Wearing Heels: A Woman’s Best Friend

Women around the world love wearing high heels.  For some reason, most women believe that the extra height boosts their confidence and power.  A study done by the Spine Health Institute says that 72% of women will wear high heels in their lifetime.  And 49% of women ages 18-24 will wear heels daily.

Despite being women’s favourite fashion accessory, it is surprising to know men were the first users of high shoes. Back in the 15th century, Persian soldiers wore them while on horseback to secure their feet in stirrups.  Eventually, the design was followed by European male aristocrats who were heels to appear taller and imply upper-class status.

By the 18th century, women wore high heels to make their feet appear smaller.  At that time, there was a belief that beautiful women had tiny feet.  Over time, definitions of beauty have been changing.  However, women remain fascinated with high heels.  What could be the reasons?

Why do women continue to wear high heels?

Although wearing heels for long periods can be painful, women continue wearing them for these reasons. 

To make themselves attractive

In a study done by the psychologist Paul Morris, they discovered that women wearing heels were rated more beautiful because of the change in their gait.

With heels, women’s strides were slower, and there is an increase in the rotation and tilt of the hips. 

To increase one’s femininity

In the same study, Paul Morris’ team discovered that participants mistakenly assumed that a woman wearing flats was a man. As any girl can attest, wearing heels forces her to move her hips, resulting in a subtle strut or an exaggerated catwalk.  Women walk in a more ladylike manner when wearing heels.

To get attention from men

In a study by Wroclaw University, women are more attractive if their legs are 5% longer than their torso.  Wearing high heels creates the illusion of having longer legs. Higher heels also raise women’s buttocks at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees, which makes women appear younger and more appealing to men.

To feel powerful

Aside from heels being part of the official dress code, the added height sets a woman apart. The image of successful businesswomen is one who is wearing heels. Women with short stature feel more confident and respected by others, especially by male colleagues, when they are wearing heels.

A study released by two UK universities shows that tall women were perceived to be more intelligent, ambitious, assertive, and independent than shorter women.

To defend themselves

Avital Zeisler, a self-defence instructor, has been teaching strategies for women while wearing heels.  Called the “stiletto self-defence,” women are taught how to hit attackers with a handheld heel or by stamping their feet. Aside from the above reasons, women love completing their outfits with matching heels.  Here’s a look at the different kinds of heels.

What are the most popular high heels?

Here are some examples of classic high heels.  Although some may go out of style, a comeback happens in a few years.

  • Kitten Heels are for women who need the extra height yet be comfortable standing for a while.
  • Pumps are between 2 to 3 inches in height and low-cut in the front.
  • Stilettos are the highest heels, reaching up to 8 inches.
  • Ankle strap heels have a strap around the ankle, adding security and stability to the wearer.
  • Wedge heels, which go straight from heel to the sole, are also secure and stable.
  • Slingback heels have a strap going around the back of the Achilles heel.
  • Peep-toe heels show the toes.
  • Mules cover the top of the foot.

High heels will always be an indispensable part of women’s wardrobes.  It performs its magic by transforming any lady into a seductive siren.

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