Everything You Need to Know About High Heels
Did you know that the high heels worn today actually originated from men in Persia? That’s right! Men wore them first. But these days, most woman wear heels to lengthen their legs and tone out their figures.
We love those gorgeous pumps, the stilettos that have us teetering as we walk down the street and somehow manage to save our ankles from turning when we come across uneven ground. In so many places in the world, wearing heels can be downright dangerous due to the fact that women have to walk around all day, getting stuck in cracks, falling into potholes or just simply having the earth swallow up our thin heels.
They weren’t meant to be uncomfortable, though. In fact, they weren’t even meant for walking. And they certainly weren’t meant for women.
Originating in Persia where men on horseback were an essential part of warfare and needed to ensure their footwear would help them stay in the stirrups, Europe adopted the look to signify the status of men, particularly that of the aristocratic classes. What wasn’t expected was the adoption of the higher heel by the lower classes and then by women who decided they wanted to dress in a more masculine fashion come the 1630s. At this point, the heel had become unisex.
The French court had a certain love for the high heels though, particularly the red soles that were trademarked by King Louis XIV as seen from a portrait in 1701. Somehow, however, time brought the heel for men down to a small height and then to nearly nothing, while women’s heels grew more feminine, less chunky and higher than ever.
The practical became impractical but oh-so-loved. So how do we wear high heels? These are some of the questions you may have about high-heel shoes!
1. When is the best time to buy heels?
At the end of each day, your feet will have swollen from walking or running about so much, meaning that they are at the right size to try on heels with. If the pair you find fits properly in this state, you will have fewer problems with tightness come time to actually wear them all night long. It will ensure your comfort when swelling inevitably happens.
2. Are high heels supposed to be loose?
We’re not sure who came up with this theory, but it’s probably got something to do with the feet swelling to fit the shoe. You don’t want the heels to be loose, as that means your toes will have to overcompensate to keep your foot securely in place, and that is just terrible for every part of the feet. If they are a little too big, insoles will come in handy to keep them snugly in place.
3. Which heels are the most comfortable to go out in?
You want to go for a heel that’s about 2-3 inches high and should opt for a platform style if you want to go higher than that. Plus, platforms give the balls of your feet more of a comfort zone than they would get if the shoe had no height in front, cushioning each step you take better.
Also, you should make sure that whichever shoe you decide to wear gives your ankles plenty of support. Boots and heels with ankle straps are infinitely more comfortable to walk in, while wedges are definitely another option to distribute the stress on the feet equally.
4. How often should one be wearing high heels?
You can wear higher heels as much as you want, particularly platform styles that reduce the stress you put your legs through. However, you should listen to your feet, as well. If they are screaming in pain, remove those offending shoes and let the pain dissipate a little before cladding them in flats.
It might be a good idea to carry flats around with you, just in case you need to replace your heels with something more practical and comfortable. Changing around the heel heights and shoes in general will help your feet recuperate and won’t cause problems to your body because of constant wear.
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5. How can high heels be made to be more comfortable?
Think of it this way: if you want to be walking around all day in 5-inch heels, you are going to need a few hacks to ensure you can actually make it through without crawling from pain to the finish line. You don’t particularly need to shave down your heels, but if you simply love those shoes but they are too high, visiting a shoe repair shop might help make them more comfortable.
Using gel insoles is a great way to achieve comfort while keeping the height the same, ensuring you won’t be getting blisters from long-term wear. Plus, insoles are easy to swap among shoes so you need not worry about buying too many of them. Replacing them every six months should be enough.
The way you walk makes all the difference in heels, too, so mind your posture, keep your head and spine straight, use the hips to move your legs, and change your gait so that your steps have a light bounce in them. Your feet are no longer at a 90-degree angle so you should tailor your steps accordingly.
Heels with ties or straps are great for keeping your ankles and feet sturdy, while taking regular breaks helps ensure you don’t tire them out too much. Moleskin is a great way to protect your feet, particularly the Achilles’ heel that’s so prone to abrasions.
Finally, you should either pick a shape that maximizes comfort without smushing your toes together or you should stretch out those shoes to gain a little more space in there.
Photo courtesy of Viva Luxury
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