The Manliness of Heels

Whenever we talk about heel height we always seem to talk about women. But let’s take some time to concentrate on men instead. Men’s heel heights are not a normal topic of conversation. Most men don’t even think about the height of their shoes when they buy them, but just like women’s shoes, men’s shoes come in a variety of heights too.

Many men complain about arch pain, heel pain, and other common conditions. One possible cause of these conditions could be that their shoes are too flat. Many athletic shoes and popular casual shoes like converse are completely flat and offer no support for the heel. This can be a major problem and contribute to many foot ailments. I would imagine that most men don’t even think about the height of their shoes. And I’m sure that quite a few men don’t even know the proper terms for the different styles of shoes offered to them.

If you want something with a very low heel that will give some support to the heel, you should go for a loafer or moccasin type shoe. These shoes are generally worn casually, but can be worn with a business suit if they match appropriately. The moccasin will be the flatter of the two and the heel is not truly noticeable. For a loafer, there will be a distinct heel, albeit a very short one. These styles provide minimum support, but can still be more beneficial than a flat running shoe.

 

For styles with distinct heels of .5” to 1.5”, you want to aim for an oxford type shoe.  There are many sub-styles of oxford shoes, but the average oxford will have about a 1” heel height with a good cushioned footbed and lots of support. Dress boots will also have a short to medium heel and provide good support.

And then of course we have elevator shoes. Every man on the shorter side of average has probably looked into elevator shoes at least once. These shoes can add 2” to 5” to a man’s height almost invisibly. True elevator shoes are built specifically for the purpose of lifting the heel and generally add a small platform under the sole to compensate for the additional heel height. Heel lifts are also available as an option and can be placed in almost any shoe to raise the height. In addition to making men appear taller, these lifts can be very helpful in adding much needed support to an otherwise heel-less shoe. However, you must make sure that the rest of your foot is supported properly. Heel lifts will put additional pressure on the balls and toes of the foot, which many men are not used to. A full sized insert that provides cushioning is ideal.

Hopefully by now, any man reading this has at least looked down at the shoes he is wearing to start contemplating his heel height. If not, take a short look in your closet when you get home and see if you are getting the support you need. Talk to your podiatrist about your options and the best height for your foot type. We are always here to help.

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