Stiletto studs: the rise of men in heels

Photo by: (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Johnny Weir in stiletto booties-
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Thu, Oct 6, 2011 4:25 PM EDT
They already wear thongs, strap on bras and carry purses. But heels? Eh, why not.

In the last century, women fought for equal opportunities in the workplace. In this century it's men fighting for equal rights in style. It's true that women have long had the physical benefits of make-up, heels and spanx while men have had to face the reality. If they had a zit, there was no covering it up. A gut? Blame it on beer. And if they were on the short side? Forget it. Their best bet was to seek out friends under 6 feet. Or go into acting.

But in 2010, men--both short and tall--are trying on platforms and stilettos for size. Lenny Kravitz wore platform wedge boots to Fashion Week in New York. Johnny Weir has made it his mission to pose in stilettos when he's not on the ice rink. And darn it, if they don't look fabulous. Russell Brand and Jude Law sneak their heels into boots, as if the extra lift is just a part of the style. Yeah, right.

And then there's Tom Cruise. Rumors of his lifts, wedged into standard issue mens shoes have been circling for years. And can you blame him? The 5 foot 7 actor is perpetually photographed next to towering women, in stilettos no less. This week, at the London premiere of "Day and Knight," it was 5 foot 9 Cameron Diaz in a pair of stilts. With a little choreographed use of stairs the actor appeared relatively close to her height. A closer examination of his shoes showed they've got a decent platform masked by the design. Not exactly Weir-grade lifts, but Cruise is catching onto the trend. Baby steps.

Personally, I'm thrilled to see men both suffer and benefit from the torture chambers we women call shoes. For years we've been making it look easy, but as Lenny Kravitz undoubtedly discovered, it's a daily deadly plank walk. Risks aside, we do it for the rewards: sex appeal, attention. While a recent study, posted on Shine, suggested guys are indifferent to women in heels, a barrage of comments from male readers suggested otherwise.

So it's about time men got in on the action. They're entitled to the attention and a boost in height. Especially the shorties. But the bigger question is do women find it sexy? And do we really want to date a man with higher heels than our own? And what if they all start to vamp and catwalk like Joan from "Mad Men"? Will we have to start pulling out chairs and helping them into cars like gentlemen, because that seems like a lot of work. Can't we just give them our periods instead?