The List Survey: Which Is Your Preferred Heel Height?

Fall is here, and as the leaves begin to change, so do fashion trends. When you're looking to revamp your wardrobe for the cold weather months ahead, don't forget shoes! From trendy pumps to comfy crocs, there are a ton of styles to choose from. If you're in the market for a dressy shoe that goes great with everything, one style reigns supreme. No matter the season, everyone needs a good pair of heels in their closet.

According to Teen Vogue, heels were originally made for Persian soldiers in battle in the 15th century, and were later found in England when "male aristocrats wore them to appear taller and more formidable." That's right: gender norms be gone, because heels were originally worn by men! Per Today, by the 1800s heels became a predominately female fashion trend, worn to lengthen their legs and make feet look dainty. These days, there are so many popular heels to choose from, it can be hard finding the perfect style and height. To find out which heel height is the fan favorite, The List conducted a survey asking 558 people, "Which is your preferred heel height?"

The most popular heel height isn't what you'd expect

The results are in, and the top voted heel height may shock you. According to The List's survey, 37.28% of people prefer flat heeled shoes to high heels. Flats have gained serious popularity in the past few years, and as the months grow colder, people may be opting for the comfort of a flat heel over the aesthetic of a high heel, which we totally support. For the die-hard heel wearers, do not worry. The second highest rated heel height, with 28.14% of the vote, was a medium heel between 2.5 and 3.5 inches tall.

21.68% of people prefer the look and feel of a kitten heel. Kitten heels are defined as a heel height lower than 2.5 inches, and a great choice when you're looking for a stylish heel that won't feel like you're defying gravity while you're walking. Tall heels that measure between 3.5 and 4.5 inches (8.06%) and very tall heels that are over 4.5 inches (4.84%) trailed behind, confirming our suspicion that sky high heels may not be clicking down the sidewalk very often this season. But hats off to anyone who can gracefully walk down the street wearing super high heels, we're still trying to perfect our strut in a medium heel.

Heels are super cute, but are we suffering for the sake of beauty?

As you start your heel-wearing journey, it takes a long time for your body to get used to the feeling of walking an extra few inches off the ground. When you wear heels every day, you may start to notice pain in your feet and legs, or a very unwelcome blister. This has us wondering: are heels bad for your health? According to Massachusetts podiatrist Terence Vanderheiden, heels may not be doing your body any favors (other than looking amazing, of course). In an article for VeryWell Health, Vanderheiden discusses how wearing high heels over an extended period of time can negatively affect posture: "For every inch of heel height, you increase the pressure on the forefoot by another 25%. As a result, a three-inch heel adds 75% more pressure than normal." He also reports that the unnatural weight shift in your feet when you wear heels can cause serious muscle damage to your hips, knees, and spine over time.

For the longevity of your health, professionals at Hackensack Meridian Health recommend limiting the amount of time you wear high heels, and take multiple breaks from your heels throughout the day. Simple foot stretches before and after you wear heels will also relieve some of the pain your feet may feel over time. For most occasions where heels aren't necessary, a supportive flat shoe with good arch support is encouraged — don't worry, flats can be super cute too.