Not only am I a man, I’m a man who doesn’t always wear matching socks… so women’s high-heel shoes are a mystery to me. How can these ladies bear to stand on their tippy-toes all day? Why put yourself at the mercy of a metal sidewalk vent? Why do you still wear them during winter?!?
I can’t even begin to answer those questions, so I’ll stick to what I do best; the FACTS!
If you’re ever faced with a choice to be trampled by elephants, or trampled by fashion models, choose the elephants. Compared to a fully grown elephant, a 100 pound woman wearing high heel shoes will exert 15 times more crushing pressure when stepping on your hand. This is due to the stiletto heel, the longest and pointiest of the bunch, focusing all that weight onto a tiny little area, while an elephant has big wide feet to disperse the weight.
The high heeled boot began it’s European takeover around 1500 when it was used for riding horses, with an extended heel that prevented the foot from slipping through the stirrup. (just like modern cowboy boots) Over time the heel evolved and grew, away from practicality and into fashion.
It’s interesting to note that the high-heeled footwear was just as common for men as for women of the period. It was normal for a man to have 4 inch heels. In fact, the term “well-heeled”, still in use today, was meant to say “this guy is so wealthy he can afford extravagantly high-heeled boots”. Anybody who was anybody wore high heels.
Cue the french revolution of the 1700s and the high-heel shoe was cast aside as a vulgar accessory of the aristocracy. The heel went into hiding for a century until it resurfaced in the 1800s, but this time exclusively for women. Despite the constant churn of fashionable fads and cycles, the high heel shoe has left it’s permanent mark on the fashion world, as well as a permanent mark in your linoleum flooring.
- Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-heeled_footwear
- Pressure calculations: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/JackGreen.shtml
- Topic suggested by: Kim at shoeaholicsanonymous.com
P.S. Don’t tell anybody, but… CQ4BRZUJDM5V