They’re fashionable – and dangerous. Those dagger-thin sky-high heels are all the rage, worn by celebrities from New York to Hollywood and, in Washington, by Ivanka Trump. These trendy shoes are aptly named. A stiletto is a weapon and when worn by a woman in a crowd, has the ability to injure anyone who crosses her path.
High heels have been around for ages, while the thinner heel was apparently first dubbed the “stiletto heel,” in the early 1930s. Over time, designers upped the ante, creating heels that were higher and thinner. New versions benefit from technological advances. Manolo Blahnik, the guru of high heels celebrated by Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, told the New York Times that his heels have a central steel rod surrounded by ABS, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a polymer developed by the U.S. during World War II. So materials that once were used for weapons now make up the weapon-like shoes women wear.
And injuries happen. We recently heard about a man who wore heavy socks and leather shoes to a crowded graduation event. When he returned home, there was swelling and redness on the outside and top of his right foot. In the center of the bruise was the imprint of a stiletto heel. “Thank goodness that no bones were crushed!” his wife said. One hopes that the woman wearing that shoe didn’t encounter someone wearing sandals.
The many health risks for women wearing stilettos has long been recognized. Excessive wear can lead to skeletal and muscular problems. And many an ankle has been twisted or a serious fall endured when a woman loses her balance and topples to the pavement.
Women aren’t going to stop wearing these high heels. They are fashionable, trendy, and eye-catching. What’s needed is a bit of caution so that a fashion statement doesn’t produce a fashion victim.