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Shoe with stiletto heel
Stiletto boots from Westward Bound

A stiletto heel is a long, thin heel found on some boots and shoes for women. It is named after the stiletto dagger, the phrase being first recorded in the early 1950s. Its popularity is credited to the French fashion designer Roger Vivier (1913-1998). Stiletto heels may vary in length from only a few centimetres up to 15 cm (6 inches), and are sometimes defined as having a diameter at the ground of less than 1 cm.

Sometimes, to make the heel more ornamental, it may be transparent or a different colour from the shoe. Some stilettos are made of metal for both strength and appearance.

In a ballet boot, the heel is so long that the wearer's foot is nearly vertical.

Stiletto heels transmit a large amount of force in a small area, and can cause serious injury if the wearer steps on someone with their full weight. Many people have a fantasy of treading on someone while wearing shoes with stilettos, or being trodden on, but this must be done with care.

Wearing shoes with stiletto heels makes the feet look smaller, which is supposed to be more attractive.

Transvestites often like to wear shoes with stilettos because they regard them as particularly feminine.

Stiletto boots are boots with a stiletto heel. They are a staple of the fetish wardrobe.

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