Believed by many to exude an alluring, enigmatic mystique, women all over the world
harbor an addictive (albeit painful) love affair with high heels. I confess that they
have possessed a certain fascination for me, although I was never quite persuaded
to forfeit comfort for the sake of fashion. There were a few occasions in which I
was tempted, however. Compelled by my sporadic and fanciful wish to wear stilettos,
I decided to purchase a comparatively modest alternative: black, sandal-strapped,
three inch heels. I admit to a near giddiness when I first slipped into them at the
store. I did not venture to walk in them so publicly, however, lest curious eyes bear
witness to an awkward debacle.
I only wore them once, walking to a parked car in the driveway and back. A precarious
I later purchased two more pairs of heels despite my better judgment. The reason was
simple: I felt like the proverbial princess when I tried them on. Apart from those
fleeting seconds, I have not worn them. I entertain a faint hope that I will debut
them on my wedding day, yet I know perfectly well that this shall not be. My naturally
flat feet could not endure the additional agony.
The inception of the high heel is questionable. They are said to have appeared as
early as 4,000 B.C. Egyptian butchers allegedly wore them in order to raise them above
the carnage of their labors. They were subsequently worn by riders in the 1500's to
prevent their feet from slipping in their stirrups. At approximately 1 1/2 inches,
these heels bear a similarity to today's riding (as well as cowboy) boots.
In 1533 Catherine de' Medici, Italian wife of the Duke of Orleans, began wearing two-inch
heels to lengthen her stature. Mary Tudor followed suit in 1553 by wearing the highest
heels possible. This fashion trend soon became popular among both genders of the French
court and spread to other countries. Although high heels are currently known as a
primarily female accessory, there are men who have been known to wear them (e.g. Prince,
In spite of their fashionable appeal, high heels can be detrimental to the wearer.
If worn on a regular basis, they can engender a number of foot deformities such as
corns, bunions, calluses, hammertoes, "pump bump" (a bony enlargement situated on
the back of the heel), nail fungus, and ingrown toenails. Their use can also place
undue force on the inner knees, tighten calf and tendon muscles, and lead to a misalignment
of the hips and spine. Alongside these hazards there exists the potential for pain
and numbness of the toes, and also of the joints in the ball of the foot.
It is ironic that an accessory designed to beautify the feet can ultimately mar them
in significant ways once those adornments are removed. Beyond this, they can cause
serious injury and negative, long term effects. Considering these risks, why do women
continue wearing high heels? The reasons are purely aesthetic:
*A woman's calves and buttocks are accentuated.
*They give the appearance of a taller stature.
*They alter a woman's posture and walking style in a way that is considered "seductive"
*They make the feet appear smaller.
*They give the illusion of longer, toned legs.
If you have decided to wear high heels irrelevant of the dangers, please consider
the following tips on how to properly walk in them:
*Be certain that you step with your heel first, allowing the sole to quickly follow.
*Take care that your toes are pointing as straightforward as possible.
*Facilitate balance by swinging your arms.
*Shorten your stride.
*Be aware of your legs: they must be straight, close, and parallel.
*Avoid possible injury by not walking on sand, gravel, slush, ice, mud, grass, and
grated surfaces. It is suggested that you take off your heels and walk across these
surfaces barefoot, although that will result in considerable discomfort of its own.
*Make sure that both the sole and heel firmly touch the ground when you are ascending
a flight of stairs. When you are descending, allow only the sole of your shoes to
touch each step. Stay close to the banister in the event of a slip.
*Wear pantyhose, as they lend support to the legs.
*If you want to wear stilettos, practice by wearing a chunky heel (4 inches or higher.)
*Do not walk long distances in your heels. Immediately remove them if you begin to
feel pain and/or numbness.
*If you are wearing three inch heels or above and you sense that you are about to
fall, allow yourself to fall. Attempting to restore your balance without holding onto
something substantial can result in a broken ankle.
It is my hope that the above information will provide you with the necessary knowledge
to make an informed decision regarding the use of high heels.
High Heel Shoes at AMAZON!