High Heel Facts
High Heel Facts

28 Interesting High Heel Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published October 7, 2020
  • Around 200 BC, Roman actors wore kathorni, a type of high heel, to make themselves appear taller.[7]
  • Egyptian butchers wore high heels to keep their feet out of the blood and debris on the floor.[7]
  • In medieval Europe, the wealthy wore wooden platforms called pattens, to keep their indoor shoes clean while walking outside.[7]
  • Roman prostitutes wore high heels.[7]
  • Venetian noblewomen wore heels that could be higher than 24 inches. Known as chopine, these heels meant that women couldn't really move anywhere on their own.[7]
  • Catherine de Medici helped popularize the high heel for women of the 16th century. She was wearing heels to accentuate her authority and her allure when she arrived at the French court.[7]
  • Puritans in the United States originally banned women and children from wearing high heels because they associated the shoes with witchcraft.[7]
  • High Heel Fetish
    Who doesn't have a fetish, though?
  • Altocalciphilia is a fetish for high heels.[2]
  • The first Barbie doll (1959) wore a black and white knit striped bathing suit and black high-heeled shoes. Her shoes had tiny holes that matched a piece in the pedestal that allowed the doll to stand up.[8]
  • Emissaries of Abbas the Great in the early 17th century brought modern high heels to Europe. Men such as King Louis XIV later wore them to highlight their social status.[1]
  • Some women undergo surgery to shorten their pinky toes and deaden nerves in order to wear high heels without pain.[9]
  • Wearing golden high heels, a teenager from Germany ran 100 meters in 14.531 seconds, just 5 seconds slower than Usain Bolt.[11]
  • Keep your heels, heads, and standards high.

    - Coco Chanel

  • After the French Revolution, high heels became associated with female irrationality and superficiality. They went out of style until the invention of the camera and pinup girls.[9]
  • A 34-year-old French woman ran an entire marathon in 6 hours, 4 minutes, and 7 seconds in heels.[10]
  • Persian cavalry soldiers wore a type of high-heeled shoe to secure their feet in the stirrups.[1]
  • High Heel History
    Men wore high heels first

  • In the 1600s, authorities began regulating heel height. For example, commoners' heels could only be 1/2 inch, while princes could wear 2.5-inch heels.[1]
  • The largest high-heel shoe on record measures 3.96m (12 feet, 11 inches) long and 2.82 m (9 feet 3 inches) tall. Created by Dido Fashion Club on April 20, 2019, this giant shoe was meant to highlight the artistry of shoes.[6]
  • High heels push the center of gravity forward, which places the hips and spine out of alignment.[1]
  • Stiletto Facts
    The word "stiletto" is from the Latin "stilus," meaning "pointed writing stick," and is related to the word "style."
  • The word "stiletto" is from the Italian word for a small, fine, and very sharp knife.[8]
  • According to Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a low heel is less than 2.5 inches (6.4 cm). Mid heels are anything between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (6.4 and 8.9 cm). Any shoe higher than that is considered a high heel. According to the clothing industry, any shoe between 2–5 inches is high heeled.[1]
  • French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu hypothesized that men eventually stopped wearing high heels because the association between high-heeled shoes and women tainted high heels for men.[7]
  • People who wear high heels fall more often, even if they aren't wearing high heels at the time.[5]
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes increases the risk of developing bunions.[5]
  • During the Victorian era, large feet were lampooned in the press. High heels became popular because they accentuate an arched instep, which represented the curved shape of a woman's figure.[1]
  • High Heel Trivia
    These high heels are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
  • In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s high heels, or red slippers, represent the power of common people to triumph over oppression.[8]
  • Wearing high heels increases the pressure in one's veins, which can lead to varicose veins and other trauma to the body.[5]
  • A 17th-century Massachusetts law stated that if a woman lured a man into marriage by wearing high heels, she would suffer the same "severe punishment" as a witch.[4]
  • In Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, anyone who wants to wear heels over 2 inches high with less than a one-square-inch heel must first get a permit.[3]
  • Stylish High Heel Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Interesting High Heel Infographic

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More