High heels did not appear overnight. They grew inch by inch over decades ... beginning in sixteenth-century France, and were first worn by men. There was little development in women’s shoes because they were hidden under long gowns. The advantage of an elevated heel was first appreciated in horseback riding; a heel secured the foot in the stirrup.
By the eighteenth century, women at the French court wore brocaded high-heeled shoes with elevations up to three inches. American women, taking the fashion lead from Paris, adopted what was known as the “French heel.” (source: Panati’s Book of Origins)
High Heel Reveals
- Noted for its unique classes, Crunch, a nationwide gym, even offers a forty-five-minute “Stiletto Strength” classes that strengthen women’s legs and calves.
- High heels were introduced into the USA in the nineteenth-century, imported from brothels in Paris because of the success they had had amongst the clientele who preferred to hire the services of prostitutes who wore these.
- Some women are even going under the knife to shorten their toes or inject padding into the balls of their feet to allow their feet to fit more comfortably into a pair of stilettos.
- All high heels counter the natural functionality of the foot, which can create skeletal and muscular problems if they are worn excessively. Despite their impracticality, however, their popularity remains undiminished—as Terry DeHavilland (UK shoe designer) has said, “People say they’re bad for the feet but they’re good for the mind. What’s more important?”
- A new report indicates that, on average, women begin wearing high heels at age twelve and continue doing so until they’re sixty-three.
- And you’ll only end up regretting it after you get an attack of a permanent bunion.
- Former model Julie Hunter who killed a man when she lost control of her sports car. No, it wasn’t her bad driving skills but her two-and-a-half-inch heels that made it harder for her to maneuver around the pedals. A crash investigator confirmed there had been no mechanical faults with the car or bicycle but he added that Hunter’s “very high” heels “may have inhibited the defendant’s ability to drive.”
Ungraceful and gawky is what some women say they feel when they put on a pair of heels after an extended period of not wearing them. So, do it for yourself; put a pair on now and then, strut your stuff and feel empowered and sexy.
So, are you encouraged or discouraged from wearing high heels?
P.S. If you have a temporary or ongoing foot hindrance, you can always spice it up with a fancy pedicure, ankle bracelet, color, or sexy flats.