Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why can't all women wear heels?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) April 22nd, 2011

Why is it some women seem to be able to walk around most of the day if not all day in heels (I mean heels 3in or better) while it seem many other, even those who like them, cannot walk or stand in them for more than portions of an hour to a couple of hours at best? Is it how early in life a woman, or men these days, started wearing heels? Genetics, some women are more genetically advantaged to wearing heels? Force of will, some women just want to wear heel more?

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33 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

A few reasons come to mind—
Fat Feet
Hammertoes or bunions
Plantar fasciitis
Sprained or weak ankles
Wide feet that don’t fit well into the pointy shoe beds
Defective semicircular canals in their inner ears
I think to be able to join the DC Drag Queen Race requires one to have strong ankles, the ability to be agile on their toes, narrow feet, and a strong abdominal core (for balance and control)... just guessing, honestly!

lillycoyote's avatar

Because some of us can barely keep from tipping over in our bare feet. Why can’t and don’t men wear heals? Wearing heels isn’t exactly natural and a lot of women who wear them really “can’t” but do an pay the price. Human females, their feet did not evolve to be propped up three inches off the ground. It messes up your feet, it can mess up back. And WTF? Genetically advantaged to wear heels? It’s all cultural though I think that there is some evidence that propped up butts, something heels do, prop up woman’s butts is something seen as an advantage in other primates. But high heels were developed long after the modern human body evolve, really, @Hypocrisy_Central you should know better than that.

Blueroses's avatar

Because high heels suck! They look great but hurt like hell after about 10 minutes and do permanent damage to your feet and body if you wear them too long. Women who wear them constantly have trained themselves and the tendons in the back of their legs have shortened up which makes it painful for them to wear flats. It’s a fashion condoned mutilation.

augustlan's avatar

When I was younger, I wore them all the time. Some hurt my feet, some didn’t. Then I got hammertoes from wearing them. Then I got fibromyalgia. I rarely wear heels now.

My best friend can fall over standing in her bare feet. You’re not going to find her in heels too often.

One of my daughters loves them, the higher the better (she’s tall to begin with and in heels she’s probably 6 feet tall). Another can’t stand them.

In other words, everyone’s different.

faye's avatar

I so love my high heels! I’m 5’1”, slender, heart shaped ass, tiny waist, small breasts, cherry responsive nipples, lovely lips- mouth not too big, Long, wavy hair, big aqua eyes with eyelashes that defy belief. But without my 5” I’m just a dumpy old woman with dentures:(

lillycoyote's avatar

Also, they make you a target. I’ve had heels stolen right off my feet by both country lawns and meadows, and by urban heating grates. It’s a jungle out there. :-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote But high heels were developed long after the modern human body evolve, really, @Hypocrisy_Central you should know better than that. So has ice skating, basketball, and gymnastics yet some people can do a Biellmann spin, dunk, and do a Tsukahara better than others with ease because they were born with a frame or body that lended better to the physics or mechanics to do them well long after evolution.

@faye Can I take that as real or are you having a bit of a jiggle off me? ;-) If not, YOU GO GIRL!!!

faye's avatar

bits and pieces, bits and pieces, song from somewhere

Aethelwine's avatar


I don’t have it, nor want it.

linguaphile's avatar

Umm.. the question says “can’t…” What about those who shouldn’t be wearing heels. Good heel wearer glide… think RuPaul. While mall-watching, I’ve seen a lot of wearers walk around in heels picking their feet up by their knees then coming down with their feet like they’re stabbing the ground as they walk, looking a lot like storks. That looks so painful and awkward, all for an upraised butt and fashion statement.
Viva la Keens.

Aethelwine's avatar

@linguaphile I think I’ve given you all the lurve I’m allowed in one night. What a great addition to the collective. I’ll quit with the gushing now. Goodnight. =)

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central All that may be true but 1. It is the frame that accepts the footware, not the body evolving or being genetically predisposed to wearing it or not. And 2. There are actually people who research and design footware for athletes and make it conform to, support and enhance the existing structure, the existing “architecture” of the human foot and the human body. That is most certainly not the case with women’s shoes, woman’s heels. It is about fashion, not about performance and not about what’s best for the foot, the body or the woman.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You try standing on your toes for 8 hours at a stretch, and then you answer your own question.

JLeslie's avatar

I wore heels all the time up until college. In college I had to get used to being on my flat feet again in shoes. The more you wear heels the more you can do it. I would bet your achilles tendon shortens a little. Your center of balance shifts a little when you wear high heals also, so you need to get used to it. For many years I coud alternate easily between flats and heals without any problem.

I know cannot wear heels for a long time because I have some muscle trouble. It affects every muscle in my body. When in one position too long it begins to cramp. If I exhaust a muscle, which happens very quickly now, it beging to weaken and can tremor. Heals leave your foot in a permanent positions while wearing them.

Some women make the mistake of oversmoothing their feet with pedicures. This means feet will likely become sore and tire more easily.

The heavier you are the more difficult it can be to wear them, because their is more weight on your feet.

People with poor posture have more trouble wearing them. Having a straight back kind of lifts the weight away from your feet. Not sure if this is scientifically true, but it sure feels that way.

Currently heels are 4 and 5 inches tall which is an outrage! It simply is not safe. I can run in 3 inch heels, not in 5 inch. It is not attractive to have such focus on shoes in my opinion. I watched the music awards and Gweneth Paltrow was on such tall stilts for shoes she looked the whole time as if she might fall down.

syz's avatar

Why can’t all men have six-packs?

Same thing – a combination of genetics and the willingness to suffer the pain or discomfort. (Personally, I think the choppy, shortened stride of a woman wearing significant heels looks ridiculous.)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Everyone’s different.
I love them! I used to be able to run in 3” or higher heels..I mean sprint!
After I got MS it still didn’t stop me from wearing them.I just used a cane! I got some funny comments about that too
Nothing could stop me,for my will to wear heels was tooooooo strong.! XD

Judi's avatar

Put on a pair yourself then go dancing. It is a learned skill. It takes practice to be graceful in hills. Some people spend all day every day in them and some just wear them on the weekend when going out or on special occasions. The every day people have a better chance if mastering it.

Judi's avatar

Darned To late to edit! I do know the difference between hills and heels, although walking up hill is sometimes easier in heels. Sorry for looking stupid

deni's avatar

Some of us prefer to not be teetering around uncomfortably all day for no reason just to be pleasing to the male eye.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because they’re not real women, duh. Only real women can wear heels.

nikipedia's avatar

Because some women have jobs that involve mostly sitting on their ass all day, and some women have to walk around and do stuff?

tinyfaery's avatar

Those who say they don’t hurt are lying about the pain.

A couple of hours is one thing. Standing and dancing is another. If the feet aren’t hurting then they have gone numb and the nerve damage has already set in.

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery Haha. Actually, when I was younger I wore heels all day without any pain. I worked in retail, standing the whole time, moving merchandise.

tinyfaery's avatar

Like I said, your feet probably went numb.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I contend that some women are too sane for wearing such shoes.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Judi Yes, Ginger, dancing in heels is quite an advanced skill. :-)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Some people who are pigeon toed or severely bow legged will not be as graceful in heels as others. I’ve seen very heavy women who can walk in heels just fine so I don’t think it’s weight so much as practice and body awareness because of how weight shifts and where to land on your foot to cause the least impact and jarring to your body. I don’t believe anyone can just jump into heels and be naturally proficient. Walking in heels is like learning to skate, ski, surf or whatnot. Some will be better than others.

dxs's avatar

There’s someone in my school whose heels are so crooked they are so close to snapping…if you don’t know how/can’t walk in heels, you shouldn’t :T

trailsillustrated's avatar

I wore heels from age of 14 till about 31. I danced ballet from age 5 until 25. I am still long and lean, but I don’t wear heels anymore. They hurt, they cause the body to be off balance, ( I will still wear those silly ones from the sex shop in the bed room only that are not for walking in) It’s silly- it will make your feet hurt later when you are in your fifties. But I’ll bet your question had nothing to do with women in their fifties. sorry.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@syz Why can’t all men have six-packs? Because most men, especially Yankees, do not want them bad enough. Instead of lifting weights in a gym they would rather lift a sub sandwich and beer to their lips.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Some men will never have the muscles that some other men have, even doing the same exercises and eating the same diet. If they have naturally less testerone the muscle doesn’t build as much, which is very common.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a similar question I asked a month ago. I put a pejorative slant on it so got lots of high-energy responses (both pro and con)

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