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Stiletto heels are simply the sexiest type of shoe you can wear. For hundreds of years women (and men) have propped themselves up on heels to look taller and more regal. But it wasn't until the 20th century that stilettos came into style, giving women (and men) everywhere a little extra sex appeal.
The word stiletto originally referred to a spiked dagger. The shoe got its name because of the pointed, thin heel that resembles the blade of a stiletto knife. Stiletto became a broad term that encompasses sandals, pumps, Mary Janes, peep toes and beyond. While the style of the top of the shoe varies, the heel element remains the same. For a shoe to be a stiletto, the heel has to be thin and at least 3 or 4 inches high.
Stilettos are no stranger to high fashion. As of 2011, most popular shoe designers specialize in them. Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik have staked their brand on creating the most distinctive and expensive stiletto shoes. A pair of Manolos retails for around $500 in 2011. If the shoe includes exotic skin or feathers, the cost can up to the thousands. The show "Sex and the City" made Manolos a household name by making them Carrie Bradshaw's (the show's main character) shoe of choice.
Stiletto Wearing Pros
High heels have benefits that for many women justify the cost of hurting their feet as they strut. These heels will make you look taller and more confident. The way your body adjusts to walk in them forces straighter posture in your back as well as a puffed-out chest. The higher heel brings attention to your swinging hips and helps your feminine gait. If you walk in stilettos often enough, you'll tone your calves, too.
Stiletto Wearing Cons
Your podiatrist is not likely to advocate wearing heels. Despite the aesthetic pros, they can cause internal injuries to your feet, spine and knees. It takes a second to trip on the thin spikes, which can cause ankle injuries. Ill fitting stilettos can cause bunions and painful blisters too. On top of that, they just are not made for comfort. Any woman wearing them for a few hours can tell you that her feet don't feel as hot as they look. The solution for most women is to wear stilettos on special occasions only -- and slip into another pair of shoes as soon as they get in the car to go home.