If there’s one thing women love, it’s a fabulous pair of shoes. Or, more specifically, a fabulous pair of insanely high heels.
Never mind that high heels come chock full of baggage—they’re hard to walk in, they pinch our feet, they force our bodies to contort in ungodly (and often detrimental) ways, but yet we wear them anyway.
Interestingly, our perception of what’s acceptable for a heel height has changed massively during the past decade. In the early 2000s, a three-inch heel was considered high, while now, most women don’t balk at a shoe that teeters on a five – or-six-inch heel. And while a plethora of fashion reports have asserted that heel heights may have reached their peak (probably because, topping out at six inches, there’s nowhere to feasibly go but down), that doesn’t mean women are any less enamored with sky-high heels.
In fact, a New York Times story that ran earlier this summer looked at women’s love for designer shoes, and noted that many are more than willing, it seems to shell out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to own a pair of status shoes from heel-masters like Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Manolo Blahnik, as well as those designed by a glossy new guard of “It” shoe designers such as Charlotte Olympia and Tabitha Simmons.
So, why this adoration for heels? It’s due to a number of factors, among them the idea that women feel empowered and wholly feminine in high heels, coupled with the premium our society places on height. It is pretty amazing that we have the option of standing up to six inches taller in a pair of shoes, while men (barring risk-takers and drag queens, of course) have to remain firmly planted on solid ground at all times.
In honor of our undying love for insanely high heels, here are 12 pairs that are absolutely worth falling for.