Fashions in dress come and go, but a peculiar one has stayed in style for many generations, and shows no sign of fading away. It’s the high-heeled shoe, which first became a fashion statement in 16th-century France, and has been a part of the modern woman’s wardrobe since the mid-19th century.

Ask a woman why she endures the awkwardness and discomfort, and she’ll probably respond, “They make me look, and feel, more attractive.” Newly published research suggests this perception is accurate, but perhaps not for the reason you’d expect.

It’s not the artificially increased height that turns heads. Rather, it’s how such footwear changes the mechanics of a woman’s gait.

Read more at Pacific Standard.

Published On: January 2, 2013

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