The Joys and Pains of High Heels

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

--Guest Post By Nina Edwards

What woman doesn’t love a gorgeous pair of heels? The newest fads in heels come and go, but I still can't stop wearing my Miu Miu pink sparkly heels. The truth is, we always have, and always will love the look, the walk, and the feel of a new set of heels.

A Brief History
Men and women both first began wearing heels as long ago as 3500 B.C. The upper class were the only ones to wear shoes, and they would wear elevated shoes during ceremonial activities.

There was a practical aspect to heels, too. Egyptian butchers would wear high heeled shoes so that they weren’t standing in the blood of animals they were butchering. Horsemen would wear them to keep their feet from sliding through the stirrups on the saddle. Wealthy people would strap heels onto their shoes to keep them out of the mud.

In ancient Greece, and in Rome as well, actors would wear platform shoes onstage. They used height to indicate social status of the characters in the play. High heels in the public forum identified women of ancient Rome as prostitutes. The women of China, in the 1600s, would wear platforms as high as 30 inches, requiring them to use a cane or lean on a servant to walk.

Benefits of Heels
So, why do we do this to ourselves? Well, part of the answer has already been revealed. There is a certain social ranking assessed to women who can wear high heels. It’s almost a humorous polar opposite, but women who wear heels are either seen as quite successful and stylish, or hookers.

But, there are other reasons for wearing heels, too. Granted, they are mostly aesthetic, but there’s nothing wrong with beauty. A good high heel will, first of all, make you look taller. Tall people are usually more successful in business. Your heels will also make your legs look longer – and who doesn’t like long, sexy legs? In addition, a well-proportioned high heel will make your feet look smaller and your toes shorter.

Walking in heels changes your posture, too. The angle that your foot is within the shoe, along with where it’s attached to the calf strengthens the calf muscle, making it more defined. In addition, your gait will be changed into what is usually considered to be seductive.

Besides strengthening and defining your calf muscles, heels can actually make your arches higher and more well defined. Walking in heels can also help women who suffer from incontinence, because the altered gait and balance tightens the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Shorter people often benefit from wearing heels. They can reach and use items that they normally would struggle with, and can sit more comfortably on furniture which would otherwise keep their feet off of the floor, making them very uncomfortable.

Drawbacks of Heels
Of course, there are some drawbacks to wearing heels, as well as benefits. There can be problems with feet and knees as a result of wearing heels, because the knee takes on the rotation that the foot cannot provide any more. They can also make you unsteady on your feet.

Hmm...that seems to be about all of the drawbacks. So, heels win! Enjoy, ladies!

Nina Edwards is a huge fashion fan, After recently acquiring her dream job at The Pink Rooster, it has really inspired her hobby of writing, and documenting fashion. She is hoping to one day setup her own blog, when she has the time.