What’s the Deal with High Heels?

High heels have been around since ancient Egyptian times. First worn by men for practical purposes, high heels were common for professions such as butchers and horse riders. King Louis XIV wore high heels to appear more dominant and impose status. Following this, other members of society began to wear high heels to extricate themselves from the lower class. It wasn’t until the middle ages when high heel shoes were made specifically for women for non-practical use. The first record of them were in the 1400s in Turkey according to study.com. Now, across the world, heals are worn strictly for the purposes of fashion by women, men, and the gender non-conforming.

High heels are worn across all economic backgrounds and are available in multiple price ranges. Some high heels even peak up to the million-dollar mark with different embellishments, jewels, metals and stones. Shoes of this kind are used to represent a specific social status and class level. High heels have even been offered as low at $5 by some retailers. This being the case, research has still shown that heel height has a positive correlation with income. According to research rconducted by Jeff Galak, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, a big difference in heel height has been recorded among purchases of women as their income increases. High heels worn among women have always been a subconscious barometer of social status and class in society.

Although in some cultures they are a sign of ultimate sophistication, high heeled shoes don’t have the reputation of being very comfortable to wear; however, it is of common belief that high heels are far more attractive than flat shoes. According to multiple studies taken from both men and women, a woman’s walk is seemed as much more attractive when wearing high heels than when wearing flat shoes. Generally, they elongate the legs and make large calves look a bit slimmer.

The football high heel is a popular choice among active high heel wearers who walk regularly. It’s more comfortable than the average stiletto heel and takes less time to get used to. Other shoemakers subscribe to the mantra ‘fashion is beauty’ and don’t put much effort into making high heels more comfortable as they do make high heels more pleasing aesthetically. Whichever your taste, there are multiples to choose from.

For some women, the aesthetic of it all isn’t enough. While high heels are pleasing to the eye, the effect they have on feet over long periods of time can cause severe, and sometimes long-term damage. Naturally, wearing high heels forces your ankles to bend forward, shifting your weight around in ways that your anatomy isn’t set up for. They also force you to stand on your tip toes which could damage and callous the balls of your feet. Some shoe makers take these things into account and craft shoes that are better for your feet but still provide the elongated look everyone loves.