Things I hate about heels: blisters, I forget how to use stairs like a normal person when I’m wearing them, and they have a magical way of making a horse trot feel like my ideal gait. We all know that high heels lowkey suck. So why do we keep wearing them?

 

Dominance

Regardless of if you’ve ever taken a stroll in a pair of heels or not, you’re more than likely aware that they have an ultra-personal beef with the human foot and are more than happy to express it. They take time to break in, practice to walk in, and could easily cause a fall and injured ankle. Wearing them successfully and effortlessly is a talent and a skill. And to wear them as such is to alert your peers that, “Hey, I’m good at stuff, and potentially better than you at the stuff I’m good at.”

“Improved” Visual Physique

Going to the gym takes time, effort, and the patience to wait for your results. Putting on high heels takes 5 seconds, maybe 1 minute if they’ve got some complicated strapping action. The end result to both of these actions is toned calves, but that firm and lift effect comes so much faster from simply putting on a pair of heels. Plus, they generally require a different stance that follows more of a chest out and booty back image, which is horrible for your body, but looks a bit like what society perceives as a confident pose.

The Power Walk

A lot of research has shown that high heels actually give women more of an attractive walk, rather than a merely powerful one, but science has also shown that there is a power to being better looking than average. Wearing high heels gives women a sexy stride, because they emphasize the walk related sex characteristics of the female body like hip movement, pelvic rotation, and more frequent and smaller steps taken. Plus, that click-clacking in an empty hallway provides for some pretty intimidating echoes.

They Make You Taller

Taller people have it good and are more often seen as leaders. In part this may be because they’re easier to pick out in a crowd, can be readily seen over a podium, and have to receive less frequent assistance reaching things at the local grocery store. It also may be linked to childhood nutrition, exposure to different toxins during pregnancy, and the way the thyroid hormone helps physical and neural growth, but that’s slightly less interesting to talk about. At the end of the day, your height is your height. You can stick with it, or you can try out a boost on occasion and reap the benefits of the other half.

Mild Societal Obligation

There’s a reason people ask, “Why do girls wear heels?” in place of, “Why do people wear heels?” We simply assume that elevated footwear is a woman’s game. Historically that has not always been the case, but it also hasn’t always been the case that pink was for girls either. Socialization normalizes certain performances of gender. You don’t actually have to buy into them, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there or often persuasive.

The Ability to Formalize Any Outfit

Sometimes I want to do a Fancy Friday, but I also want to wear jeans. The whole shtick of fancy formal wear is the lack of practicality it has in accomplishing a lot of day to day tasks, and nothing says practical quite like denim. Fortunately, nothing says impractical quite like shoes you have to train to safely walk in. Add them on, dress your denim up, and now you instantly have a slightly more Fancy Friday.

Of course, as the title claims, the main reason why I wear heels is outside of this list. It’s because there is an occasional thrill to suffering and testing your limits. But just as not everyone enjoys the thrill of living extreme on a daily basis or even at all (i.e. the reason why roller coasters are not my friend), not everyone likes wearing heels and that’s perfectly dandy. What really matters is that you’re confident in what you wear and what you do. The added height and sassier sashay is completely optional.

Published by Liv Glenn