How To Measure Your Ideal Heel Height

naked heels


Selecting the right heel height is not just a matter of style; it's crucial for comfort, posture, and overall foot health. The ideal heel height can vary greatly from person to person, depending on individual foot structure, comfort level, and lifestyle needs. Understanding how to measure heels and select the perfect heel height is essential for anyone who wants to enjoy the elegance of women's clear heels without compromising comfort.

In this guide, we'll explore the factors that influence the ideal heel height, from the anatomy of your foot to the demands of your daily routine. We'll provide practical tips and straightforward methods to determine the best heel height that suits you for a flat surface.

What is a Comfortable Heel Height?

Comfortable heel height is a subjective tape measure that varies significantly from person to person based on individual foot anatomy, tolerance, and daily activities. However, there are general guidelines to help determine a heel height that offers comfort without compromising foot health:

Natural Foot Arch: A comfortable mid-heel height should align closely with the natural arch of your foot. This reduces strain on the feet, ankles, and back.

Personal Tolerance: Some individuals are more accustomed to wearing heels and may find higher heels comfortable, while others might prefer lower heights for ease of walking and prolonged wear.

Daily Activities: Consider your daily activities. Lower heels are advisable for extended wear, especially if you're on your feet most of the day.

Heel Height Range: Mid-height heels between 1-3 inches are often recommended for comfort and health. They provide a lift while minimizing discomfort and risk of foot problems.

Trial and Adaptation: Comfort also depends on how well your foot adapts to the shoe's heel height. Trying different heights and gradually increasing the time spent wearing them can help determine what works best- very high heels or normal heels.

Does Heel Height Change with Shoe Size?

The relationship between heel height and shoe size is important in finding comfortable and well-fitting footwear. Here's what you need to know:

Proportional Design: Typically, shoe manufacturers design heels so that the height increases proportionally with shoe size. This means that larger shoe sizes often have slightly more sexy high heels than smaller ones in the same style.

Balance and Comfort: This proportional increase is intended to maintain the shoe’s balance and aesthetic and accommodate the natural foot arch and stride length of different foot sizes.

Not Always Standardized: It's important to note that this practice is not universally standardized across all brands or styles. Some manufacturers maintain the same heel height across all sizes.

Personal Experience May Vary: Individuals may experience variations in comfort with different heel heights, even within their shoe size. Personal preference, foot shape, and walking style play significant roles.

Custom Adjustments: For those seeking specific heel heights, custom-made shoes or brands that offer varied heel heights regardless of shoe size can be a good solution.

How to Measure Heel Height

Correctly measuring heel height is crucial to ensure you select a pair of heels that is both comfortable and suitable for your needs. Here's a step-by-step guide to accurately measure your ideal heel height:

Sit in the Chair

Find a Comfortable Chair: Start sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Your back should be straight, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.

Relaxed Foot Position: Ensure your feet are natural and relaxed. This helps in understanding the natural arch and resting position of your feet.

Extend Your Leg Straight

Extend One Leg: While sitting, extend one leg straight out in front of you. Keep your foot relaxed and not pointed or flexed.

Measure the Distance: Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the distance from the back of your heel to the ball of your foot. This measurement indicates the natural slope of your foot and can be a good indicator of your ideal heel height.

Note the Measurement: Record this measurement. It represents the maximum height your foot can comfortably maintain without straining the arch or toes.

Let Your Ankle and Foot Relax

Maintain a Natural Position: After extending your leg, keeping your ankle and foot in a relaxed, neutral position is important. Avoid flexing your foot or pointing your toes, as this can affect the accuracy of the measurement.

Natural Foot Curve: Pay attention to the natural curve of your foot. This relaxed state is crucial for understanding how your foot would rest in a heel.

Measure Your Feet with Measuring Tape

Position the Measuring Tape: Place the end of the measuring tape at the back of your heel (where the heel would sit in a shoe).

Extend to the Ball of the Foot: Stretch the tape to the ball of your foot (the padded area just below your big toe), following the natural curve of your foot.

Record the Measurement: This measurement estimates the ideal heel height for your foot. It represents the natural slope from your heel to the ball of your foot when standing.

Relax Your Foot and Repeat

Repeat for Accuracy: Relax your foot and then repeat the measurement to ensure accuracy. It's not uncommon to get slightly different readings, so averaging two or three measurements can give you a more accurate result.

Measure Both Feet: As feet can vary in size, repeat this process with your other foot. Use the larger measurement as a guide when selecting heel heights to ensure comfort for both feet.

How to Measure Heel Height for Platforms?

Measuring heel height for platform shoes requires considering both the height of the heel and the height of the platform under the forefoot, be it for 2-inch or 5-inch heels. Here’s how to do it:

Measure the Heel: Place the measuring tape at the bottom of the heel at the center of the back of the shoe. Measure up to where the heel connects with the shoe's sole. For example, if the measurement comes out to be 5-inch heels, this is your heel height.

Measure the Platform: Measure the height of the platform at the forefoot. This is usually the thickest part under the ball of the foot.

Calculate the Net Heel Height: Subtract the platform height from the heel height. This net heel height is the effective heel elevation your foot will experience.

For example, if the heel measures 5.5 inches high and the platform is 1 inch, the net height and the preferred choice is 4.5-inch heels.

How to Measure Heel Height on Wedges?

Wedges are a bit different due to their continuous heel-to-toe height. Here’s how to measure them:

Measure at the Heel: Place the measuring tape at the back of the wedge, measuring from the bottom where it touches the ground to where it connects with the sole at the heel.

Measure at the Forefoot (Optional): You may also measure the height at the forefoot area. This is not always necessary but can give an idea of the slope your foot length will be on.

Consider the Slope: Understanding the slope (the difference between the heel height and forefoot height) can help gauge how steep the wedge will feel when worn.

When measuring the heel height for platforms and wedges, it’s important to consider how the heel height, platform height, and overall slope will affect your comfort and the health of your feet. Shoes with extreme slopes or heights can cause discomfort or strain, even if they initially seem manageable.


Understanding how to measure and choose the right heel height is crucial for comfort, style, and foot health. Knowing the ideal heel height can transform your experience with high-heeled shoes, whether for classic stilettos, trendy platforms, or comfortable wedges. The key lies in finding a balance between aesthetic appeal and physical comfort.

By measuring and understanding your ideal heel height, you can make informed choices that enhance your wardrobe while respecting your body's needs. So the next time you're shoe shopping, remember these tips and stride confidently, knowing you've chosen beautiful and beneficial heels for your feet. You can also protect your heels with a heel cap.