High-heeled footwear (often abbreviated as high heels or simply heels) is footwear that raises the heel of the wearer's foot significantly higher than the toes and often can be worn without socks. When both the heel and the toes are raised equal amounts, as in a platform shoe, it is technically not considered to be a "high-heel"; however, there are also high-heeled platform shoes. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion of longer, more slender and more toned legs. High-heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump (court shoe), block, tapered, blade, and wedge.
According to high fashion shoe websites like Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a "low heel" is considered less than 2.5 inches (6 centimeters), while heels between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (8.5 cm) are considered "mid heels," and anything over that is considered a "high heel".
Although high heels are now almost exclusively worn by girls and women, there are shoe designs worn by both genders that have elevated heels, including cowboy boots and cuban heels. In previous ages men also wore high heels.