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Highest heel height in a man's shoe...(before it becomes ridiculous)?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by pkiula, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Hi. What's the highest heel you would accept in formal to semi-formal shoe?

    Just saw one in a store with 3.3" heels that's stellar otherwise, but the heel looks a tad high to my eyes.

    Welcome thoughts!
     
  2. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Senior member

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    More than an inch is too much if you have testicles. I'd rather look down at a short guy in nice shoes than see a guy pretend he's not in heels when he's 5'7 and speaking to me at eye level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  3. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    +1 :lol:
     
  4. Texasmade

    Texasmade Senior member

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    Unless you're wearing cowboy boots, more than an inch is too much. Cowboy boots you can go up to 1.5 inches before it's too much.
     
  5. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Seems to be the consensus here. Pity, as the shoes are gorgeous otherwise. Thx..
     
  6. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Photos please. Was this a thrift store you were in? because the last time I saw mens shoes with high heels was in the 1970's...those horrible platform shoes.
     
  7. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Not thrift, a specialist boutique store in leather goods, a part of a 'gallery'. Claimed hand-made in Bologna. The cut and shape were very modern (surely not 70s hip, which was hideous), just the heels are indeed platform-ish. Will see if I can snap one with my mobile next time around.
     
  8. aj_del

    aj_del Senior member

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    3.3 inches ?? Surely you meant 3.3 cms. Aren't 4 inch heels called fuck me heels in women's shoes ?
     
  9. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Yes, absolutely - 3.3 cms! That's about 1.3 inches.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  10. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    i have a pair of vintage lobb, st.james (courtesy of spoo poker) horsebit loafers.

    the heel was 5 cm. i had it shortened by 1 cm. fellow member barims wears them at full/original height.

    i guess some g&g are around 3 cm. so imo the 3,3 cm is not a big deal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  11. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Good to know. At 1.3 inches (as opposed to 3.3) I think it's make-doable. Thanks!
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The common wisdom is/has been that 1-1/2" is about the maximum height that one can elevate the heel without causing substantial damage to the foot. Over the years I have spoken to podiatrists and other foot specialists who have pretty much confirmed that rule of thumb.

    That said, individual feet will respond differently. The human foot is one of the most complex structures in nature...consisting of five arches (according to some authorities) and a a wonderfully intricate framework of muscle, tendons, ligaments and bones. Asking it to function...bear the whole weight of the body, and simultaneously act somewhat like a gyroscope--keeping us upright and balanced...while tilted on one corner is asking for trouble.

    And, the better quality the shoe the less the heel height can be raised or lowered without not only distorting the shoe but throwing off gait and weight distribution. In most cases lowering or raising the heel height more than 1/8" (3mm) from the heel height set by the last, will destroy the shoe, the fit, and threaten the foot.

    Don't do it! Not if you care for your shoes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  13. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Agreed.

    Any higher then you would be copying the President of France!
     
  14. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Absolutely. 3.3 cm will go completely unnoticed and is barely worthy of a discussion. Most running shoes have rears that high. In fact what bothers me are shoes where I like the design but that only have a 1 inch heel. Worse 3/4 heel - at that height why even bother with a heel, just wear a driving moc instead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    One thing to recall in all this is that heel height is relative to the thickness of the outsole. Many of the high heeled shoes of the '70's had a one inch (or more) thick sole under the forepart of the shoe--effectively reducing the apparent heel height by one inch.

    The same is true of many brands of running shoe, although to a lesser degree.

    Also heel height is not measured from the ground to the top of the "rand"/heel seat running around the back of the heel. Because that measurement includes the thickness of the outsole.

    Nor is it measured at the back of the heel. Some lasts incorporate a "degree" in the heel--a slant or incline that leaves the back edge of the heel higher than the "breast" of the heel. Below 1-1/2" that incline is considered orthopedically problematic because to one degree or the other it takes the weight off the os calcis and forces weight into the metarsal arch of the foot.

    Heel height is properly measured at the medial breast of the heel...directly under the weight of the body.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  16. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Good points. While not correct terminology, I prefer to talk about "height differential" of a last : the elevation of the heel when the last is in proper upright postion with ball on a flat surface. This is important especially for womens' shoes that can have platforms of an inch or more. Also I always find it strange when I see typical shoes delivered with half soles that have no additional compensation at heel stack and where last differential has clearly not been altered. Makes the shoes look unbalanced with improper toe spring. I don't know how a manufacturer can justify offering such an incomplete option?

    I assumed above however that we were all talking about apparent heel height.
     
  17. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Thank you for this very informative post! I have noticed pretty much everything you mention above but didn't know how to put it into trade vocabulary. Many of my shoes have the slant you speak of.

    By "medial breast" you mean the inner wall of the hell? Or the middle of the heel when observed from below?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Look down at your feet. Draw an imaginary line on the floor. Put one foot on one side of the line, the other on the other side. The side of each foot that is furthest from the line is the lateral side--the outside of the foot. The side nearest the line is the medial side. Think of the word "middle"...medial/middle.

    The medial heel breast is at the junction of the inner edge of the outsole and the furthest forward face of the heel stack. For further confirmation...shoemakers sometimes cut a corner off the medial heel breast to prevent the heel from catching on the trousers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  19. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    3/4" is about my max. (measured not at back but to sole)
     
  20. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    my thought exactly. op was asking about the visual appearance, imo.

    btw, the lobbs have a very fine accentuated single sole.
     

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