British women no longer feel inferior next to sassy siren Spaniards or chic French women. They are taller - in heels, anyway. Brits sport a towering 3.3 inch heel on average.
3,792 women across five European countries (France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the UK) were questioned in a survey by footcare company COMPEED. Spanish women were second at an average 3.2 inches, the Danish were at 3, Germans at 2.7 and French women at 2.4 inches. 25% of British women said that they often wear heels over 4 inches and 3% are adding on 6 inches of height.
British women wear the highest heels because they are among the shortest women in Europe, measuring up to an average of 163 cm compared to 164 cm in Spain and 168 cm in Germany. Not included were the Dutch, who are likely the tallest people on the planet.
Psychologist Emma Kenny has a reason for the heels thing: "Research has suggested that a tall woman is considered more assertive, confident, richer, capable, successful, independent and even more intelligent than their shorter peers. Perception is incredibly powerful and it makes sense that the feedback we receive from the way we are treated by others will reinforce our choices. The British woman is an ambitious breed, and if putting on a pair of six inch heels increases their career prospects, rightly or wrongly, the savvy individual will do so."
Unsurprisingly, 50% of women also confessed that they suffer terrible pain from it too, but that is why COMPEED did the survey - they want to know who their potential customers are.
Lorraine Jones, member of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists says, "As a podiatrist I recognise that with fashion as it is, wearing foot-friendly shoes is not always easy. However, wearing fashionable shoes occasionally is fine, and here are plenty of easy foot care treatments available at the local pharmacy that can help treat feet at home and avoid a trip to the podiatrist's clinic. The bonus is that with healthy feet, a woman can stand as tall as she wants in the highest of heels".
Compeed Feet Survey April 2012, Question 7
Sole to Sole Research Prepared by StrategyOne - April 2012, Q.7 (Of the 3792 women questioned, 1000 were British.)
Compeed Feet Survey April 2012, Question 9
Dr. Simon Chu. Heightism colours view of women's talents. Universities of Liverpool and Central Lancashire, England. February 2005.