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
e) open toe
f) open back, open end, or slingback
g) open toe and open back
h) mules or slippers
Also, cutouts, ornaments, platforms, and/or straps can be added to create a variety of different looks.
This page was last edited on 10/3/2000.