Stiletto's may seem like a strange shoe to examine after running athletic style shoes like running shoes or spikes, but the physics behind stiletto's is also very interesting.
Stiletto's are so interesting because they put all the force of a standing person into a tiny area meaning an enormous amount of pressure! For example the average area of two stiletto's heel is about .01 meter squared, if you say the girl wearing the shoe is 120 pounds, (54.4 kg), she has a force of 533 Newton's on the ground. But since pressure is force divided by area she would have an average pressure of 53,000 Pascal's. This might seem like a lot but in comparison the same person wearing shoes with an area of .05 meters squared has an average pressure of 10,660 Pascal's. That is almost five times less than the stiletto heels! This shows that these shoes have immense pressure all going through just a tiny heel.
Any shoe engineer would have to keep in mind the immense pressure that stiletto's are put through while designing their shoes. If they make the shoe out a material not strong enough they will have a lot of broken heels on their hands along with a lot of unhappy customers!
So next time you put on your stiletto's remember the massive amount of pressure you have under the soles of your feet!
Picture from shoe-tease.com