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Women and High Heels

Some women like their high heels high in the true sense. They take pride in their ability to wear them. The image of the female figure poised on tiptoe in high stiletto heels is iconic and defies the fickleness of fashion. Every woman owes it to herself to master the art of wearing high stilettos for those special occasions when practicality is sacrificed in favour of sheer sensuality.

Over the years, just as sporting achievements and general physical capability have evolved, so has women's ability to wear high heels. In the stiletto heydays of the early 1960s a typical "high heeled" shoe would have been around three and a half inches. Heels over four inches were available, and some expert wearers did indeed wear them around town in the daytime, but you had to know where to shop for them. Nowadays, however, a four and three-quarter or five inch (13cm) heel is readily available and generally considered elegant and desirable. Any connotations of "tartiness" associated with higher stiletto heels disappeared a long time ago. They are worn by presidential wives and other public figures, at state occasions, at royal weddings, state funerals, remembrance services, and by all manner of celebrities on televison. Heels have simply got higher.

Another factor which has pushed the boundaries has been the frequent reappearance since 1972 of the high heeled platform shoe in mainstream women's fashion.

Women who have become accustomed to wearing platform shoes are no longer intimidated by the sight of a towering heel, so even when platforms are temporarily ousted from fashion prominence, whatever replaces them must be impressive enough to satisfy a heel-loving woman. At the end of the platform era in the late 1970s, non-platform high heels returned, higher than ever (London heel wearers may recall the extremely popular 5-inch pumps sold by high-fashion shop Derber. This was a heel height which would have been unknown outside the world of specialist fetish shoes before platforms came on the scene). Women wishing to retain their stature and long-legged proportions had to adapt to the steeper pitch created by the removal of the platform sole from the equation.

These days most types of high heel shoe remain available despite the vagaries of trendy fashion - thanks to the Internet and the efforts of smaller companies such as ourselves who understand the classic, perennial appeal of the high stiletto shoe. This comes as a great relief to those whose fashion sense is not dictated by others. Despite futile complaints from the "style police", platforms and long pointy toes currently co-exist in many women's shoe collections - a much happier state of affairs if you love diversity in shoe design. Stiletto heels, of course, never go away.

Contrary to popular, less well-informed belief, the purpose of a really high heel is not primarily to merely increase the wearer's height, it is to give her longer and more shapely legs and that irresistibly feminine - sometimes dominating, sometimes fragile - way of walking that only a slightly-too-high stiletto heel can create.

The maximum heel for a woman who likes to wear extremely high shoes but who wants to be able to walk or dance attractively in them is usually around 13 to 14 centimetres, depending on foot size. Pictured above is a 13cm heel (approx. five inches, measured straight down from the back) on a size 36 shoe. It is a genuine stiletto heel, measuring only 5mm in diameter at the solid steel stem.

As you can see, the foot is as elevated as it can be and, importantly, the shoe fits. If a higher heel were attempted, the wearer's foot would not reach to the top of the heel, so the shoe would be too big at the back. The wearer would look like a child dressing up in her mother's shoes. Some shoes are made like this for the fantasy/fetish market in the knowledge that they will only be used for carefully posed photography, in which the model is rarely even standing - much less staggering around (even Bettie Page usually avoided doing that!) From some angles it is less noticeable. The bad fit at the rear of the shoe is either avoided by the camera or, nowadays, simply photoshopped away.

Stand on absolute maximum tiptoe with straight legs - a friend with a tape measure will easily tell you approximately what your highest heels should be. You may be able to gain one or two centimetres over time by stretching your muscles, but that will only happen with regular wear. Beyond the wearable maximum, your knees will be forced to bend too much and you will be unable to achieve an attractive walk. This may have some appeal in SM circles, but that's not what our shoes are all about.

The shoe can of course be as high as you like and still fit the foot if a platform sole is used to compensate (see below). The ROSA RP01 shoe in the photo below (our first stiletto platform shoe) had a 3cm platform, so the stem of the heel could be made longer. Since then, we have increased the depth of the platform by a further two centimetres so the heel is even higher.

With high platform shoes, the sky is the limit (well, maybe the top of the doorway!) Pole dancers' moulded plastic shoes are sometimes extraordinarily high, if somewhat heavy and awkward-looking to anyone with more refined, stiletto-orientated taste. They often look more like a type of gymnastic apparatus than erotic shoes. Of course pole dancers have something to hang on to while they do their routines. They have to be extremely careful walking unsupported to and from the stage. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, who also favour this type of stratospheric heavy-duty platform footwear usually have bodyguards to lean on.

Generally speaking, a six and a half to seven inch heel on a platform shoe is quite high enough to cause a stir - especially if the shoe has a real stiletto heel, like our more recent ROSA/RP12 Platform Stiletto Court Shoe, which has been known to bring a party to a halt while photos were taken for social media.

Once women have mastered the skills (and muscles) needed to wear them, in particular their ability to cope with uneven ground, platform-sole high heels tend to remain popular. There is no other way a woman can instantly add so many inches to the length of her legs and still feel comfortable.

Whatever the truth may be concerning women and their eternal pursuit of the ultimate in High Heels, a growing number of stiletto devotees and their appreciative admirers are discovering our exclusive, limited production collection of stiletto heels.

At RoSa Shoes we offer modern, fashionable, elegant and most importantly - wearable High Heels. They need to be seen in action, doing what they do best - making women look amazing - so wearability is important to us.

It has always seemed obvious to us that exciting women don't wear safe shoes. If you like to wear the highest, slenderest heels, whether your personal taste is for long, dangerous points, precarious platforms or deceptively demure rounded toes, whether your aim is to look smart, sensual (or both), whether you prefer to appear powerfully dynamic or delicately vulnerable, whether your taste is modern or vintage retro - RoSa Shoes are for you.