Book Excerpt

3.11) Heel Type

There are several basic heel types, including:

a) spike or thin
b) medium
c) thick
d) straight
e) wedge
f) chunky

Then, there are many specially designed heels. Some are:

g) bell shaped or flared
h) banana
i) cone
j) Cuban
k) Louis

All high heels look good. Spike heels are the most sexy, but other heel types are almost as sexy. (See FIGURE 10.) Spike heels can break off and one can easily twist or injure her ankle in the process, if one takes a misstep. This can happen, especially if the heel gets caught in a small crevice or hole in the ground (for example, in between two wooden boards on a beach broad walk; in between two concrete slabs, bricks, or stones on a street; etc.).

Thicker high heels provide more support and balance, especially if the wearer is or becomes a bit overweight. (See FIGURE 11.) Also, they will not break off as easily as spike heels do with bad missteps. In general, the thicker the heel, the less likely it is to break off.

The wedge heel is the least provocative and sexy. This allows them to pass easier or be accepted in public places.

High heels usually look good on all legs. However, for big or fat legs, the thick, chunky, and wedge high heels look better. Oddly, for extra long and very skinny legs, the thick, chunky and wedge high heels also look best.

All metal heel tips (like gold and silver spikes) should only be used indoors. On hard outdoor surfaces, metal heel tips cause extra shock to the entire body with each step. Also, by wearing them indoors only, all metal heel tips will not wear out and can last a lifetime.

3.12) Measuring Heel Height of a Shoe/Boot

Have you ever ordered a beautiful looking pair of high heels advertised with 2 3/4" heels by mail and then, receive the shoes with 3 3/4" heels? One reason for this is that lower heels sell more easily than higher heels, but do not look as good in pictures. It also depends on how one measures the heel. There are at least four ways to measure the height of the heel: (See FIGURE 12.)

i) from the highest part of the heel straight down to the floor. (This is the only way every heel can be measuring consistently by everyone. It is usually how custom shoe makers do it and how heels were measured in this book.)
ii) measure the center of the heel
iii) measure the inside edge of the heel
iv) estimate how high a typical ankle joint is raised (or how much taller one becomes when wearing the heels)

3.13) Mid-Heels

Mid-heels or heels that are between 2 and 2 1/2 inches with regular soles (no greater than a quarter of an inch) should be treated like high heels. (See FIGURE 13.) Everything said about high heels in this book also applies to mid heels. Mid heels have the same effect as high heels do in every way, only milder.

Mid heels are better for situations in which high heels are inappropriate. This may include very sensitive and public situations during the daytime, like going church, funerals, etc.

3.14) Heel Height

In general, heels 2 3/4 inches or higher feel like high heels when worn and look like high heels. High heels up to 5 inches are commonly available, sold and worn by females in public. 6 and 7 inch high heels with regular soles (no greater than a quarter of an inch) are also available in Women's U.S. sizes 5-12, but usually from custom shoe makers only. At this time, there are also some mail-order and Internet sites selling true 6 inch heels. 6 and 7 inch heels are often referred to as super or ultra high heels. (See FIGURES 14 & 15.)

There are also ballet pointe shoes and boots with 7 to 9 inch heels attached that are made and sold by special custom shoe makers. While it is possible to wear and walk in these ballet pointe shoes or boots, even all day long, it is impossible to walk down a flight stairs or down hills in them. So, this makes them impractical, unsuitable, or no good for normal everyday wear (and they will not be discussed any further in this book).

So, how high is too high a heel? First, if one wants to walk in very high heels, she should work her way up inch by inch. Even though she may be able to walk in very high heels the very first time, all of the body parts involved in standing up and walking need time to adjust. By going slowly, it is less taxing or easier on these body parts. Also, one can gain valuable experience and confidence in walking with each heel height.

Second, beware that walking indoors with flat and level ground is much different from walking outdoors with hills and uneven ground. We will first discuss everything in regards to walking indoors only.

Third, it is possible for custom shoe makers to make the highest heel or 7 inch heel for little U.S. women's size 5 feet that are only 9 inches long. They can do this by adding extra hidden space to the tip of the shoe and rear part of the shoe. The space is so well hidden that one can hardly tell by looking at the shoes from the outside. It is also possible for size 5 feet to stand up and walk short distances (just a few steps) in these shoes.

However, for foot sizes 5 to 7, the 5 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking (or the normal amount of walking an average person does everyday). 5 inch heels are like super high heels for petite women. For foot sizes 7 1/2 to 9 1/2, the 6 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking. For foot sizes 10 or larger, the 7 inch heel is usually the maximum height for normal everyday walking. However, this applies to people with average sized toes only.

For people with short toes, it is easier to walk in higher heel heights comfortably (with non-pointed toe boxes). For foot sizes 5 to 6, the 5 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking. For foot sizes 6 1/2 to 8 1/2, the 6 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking. For foot sizes 9 or larger, the 7 inch heel is usually the maximum height for normal everyday walking.

For people with long toes, it is more difficult to walk in higher heel heights comfortably. For foot sizes 5 to 8, the 5 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking. For foot sizes 8 1/2 to 10 1/2, the 6 inch heel is the absolute maximum height for normal everyday walking. For foot sizes 11 or larger, the 7 inch heel is usually the maximum height for normal everyday walking.

If one is skilled or good in ballet on pointe dancing, then these should be the exact maximum heel heights that she can easily wear and walk in for long periods of time. Otherwise, the actual maximum heel height for a particular individual can be less than the above physical limits because of other body parts that may be less than perfect.

The actual maximum heel height for each person usually depends on two conditions. First, one must be able to stand up straight (without the knee or ankles bending) in the high heels. Second, one must be able to walk in them. There are very petite girls (under five feet tall) who wear and walk in 5 inch heels all day long, while some very tall girls (over six feet) are not be able to walk a few steps without wobbling in 3 inch heels.

The ability to walk in high heels mainly depends on how high the arches of the feet are or can get, as well as the individual's body weight and condition of lower back, hips, legs, knees, ankles, and feet. Furthermore, the ball of each foot must consist of more than just the toes, in order to walk more than a few steps without the toes feeling like they are about to break and become damaged. The ball of the foot should be at least 1/2 inch longer than each toe (or at least 2 1/2 inches in total). It must include some of the meaty part of the front sole of the foot for normal everyday walking. (See FIGURE 16.)

Super high heels are not very common and popular because they require training (that most people do not know about) in order to walk well in. The training first involves raising the foot arches, except those already trained and skilled in ballet on pointe dancing. Very high and strong arches are required. (More about this later.) Then as long as one can stand up perfectly straight and has high enough arches, all it takes is practice in walking small steps slowly everyday for several weeks to walk well.

It even becomes possible to wear and walk in (properly fitted) super high heels, as long as one wants to and even, for several days with round or square toe boxes. The effort required to learn to walk in super high heels is similar to learning to do ballet on pointe and can take up to one year.

For those who can walk well in super high heels, there is a world of difference between walking in them and regular high heels. In super high heels, everyone notices. Even dogs and cats seem to stop dead in their tracks and stare. One becomes a center of attraction, whether she wants to or not. Because they are so sexy, super high heels are inappropriate to wear in most public places (especially during the daytime) and are usually worn only in the sex trade, bondage scenes, adult movies, and in the bedroom with kinky sex. Super high heels are known to add spice to one's sex life.

Again, all of the heel height information mentioned applies only to walking indoors (and flat and very level outdoor places). One needs to wear heels that are about three inches lower in most outdoor places. (The reasons are explained later in Chapter 6 - Walking.)

3.15) Shoe Styles

There are many shoe styles and new ones are being designed every year. These are some of the basic styles:

a) basic pump, opera pump, or u-throat pump
b) v-throat pump
c) d'Orsay pump
d) t-strap
e) open toe
f) open back, open end, or slingback
g) open toe and open back
h) mules or slippers
i) sandals

Also, cutouts, ornaments, platforms, and/or straps can be added to create a variety of different looks.

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This page was last edited on 10/3/2000.
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