Ask The Fashion Police: How young is too young for heels?

(From our Formspring page]

Q: What age do you think is the right age to start wearing heels?

A: First of all, we don’t necessarily think there IS a “right age” to start wearing heels: it’s something that will be different for everyone, and some people will decide that “never” is the right answer to this question!

With that said, heels are more damaging to your feet than some other types of shoes, so logic would dictate that you at least try to wait until your feet stop growing, although that’s probably not a realistic answer for many, as we all develop at different rates, and it can be hard to know when the growth spurt is at an end.

Let’s turn this one over to The Fashion Police jurors, then: what age were you when you started wearing heels (if you ever did, that is)? What age do YOU think is the “right” age?

[polldaddy poll=3152134]

[Image: Heelarious – soft heels for babies]

Remember, if you have a question you’d like The Fashion Police and their readers to answer, you can ask us here.

17 Comments

  • May 6, 2010

    feike

    Well, it depends on the type of heel. For example a 2” wedge heel on a 13-year-old’s foot is acceptable but a stiletto of the same height would look very off. It’s okay to start wearing heels around 12-13 but they should be reasonably low and definitely not thin-heeled or immodest.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Alex

    I also think it depends on the type of shoe. If it’s for dressing up purposes as in costume then young, I had a lot of ‘toy’ shoes when I was little. But actually wearing these shoes as shoes for longer periods of time then I would say around 13 or 14.
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Shoeper Shoe Challenge #2 =-.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Riali

    I began wearing heels once in a while when I was 11 or 12, basically as soon as my feet were big enough to raid my mom’s closet. I don’t think I wore them with any regularity until I was 15 or so, though, when I had a pair of huge black and white platform sandals. (It was the 90’s, and I LOVED them.)

    I think that the right age is more a matter of safety than modesty, it’s all about when your bones are developed enough, and you’ve figured out how to walk without breaking an ankle. Hence the normal journey from wedge to blocky-heel to stiletto. In my view, your teens are a time for experimentation and self expression and discovery, so as long as you’re not going to hurt yourself, wear what you want. In fact, I’ve met more than one person who never wore heels until she was in her twenties, and so has no idea how to walk in them. Teetering around like a young giraffe is much more endearing at 16 than 25, so some practice might be in order while you’re still expected to be awkward.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Moni

    I remember wearing rather low heels (1-2 inches) for special occasions when I was 14.
    Since then I have kept it that way, that I generally wear flat shoes (I’m a retail clerk) and keep the heeled ones for birthdays, theater, invitations, and other events like that.

    I agree with the previous posters that you should not start wearing heels any earlier than mid-teens, and even then I would restrict them to the mentioned formal events.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    bettymae

    there are so many delicate little ankle bones that are still fusing properly into your early teens. it’s just like in ballet: you cannot go en pointe until you are much older for the same reason (and frankly, wearing heels always feels like going en pointe to me!:] )
    .-= bettymae´s last blog ..it’s leaving me breathless! =-.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Theresa

    I wore low chunky heels for special occassions when I was about 12, and they got higher and thinner when i got into late high school.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Lola

    I remember I had a pair of platform-y type shoes when I was quite young, about 9 or 10. I don’t think they were very high, but I do remember going over on my ankle at least a few times while wearing them.

    I started wearing stilettos very occasionally when I went to secondary school (so age 11), and wore them more and more regularly as I got older, and was wearing them every day at age 14. I stopped and went back to wearing heels only very occasionally when I was about 17, cause I got sick of dealing with the pain, haha.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Katie

    I think I got my first pair of heels when I was in sixth grade, so when I was about 11. They were rather low wedges and barely count as heels, though. I would occasionally wear heels for special occasions throughout middle school and for freshman year. I only started wearing them regularly this year. I wear them about once or twice a week.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Sammy

    When I was younger some of my school shoes had heels, but these were fat and short. I really started wearing heels on purpose when I was 14.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Bethany

    The highest heels I ever wear are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, on a Mary Jane-type shoe. I prefer to be able to run, if needed. Besides, I’m tall enough already (5’9″) that I can look most men right in the eye. I don’t want to be intimidating.

    View Comment
  • May 6, 2010

    Rock Hyrax

    I said 10-13, but that’s for “sensible” heights, not stripper shoes. I suspect that if a girl that age wants perhaps a pair of reasonable heels for occasional wear, it’s better to allow this (or come to a compromise) than force her to wear flats all the time, as such treatment will result in a life-long shoe-collecting fixation and a very low probability of wearing anything without high heels before the age of 30 (by which time her poor feet will demand more variety)…

    View Comment
  • May 7, 2010

    Sarah

    I said 14-17, mostly because of a personal bias. I can’t walk in heels very well, and usually find them highly uncomfortable unless they’re wedges (maybe my mom should have started me earlier?)

    But I think by 14, your feet are at a point where they are not growing anymore, or at least not by much, and less damage could be done. This is also contingent on the fact that I’m talking more than an inch or two kitten heel — I’m thinking full on heels. I’ve seen young girls in kitten heels and they seem just fine.

    View Comment
  • May 8, 2010

    Sandy

    Those baby “high heels” are adorable. They make me wish I knew someone who was having a little girl.

    I bought my first pair of heels at 15, and to give you an idea of how often I wear heels, I still have that first pair, barely worn, in the back of my closet 5 years later. Also, there are so many cute flat shoes out there. I give major kudos to my cousin, a 16-year-old who is only 5’1″ and nonetheless chose to wear flat shoes to her prom. Why? “Heels make me want to chop my feet off!” She didn’t care about being taller, even standing next to her 6-foot-tall boyfriend…she just wanted to be comfortable. And trust me, she looked fabulous in her flat gold sandals.

    View Comment
  • May 9, 2010

    Maggie

    I’ve never worn them. I find them immensly uncomfortable, and even wedges set me off balance and make me prone to tripping. It’s pathetic.

    IMO heels are simply unsafe for babies and young girls. Not healthy for growing feet (not healthy for adult feet either, frankly). Very low heels might be ok for occasional use, if a girl needed something more dressy.

    View Comment
  • May 19, 2010

    Jen

    I think age-appropriate style around 11-12 is fine (mary-janes, etc.) I am horrified at “baby” heels, even on babies who don’t walk yet, and anyone under 10 in any heel at all – bad idea for safety reasons. As for fashion; little girls get rushed in so many ways, I hate seeing them rushed in their clothing and shoes too – they’ll ask for it all soon enough. I loooove heels, but – again- age appropriate.

    View Comment
  • May 25, 2010

    Anna-Lisa

    I joined debate club when I was twelve, and you wore business suits and heels for that, so I started with heels then. My parents made sure I kept the heels fairly chunky and under two inches until I was around sixteen, and I didn’t wear heels too often – just to debate meets and to church sometimes. I think as long as it’s not every day, it’s fine.
    .-= Anna-Lisa´s last blog ..alice inspired. =-.

    View Comment
  • July 17, 2010

    Olivia

    Try Suri Cruise.

    View Comment