Sole sense: making the case against stiletto heels

Maybe 2016 will be the year when women say “enough is enough” to mega high heels. As a stylist, I’m the first person to appreciate the aesthetics of heels as they add height and enhance the shapeliness of a woman’s legs. Heels vs. flats also instantaneously dress up any outfit.

Since the mid 90’s however, I’ve watched as heel heights grew from three to as high as six inches. Every time I see a lady teetering awkwardly on her stilettos, I ask myself why she would subject herself to such torture. My only explanation is that many women have bought into the fashion industry driven hype that a five-inch high heel, like a glass slipper, magically transforms them. Christian Louboutin, author of the quote, “High heels are pleasure with pain”, also has this to say about their allure:”The higher the better. It’s more about an attitude. Higher heels empower women in a way.”

The myriad health risks associated with consistent high heel use are well documented. A 2013 Women’s Health Magazine article “What Happens To Your Body When You Wear Heels” explains that wearing a four-inch heel puts 30% more pressure on the front of the foot, thus stressing these bones and nerves as well as tightening the Achilles and adjoining tendons of the ankle. The article goes on to list the other unfortunate body parts victimized by consistent high heel use, such as knees, hips, and lower backs.

To all you stiletto wearing diehards, I invite you to step into some of this year’s high heel alternatives, such as block heels and sleek pumps. Who knows? You may like the way your feet feel and your legs look in these shoe styles. Having lived through decades of shoe trends and advised clients for years on their wardrobes, I can honestly say that moderate heel heights win the prize for both elegance and sexiness.

Sole Sense: 2016 Shoe Trends

J.Crew kitten heel shoes
$370 –

Black shoes

Kate spade shoes

Talbots shoes

2 Responses to “Sole sense: making the case against stiletto heels”

  1. Meg Says:

    I agree, speaking from painful experience. I was devoted to stilettos for many years in the 2000s, and I frequently walked several miles a day in them (not to mention standing!). At this date, I can no longer wear even modest heels for more than a few hours, and anything dramatic is out of the question. My ankles, calves, and knees simply refuse. Wedges have been my go-to lately, but I certainly wish I had not sacrificed a modicum of comfort for a trend all those years ago.

  2. Corey Says:

    Meg, Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us of the long term consequences of wearing stilettos. I hope your advice will resonate with other women. Enjoy wearing your stylish and comfortable wedges!