TheMaryJaneStyle How To Walk in The Highest of HighHeels Ep#29

TheMaryJaneStyle How To Walk in The Highest of High Heels Ep#29

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High-heeled footwear is footwear that raises the heel of the wearer’s foot significantly higher than the toes. When both the heel and the toes are raised equal amounts,
as in a platform shoe, it is technically not considered to be a high heel; however, there are also high-heeled platform shoes. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion
of longer, more slender legs. High heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump (court shoe), block,
tapered, blade, and wedge.

 

According to high-fashion shoe websites like Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a “low heel” is considered less than 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters), while heels between 2.5 and 3.5 inches
(6.4 and 8.9 cm) are considered “mid heels”, and anything over that is considered a “high heel”. The apparel industry would appear to take a simpler view; the term
“high heels” covers heels ranging from 2 to 5 inches (5.1 to 12.7 cm) or more. Extremely high-heeled shoes, such as those exceeding 6 inches (15 cm), strictly speaking,
are no longer considered apparel but rather something akin to “jewelry for the feet”. They are worn for display or the enjoyment of the wearer.

Although high heels are now usually worn only by girls and women, there are shoe designs worn by both genders that have elevated heels, including cowboy boots
and Cuban heels. In previous ages, men also wore high heels.

In the ninth century, Persian horseback warriors wore an extended heel made up for keeping feet from sliding out of stirrups. This also kept riders still when they needed
to stand up and shoot arrows.

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Stiletto heel

A shoe with a stiletto heel
A stiletto heel is a long, thin, high heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women.

It is named after the stiletto dagger, the phrase being first recorded in the early 1930s. Stiletto heels may vary in length from 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) to 25 cm
(10 inches) or more if a platform sole is used, and are sometimes defined as having a diameter at the ground of less than 1 cm (slightly less than half an inch).
Stiletto-style heels 5 cm (2.0 in) or shorter are called kitten heels.

Not all high slim heels merit the description stiletto. The extremely slender original Italian-style stiletto heels of the late 1950s and very early 1960s were no more
than 5 mm (0.20 in) in diameter for much of their length, although the heel sometimes flared out a little at the top-piece (tip). After their demise in the mid-late 1960s,
such slender heels were difficult to find until recently due to changes in the way heels were mass-produced. A real stiletto heel has a stem of solid steel or alloy.
The more usual method of mass-producing high shoe heels, i.e. molded plastic with an internal metal tube for reinforcement, does not achieve the true stiletto shape.

A pair of shoes with 12 cm stiletto heels
Relatively thin high heels were certainly around in the late 19th century, as numerous fetish drawings attest. Firm photographic evidence exists in the form of photographs
of Parisian singer Mistinguett from the 1940s. These shoes were designed by Andre Perugia, who began designing shoes in 1906. It seems unlikely that he invented the stiletto,
but he is probably the first firmly documented designer of the high, slim heel. The word stiletto is derived from stiletto, which is a long thin blade, similar in profile
to the heel of the shoe. Its usage in footwear first appeared in print in the New Statesman magazine in 1959: “She came …forward, her walk made lopsided by the absence of
one heel of the stilettos”.

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High heel shoes were worn by men and women courtiers. The stiletto heel came with the advent of technology using a supporting metal shaft or stem embedded into the heel,
instead of wood or other, weaker materials that required a wide heel. This revival of the opulent heel style can be attributed to the designer Roger Vivier and such designs
became very popular in the 1950s.

 

As time went on, stiletto heels would become known more for their erotic nature than for their ability to make height. Stiletto heels are a common fetish item. As a fashion
item, their popularity has changed over time. After an initial wave of popularity in the 1950s, they reached their most refined shape in the early 1960s, when the toes of
the shoes which bore them became as slender and elongated as the stiletto heels themselves. As a result of the overall sharpness of outline, it was customary for women to
refer to the whole shoe as a “stiletto”, not just the heel, via synecdoche (pars pro toto). Although they officially faded from the scene after the Beatle era began, their
popularity continued at street level, and women stubbornly refused to give them up even after they could no longer readily find them in the mainstream shops. A version of
the stiletto heel was reintroduced in 1974 by Manolo Blahnik, who dubbed his “new” heel the “Needle”. Similar heels were stocked at the big Biba store in London, by Russell
& Bromley and by smaller boutiques. Old, unsold stocks of pointed-toe stilettos and contemporary efforts to replicate them (lacking the true stiletto heel because of changes
in the way heels were by then being mass-produced) were sold in street fashion markets and became popular with punks and with other fashion “tribes” of the late 1970s until
supplies of the inspirational original styles dwindled in the early 1980s. Subsequently, round-toe shoes with slightly thicker (sometimes cone-shaped) semi-stiletto heels,
often very high in an attempt to convey slenderness were frequently worn at the office with wide-shouldered power suits. The style survived through much of the 1980s but
almost completely disappeared during the 1990s, when professional and college-age women took to wearing shoes with thick, block heels. The slender stiletto heel staged a
major comeback after 2000 when young women adopted the style for dressing up office wear or adding a feminine touch to casual wear, like jeans.

 

Stiletto heels are particularly associated with the image of the femme fatale. They are often considered to be a seductive item of clothing, and often feature in
popular culture in this context.

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History
Medieval Europeans wore wooden-soled paten shoes, which were ancestors to contemporary high heels. Elizabeth Semmelhack, curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum,
traces the high heel to Persian horse riders in the Near East who used high heels for functionality, because they helped hold the rider’s foot in stirrups.
She states that this footwear is depicted on a 9th-century ceramic bowl from Persia.

 

It is sometimes suggested that raised heels were a response to the problem of the rider’s foot slipping forward in stirrups while riding.
The “rider’s heel”, approximately 1 1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) high, appeared in Europe around 1600. The leading edge was canted forward to help grip the stirrup, and the trailing
edge was canted forward to prevent the elongated heel from catching on underbrush or rock while backing up, such as in on-foot combat. These features are evident today
in riding boots, notably cowboy boots.

Ancient Egypt

Early depictions of high heels could be seen on ancient Egyptian murals, dating back to 3500 BC. These murals would depict Egyptian nobilities wearing heels to set them
apart from the lower class, who would normally go barefoot. Heeled shoes were worn by both men and women, and most commonly for ceremonial purposes. However, high heels also
served a practical purpose for Egyptian butchers who wore them in order to walk over the bloodied bodies of animal carcasses. During Egyptian times, heels were leather
pieces that were held together by lacing to form the symbol of “Ankh”, signifying life.

Ancient Greece and Rome

Platform sandals called “kothorni” or “buskins” were shoes with high wooden cork soles worn during ancient Greek and Roman era. They were particularly popular among the
actors who would wear them to differentiate the social classes and importance of each character. In ancient Rome, where sex trade was legal, high heels were used to identify
those within the trade to potential clients and high heels became associated with prostitution.

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Contemporary scene

Since the Second World War, high heels have fallen in and out of popular fashion trend several times, most notably in the late 1990s, when lower heels and even flats
predominated[citation needed]. Lower heels were preferred during the late 1960s and early 1970s as well, but higher heels returned in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The shape of the fashionable heel has also changed from block (1970s) to tapered (1990s), and stiletto (1950s, early 1960s, 1980s, and post-2000).

Today, high heels are typically worn, with heights varying from a kitten heel of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) to a stiletto heel (or spike heel) of 5 inches (13 cm) or more.
Extremely high-heeled shoes, such as those higher than 6 inches (15 cm), are normally worn only for aesthetic reasons and are not considered practical. Court shoes
are conservative styles and often used for work and formal occasions, while more adventurous styles are common for evening wear and dancing. High heels have seen
significant controversy in the medical field lately, with many podiatrists seeing patients whose severe foot problems have been caused almost exclusively by high-heel wear.

The wedge heel is informally another style of the heel, where the heel is in a wedge form and continues all the way to the toe of the shoe.

 

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Negative effects

The case against wearing high heels is based almost exclusively on health and practicality reasons, including that they:
can cause foot and tendon pain;
increase the likelihood of sprains and fractures;
make calves look more rigid and sinewy;
can create foot deformities, including hammer toes and bunions;
can cause an unsteady gait;
can shorten the wearer’s stride.
can render the wearer unable to run;
can exacerbate lower back pain;
alter forces at the knee so as to predispose the wearer to degenerative changes in the knee joint;
can result after frequent wearing in a higher incidence of degenerative joint disease of the knees. This is because they cause a decrease in the normal rotation of the foot, which puts more rotation stress on the knee.
can cause damage to soft floors if they are thin or metal-tipped.
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Positive effects

 

The case for wearing high heels is based almost exclusively on aesthetic reasons, including that they:
change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves;
change the wearer’s posture, requiring a more upright carriage and altering the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion;
make the wearer appear taller;
make the legs appear longer;
make the foot appear smaller;
make the toes appear shorter;
make the arches of the feet higher and better defined;
according to a single line of research, they may improve the muscle tone of some women’s pelvic floor, thus possibly reducing female incontinence,
although these results have been disputed.
offer practical benefits for people of short stature in terms of improving access and using items, e.g. sitting upright with feet on floor instead of suspended,
reaching items on shelves, etc.
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During the 16th century, European royalty, such as Catherine de Medici and Mary I of England, started wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life.
By 1580, men also wore them, and a person with authority or wealth was often referred to as “well-heeled”.

In modern society, high-heeled shoes are a part of women’s fashion, perhaps more as a sexual prop. High heels force the body to tilt, emphasizing the buttocks and breasts.
They also emphasize the role of feet in sexuality, and the act of putting on stockings or high heels is often seen as an erotic act. This desire to look sexy and erotic
continues to drive women to wear high-heeled shoes, despite causing significant pain in the ball of the foot, or bunions or corns, or hammer toe. A survey conducted by the
American Podiatric Medical Association showed some 42% of women admitted that they would wear a shoe they liked even if it gave them discomfort.

 

 

 

Types of high heels

Types of heels found on high-heeled footwear include:
cone: a round heel that is broad where it meets the sole of the shoe and noticeably narrower at the point of contact with the ground
kitten: a short, slim heel with maximum height under 2 inches and diameter of no more than 0.4 inch at the point of contact with the ground
prism: three flat sides that form a triangle at the point of contact with the ground
puppy: thick square block heel approximately 2 inches in diameter and height
spool or louis: broad where it meets the sole and at the point of contact with the ground; noticeably narrower at the midpoint between the two
stiletto: a tall, slim heel with minimum height of 2 inches and diameter of no more than 0.4 inch at the point of contact with the ground
wedge: occupies the entire space under the arch and heel portions of the foot.
arch: minimum of 7″ and only worn by teens

 

Men and heels

The Vision of Saint Eustace, Pisanello, 1438–1442. Rider wearing high heels.
Elizabeth Semmelhack, curator for the Bata Shoe Museum, traces the high heel to male horse-riding warriors in the Middle East who used high heels for functionality,
because they help hold the rider’s foot in stirrups. She states that the earliest high heel she has seen is depicted on a 9th-century AD ceramic bowl from Persia.

Since the late 18th century, men’s shoes have featured lower heels than most women’s shoes. Some attribute it to Napoleon who disliked high heels; others to the
general trend of minimizing non-functional items in men’s clothing. Cowboy boots remain a notable exception, and they continue to be made with a taller riding heel.
The two-inch Cuban heel featured in many styles of men’s boot derives its heritage from certain Latino roots, most notably various forms of Spanish and Latin American dance,
including Flamenco, as most recently evidenced by Joaquín Cortés. Cuban heels were first widely popularized, however, by Beatle boots, as worn by the English rock group
The Beatles during their introduction to the United States. Some say this saw the re-introduction of higher-heeled footwear for men in the 1960s and 1970s
(in Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta’s character wears a Cuban heel in the opening sequence). The singer Prince is known to wear high heels, as well as Elton John.
Bands such as Mötley Crüe and Sigue Sigue Sputnik predominantly wore high heels during the 1980s. Current well-known male heel wearers include Prince, Justin Tranter,
lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons, and Bill Kaulitz, the lead singer of Tokio Hotel. Popular R&B singer Miguel was wearing his trademark Cuban heels during the “legdrop”
incident at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.Winklepicker boots often feature a Cuban heel.

Accessories

The stiletto of certain kinds of high heels can damage some types of floors. Such damage can be prevented by heel protectors, also called covers, guards, or taps,
which fit over the stiletto tips to keep them from direct, marring contact with delicate surfaces, such as linoleum (rotogravure) or urethane-varnished wooden floors.
Heel protectors are widely used in ballroom dancing, as such dances are often held on wooden flooring. The bottom of most heels usually has a plastic or metal heel tip
that wears away with use and can be easily replaced. Dress heels (high-heeled shoes with elaborate decoration) are worn for formal occasions.

 

Other uses for specialized high heel protectors make it feasible to walk on grass or soft earth, but not mud, sand, and water, during outdoor events, removing the need to
have specialized carpeting or flooring on an outdoor or soft surface. Certain heel protectors also improve the balance of the shoe and reduce the strain that certain
high heeled or stiletto shoes can place on the foot.

Health effects
Foot and tendon problems

High-heeled shoes slant the foot forward and down while bending the toes up. The more the feet are forced into this position, the more it may cause the gastrocnemius muscle
(part of the calf muscle) to shorten. This may cause problems when the wearer chooses lower heels or flat-soled shoes. When the foot slants forward, a much greater weight
is transferred to the ball of the foot and the toes, increasing the likelihood of damage to the underlying soft tissue that supports the foot. In many shoes, style dictates
function, either compressing the toes or forcing them together, possibly resulting in blisters, corns, hammer toes, bunions (hallux valgus), Morton’s neuroma, plantar
fasciitis and many other medical conditions, most of which are permanent and require surgery to alleviate the pain. High heels, because they tip the foot forward,
put pressure on the lower back by making the rump push outwards, crushing the lower back vertebrae and contracting the muscles of the lower back.

 

If the wearer believes it is not possible to avoid high heels altogether, it is suggested that the wearer spend at least a third of the time they spend on their feet
in contour-supporting “flat” shoes (such as exercise sandals), or well-cushioned sneaker-type shoes, saving high heels for special occasions; or if it is a necessity in
their job, such as a lawyer, it is recommended that they limit the height of the heel that they wear, or, if they are in court, remain seated as much as possible to avoid
damage to the feet. It is also recommended to wear a belt if possible with heels, because the elevation of the foot and extension of the leg can cause pants to become looser
than wanted. In the winter time, one could also use seat warmers with heels to relax and loosen muscles all over the body.

One of the most critical problems of high-heeled shoe design involves a properly constructed toe-box. Improper construction here can cause the most damage to one’s foot.
Toe-boxes that are too narrow force the toes to be crammed too close together. Ensuring that room exists for the toes to assume a normal separation so that high-heel wear
remains an option rather than a debilitating practice is an important issue in improving the wear ability of high-heeled fashion shoes.

Wide heels do not necessarily offer more stability, and any raised heel with too much width, such as found in “blade-heeled” or “block-heeled” shoes, induces unhealthy
side-to-side torque to the ankles with every step, stressing them unnecessarily, while creating additional impact on the balls of the feet. Thus, the best design for a
high heel is one with a narrower width, where the heel is closer to the front, more solidly under the ankle, where the toe box provides room enough for the toes, and where
forward movement of the foot in the shoe is kept in check by material snug across the instep, rather than by the toes being rammed forward and jamming together in the
toe box or crushed into the front of the toe box.

Pelvic floor muscle tone

A 2008 study by Cerruto et al. reported results that suggest that wearing high heels may improve the muscle tone of a woman’s pelvic floor. The authors speculated that this
could have a beneficial effect on female stress urinary incontinence.

 

Feminist attitudes

The high heel has been a central battleground of sexual politics ever since the emergence of the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. Many second-wave feminists
rejected what they regarded as constricting standards of female beauty, created for the subordination and objectifying of women and self-perpetuated by reproductive
competition and women’s own aesthetics.

The British-American journalist Hadley Freeman wrote, “For me, high heels are just fancy foot binding with a three-figure price tag”, although she supported the
freedom to choose what to wear and stated that “one person’s embrace of their sexuality is another person’s patriarchal oppression.”

 

 

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