Whether you’re partial to sneakers or stilettos, it’s no secret that your shoes can affect things beyond just your height. Besides physical comfort, footwear can alter your confidence, mood , and ability, too. But, while this much is obvious for us, a new study shows that the height of women's heels has a — surprise — effect on certain men, too. Don't you love it when stats and your worst Friday night nightmare get together to make a point?
Professor Nicolas Guéguen from the University of Southern Brittany in France published a study in Archives of Sexual Behavior to show that "Women’s shoe heel size exerts a powerful effect on men’s behavior.” According to the study, the degree to which men positively respond to and approach a woman is correlated to the height of her heels. Through a quartet of trials, he aimed to measure whether straight men were more willing to answer questions, physically assist, and initiate conversations with women wearing taller shoes.
In the first two experiments, the researcher had young women (each wearing shoes of a different heel height) randomly ask men walking alone to participate in a survey. In the third experiment, the women intentionally dropped a glove while walking. And, in the fourth experiment, one woman stationed herself in a popular bar and waited for men to approach her. In all of the experiments, men were more likely to approach the women (and answer their survey questions or pick up their forgotten glove) if the ladies were wearing higher heels. Yahoo reports that the results of the study “showed that high heels were associated with greater sexiness, overall physical attractiveness, breast attractiveness, beauty, attractiveness to other men, and willingness for a date.”
The study wasn't a comprehensive one (Guéguen only employed one 19-year-old female for two of the studies, and the male sample sizes only ranged between 36 and 180). But, his discovery that response rates doubled between the lowest heel height and the highest proves one solid point: You don't want to go bar-hopping in Lorient, France with flats on, unless you're into men who mentally rate "breast attractiveness" when on the prowl.