Shoes are one of the many ways people choose to accessorize and express their unique personalities. Some people wear loafers, others choose sneakers and many like sandals.
However, one style of shoe has remained a popular choice for over a century- heels! This shoe is a popular choice among women, though many people- especially men- may not know why.
Why Do Women Wear Heels?
1. So They Appear Taller
One of the heel’s other names is the ‘High Heel,’ a name that typically refers to the taller varieties of heeled shoes. This name, however, is accurate- they are very high shoes!
Short women who are insecure about their height may choose to wear heels so that they can compensate for their shorter stature, making them appear as a more average height.
In humans, height is often an indicator of authority, status, and power, and so using high heels can make a woman feel and be perceived as an authoritative figure.
There are many reasons why a woman may want to appear taller, but whether it is for personal or professional reasons, heels are excellent shoes to help with this!
2. Simulating Optimal Lumbar Curvature
It may seem obvious that women might wear heels to appear more attractive, but odd facts of our evolutionary history are the reasons that heels can make a woman look better.
Studies suggest that the ancestors of humans, having become bipedal relatively recently, would have had issues with their pregnancies if their spine was not curved a certain way.
This curve became an indicator of fertility and therefore became far more attractive to men, similar to how many men find wide and ‘child-bearing’ hips attractive.
When women wear heels, the shoes adjust their posture so that their spine more closely imitates this ancestrally-ideal curve in the lumbar region.
With this adjustment, a woman appears so much more attractive to a man, though he may not realize what the reason is!
3. Induce A More Feminine Gait
Heels, particularly higher ones, require an adjustment in a woman’s method of movement to prevent her from falling over and potentially hurting herself.
If you’ve seen any cheesy rom-com movie where a nerdy girl undergoes a makeover and awkwardly struggles to walk in heels, that scene may be accurate!
Even more accurate, however, is when the nerdy girl puts the heels on and instantly becomes more attractive.
Along with the lumbar curvature, heels are an excellent tool in appearing more attractive by making a woman’s gait more traditionally feminine and attractive.
To compensate for the height and unease of some heels, and to adjust to the fact that she is essentially walking on her toes, a woman’s stride will become shorter.
The rotation of her hips as she walks will also be exaggerated, and the pronounced emphasis on her hips is naturally more attractive to men.
Yes, you read that right- not only do heels force a woman to walk differently, but that new walk can be attractive to men!
4. Make Their Legs Seem Longer
It is a relatively simple fact that many men like a woman’s legs, especially long ones. Heels are optimal for making a woman’s legs seem longer, hence making her more attractive to men.
Legs are often considered a more subtle indicator of sexuality when compared with breasts or buttocks, though their close relation to the latter helps emphasize their attractiveness.
By artificially enhancing the perceived length of a woman’s legs, heels are once again capable of boosting the factors that make men attracted to women.
5. To Signal Attraction
Most women, and even many men, know that wearing heels can make a woman more attractive- it isn’t something that all women swear to secrecy!
Some studies indicate that women will wear heels so that they can indicate attraction to people they are interested in, romantically or sexually.
These indications are accomplished with multiple tactics, such as by wearing heels with more attractive men more often than with men they are less attracted to.
While just about everybody knows that heels are more attractive, it seems that women know how to use this fact to their advantage and signal their interest in men!
6. To Look Sharp In The Office
Certain accessories are known to make people look more professional, such as loafers and neckties. For women, one of the best accessories for an office environment is a pair of heels.
In offices that enforce a strict dress code, often one they describe as ‘business professional,’ heels may not only be encouraged but required.
Even when not required, a woman may choose to wear heels in the office to maintain a more professional and authoritative appearance.
7. To Boost Confidence
Between the boost in attractiveness and the authoritative, powerful energy that both come with wearing heels, it only makes sense that wearing heels can make a woman feel confident.
Of course, this confidence may waver if she missteps and stumbles in her heels, but most women who wear heels in public have been practicing with the shoes for a long time!
Once a woman grows comfortable wearing heels, she may choose to wear heels around on her day-to-day occasions to help boost her confidence.
8. To Gain Equal Footing
Offices are traditionally male-dominated spaces and women may feel a need to compensate for their gender or catch up to their male peers.
Heels enable this due to the height that they grant, once again providing a use for their authority-enabling nature.
9. To Look Nice In Formal Occasions
Along with looking sharp in the office, a woman may choose to wear heels to look her best during formal occasions such as weddings or church events.
While one would not need to look professional for such events, they will still want to look their best, and heels are culturally ingrained as one of the most stylish options for footwear available.
10. For Social Status
Much as with any other shoe, heels are available from a variety of manufacturers who provide different models and styles of heels. These different types will often have different prices.
Some of these prices can be pricy, and purchasing these more expensive heels will often indicate a higher social status than the people a woman may be around.
Additionally, with the authoritative energy that often comes with height, a woman can enforce her social status when in a group.
11. High Heels Are Fashionable
Heels are, ultimately, shoes. Shoes are clothing, and clothing is often dictated by fashion, so people will wear whatever is fashionable.
Since the early 1900s, high heels have been considered fashionable shoes for women, and it does not seem like this trend will change in the foreseeable future.
Heels are fashion statements, and much like any other shoes, luxury brands may design certain heels to indicate a higher interest in fashion.
Fashion models on the runway will often wear different types of heels, and regular women may opt to wear heels to indicate how interested they are in modern fashion!
To learn more, you can also read our posts on why women wear earrings, why women wear pearls, and why men wear undershirts.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why heels are such a popular shoe choice. They may be challenging to master, but they are stylish and can make a woman look good and feel confident!
If you are a fan of high heels, you may want to thank Genghis Khan for their creation. The progenitors of heels were worn by Mongolian horseback archers for stability. Thanks, Genghis!