as the world's first multi-height heel, a luxury leather shoe that switches seamlessly from 3.5 to 1.5 inches.
From pastel pink patent sandals to strappy dancing shoes or demure lace-ups, with either stiletto or chunky heels, high or low, the shoes are pitched at the high end of the market, starting at around $320 dollars.
In 1996, Heath left a job as policy analyst at the Canadian foreign ministry for a new life in Paris, following her oil executive fiance, a "camembert and champagne" lover who refused to be based anywhere else.