It's a common joke that the girlfriend will give her boyfriend a hard time for buying too many video games. Y'know, "whaddyu need with an Xbox, a Playstation, and a PC? Why do you need so many games?!", and so forth. But then the boyfriend will return the favor and criticize her for doing the same thing with shoes. That's always the stereotype--women love shoes and will fill a whole closet with them. Well, I guess I'm an anomaly--I do both.
I have an embarrassing number of game systems and computers, and an equally embarrassing amount of shoes. At first glace, my room looks like a hardcore gamer "man-cave", but if you open my closet, you'd probably suspect that you were looking through a portal to Rarity's boutique. My closet looks just like the most stereotypical female fashionista's: rows and rows of fancy footwear for every outfit. If you've read much of my ramblings, then you already know that I break all the gender rules when it comes to clothing. I can also say with one hundred percent certainty that the classic stereotype of the shoe-aholic is absolutely true for some people, and totally understandable. I get it. That's exactly how I am. I love fashion, but of all the parts of my wardrobe, the footwear is what excites me the most. I love shoes, especially high-heeled boots and sandals. Yeah, I'm sucker for heels. Love 'em. I own many. Heels are great, but there are so many women who are doin' it wrong, which is why I wanted to write this guide in order to help you gals out.
Before I go any further, I want to make it abundantly clear that my opinions of what looks good and what doesn't are just that--opinions. I will express them emphatically for entertainment value, but please do not take offense if you disagree. I don't mean to insult anyone. If love the look of something that I hate, then by all means, wear it, and don't be discouraged by what I think. That's the beauty of diversity--we don't all need to like the same thing.
So, I actually feel that I am in a very rare and ideal position to give advice to women regarding heels, and I'll explain why in a bit. But first: why does anyone wear heels at all? Love 'em or hate 'em, no matter what your opinion, I think we can all agree that high heels of any kind are grotesquely impractical. I mean, they're not functional for anything. They're not good for you, physically. The jury's not out on that one. They're highly impractical for walking and balance, and are completely counter to the way feet are evolved to work. So, what's the point? Well, it's just for appearance, obviously. People wear them because they look nice. But let's be honest--more specifically, people wear them for sex appeal. That's why we do it. They're sexy. Not everyone would agree, and there are exceptions to everything. Perhaps some people might wear heels for entirely different reasons, but by and large, it's for the sex appeal. Why else would anyone wear something that makes their feet ache? It's a very strange thing to find sexy. There doesn't seem to be any evolutionary or biological reason for it. It's mysterious. Nonetheless, I'm totally into 'em. I find them really sexy. I dunno why, but they're sexy. Furthermore, specifically because high heels obviously have nothing to do with any evolutionary, sex-specific biological cues (like breasts, for example), I believe that heels are not necessarily a one-way street. In other words, I see no reason why men can't pull them off as well, nor any reason why women wouldn't like that on some men. I personally think I look quite good in the right kind, but I'm also perfectly willing to admit that there's a chance I might be delusional.
Anyway, the point is that I am a [ridiculously] heterosexual male who finds high heels on women very sexy, making me your exact target audience, and yet I also love to wear them, so I know far more about heels than the vast majority of men, and I'm part of the target demographic for buying them. Thus, I can give advice on wearing them, but I can also give advice on how to achieve the look and sex appeal you're after, because I'm the one you'd be wearing them for. I'm the one who's looking. Don't ask your fellow female friends if your heels look sexy; how would they know? Ask me, because I know what's going to be attractive to men better than anyone. I am perfectly and uniquely qualified to give advice in this area. So let's jump in.
As I said, heels are great, but you absolutely have to follow some simple rules for wearing them. Too many women wear them stupidly, and they end up doing some real damage to themselves. Others don't seem to have a clue what actually looks good. I have three simple rules to keep you looking good and, more importantly, feeling good. So let's get into them.
Rule # 1: SAFETY
The most important rule of heels is to make sure you can walk securely and safely. Ankle sprains are so common among heel-wearers. Don't let that be you. Steer clear of stilettos. I mean, c'mon--they're ridiculous. You're walking on a tiny spike, for Celestia's sake. I know women frickin' dance in 'em and sh*t, but that doesn't make it smart. You need an adequate amount of surface area to ensure safety. Go with block/chunky heels. Much more secure. And the thing is, stilettos don't look nearly as good as you think they do. A block heel is much sexier in my opinion. You're not doing anyone any favors by wearing stilettos, least of all yourself. They're dangerous, and you're not even achieving the super-sexy look that you want. It seems to me that women are just hurting themselves and spraining ankles for no good reason due to sheer confusion. I don't know why stilettos persist so much. I think that block heels look sexier, and if other men agree, they should speak up so that women can stop wearing such stupidly dangerous things.
But even if you or others really love the look of stilettos, you really should forego them for the sake of safety. It's also worth pointing out that if you can't walk confidently and securely, then you don't look good in what you're wearing. Limping and hobbling along awkwardly is not sexy. That's so important that it bears repeating: stumbling slowly and awkwardly is not sexy.
This is not sexy:
Rule # 2: HEIGHT
So many women try to go way to high. Drives me nuts. Typically speaking, starting from height zero and increasing, the sexiness increases the higher you go, up to a point. There is an optimal height, and if you go beyond that, sex appeal sharpy plummets. If your foot is painfully contorted, then you're going too high. If your foot is bent so sharply that parts are beet red, and others are white from having the blood squeezed out, and your toes are mashed, bent, and crushed, then you're too damn high. Now, the high heel position is altogether unnatural, and any amount of heel is going to be less comfortable than flats, but that doesn't mean that you can't pull off a reasonable amount of heel with a reasonable level of comfort. It a compromise. Whatever the height, your foot should look natural and pleasantly situated. Basically, you shouldn't go any higher than you can naturally stand if you just raise up on the balls of your feet while barefoot. If the heel is so high that your foot can't even align to the foot bed, and instead is awkwardly contorted, then you're doing it wrong. Smashed, contorted, crushed looking feet and toes are not sexy. I cannot stress that enough. Your toes shouldn't be bent to a freaking 90 degree angle. Nobody wants to see that. Painfully contorted feet are not sexy. And this goes right back to what I said about not being able to walk easily as well. If your heels are so high that you cannot walk comfortably, then it's not sexy. And this is obviously a safety issue as well.
In my opinion, the optimal height is 3.75 inches. Sex appeal increases steadily up to that point. 3.75 is ideal--maximum sex appeal. Beyond that, and sexiness decreases. Like, it's amazing--I swear, 3.75 inches is gorgeous, 3.76 inches starts to look worse. 3.75 is the magic number. Granted, it also depends a lot on the shoe style. Sometimes up to 4 inches works. Never go beyond 4. Ever. There's no reason to. Beyond 4 just looks painfully contorted, and therefore not sexy, and your foot is just gonna ache so much worse. Stay at 3.75 or under.
Rule # 3: DURATION
Never wear heels for a extremely long period of time. They should be used fairly sparingly. That doesn't mean you can't wear them relatively often, just not for very long at once. The health detriments of prolonged high heels are conclusive. Prolonged, excessive use of heels results in a myriad of arch, ankle, knee, hip, and back problems. It can lead to shortening of the calf muscle and related tendons, leading to pain and all sorts of injuries. Worst of all, prolonged heel use can cause bunions, an extremely painful and potentially very serious foot condition that can require surgery. Now, this isn't meant to scare you. These problems won't occur if you don't overdo the heels. Problems like these only occur for women who work in heels--who wear them all day every day, on their feet for hours and hours, week in and week out for many years. I don't mean anyone any offense here, but anyone who wears high heels to work every day is idiot. I mean, that's just the freakin' truth, dude. There is no justification for putting your feet through that kind of prolonged daily punishment. You're killin' yourself. You're setting yourself up for so many health problems. Don't do that to yourself. Be kind to your feet. Never work in heels. Now, I honestly don't know if there are still any workplaces in America that pressure women to wear heels, but if there are, then that sexist, harmful, f*cked up bullsh*t has got to go now. If this is still a thing, then we need to speak up.
That said, it's perfectly fine to wear heels for a moderate duration. They're wonderful, but they should only be for recreational use, and never for too long. Don't wear them if you know you're going to be doing a lot of walking. They should be reserved for trips out on the town to walk around a few stores, or the mall, and then go out to dinner--that sort of thing. If you're lucky enough to actually know people to go to parties with, then that's a good use for heels. If your even luckier and have the opportunity to go to balls, galas, or other such fancy events, then that's certainly a great occasion for heels. My recommendation is to keep the heel use to no more than one day a week. Perhaps that's going to sound unreasonable and shocking to women who wear them a lot, but I really think it's the right way to go, and a wise decision. You need to think safety. Just wear them out to dinner or for a night on the town one day a week, and leave it at that. That's all heels should ever be for.
In moderation, heels are perfectly fine and compatible with good health. Think of them like junk food: ice cream, pizza, candy, whatever your fancy. Fattening and sugary treats are absolutely compatible with a healthy diet and lifestyle when used in moderation. Don't eat too much, and not too often. It's not gonna kill you. Same thing for heels. They're an indulgence. They're fun and sexy, but you mustn't overdo it, just like any indulgence. Moderation, and you'll be perfectly fine.
Those are my three rules. I'll also add some related health tips. I highly recommend stretching your calves and toes after each time you wear heels. When you get home, just stretch each calf, and stretch your toes by interlocking your fingers between each toe. Stretching you toes like that is very good for your feet, and it also feels wonderful. They also make little rubber or silicone type doohickeys for this purpose that sort of resemble brass knuckles. You slip the device over your toes, and it's got a piece that goes between each toe to stretch them. Personally, I think it's a waste of money when you can do the same thing with your fingers. Another great tip is to go barefoot as often as you can. Being barefoot is how our bodies evolved to work, and it does wonders to strengthen arch muscles and correct many foot problems. In fact, many, if not most, of arch and foot problems today are caused by overuse of modern footwear with high arches. If you are curious about this, do some google and youtube searches for the benefits of barefoot running. That concludes my advice. Follow these guidelines to ensure high heel heaven.
But wait! This guide wouldn't be very much fun without some pictures! Let's look at some examples, and I'll give you my opinion of what's hot and what's not.
No. Way too high.
Nah. Not the worst thing ever, but I advise against wedges of any kind. It just doesn't look good to fill in that space. It sort of defeats the purpose of the high heel look, imo. It looks much sexier to leave that space open so you can really see the heel.
Nope. I recommend steering clear of so-called "pumps" altogether. The classic, traditional slipper type heel like this is really not that sexy. In fact, most are downright ugly. Pointy-toes are also really tricky. They can work, but most are pretty ugly. Use with caution. And I said no stilettos, you guber.
What did I just say? This variety of stubby stilettos are so awkward and weird looking. Terrible. Just terrible. Never.
If you absolutely must do a pump. go for something like this:
Ah, much better.
Yuck. Bloated, bulbous, pointy-toed platform stiletto pumps are horrible. Rarity would faint from shock and horror. Don't. Just don't. It's like those crystal meth commercials: Not Even Once.
Oh, no! NO! Good freakin' Celesita, girl, you must be outside your mind! All the bad things of the last ones, with the added horror of peep toes. Either show all of your toes, or none of them. Peep toe is one of the greatest crimes against fashion ever conceived.
You're joking, right? Are you suicidal?
Holy crap. Is you trippin', girl?! Damn, waz wrong wit chu?!
Alright, alright! Enough already! Sheesh! Let's see some good ones!
Mmm, now that's more like it! Cute, lovely, safe block heels, and a lowish/mid height for easier walking. Excellent sandals.
Now that's your ideal, smart, heeled boot for wearing all day. Still a sexy look, but a low enough heel for all-day use. An A+ boot.
OH yes. 1000% yes. This is perfect sex appeal. These are 3 inch. That's the kind of angle you want. That's how to do a feminine, sexy boot. Fabulous. Well done. Bravo.
Now there is a perfect sandal. Splendid. Absolutely marvelous. No peep toe--excellent. A perfectly done platform. Gives that raised look without being some bloated, fat looking, weird thing that looks like you have bowling balls strapped to your feet. A tapered heel for a sexy look, but clearly enough surface area for safe, secure walking. An ideal angle--the heel is probably about 4-4.5 inches in total, but the distance to the top of the platform is probably about 3, making it perfect. High, but without looking like an extreme contortion. This sandal does everything right. Kudos. Hats off. It would steal Rarity's heart.
YES. That's how you do gothic/edgy. The one on the left is versatile and perfect for moderate outfits with just a little bit of attitude, and the one on the right is ideal for the more extreme thrill-seeker. Fantastic.
WOW. Now that's a gothic boot! Not for the faint of heart--this is for a serious outfit. But if you can do it, it's incredible. This heel is as narrow as you'd ever want to go. It has the stiletto look, but gives just enough surface area to walk on safely, but it is on the narrow side, so you'll need watch your step. Be careful, but it's worth it.
Mmm, yes! The idea, versatile boot. Works with so many outfits, stable block heel. This is 3.75 inches--the optimal height. This is the perfect angle. This is the look you want. Any higher is a no-no.
And that about does it! Hopefully that gives you some good ideas and some useful tips. Of course, I love all kinds of flat footwear too (barefoot sandals, moccasins, and knee-high canvas shoes to name a few), but that's not what this guide was about. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope it proves useful. Ciao, fellow fashionistas!