High Heels in the News

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NOTES: a) Click on title of the article to read it.
b) The articles are sorted by publication date from oldest to newest:

August 19, 2007 - ADDED "Russian women race in high-heels"
(article dated July 29, 2005?)

June 22, 2003 - ADDED "Killer-shoe story"
(articles dated June 9, 2003)

February 24, 2002 - ADDED "Hero of the Day - Beauty And Brains"
(article dated February 17, 2002)

(article dated December 23, 2001)

February 18, 2002 - ADDED "Women, work and high heels"
(article dated December 1, 2001?)

February 18, 2002 - ADDED "Better than sex"
(article dated 14 November, 2001)

December 30, 2001 - ADDED "Killer shoes worked for Romans, but were no match for Bond"
(article dated December 27, 2001)

December 30, 2001 - UPDATED "High heels and a spring in her step..."
(article dated 18 September, 2000)

November 4, 20001 - ADDED "Hell on heels"
(article dated July 10, 2000)

September 23, 20001 - ADDED "High heels still biggest cause of women's foot pain"
(article dated 19 September 2001)

August 12, 2001 - ADDED "Designers Bet Their Boots on Autumn"
(article dated August 2, 2001)

July 15, 2001 - ADDED "Hardwood Flooring, Humidity & Heels"
(article dated 1996)

July 8, 2001 - ADDED "Use of Altered Celebrity Photo OK, Court Says "
(article dated July 7, 2001)

July 8, 2001 - ADDED "Some Commuters Don't See The Need for Civility"
(article dated June 21, 2001)

July 8, 2001 - ADDED "A 50,000-mile checkup for your feet"
(article dated June 19, 2001)

June 27, 2001 - ADDED "Putting women's health last"
(article dated June 22, 2001)

June 27, 2001 - UPDATED "High heels and a spring in her step..."
(article dated 18 September, 2000)

May 9, 2001 - ADDED "Miami a la moda "
(article dated April 14, 2001)

April 29, 2001 - ADDED "Life in the New Sector: High Heels,"
(article dated Apr. 26, 2001)

April 29, 2001 - ADDED "High heels may cause arthritis"
(article dated May 8, 1998)

April 22, 2001 - ADDED "Climbing the highest heel"
(article dated June 14, 2000)

April 8, 2001 - ADDED "Sturdy heels 'damage knees'"
(article dated 5 April, 2001)

March 17, 2001 - ADDED "Feet suffer for fashion"
(article dated 6 March, 2001)

March 1, 2001 - UPDATED "Casino high heel policies targeted" with reader feedback & my reply

February 24, 2001 - ADDED "BabbleOn"
(article dated 21 Febuary, 2001)

February 5, 2001 - ADDED "Listen to feet when heels say 'ouch'"
(article dated May 20, 2000)

January 14, 2001 - ADDED "Other ways to stay forever young"
(article dated 14 November, 2000)

"High heels and a spring in her step for model who lost her legs as a baby"
(article dated 18 September, 2000)

"Casino high heel policies targeted"
(article dated February 11, 2000 )

USA Hardwood Flooring, Humidity & Heels
(dated 1996 at www.askbuild.com - Ask Build Syndicated Column)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.askbuild.com/cgi-bin/column?114"]

This article is a Q & A by Tim Carter, a syndicated columnist and expert on building construction. He mentions that a 130 lb. woman on a spike heel with 1/4 inch tip can exert more than 2000 PSI (or pounds per square inch). Imagine what spike heels can do if they accidentally land on someone's foot or intentionally onto some male body parts.

Great Britain High heels may cause arthritis
(dated May 8, 1998 at news.bbc.co.uk)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://news1.thdo.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_89000/89405.stm"]

This article reviews the initial (1998) research findings on high heels conducted by Harvard Medical School as reported in the Lancet Medical Journal. The basis of their research was that "osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as in men". Then, they gathered 20 healthy women and studied them in "high heels" versus "barefoot".

USA Casino high heel policies targeted - Experts debate health effects of raised heels
(dated February 11, 2000 at www.lasvegassun.com - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper)

There is one important point that needs to be corrected on the issue of high heels in this entire debate. I have been to Las Vegas many times and most cocktail waitresses do NOT wear high heels. I would estimate roughly that about 80% (or 4 out of 5) of cocktail waitresses wear mid-heels (or heels that are less than 2 3/4 inches). Trust me, I can tell heel height even from a distance. However, there are some that wear 3, 4, and even, 5 inch heels. Furthermore, to give credit where credit is due, most of the cocktail waitresses at the Rio Hotel and Casino wear high heels, rather than mid-heels, whenever I have been there.

For nearly a century, thousands of cocktail waitresses in Nevada (U.S.A.) have been working in high(?) heels, 40 hours or more a week. Then, when they are outside of work, they may wear heels a few more hours. So, these cocktail waitresses are in a class similar to the "devoted high heel wearer", who wear heels in excess of 50 hours a week because they love to. However, it should be noted that the cocktail waitresses are different because they are standing up and walking around in the heels most of the time.

Now, consider some points that are not included in the article:

a) The problems with high heels are much milder with mid-heels. So, the cocktail waitresses who are complaining should be very grateful for that.

b) From a fashion standpoint, high heels go best with their skimpy outfits. Mid-heels are kind of border line. Flats simply do not mesh. So, the casino policy makes sense. Heels and the rest of their outfits, make the cocktail waitresses a sight for sore eyes and makes it much more pleasurable for one to gamble in the casino, especially while losing. However, I would rate the desire to travel as #1, desire to gamble as #2, desire to see shows with show girls as #3, all ahead of the cocktail waitresses for alluring me to Nevada casinos.

c) The more pretty and sexy the cocktail waitress is, the bigger and more tips she usually gets. So, it is in their own best interest to wear heels.

d) There are rumors that the cocktail waitress job in Nevada can earn tons in tips (and in some cases, fortunes in top casinos at tables with high rollers). So, compare what they make to what the police, fire fighter, soldier, trapeze artist, and other jobs that put lives at risk get paid.

Moreover, there are occupational hazards in many other professions. Building workers get back problems all of the time. Car mechanics always complain about lung problems after working with exhaust fumes, asbestos brake pads, and gasoline for many years. Writers, editors, and other occupations that involve a lot of reading wear out their eye sight over time. Computer workers working in front of monitors have complained for years about all kinds of problems, including miscarriages and eye strain related headaches. Taxi drivers and deli cashiers can get robbed and shot.

e) In regards to the issue on eliminating the closed toe, it does not work with mid-heels. It takes a slightly higher heel height (3 to 5 inch heels) to make an open toe pump or sandal look as good as a closed toe mid-heel pump with skimpy outfits. (Note that the sandals should be equipped with ankle straps. Don't want any shoes slipping off, while carrying a tray full of beer glasses.)

f) Is this matter all due to misfit shoes? We know from various surveys that many women wear shoes that are too small. Also, not all of the cocktail waitresses are complaining. So perhaps, those experiencing problems need longer and/or wider pumps. Have they tried Easy Spirit pumps, those advertised with girls playing basketball in them? They come with toe boxes that are a bit larger than pointed toe boxes and in various widths. (In regards to sizing, be sure to read our book excerpt.)

Reader Feedback:

Dear JJ

I was interested to read your comments on Cocktail waitresses who wear high heels. Iíve always been fascinated by women who are able to stand all day in 4"+ heels. I wonder how they manage it? As part of your research for your book or during visits to Las Vegas have you discussed this with women who are on their feet all day? What are their comments? I must admit Iím not interested in women in the sex industry who have to wear heels, only women that choose to wear heels, but donít have too.


B.J. (February 26, 2001)

Do you think that women who work in the sex industry somehow have an easier time wearing high heels? I don't. They do not have special feet made for high heels.

All women must go through similar experiences in wearing high heels. The usual answer that I get from women who successfully wear high heels a lot is that they "get use to them". Even within this "Casino" news article, there was a waitress who said these same exact words.

Perhaps, this oversimplifies the issue for people who are fascinated with these women. So, I will try to give a more detailed explanation of how they do it, as far as I understand.

In most cases, these women end up buying lots of pairs of high heels, until they find a pair that properly and perfectly fits them in length and width (as described in my book excerpt on this website). This means that the pair of heels is not tight anywhere, while walking.

In the news article, there is mention of bleeding. First, if their bleeding was really so bad, they probably should have quit and looked for a different job. Second, because most casino areas have plush carpet, it is unlikely for the blood to have come from the bottom of the foot. The bleeding was probably due to a tight spot, that bruised skin somewhere in the back of the heel, on the sides of the foot, or top of the foot.

The blood may have also come from someplace in between the toes, if the toe box was too tight. In the news article, one of the podiatrists mentioned the need for open toe shoes.

Although most waitresses wear pointed closed toe pumps, I believe the Nevada casino rule only requires "closed toe pumps". Women have all different sizes and shapes of toes. Most women do not have toes that can be easily shaped into a regular pointed toe box. They need more space, so that their toes do not get squashed.

British (or European or long pointed), semi-pointed, round, ball doll, and square toe boxes provide more space for the toes and can provide the same relief that open toe shoes would. A square toe box should provide enough space for any woman's foot (that has no more than 5 toes, of course).

So, in fact, these women go through trial and error, frustration, pain, and other problems until they find a properly fitted pair of high heel shoes. Then, they simply wear them a lot. Over time, their foot arches get stronger and other body parts adapt to the high heels. The process is similar to getting use to artificial legs or prostheses. For cocktail waitresses who wear high heels for a full shift, this takes only a short period of time (a few months or so).

High heels become just like flat heeled shoes for them. There is no or only very minor discomfort, especially indoors.

Marcia said that walking in 6 inch high heels with non-pointed toe boxes and thick heels (not pencil-thin stilettos) on carpeted wooden floors feels the same, exactly identical to walking in flat heeled shoes for her. However, on floors that are not covered with carpet or rugs, she can still feel the heels of the shoes under her feet with every step, as well as hear the unmistakable sounds that high heels make.


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All About Wearing High Heels

This page was last edited on August 31, 2007.
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