The Real Height of Heels

That Sound

“Click, click, click”, do you recognize that sound? If you didn’t guess it, it is the sound of your heels hitting the ground. It is so hard for me to explain what happens to me inside when I hear this sound. It is like this instant boost of confidence…it is invigorating. Heads start turning and for that moment that you are walking down the hall, you own it, you have everyone’s attention. This is not just a physical height.  Am I the only one that feels this way when you hear the clicking of your heels?

For a long time, I hesitated to wear heels because I thought I was too tall for them. Lord forbid me stick out more than I already do. I would make all kinds of excuses like, they will hurt my feet or I am already tall so why do I need the extra height? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear heels all the time because I don’t always find them as comfortable as flats. But when I need that boost of confidence I know it is time to put those heels on.

What is the history of heels?

Were they made just to make shorter women look taller? After realizing the overall feeling that you get from wearing them, I doubt it has anything to do with height and all women of different heights must experience this same feeling.

In Today’s article, “The surprisingly functional reason high heels were invented” mentioned that Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, stated they were originally invented for men for functional purposes and could trace their history back to the 10th century, Persian men wore heels while on horseback so their feet would fit better in the stirrups. Get out of here…who knew??

The Persian riding boot was originally made for men to wear. Bata Museum

More interesting, it later states that, women starting wearing heels in the 1700’s to make their feet look smaller. This was due to someone coming up with an idea that beautiful women had very tiny feet. I swear if I was a tall woman in the 1700’s I would be so screwed! This wasn’t the first time that I heard about this.

So when did heels take the form that they have today? Well, it wasn’t until the 1940’s and 1950’s that we saw the increased stability of the heel. Wartime technology helped popularize the modern day stiletto heel during this time by allowing fabricators to utilize their metal in heels. The use of steel allowed the shapes of heels to change.

But does any of this really matter? What I really want to know is how these shoes make women feel today and see if it is just me that gets this extra height from the heels, mental height that is. I would like to share with you how other tall women feel.

Sallee Poinsette-Nash

Sallee is a 6’2″ Writer, Speaker and Founder of Brandable & Co. — Instagram @salleespeaks

According to Sallee, “I used to wear heels on the daily but I spend a increasing amount of time on my feet, whether it’s running workshops, travelling or delivering talks, and comfort often overrides extra-height these days! Standing at 6’2, heels have always been more of a style choice than anything else for me and some outfits simply don’t work without them. I’m an emotional dresser so what I choose to wear has to match the mood I wake up in and if the mood says heels then I always opt for a 3″ stiletto in either a boot or a court shoe”.

When it comes to public speaking, I choose heels every single time because of how they make me feel – confident, stylish and graceful plus they make you conscious of your posture so I feel that I carry myself better than when I’m in flats. Already being tall shouldn’t discourage anyone from wearing heels nor should it encourage people to make negative comments because style is a personal choice and if makes you feel good, you’re entitled to own it!”

Jackie vanEgmond

Jackie, from Instagram @beyondthelittleblackdress, is 6′ tall who works in the banking industry and she is a mother to two teenage stepchildren and a toddler at home.  Also, she loves fashion and does personal styling as a hobby

She wants us to know that there is no such thing as being “too tall”. “Ladies, you have something that everyone wants, something that only you have and you need to rock it! There is nothing sexier or more fabulous than a women with confidence. Confidence is an attitude and there is something magical in a pair of high heeled stilettos that gives any women (or man) that instant boost. I love how the clicking of heels down a hallway announces you long before you arrive. I wear heels because they are beautiful, fun and sexy, not because I need the extra height!”

Sherene Morrison

Sherene is 6’1” and is a Tall Style Influencer from London — Instagram @shesostyles.  She continues to evolve in her relationship with heels and shares her story below.

Shoes for me has always been about finding one that fits my big feet (UK size 9) and is comfortable. My friends are short and always wear 4 inch & above heels but I still towered over them, so for me, I would always gravitate towards flats shoes.

One night I was out clubbing, and I noticed a fellow tall girl.  She was wearing very high heels and stood so elegantly. We naturally caught eyes and she gave me a nod. It was almost like an approval type of look that said, “girl its ok to wear high heels if you want to so go right ahead and do it!”

After that night, I started reaching for 2 inches and now I own 3- & 4-inch shoes.  I do notice my posture & strides change when I’m in heels and I probably do walk a little bit taller. I shall continue to wear heels because I no longer care if am the tallest person in a room. Most importantly, I have a 5-year-old daughter, who is watching my every move. I want her to see mummy in heels and know that she too can wear heels if she wants to.

Whitney Warner

Whitney is 5’11”,  Founder of Warner & Company— Instagram @whit_warner23

When I wear heels I feel empowered. This wasn’t always the case. Growing up in rural PA, I stood out in a myriad of ways, height being one of them. I received countless comments on my beauty and height before I even knew or realized that it might be considered “noteworthy.”

It wasn’t until I left my small town and headed to Washington that I realized there are other women out there like me. Women who have been told they are too beautiful, too skinny, and too tall. That is when I once again found my love affair with shoes of all kinds. I would no longer shy away from fall booties with a small heel. Finally, I dug out the designer heels my brother bought me for Christmas one year.  I learned to love myself, stand a little taller and embrace the height. I needn’t any longer roll my shoulders or make myself as little as possible when entering a room.

In conclusion

What I have learned is that we all have had different journeys with heels and some of us started earlier than others.  In the end, it is really up to you whether to wear heels or not. Comfort should always be priority but just remember that heels aren’t only for shorter women. However, if you need to have a boost of confidence for a speech, important meeting or an interview try wearing heels, even a kitten heel still does the trick!

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