With heel heights ranging from non-existent to about a foot of height, the selection of shoes at online retailers such as Zappos.com and Shoebuy.com can seem overwhelming. Some women swear that certain heights are uncomfortable and simply impossible to walk in. This thought got the scientific community thinking, and a doctor developed something known as the Heel Height Formula. Here's a peak at what it means:

History

The formula itself was composed by a physicist in England who could not explain how women are able to balance in such high heels. He used the iconic character of "Carrie Bradshaw" from hte HBO TV series "Sex and the City" for his inspiration and got to work penning the mind boggling formula and variables seen below. Professor Paul Stevenson ultimately concluded that an experienced high heel wearing woman could reasonably expect to balance in heels no more than five inches in height.

Calculations

The heel height formula makes what used to be a question of style, class and balance more of a math word problem from seventh grade. So if you're ready to crunch some numbers, here is the basic formula: H= Qx + (3X S/8). H is equal to your maximum heel height in centimeters. Q is equal to your social factor and S is your actual shoe size. The real math comes into play when determining what Q is equal to. This is a complex formula which considers the price of the shoe, the likelihood of the shoe leading to a second date, the number of years experience the wearer has walking in heels, the time since the shoe was in the height of it's fashion hay day, and of course, the amount of alcohol consumed.

From Prescriptions to Parties

Experts take a more comic spin on the formula however and use it to help you understand how high your heels can be if you're planning on having a few drinks while out in your pumps. The formula was meant mainly for comedic relief. Despite this, there are some American doctors who have published studies and Internet articles singing the praises of wearing heels for your health, even for male patients. These doctors claim that using heels can help improve muscle tone and posture, thus relieving the pains associated with lower back and joint pains. Despite these claims, most doctors agree that the only real heel height formula is to know yourself and your own limitations. It is just as easy to fall and twist your ankle in three inch heels as six inch heels.