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Beauty & Fashion

How Old, How High? My Guide to Heels

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After mentioning that I didn’t think stilettos were appropriate for teens in my recent post “Ring in the New Year in PI Style,” I received a lot of feedback from girls who commented that they wore them all the time and thought there was nothing wrong with that.

I wanted to offer this post to clarify my point, and offer a guide to heel heights.

The physical consequences of wearing heels at a young age are a big concern. A child’s bones are still forming until her early teens, so wearing heels can cause bone deformities. Heels are also bad for the feet, ankles, knees, and back, and issues in these areas of the body can begin earlier for those who start wearing heels at too young of an age.

The primary motivation behind my guide, however, is based on the reasons girls like to wear heels.

  1. Some girls opt for heels if they are uncomfortable with being short. They feel inferior and the extra height can instill a sense of confidence.
  2. Young girls often choose to wear heels to look older or more grown up.
  3. Heels also make ladies look more attractive or sexier. They give the illusion of lengthier and slimmer legs.

The above reasons are not appropriate for young girls, in my opinion. More importantly, I feel that certain heel heights should be worn at stages.

My guide may seem too conservative to some, but I feel very strongly about this subject because I believe that children are growing up way too fast. My post “Too Young, Too Sexy, Too Fast” is an example of how kids are wearing makeup and heels too early. Take a look at 5-year-old Suri Cruise below in her heels.

Image: Jezebel.com

Girls 10 years old and under should not wear heels

Image: Amazon.com-Kenneth Cole Ballet Flat

 11- to 12-year-old girls: a little heel of no more than 1/2 inch

Image: Amazon.com-Kenneth Cole Reaction

13- to 15-year-old girls: a higher heel of no more than 1.5 inches

Image: Amazon.com-Nine West

16- to 17-year-old girls:  high heels no more than 3 inches, but not stilettos

Image: zappos.com-Capezio Manhattan

Girls who are over 18 are considered adults. They can get married and fight for this country, so they can wear what they want, although I would hope that their choice would still be modest. Just remember that heels higher than 4.5 inches are very bad for the back and posture, and they put pressure on the balls of the feet and the toes.

Ladies, remember that you are only a child for a short time. You have so many years ahead of you to wear high heels and stilettos. I urge you to enjoy being a kid.

What do you think about my heel guide? Do you wear high heels and why?

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Image: Getty Images

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COMMENTS 125

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by pinkkitty523 on July 11, 2014 at 19:08

    Thx for this, knowing what kind of shoe would be good for my 5 year old when I’m a mom is good but… Okay I’m 12 and I don’t like the size of that heel… though I completely respect your opinion, I hope you don’t mind if I say mine. I say that the shoes don’t matter unless a 5 year old is wearing a heel meant for a 16 year old. How large the heel is also the parents matter and people can and will take what they want from it but the parents can let their child wear whatever type of shoe they want. Also if the girl is 12 (like me) some parents by that point let them make their own choices on stuff like shoes, though they still have boundaries and put their input, a 12 year old girl can wear much higher heels then that. And that would be my opinion, these shoes were super cute but to me the heel you said were for 11 to 12 was just to small and… “child like” I think girls who are 12 deserve a little more freedom, they’re on the brink of becoming a teenager and I LOVE high heels.

  2. YellowBanana

    Posted by YellowBanana on February 19, 2014 at 11:39

    When I was pretty young (6) I wore those type of 1/2 heel dress shoes for special church services (and only special church services!).
    This is a pretty good baseline guide for heels, but I believe that older teens can wear tall(er) heels for special occasions, just not often.

  3. Mossleaf

    Posted by Mossleaf on January 6, 2014 at 20:02

    I own heel’s i have no idea how high they are, but its always good to try things on in the store and get a feel for how you walk in them and if their comfortable to you.