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High heels have a long history, dating as far back as the tenth century. The Persian cavalry, for example, wore a kind of boot with heels in order to ensure their feet stayed in the stirrups[citation needed]. Furthermore, research indicates that heels kept arrow-shooting riders, who stood up on galloping horses, safely on the horse.[2] This trend has translated into the popular 21st-century cowboy boot. Owning horses was expensive and time-consuming, so to wear heels implied the wearer had significant wealth.[3] This practical and effective use of the heel has set the standard for most horse-back riding shoes throughout history and even into the present day. Later, in the 12th century in India, heels become visible again. The image of a statue from the Ramappa Temple proves this, showing an Indian woman's foot clad in a raised shoe. Then, during the Medieval period, both men and women wore platform shoes in order to raise themselves out of the trash and excrement filled streets.[4] In 1430, chopines were 30 inches (76 cm) high, at times. Venetian law then limited the height to three inches—but this regulation was widely ignored.[5] A 17th-century law in Massachusetts announced that women would be subjected to the same treatment as witches if they lured men into marriage via the use of high-heeled shoes.[6]
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In a 1992 study, researchers from the University of California, Davis and Thomas Jefferson University wanted to investigate the effects of increased heel height on foot pressure using forty-five female participants walking across a pressure plate in various heel heights.[24] A Biokinetics software was used to analyze the exact pressure locations on and along each participants' foot. The researchers were able to conclude that an increase in heel height lead to an increase in pressure beneath each of the Metatarsal bones of the foot. Additionally, they found that the highest heel heights caused constant pressure that could not be evenly dispersed across the foot.
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With the 1900s bringing two devastating world wars, many countries set wartime regulations for rationing almost all aspects of life. This included materials previously used for making heels, such as silk, rubber, or leather; these began to be replaced with cork and wooden soles.[13] Another one of the numerous outcomes of these wars was an increase in international relations, and a more proliferate sharing of fashion through photography and films, which helped spread high heel fashion as well.[9] Examples of this were the brown and white pumps with cutouts or ankle straps combined with an open toe.[13] Their practicality yet professional look appealed to the new, fast-paced lifestyle of many women.
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Many styles of dance involve the usage of heels. Ballroom dancing shoes are designed for usage based on the style of dance being performed. International Standard Ballroom shoes for women are closed toed shoes with a 2 to 2.5 inch sturdy heel because steps are performed using the heel of the foot.[49] International Latin and American Rhythm shoes are open toed, strapped heels that are an average of 2.5 to 3 inches in height. These shoes have the least sturdiest heel because International Latin and American Rhythm styles are performed on the ball of the foot. Additionally, this style of shoe is designed with a flexible sole to allow for pointed feet. Lastly, American Smooth shoes are closed toed, flexible soled shoes that range in heel height from 2 to 2.5 inches. An additional non-traditional ballroom dance that uses heels is the Argentine Tango. While dancing the Argentine Tango, women often wear pointed heels ranging in 2 to 4 inches in height.[20] The higher the heel height, the more advanced in technique and ability a dancer is. The heels are used to change the overall stance of the woman by tilting the hips forward, making the stomach flatter and pushing the backside out. Additionally, the heels cause unsteadiness which forces women to dance on their toes and lean on their partner which adds to the fluidity of the movements. A relatively modern style of dance called Heels Choreography or Stiletto dance specializes in choreography that blends the styles of jazz, hip-hop and burlesque with the fusion of vogue movements and is performed using stilettos or high heels.[50] Some dancers such as Yanis Marshall specialize in dancing with high-heels.[51]

Versatile and comfortable, we offer women’s flats in a rainbow of colors, styles, materials, and shapes. From pointed toe boxes and studded accents to open frames and foldable styles, we offer a great selection of women’s flats for you to shop. Need a different size or color? With free shipping and returns on eligible items, it’s easier to stock up with a rainbow of pairs of flats for every day of the week.
Heels went out of fashion starting around 1810, and then in 1860 they returned at about two and a half inches. The Pinet heel and the Cromwell heel were both introduced during this time.[12] Their production was also increased with the invention and eventual mass production of the sewing machine around the 1850s. With sewing machines, yields increased as machines could quickly and cheaply "position[n] the heel, stitc[h] the upper, and attac[h] the upper to the sole."[9] This is also a prime example of how the popularity of heels interacts with the culture and technology of the time.
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