History, Advantages, and Disadvantages of High Heels

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While it may not be possible to confirm the exact time of the invention of high-heeled shoes, there is some notable information on the early users of high-heeled shoes as detailed in this brief history. As of the early sixteenth century, the first notable users of the high-heeled shoes were the Persian warriors, as is depicted in many paintings. Historians claim that the warriors used the high-heeled shoes to enable a firmer grip on the stirrups while on horseback. They gave them the extra grip that made it feasible to use their arms in battle more confidently. There seem to be no facts except that as the Persian army grew, so, too, did its empire. The legacy and style of the high heels spread to the modern-day Iraq and to the Western European countries. They became a cultural phenomenon among the aristocrats and the wealthy, not because of the practicality of their use but more for the chance to set them apart from the lower and working classes. By the end of the seventeenth century, the high-heeled shoes had become a statement of masculine superiority that symbolized power and wealth. The use of the high-heeled shoes for ladies could be attributed to the mid-sixteenth century, where paintings depict Henry II of France, the Duke of Orleans, marrying Catherine de’ Medici wearing her high heels at the wedding ceremony. Italian high-heeled shoes seemingly became the norm of the Duke’s court and slowly spread to all countries. This information may or may not be true since the development of high-heeled shoes began only in the late sixteenth century according to evidence and extant pieces.

While the fashion is in vogue until this day, there seems to be a lot of controversies in the practical use of the high-heeled shoes in regard to health-related disadvantages that go along with their constant use. In earlier days there could have existed several cases of injuries that could be attributed to the use of high-heeled shoes (“stiletto heels” or “high heels” as they are called today), but they were undetected by medical science. However, with today’s modern technology and medical scientific development, the constant use of high-heeled shoes is very categorically connected to several major disorders caused to the heels, toes, hips, and the main structure of the human body. Just to depict a few of the advantages and disadvantages of high-heeled shoes, which were never recorded at the time of their invention, details are given below under each corresponding heading.

Advantages Associated with the Use of High Heels

As was mentioned earlier, the usage of high-heeled shoes was to prove superiority and to differentiate one from the other. So that is one benefit of a woman wearing a pair of high-heeled shoes, that they could set her apart from the other women and provide a sense of dignity and superiority above the others. Another advantage that might be considered is that the shorter ladies might desire to look a bit taller to remain among the popular taller ladies and gents. There seems to be no other advantage to wearing the high-heeled shoes.

Disadvantages Associated with the Use of High Heels

The disadvantages associated with the use of high-heeled shoes are varied from physical damage to the human structure to the accidental twisting and spraining of the ankles. In most countries, there seems to be no actual records of damage caused due to wearing high heels, but many unconfirmed surveys could reveal that one out of five users of high heels has suffered with sprained ankles, while several ladies who constantly wear high heels could be physically suffering from disorders in their feet, toes, and hips that generally go unnoticed until it is too late. Wearing high heels could be linked to a range of ailments like ingrown toenails, irreversible damage to leg tendons, nerve damage, and bunions. They could also cause osteoarthritis of the knee and low back pain due to the extra-arched back.

Hence, as a brief warning or piece of advice, it would be better to avoid wearing high-heeled shoes when extensive walking or standing is involved. Also try to wear an informal pair of shoes to get to and from the event to decrease the usually longer periods of wearing high heels.

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