Shoes are a crucial aspect of our daily lives. They help protect our feet from injuries, keep them warm and comfortable, and add to our overall style. However, have you ever stopped to wonder about the purpose of heels on shoes? Why do shoes have heels? In this article, we will discuss the origins of high heels, why shoes have heels, and the benefits of wearing shoes with heels.

The Origins of High Heels

The concept of high heels dates back to ancient Egypt, where both men and women wore heels as a way to signify their social status. High heels were also popular among ancient Greeks, who wore platform sandals as a form of footwear. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century that high heels became exclusively associated with women’s fashion in Europe.

During the late Renaissance period, high heels became a symbol of wealth and power. They were initially designed for women to wear while riding horses. The higher the heel, the more elevated the rider was, giving them an advantage over their peers. It was also believed that wearing high heels would straighten the spine, improve posture and balance, and make the legs appear longer.

Why Do Shoes Have Heels?

The main reason shoes have heels is for style and fashion purposes. High heels have been a staple in women’s fashion for centuries, and they continue to be a popular choice today. High heels come in various shapes and sizes, from kitten heels to stilettos, and they can be worn for any occasion, from formal events to casual outings.

Apart from style, heels serve a functional purpose as well. Shoes with heels can make the legs appear longer and slimmer, which is always a bonus for women. Wearing high-heeled shoes can also give you a boost of confidence, and makes you feel taller.

One other reason for heels is that they make the wearer appear more elegant and poised, which is why they are often worn with formal attire or evening wear. In these situations, the heel serves to elevate the foot and balance the visual line of the body.

Benefits of Wearing Shoes with Heels

Apart from the style benefits mentioned above, there are several reasons why wearing shoes with heels can be advantageous:

Back Pain Relief

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that wearing heels can help alleviate back pain. Heels force the hips and spine to straighten, which places less pressure on the lower back muscles, reducing the chances of injury.

Improved Posture

Wearing heels requires you to stand up straight, which helps improve your overall posture. This can lead to less strain on the back muscles, and you will be less likely to experience back pain and discomfort.

Legs Appear Longer

As mentioned earlier, wearing high heels can make your legs appear longer and slimmer. This is because high heels elevate the foot and the leg, creating an illusion of length.

Better Overall Appearance

Wearing heels can give you a more elegant and poised appearance. High heels tend to have a unique sound when you walk in them, an aspect that has been attributed to utmost confidence. They make you stand taller and appear more self-assured, which can be an excellent psychological boost for occasions such as job interviews or important business meetings.

Improves Athletic Performance

Wearing stiletto heels can actually improve athletic performance. A 2012 study from the University of Verona found that wearing heels for weightlifting exercises can activate more of the muscles in the legs and glutes than the flat shoes. This translated to stronger, better-toned muscles.


In conclusion, shoes with heels have been a part of women’s fashion for centuries. They were initially designed as a symbol of wealth and power and later became a staple in women’s formal wear. Today, high heels continue to be popular, thanks to their style benefits and functional aspects. Wearing shoes with heels can improve your posture, alleviate back pain, and give you an overall elegant and poised appearance. While high heels aren’t for everyone, there are many benefits associated with wearing them. So whether you’re headed to a job interview or a night out, don’t be afraid to put on your favorite pair of high heels and strut your stuff!

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