why do we torture our feet?

Everyone needs a good pair of pumps.

It may come as a surprise to many that high heeled shoes date back as far as ancient Egypt, and they continued to be used throughout the centuries. Almost every time period had their take on the heel. Often, high heels were created for practical purposes, like needing to keep your feet high off the ground in order to avoid the garbage on the streets. Today they have one purpose and one purpose alone: make women look good!

The questions is: Is it worth it?

High heeled shoes give the illusion of longer, thinner legs and smaller feet. They make women look taller. They accentuate the calves and arch the back, changing a woman’s posture. In other words, they make women look SEXY. (The current version of sexy.)

While looking sexy in heels, women will experience pain in their feet. High heeled shoes increase a woman’s likelihood of developing varicose veins. They also increase a woman’s chances of getting sprains or fractures, and slowly but surely the sexy heels are degenerating women’s joints, particularly the knees. Simply said: in the long run, high heeled shoes are bad for you.

So why do we do it? Most women will smile and say “because it looks good.”

It looks good.

Does it have to hurt?

Apparently not.

The French say “you have to suffer to be beautiful.”

(How much suffering are we talking about, exactly? Are long term problems worth a little bit of sacrifice now?)

Seemingly going against this old adage, in an interview for CNN, French shoe designer, Christian Louboutin talked about the science behind high heeled shoes. Louboutin, world famous for his sky high heels with scarlet soles, claims that heels are a feat engineering. He also said that a high heeled shoe “has to be comfortable.” (Read the full article here.)

Now there’s a thought. Have you ever come across a comfortable pair of heels? On occasion, I’ve found some heels that aren’t “too bad” and quite comfortable, but my feet are still always thankful when I take them off.

Truly comfortable heels. That seems mythical.

One of my friends has likened high heels to spanx. “You suffer when you wear spanx,” she said. “And I’m sure having everything sucked in like that isn’t great for your blood circulation, but you wear it because you want to look good!”

There it is again. You want to look good. But most women don’t wear spanx everyday. Plenty of women wear heels EVERYDAY. That makes it different.

Now, before anyone thinks I don’t want people to look good. Don’t get me wrong. I want everyone to look FABULOUS. And, despite this blog post, I am not about to give up my heels. But, I think I am going to start regulating how much I suffer, and I am definitely going to invest in some of those cute foldable flats that you can keep in your purse!

Thanks to Pia Ugarte of LS Illustrated for the red heels!

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