Many men cannot understand, no matter how hard they try, women and their relationship with high heeled shoes. Although men understand that, yes, a designer pair of heels can look fantastic and the leg lengthening qualities they offer can make a woman’s leg look longer and more toned, for many men it is impossible to understand the near emotional regard that high heeled shoes have been held in seemingly since Carrie Bradshaw began to fetishize them during Sex and The City.
Men cannot begin to understand what the shoe represents and how it can be debated so vociferously between laypeople and academics about what they seemingly, and contradictorily, represent. To some the shoe represents power and liberalisation, allure and femininity, to others they are an enduring symbol of vulnerability and repression. For men, a shoe is a shoe – what else could it possibly be? To them footwear is something that is worn simply to stop a naked foot standing on something sharp. At the very best, a shoe, is something that should be shined at formal dinner parties to impress the boss rather than to give the wearer any feeling of empowerment. After all, men prefer, by and large, to wear trainers as often as possible, even when they are not playing sport, and see footwear as a comfort first item. This can explain why men, on average, own only four pairs of shoes to the typical female amount of seventeen.
One thing men do not understand is why women would put themselves at risks of injuries for their sartorial desires. Men’s shoes are unlikely to give many injuries beyond the odd blister for those who are wearing new formal shoes for the first time. Women who habitually wear high heels, however, have put themselves at risk of potentially irreversible damage to the knees, hips, backs, tendons, metatarsals and tendons. By placing all the weight of the body on the ball of the foot, high heels make women compensate and adjust her posture putting undue pressure on various parts of the body. Men simply do not understand this. Although they might prefer, or even expect, a woman to wear uncomfortable shoes due to the fact they can look attractive in them, men will never understand why women subject themselves to this.
Women, however, will often argue that they wear heels to feel instantly attractive and, often state, that they do this not to please men but to provide themselves with their own burst of self-confidence. Many women will often state that the additional height that platformed shoes give them, be it via heels, platform or a wedge, give them a boost of confidence and a feeling of gravitas – they lead to the wearer having increased physical stature and allows them to be noticed without having to compromise any femininity. It is these qualities that make the wearer feel better about themselves and give them an instant burst of confidence. It can be argues that men have no such equivalent item of clothing that will instantly give them a lift or a boost, and nor would they require one. To many women, heels are a great leveller which give them the confidence they like and, if men do not understand this, it doesn’t matter. Heels, they will argue, are not worn for men’s benefit after all.