LOVE them or hate them, there’s no denying that heels can instantly transform any look from drab to fab. But did you know that heels were first worn by men? Their origin dates back to the 15th century when Persian soldiers would wear them to secure their feet in stirrups. This trend was then brought to Europe where noblemen wore them to give the impression of being taller and more intimidating. It wasn’t until the late 15th to the 17th centuries that European women followed suit and wore chopines, which were exceptionally high platforms hidden under their skirts. The higher the chopine, the more cloth was needed--a manifestation of status.
And those red-soled shoes? King Louis XIV started them in 1673. He loved his red heels and red soles so much that only the aristocrats in his circle could wear them. The color was believed to be an indication of superiority and privilege. Over time, the right to wear heels extended to the general population.
As with other things in life, heels come with both pleasure and pain, which means they’re not for everyone. We weigh the pros and cons.
Heels provide arch support and improve posture and gait
Heels lift the natural arch of your feet, shifting your weight to the balls of the feet. This prompts you to straighten your back and stand more upright, making your walk smoother and more confident.
They lengthen your legs
Heels can certainly up your gam game by defining the calves so your legs appear longer and more toned. The added height creates the illusion of a longer silhouette, and thus, a slenderer body.
They add visual impact to any outfit
Taking over the corporate world by day and the dance floor by night is made more stylish with these staples. Strutting in a classic pair of pumps helps you feel like you can conquer anything.
Heels can cause pain
Heels higher than two inches propel the body forward, so it can look awkward especially if you’re not used to wearing them. Sore feet, stiff ankles, knee and lower back pains are some of the common problems associated with heels.
They cause blisters and bunions
Short-term issues like corns and calluses can develop into long-term problems like bunions (a painful swelling on the first joint of the big toe), hammertoes (toes bent permanently downward as a result of pressure), and pump bumps (a bony enlargement on the back of the heel).
They can throw you off balance
Heels can alter your balance, so if you want to perfect that walk, practice is key. The thinner the heel, the thinner the point that supports your weight. Chunky heels or wedges can be good alternatives.