Heels are great. They make us feel sexy, powerful and most importantly, taller…but what if we’ve become too reliant on our shoes? Is the height of our heels the definition of our character? MC gives you the low down on heel-heights.
Here’s our guide:
Flats and Low-heeled Shoes
Undoubtedly flats are easier on the feet and are much easier to walk in and although they don’t add that much-needed height, they can be stylish and build calf muscles. The downside of flats are that they don’t offer any support to your arch and can tend to slide off your feet.
As for low heels, these are actually the perfect fit for a slight lift and are highly functional. The low heel basically takes after pattens which were worn in Europe in the Middle Ages and served to elevate the foot to keep women’s skirts and soft slippers from getting dirty. In modern day, heels that don’t go above 2” are worn for very much the same reasons – To serve a practical purpose. These are the maximum height for uniformed staff such as flight attendants or nurses to use and the perennial court shoe is perfect for any professional environment.
Wear if: These aren’t meant for you to wear if you want to feel anything more than professional, practical and functional (in other words, boring!). Sensible heels are meant for those who want a compromise between flats and stilettos. Low heels can still be stylish and as far as comfort goes these may be the best option if you want a little lift to your gait in your every day wear but they certainly won’t add much ‘wow’ factor to your look.
Stilettos, Pumps, Wedges, Stacked Heels
Height: 2.5” – 4”
“Physically, it is impossible for a woman to cower in high heels,” says Linda O’Keefe, author of Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers and More. The fact remains that high heels draw a physical change that makes a woman look and feel more confident and in control, regardless of whether that is a personal characteristic of hers.
To both men and women, the female aesthetic becomes more appealing when her legs are longer than her torso. The most common height for high heels range between anything from above 2” to 4” which is considered the perfect height as the optimal leg length for a woman to be attractive ranges to around 5% longer than her natural leg length.
This is also the length that can physically alter a woman’s gait which can make her appear to swivel her hips more and appear sexier. Marilyn Monroe famously removed half an inch from one side of her heels so that she had an added wiggle to her step!
Wear if: These heels will probably be the heels that are deemed your best friends as they do everything a high heel shoe should do without much discomfort. For work, these heels give the height that make the woman.Heels this height can also be easily converted from work wear to going-out accessories. If this is the case though, make sure your heels are of a classy nature and any higher might be considered inappropriate for the work place.
Extreme Heels, Outrageous Platforms
Height: 4.5” – Infinity
As the saying goes, the higher you go, the harder it gets! Same rules apply to the height of your heels, as the higher you go the greater the pain. Christian Louboutin has claimed that most women have a ‘quasi-masochistic experience’ with their stilettos. Higher than high heels although impractical, derive admiration and fascination among women and although we may never walk properly in them, we would still covet that 6” heel that Manolo Blahnik introduced 5 years ago despite adhering to the 5” rule for over 30 years.
Blahnik puts it simply. “Stilettos instantly transform the body. When women first try on my shoes they say, ‘These are so high.’ Then they walk around for a bit and are in love with the way they look.” It should come as no surprise then that, despite the flak extreme heels get for being completely impractical or uncomfortable, women seem to be demanding more and more height. Designers have gone from limiting themselves to a 5” limit to bringing out collections of 8” and even 10” platforms!
Wear if: The extreme heel is also known as the killer heel, and with good reason. As they say, there’s no gain without pain. If you want to grab yourself a pair of 5” or 6” heels, it would have to remain part of your ‘special occasion’ gamut. These aren’t heels to buy on a whim either so be mindful if the expenditure for is something you can afford as a treat. However, these heels, despite being expensive and hardly touched, will make you feel extra special when you do don them. These are, after all, shoes that are an outfit in themselves.