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Why Care About Stiletto Heels? – ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why care about stiletto heels?” you ask? Well, if you asked this question in hopes of our writing a college paper for you, this is probably too late. It is, nevertheless, a very timely subject. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why do women have breasts?” Don’t they teach y’all anything in school? Jeepers Creepers! Go watch early Family Guy, mmmkay?)

stiletto heels

Stiletto boots/Image: TwilightCouchInc.

Luckily, your hope-he’s-clever columnist has already researched this subject. First of all, stiletto heels are a famous style of sexy (albeit sometimes impractical) women’s shoes. Stiletto heels are thin, long high heels that are found on some women’s’ shoes and even boots.

They have an interesting story too.  The origins of the name are sketchy however it’s believed that the heel was named after the stiletto knife and harkens back to the 1930s. Perhaps what is most interesting is that not all stiletto heels are the same length.

Statistically-speaking, a stiletto heel can be as short as 1 inch or as long as 10 plus inches if the sole of the shoe is a platform. There diameter can be as little as half an inch. Sources indicate that shoes with stiletto heels that are 5 centimeters or less in length are referred to as kitten heels.

Furthermore, sources indicate that all high slim heels are not stiletto heels. History shows that during the 1950s and even the 1960s the original Italian stiletto heel had a diameter of 5 millimeters for the majority of their length and often flared out at the top. Sometime after 1965 stiletto heels became more difficult to find in shoe stores. True stiletto heels have a stem of steel or some type of allow.

Stiletto heels also create a fashion illusion. Stiletto heels make a woman’s legs appear to be slimmer. They also make a woman appear to be taller and to make her feet seem smaller. In fact, wearing stiletto heels also changes a lady’s gait as well as her posture.

stiletto heels

Stiletto heels/Image: MayKool

They cause a woman to flex her calf muscles as well. All of this makes the woman’s buttocks and bust more noticeable. Today true stilettos are no longer as commonly available as methods of mass production no longer allow for the creation of a true stiletto heel shape.

Most recently, heels have also been scientifically proven to be perceived as sexy and to be able to hold an influence over men. (If you missed that article—shame on you!)

These classic shoes not only flatter women who can wear them but influence men and to an extent pop culture as well. They are even featured in film and song. Stiletto heels have definitely left an impression (. . . especially on men who like women to walk on them). Ah, but that’s a subject for another edition.

Why care about stiletto heels? Now you know.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.