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Combat Stilettos
Stylish, comfy and excellent for a night of Crime Fighting and a Date, Dinner and Coffee later. Blood Removal sold separately.

"I'll punish you in high heels!"
Sailor Mars (in a one-off pre-battle speech), Sailor Moon

Thanks to Sex Sells and Rule of Sexy, Action Girls will often wear high heels to complement the rest of their Stripperiffic outfits.

In comics this is often Depending on the Artist: artist A will use it in moderation, artist B may use wedge heels, artist C will draw practical shoes, but artist D will insist on drawing high heels on all female characters regardless of reason, situation, or even if it's her usual style. While this can be part of Most Writers Are Male trend, this tend to appear equal often with Female Writers as well, for various reasons.

There is a fierce debate over the use of this trope, ranging from a realistic point (they are very hard to balance, tiring to walk and can damage the feet and spine by prolonged use in real life), if it's a sexist tool in a male dominated medium just to make the heroines more appealing, or that they are only another trope in fantasy and comics, no more unrealistic than any other.

Not to be confused with a combat stiletto. See Rule of Sexy, Impossibly Cool Clothes and These Tropes Are Made For Walking. Compare Kick Chick and With My Hands Tied, as this trope may sometimes be used together with the said two.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Sailor Moon, most of the Sailor Senshi have heels on their shoes; Mars, who wears red stilettos, even mentions it in the above pre-battle speech in the manga. Though the creator of Sailor Moon is a straight woman. She really likes drawing shoes.
    • Interestingly, Sailor Venus has a tendence to kick her enemies' throats with her heels: she apparently realized what she could do by weaponizing them...
  • Marie from Soul Eater. Not only does she fight in them, her specialty is speed.
  • Mireille Bouquet from Noir is habitually guilty of this.
  • Androssi Zahard from Tower of God uses stilettos. That turns out to be a bad choice of shoes, since twice, they are successfully attacked to throw her off-balance, so that one got subverted good..
  • The Knight Sabers' hardsuits in Bubblegum Crisis.
    • Although the Knight Sabers armored boots are more like a ballet slipper with a heel.
    • Also the tech manual handwaves it as that those are filled with a shock absorbing gel allowing them to still move after harder landings. They are basically like the boots from Portal 2. See video games example.
  • Due to author Mamoru Nagano's ever-present fascination with genderqueers, a great many of the Mortar Headds from The Five Star Stories have stiletto-esque heel-struts built into their legs. Actually becomes a plot point in one story arc, when two characters use their mech's collapsible heel-struts to slip out of an opponent's gripping attack.
  • Boa Hancock from One Piece sees nothing wrong with kicking people in the face with her high heels in the middle of a warzone.
    • Gold Lion Shiki carries this trope to an absurd extreme in Movie 10, as he's replaced both his feet with his swords. See?
    • Although she doesn't fight physically, Nami still counts, as she wears high-heeled sandals most of the time.
  • For a male example, Sebastian from Black Butler wears stilettos when in demon form.
  • Despite its lack of apparent gender, Myria/Mylia from Macross/Robotech has heels on her VF-1. (All VF-1s do, in fact.)
  • Fatina from The Tower of Druaga.
  • The later seasons of Pretty Cure (more notably Fresh and Heartcatch) have their heroines wear high heels while transformed.
  • Jiko Bou of Princess Mononoke uses Tengu-style wooden Geta sandals with only one tall "teeth" instead of the usual two. He's a covert operative sent by the Emperor, so he has the balance needed to walk, run and jump wearing them.
  • Shaina in Saint Seiya fights in high eels. Including a scene where she dodges Shun's Nebula Chain, jumps and runs on it, an then hits Shun. However in the Manga version she wears more reasonable shoes as a part of her armor
  • Tauburn, Takuto's mech from Star Driver has these. Yes, the giant robot has high heels.
  • Tsunade from Naruto wears high heeled sandals that can somehow survive a heel drop which can shatter rocks.
  • Hisoka from Hunter Hunter has no problem arena fighting with high heels on.
  • Most of the Pretty Cure series have the main heroines donning high heeled boots. It's taken to major extreme with HeartCatch Pretty Cure! where their heels are pencil thin and yet they still beat the snot out of the Monster of the Week.
  • Some mechs in Parallel Trouble Adventure Dual have feet designed along these lines. The Earth Defense Force units all have them, but the Rara Army tends to use non-humanoid designs.
  • Extremely common in Sekirei, though it is worth noting that several Power Types wear either sensible heels or flats.
  • Homura's Magical Girl outfit in Puella Magi Madoka Magica has these, though in her case it mostly makes sense: she fights with bombs and guns, enjoys doing the Unflinching Walk, and her Time Stands Still ability means that she doesn't really need to run or do other things made difficult by wearing heels...in theory. In reality, there's a few implausible scenes, like the beginning of episode 9, where she runs in heels on an Alien Geometry set of floating train tracks and doesn't even stumble.
  • Pirotess, the female dark elf from Record of Lodoss War wears a pair of white thigh-high boots with heels.
  • Quite a few feminine Digimon that look more humanoid in their higher levels have them, such as Angewomon and Sakuyamon. Many of them possess some form of flight, though, so movement is a non-issue.
  • A Humongous Mecha version of this trope appears in the YAMS-132 Rozen Zulu from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear plays with it on two characters.
    • Hibiki's first real fight after having learned martial arts from Genjuro starts with her tripping on her Symphogear's heels, which she promptly breaks off so she can fight properly.
    • Tsubasa, on the other hand, plays it straight, and, on top of fighting with Armed Legs, can even combine her heel with a stories-tall BFS to perform a kick on hapless Mooks.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: The Anarchy sisters wear high-heeled sandals in their angel outfits, which they don in more serious fights.
  • As part of the over-the-top nature of the series, both Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin don high-heels in Kill la Kill, with Satsuki wearing them in both her normal school uniform and by both girls in their powered Kamui forms. Satsuki's heels are often prominently shown hitting the ground whenever she makes a Dynamic Entry.
    • Likewise (both for fighting and entrances) with Satsuki's mother, Ragyo.
  • Birdy in Birdy the Mighty, though it appears to be justified in that they function as rocket boosters.

    Comics 
  • Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl. Lampshaded in Batgirl #45, when her successor Cassandra Cain puts on Barbara's old costume. Cassandra, who usually brings Waif-Fu to ridiculous levels, keeps tripping and stumbling thanks to the heels.
    • The Batgirl: Year One miniseries joins the long line of Lampshades on this trope by having Barbara's heel snap off during her initial fight with Killer Moth. There it makes perfect sense, since at this point she is not a crime-fighter, and was actually going to a costume party where high-heels fit in just fine. Once she decides to go pro, she cannibalizes some hiking boots to give her costume some better soles.
  • When the new Batwoman was revealed in 52 she was drawn with a number of impractical costume decisions, including high-heels. When she was transferred to the lead in Detective Comics the artists made a deliberate decision to have her costume be more practical and, amongst the changes, removed her heels (she also cut her hair and replaced it with a wig, since Batman points out that any mook can grab her hair and end the fight).
    • This was eventually given an in-story explanation: her father was the original designer of the costume.
      Kate: Pop...are those heels?
      Jake: They were the only boots I could find in red. It's a good color, doesn't pop during night ops.
  • Hawkgirl used to, now she wears flat-soled boots.
  • Green Lantern villain Star Sapphire. Less of an issue for her since she mostly flies.
  • Mary Marvel, when she turned evil during Final Crisis.
  • Black Canary is infamous for fighting in high-heeled shoes, and there is a widespread and heated conflict in the fandom between those who insist it is stupid and should be fixed, an acceptable aspect of fantasy, and a few who claim it is actually reasonable. At least one letter writer to a Black Canary comic claims she was capable of delivering high-kicks while cosplaying as Canary, without harming herself. We... wouldn't recommend trying.
  • Emma Frost, and every other female in the Hellfire Club.
  • The Scarlet Witch.
  • She-Hulk, when she wears shoes at all, requires heels made out of special metal.
  • Elsa Bloodstone of Nextwave wears thigh high stilettos.
  • Silk Spectre I and II in Watchmen.
  • Everyone in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. The comic exists entirely on fanservice, so it's to be expected.
  • Maid Man, from Empowered. A rare male example. He gets away with it because he is the Goddamn Maid Man.
    • Nearly all the female supers play this straight. Sistah Spooky's 6-inch platform heels are impressive - she can fly though. Emp herself can't wear shoes in costume.
  • Incandescence wears 5-inch heels as a signature part of her outfit. It's often Lampshaded that she can run, jump, and fight in them.
    • Though it's mentioned that she has a background in dance. Some dancers do have extraordinary balance in high heels.
  • Animal Superheroes example: Alley-Kat-Abra from Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!
  • The girls from Runaways usually dress pretty sensibly (none of them have traditional super hero costumes), but not always. One issue showed Nico going into battle wearing stilettos and Karolina fighting alongside her in flip-flops, which seems even more impractical.
    • To be fair, they weren't attacking somebody, somebody attacked them when they weren't expecting it.
  • For Gotham City Sirens, Catwoman has added heels to her formerly sensible costume.
  • The aptly-named human villain Stiletto from the Transformers Animated comic series is a former kickboxer whose boot heels actually incorporate laser scalpels.
  • Wonder Woman used to have this trope done straight, but the Post-Crisis onward usually has her wearing sensible flat soled boots.
  • Envy Adams of the Scott Pilgrim series wears platform heeled boots in her fight with Ramona.
  • Female Judges in Judge Dredd stories may have them, Depending on the Artist (especially if that artist is Brian Bolland).
  • Sin City has an assassin named Blue Eyes who once threw a stiletto into a man's eye socket and killed him. But who throws a shoe? Honestly!
  • Lady Mechanika. Not true stilettos, but the heroine does do all of her action scenes in Victorian-era high-heeled boots.
  • Fables. Cinderella wears high heels most of the time, even when flats would make more sense. (Fables are Forever.) But she also shows how she can kick tail anyway, and weaponize them as needed. Subverted with Dorothy, as she's wearing special high heels. note 

    Fan Works 
  • In the fanfiction Fine Feathers (http://archiveofourown.org/works/81730) Damian Wayne is in a situation where he must crossdress. He muses on how high heels would make more effective weapons than footwear, and demands Barbara Gordon teach him how to fight in them.
  • In Dreaming the American Dream, a crossover between the Marvel Universe and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander (who was gender swapped... don't ask) lampshades this when he notices that heroines wear high heels while running and fighting. At first when he got offered some he thought they were joking ...they weren't.
  • Eri's Game has the titular character's case. Plus the scene where she beats up Reaper Beat with it.
  • Subverted (and possibly lampshaded) in My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return, where at one point Rarity bemoans the fact that she chose to wear heels that day, as it's hard to run and fight in them.
  • Frozen Moonlight has these pop up as, during their first date Aoshi and Misao get attacked. She uses them more appropriately, taking them off and using them as an Improvised Weapon. Effective ones too.

    Films — Animated 
  • This leads to a bit of Fridge Logic and Hypocritical Humor in The Incredibles, where Edna Mode berates capes for being impractical but still designs (and makes) high-heeled costumes for the heroines.
  • Cinderella in Shrek the Third, as expected. She sharpens the heels and use them as throwing weapons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Catwoman in the live-action adaptations. In the comics she usually wears more reasonable shoes.
    • Noticeably jarring when in the mall her heels keep appearing and disappearing when she starts doing back flips and such.
    • As portrayed by Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises, it is played straight. Which is odd considering how much Christopher Nolan likes to go on about how plausible the Batsuit is. (It's a little hard to see because they appear to be made of metal and blend in with the concrete.) The heels are actual, serrated blades, and one poster shows Catwoman symbolically stepping on and breaking a Batarang with said heels.
      • Lampshaded the first time said bladed heels actually show up:
    Stryver: [holding a pistol on Selina] Nice outfit. Those heels make it hard to walk?
    Selina Kyle: I don't know. [stomps on Stryver's foot, stabbing him in the instep, causing him to drop his weapon] Do they?
  • Cherry Darling in Grindhouse, at least on the leg that hasn't been replaced with an assault rifle. Justified because she's a stripper go-go dancer who never actually makes it home from her shift.
  • Elvira in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark subverts the old trope about female victims running from slasher-movie villains tripping and falling (and then being killed) due to high heels... by throwing her stiletto heels as weapons.
  • This scene from Jackie Chan's The Armor of God, which also demonstrates some of the problems with high heels in combat situations. On the other hand it gave some extra punch to their multiple Groin Attack.
  • In the Watchmen movie shows the impracticality of this, when Silk Spectre's boots slip out from under her, as she's trying to fight off the Comedian's rape attempt. On the other hand, her daughter seems to have no problem fighting in them during the prison breakout scene.
    • Although in an interesting real-life subversion, if you pause the movie during various points in Silk Spectre II's prison fight scene, you can see that the actress is in fact wearing flat-soled boots as she walks. She's only in the high heels whenever she doesn't have to do anything action-oriented, or when she has to plant a heeled foot on a mook's chest.
  • While filming Tromeo And Juliet, actress Tiffany Shepis accidentally punctured co-star Stephen Blackehart's lower lip with her spiked heel.
  • In the live-action movie of Barb Wire, Pamela Anderson does a great deal of fighting in stilettos. On a plus-point she uses dynamite and guns a lot more than hand-to-hand combat, but they are still impractical.
  • The villain of Single White Female murders the protagonist's boyfriend with a stiletto shoe.
  • Averted in the 2010 film Red when Victoria slips off her dress high heels and trades them for a pair of sensible flat boots before the big operation.
  • Cynthia Rothrock. Fighting in tall stiletto heels. On glass table-tops. On a CARGO NET stretched over a two-story tall stack of boxes. Then she moved to Australia and her films got a little calmer.
    • Played with in a scene from The Blonde Fury where she's having difficulty fighting a male opponent due in part to wearing high heels and a long skirt (appropriately dealt with mid-fight). However, she actually discovers the heels can be to her advantage, after she (purely by chance) stabs him with one, and kicks him repeatedly with the other after the first shoe comes off.
  • Van Helsing: Kate Beckinsale complained about the difficulty she had running about in high heels while filming action sequences.
  • In Ticked Off Trannys With Knives, one of the "girls" manages to gouge her attacker's eye out by stabbing it with the heel of her shoe.
  • While Renate Richter wears high-heeled boots in the second half of Iron Sky, she's not much of an Action Girl (she's just a schoolteacher, after all, with no combat training whatsoever). However, she does use her heels as impromptu weapons during her fight with the Big Bad Klaus Adler, stabbing him in the forehead.
  • Averted in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. The female IMF member hears on the radio that the female assassin who killed her colleague has escaped the trap set up for her, tears off her high-heeled shoes and races out of the room to inflict a major asskicking.
  • Early in Sharknado 2: The Second One, we see Kelly Ripa showing off her new heels on Live! with Kelly and Michael. During the climax, Kelly ends up using the heels to kill a shark that flew onto the set.

    Literature 
  • Discworld
    • Going Postal. Adora Belle Dearheart wears high heels and notes that in pounds per square inch, it's "like being stepped on by a very pointy elephant" and that she can "kick like a mule". Combined with the fact she's not really an Action Girl (of the combat related type at least) and on a date at the time of first reference, it makes her footwear less impractical. She's also only ever described as kicking while sitting down. To make it simple, she stomps her heel down on the feet of annoying men, which thanks to her high and thin heels, has near armor-piercing qualities. It doesn't work on Trolls, though.
    • Lampshaded in Witches Abroad. Magrat ends up wearing the high-heeled 'glass' slippers. She slips, loses a slipper, and screams, "How the hell is anybody supposed to walk in these?!" Then she pulls off the other one and runs for it.
  • Cat Crawford, the heroine of the Night Huntress books, has been known to use a pair of solid silver stiletto heels to sneak stakes into vampire gatherings.
  • A similar tactic was used by Cathy Barrett to discourage a groper in a Nightside pub.
  • Parodied in A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which the Fashion-Victim Villain Esme Squalor uses actual stilettos on her high heels to attempt to kill the Baudelaires. Naturally, Snicket did a Lampshade Hanging about how impractical and violent the shoes were, and indeed she had huge problems with running, constantly getting her shoes stuck.
  • The Action Heroine's Handbook has a chapter on 'How to Win a High-Speed chase in high heels and a bustier'.
  • Subverted in Medallion. Villainess Kespa has a pair of heels she made from sap to wear around her fortress, but their purpose is solely to scare her servants and announce her arrival (her floors are made of stone and the shoes make noise). It's stated she has a pair of practical boots for when she goes out to do battle.
  • In The Dresden Files, Lara sprints several blocks in impractical shoes. Harry lampshades this, and it's one of the facts that hammers home that she's not a muggle. Several pages later, she hammers the heel through a badass zombie's head.
    • She's a vampire, she later dropped from a helicopter in similar shoes. Running through a parking lot isn't even that impressive.
  • Subverted in the Kate Daniels series when Kate slips off her stilettos in preparation for a fight.
    If I kicked him, the heel would slide into him like a knife - but I'd have a hell of a time getting free.
  • In the book You Know You're Ghetto If..., one of the jokes was "...if you can outrun a police officer while wearing high heels."
  • In one of the Fearless novels, Gaia gets attacked by a bunch of thugs while dressed up for dinner with her dad. She reflects that one advantage to fighting in evening wear is that high heels can be used as a weapon. In her case, it makes sense that she would be able to fight in heels, as she's been extensively trained from childhood in every kind of martial art with a name. Even though she hates wearing heels, walking and fighting in them probably isn't much of a problem for her.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, Isabelle wears heels constantly and fights in them when she needs to. She has even been known to use them as weapons, slashing and impaling targets with her kicks.

    Live Action TV 
  • Fiona on Burn Notice always dresses as if she is going to a cocktail party, and still manages to kick serious ass about 98% of the time. Though when she is planning to get into trouble she generally wears more practical footwear.
  • Sydney Bristow in Alias wore heels for many of her disguises while on assignment. Sometimes the outfits were Stripperific, sometimes they were conservative. But unless she was running laps around the track, she was in heels.
  • Scully on The X-Files. OK, so she's only 5'2", but the footgear issue was lampshaded in the episode "Hollywood A.D.", when the actress playing Scully asks her how it's possible to run in heels that high (which Scully does have to do on the job).
  • "Taffy" on Dollhouse. It's probably a joke when she says it's important to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Laura Holt on Remington Steele. In the episode "Steele in the Chips," a guest star played by Geena Davis asks how Laura can run in high heels, to which she replies, "Practice."
  • The mysterious super-heroine Stiletto (Lois) in Smallville wears stilettos, although she regrets this since she can barely walk in them, never mind fight crime.
  • On one of the few occasions Ziva wears heels on NCIS she ends up in a big fight. The actress goes on (and on) about this in the DVD commentary.
  • The Bionic Woman reboot.
  • She Spies.
  • Lampshaded/Inverted in Cybill; Maryann briefly tries wearing flats, but can't keep her balance.
  • Ditto on The Nanny. Fran has to go out on a ledge to keep her date from trying to jump (it makes sense in context.) The maitre d' suggests she take off her heels, to which she responds, "Are you nuts, that would screw up my balance completely."
  • Referenced in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
    Girl: So girls go on adventures too?
    Lorelai: And they go in heels.
  • Nikki (as Jessica) of Heroes fame pulls this off spectacularly: after effortlessly throwing three burly security guards to the ground, she places her stiletto heel against the temple of the one that's still conscious to get information out of him, threatening to stomp down and stab his brains if he doesn't talk.
  • For reasons forever unknown to God and Man most of the Doctor's companions on Doctor Who elect to explore strange new worlds in three or four inch heels.
    • Subverted with Rose, Donna, and Amy. Most of time all three are seen wearing sneakers.
    • Leela wore calf length moccassins, but judicious application of the pause button reveals that they were made with a wedge heel - because Louise Jameson is 5'6", and Tom Baker is 6'3".
  • Sarah in Chuck always wears heels. This troper is particularly reminded of the time she ran through a fountain in four-inch leather boots.
    • Casey mentions stabbing someone with a stiletto while investigating a fashion show sometime before the series began. This is a Stealth Pun as "stiletto" can refer to a shoe or a knife and it's unclear which one Casey meant.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Kira Nery wears (chunky) heels with her uniform. This is, however, almost entirely because Nana Visitor, when stood next to her statuesque co-stars like Terry Farrell, looks almost ridiculously short.
  • Star Trek: Voyager Jeri Ryan actually insisted on this for Seven of Nine's costume. Something about the catsuit seemed to require them, apparently.
    • Which doesn't make much sense for a practical Borg. Then again, the Borg never seem to run or engage in hand-to-hand combat, so it may work.
  • Referred to in the MythBusters "Superhero Special". A build team filler segment involved how fast one could change into a superhero costume in a phone booth. After Kari won the competition, she commented that she needed the head start if she was going to chase down a villain while wearing high-heeled boots.
  • Averted In one of those weird Xena: Warrior Princess episodes that take place in modern times. Xena found herself reincarnated as a mousy secretary in a 1940's Indiana Jones spoof. When Ares is reawakened, she kicks off her shoes and and proceeds to kick his ass.
  • Brittany from Glee does an amazing dance with Mike at Sectionals in heels.
    • This is Truth in Television. Dancers - particularly ballroom and belly dancers - train bloody hard to do extremely complex and sometimes dangerous steps specifically in heels, and not necessarily sensible heels either. It's as much a skill as dancing en pointe in ballet, and is made somewhat easier by the fact that most dance forms require you to keep your weight over the balls of your feet rather than the heels.
  • In an early episode of Quantum Leap, Sam Beckett "leaps" into a small-town coroner/mortician in the early 1960's, and has to solve the murder of a young woman. He discovers that the woman was killed by a jealous friend who took the victim's own spike-heeled shoe and hit her, driving the heel into her brain, in a manner very like the Robert De Niro film mentioned above.
  • All of the girls in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon have heels on their footwear. The series featured a lot more high kicks and flips than the anime did, so it's noticeable when you can see the Senshi wearing flat-soled boots during the fight scenes.
    • The most noticeable flub was during Act 0: Birth of Sailor V! during which Sailor V's normal shoes are replaced by white sneakers for a few shots.
  • Miss Parker of The Pretender likes her high heels.
  • Detective Kate Beckett of Castle constantly wears 4 inch stiletto heels, despite the fact that her job requires a good deal of walking and running. The fact that this is impractical, and the fact that she pulls it off unrealistically well, is lampshaded constantly by other characters in the series.
    • In "Nikki Heat", Natalie Rhodes postulates that she wears them because she needs the psychological edge that the height gives her against the men in her profession. Beckett agrees, but says she also just likes it.
  • Subverted with Sophie on Leverage. She's a grifter and therefore almost always wearing high heels, but kicks them off if the con goes awry and she needs to leg it, like "The Second David Job" and "The Reunion Job". Also in "The Reunion Job" both her and the female gun for hire kick their heels off before fighting each other. Played straight with Eliot's counterpart in "The Two Live-Crew Job", however.
    • It's occasionally played straight with Parker who despite normally wearing flat boots and other practical clothing can easily backflip through laser grids in stillettos and cocktail dresses when she doesn't have time to change.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Yinling, the Erotic Terrorist of HUSTLE, would wrestle in high heels.
  • Subverted by Cherry Bomb in CZW, who would get in the ring with baby face Greg Excellent wearing High Heels but then take them off and beat his face bloody with them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS has two perks relating to this, "High-Heeled Heroine" and "High-Heeled Hurt". One allows you to run and do acrobatics in heels, the other makes it possible to use them like the other kind of stiletto.
  • The tongue-in-cheek Macho Women With Guns game is all over this. "Run in high heels" is a skill.
  • Armor Piercing is a +1/2 advantage in Champions to which the disadvantages Only When Kicking and Obvious, Inaccessible Focus: Stiletto Heeled Boots could be applied to make them quite affordable.
    • In later editions (5th plus) one may simply purchase the Armor Piercing on a hypothetical Hand Attack equal to the character's best kick.
  • Some of the artwork in Warhammer 40,000 depict Sisters of Battle with these.

    Toys 
  • The action figure for comics lead Michiko Noguchi (a human Weyland-Yutani employee adopted into a Predator clan) features ridiculous combat stilettos in Predator-armor fashion.

    Video Games 
  • The Demon Hunter from Diablo III.
  • City of Heroes: For females, most footwear options have stiletto heels to them, where in a male character the same clothing choice would be flat. Yes, one of the female heroine's natural abilities seems to be kicking ass in six-to-eight inch heels. The other is the Most Common Superpower.
  • The eponymous heroine of Bayonetta. The heels have been replaced with guns, with which she performs Gun Fu.
  • Bloodrayne. Similar to Bayonetta, the heels are actual stilettos.
  • Averted in Tomb Raider Legend. The bad guys attack while Lara is at a fancy dinner party, and she takes off her heels and fights barefoot.
  • In the early Mortal Kombat games, the women wore flat shoes due to being digitized live actors. Once gaming reached the 3D era though, Midway started adding progressively more Fanservice with each game. It got particularly bad in Mortal Kombat 9, where Sonya—an Army commando who dressed sensibly for an MK Lady—rocked the heel.
    • Skarlett invokes this trope by stabbing her opponent in the eye with her heel.
  • Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur. Though she does actually make use of them by stamping on opponents while they're lying down and twisting her foot around. Ouch.
  • Lei-Fang from Dead or Alive. Her down attack is stomping on the opponent with them. If the opponent is male and is in front of her it hits him in the groin.
  • Tekken: The Williams sisters do this every so often; both can grind the heel on a downed opponent. The other girls appear to prefer flat-soled boots, sneakers, slippers, or nothing.
    • Lili, who was introduced in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, wears white high-heeled boots with her most common outfit and generally defies physics with her She-Fu fighting style.
  • Averted in Skies of Arcadia with Fina, who is a very slow character and fights with magic or by letting her Mon do the fighting. Played straight with Fragile Speedster Aika, but her heels are not as big as Fina's.
  • Final Fantasy series: Every Viera ever. They have digitigrade feet, so their heels are off the ground with or without the shoes.
    • Except in the artwork of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and A2, which take place in the same universe as XII, Viera have rather reasonable heels and some even walk flat like the Assassin.
    • Due to the... unusual art design for Final Fantasy XII, it was long believed that Larsa Ferrinas Solidor's thigh-high boots were what have have been described as "cherry red high-heeled Sunday pumps." The contrast of the red and green on his boots actually makes it appear as if he's wearing high-heels, and red ones at that.
    • Another male example with Luso in Final Fantasy Tactics A2, as he has heels in his official artwork. His Cat Girl Adelle sports these as well.
    • The Tactics Advance series in general has several instances of this, most notoriously, the hume Black Mage.
  • Final Fantasy X: Lulu has been speculated to wear heels beneath her dress due to the sound her feet make on hard surfaces in the game.
    • The official figurine solves this mystery — yes she has feet, yes she is wearing high heels.
      • Which doesn't make sense on multiple levels. One, she's on an island with cliffs, mountainous paths, and beach. The only place with a hard, flat surface, which would be ideal to wear stilettos, would be the Besaid Temple. Two, Besaid is small compared to other towns. Where did she even get stilettos?
      • Considering she wears a fur-trimmed dress made of leather belts on a tropical island (that thing cant possibly breathe), it's fair to assume she isn't all that concerned with practicality.
    • Final Fantasy XI's Kam'lanaut fits this trope to a T. By day, he wears garish wine-colored robes and gladiator sandals, but by night, he becomes a sorcerous Paladin wearing what are easily 6-inch stiletto-heeled sabatons. It doesn't help that he has Rapunzel hair that drags on the floor.
    • Another male example is The Emperor in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. It's been part of his design before that if you look at the Amano art, but they were actually emphasized in one cutscene.
    • Rydia from Final Fantasy IV also wears high heeled boots, but only as an adult. As a child, she prefers sandals or low-heeled boots, Depending on the Artist.
  • Rather surprisingly averted in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, given how Stripperiffic some of Lightning's outfits are. Most of Lightning's garbs give her boots with low or medium heels.
  • In Kingdom Hearts it's kind of easy to miss, but Larxene and Xion, the only female members of Organization XIII, wear heeled boots. When Xion turns into Sora at the end she wears sneakers like Roxas.
  • Played with in Portal. Your character has prosthetic knees (boots in the sequel) which allow her to fall indefinitely without dying. However, they make her feet contort in the same way that heels do.
  • Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4 wears high heels to go along with her evening gown.
    • The opening cutscene of Resident Evil 5 introduces us to Jill Valentine, who wears high-heeled boots through the entire game.
      • Sheva's BSAA outfit wears some boots with semi-reasonable heels and she does plenty of high kicks and flips. All of her alternate costumes also include high heels. Jill's BSAA outfit actually has some sensible boots. Excella Gionne wears high heels in her default costume and actually uses them on knocked down Majini during The Mercenaries Reunion minigame.
    • Cindy from the Outbreak games also wears heels. Made all the more peculiar in the fact that she's a waitress, who normally wear comfortable shoes due to all the walking involved in that job.
  • Holly Summers from No More Heroes. It may be necessary for her to wear the heels... well, heel, as otherwise her real and prosthetic legs would be unbalanced.
  • Most of the females in the Devil May Cry series, including Trish/Gloria and Lucia.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, Rosso clicks around in stiletto, thigh-high boots. To say nothing about her butt-cape.
  • Evelynn in League of Legends sports a pair of noticeable heels in game, and even kicks enemies sometimes with her physical attacks. She even points out the difficulty of walking in them.
    Evelynn: It takes a lot of effort to move like this in heels.
    • Ashe wears high-heeled boots in her Amethyst skin. The splash art for her Freljord skin has them, but she has normal boots in-game.
    • All of Miss Fortune's skins (save for one) wear high-heels in battle. An amusing example of this trope is her passive ability Strut, which increases her running speed the longer she is out of combat. The icon for this ability is her heels.
    • Most of Vayne's skins have them, as well.
    • Zyra has them, despite not actually wearing clothing.
    • Even female champions that don't have heels in their default skin tend to have them in some of their other skins.
  • Many custom outfits for The Sims have gratuitous heels, even with swimwear.
  • Female elementalist and mesmer boots in Guild Wars are typically high-heeled. Other professions have more sensible footwear.
  • Several years have passed, and players still wonder how come Lady of War Chizuru Kagura from The King of Fighters can fight while wearing stilettos.
  • Shania from Shadow Hearts: From the New World wears high-heeled sandals and not much else...
  • Mai Hem in Perfect Dark Zero wears heels, along with a stripperiffic dress.
  • Hel, the main antagonist of Viking: Battle for Asgard.
  • Ninja Gaiden; even more so in Sigma 2. Ninjas in heels, anyone?
  • In Saints Row: The Third, you can wear 5 inch platforms without having difficulty moving. But then again, this is the game which allows you to juggle pedestrians 50 feet in the air using explosive ammo. Realism isn't particularly high on it's list of priorities.
  • Shiki's boots in The World Ends with You are heeled, but not ridiculously so. The most amusing example of this trope, though, comes in the form of the footwear equipment that, given a high enough Bravery stat, anyone can wear. Of these, the best would have to be the Enamel Pumps — their stats in terms of defense aren't impressive, but the wearer keeps their balance when hit by enemy attacks that would otherwise knock them around. Oh, irony.
    • Dragon Quest IX does something similar. There are several high heel pieces of equipment that female characters can wear and they actually increase evasion rate. The high heels don't look any different than other footwear, though, even though equipment actually shows up on your character in this game.
  • One of the main party members in Anachronox is a combat assassin who wears stilettos and uses lots of throwing knives. Her name? Stiletto Anyway.
  • Averted in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots when Naomi ditches her heels to run quicker.
    • But played straight with Raiden in the same game and in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, whose cyborg body is equipped with rubberized heels that allow him to grip knives and swords with his feet.
  • In the Fire Emblem series, a sizable portion of the female cast of any given game will be wearing high heels. While this can be at least somewhat excusable for some characters (mages who aren't expected to fight in melee combat, healers who aren't really capable of fighting at all, etc.) a fairly large number of these characters are melee fighters, in particular the pegasus knight class (whose outfits are fairly impractical in general). This doesn't apply to every game in the series, though, and to what extent it applies to any particular game varies greatly.
  • The first Rival Schools has school nurse Kyoko fighting in high heels. In Project Justice, she's joined by Tiffany, whose heels are on boots that are somehow part of a cheerleading outfit. Yurika also has heels on those giant red platforms of hers that are as thick as they are high, while Zaki's metal boots are of the lower-and-thick, more practical kind.
  • In Knights in the Nightmare, both Maria and Meria's suits of full-body armor just so happen to have stiletto heels.
  • Gaap from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. She actually uses them as weapons, though, since when she's not dropping enemies into pits, she's kicking holes in them.
    • Gaap actually *curb stomps* George with her heels in arc 4, leaving a nice clean hole in his forehead.
  • Rose from the Street Fighter Alpha series keeps wearing those sexy red heels in fights. While she is more of a psychic, she still can brawl with the rest of them.
  • Sonic Rush Series: Blaze the Cat is almost always shown wearing high heels, yet she can run nearly as fast as Sonic himself.
  • Miranda and Samara from Mass Effect 2. Rather jarring after the practical footwear all the female party members used in the first game. Samara takes this trope literally and breaks someone's neck with her heels.
    • Tela Vasir from the DLC "Lair of The Shadow Broker". The original version of the armor model she wears (it's the hidden "extra heavy armor" from Mass Effect 1) didn't have Combat Stilettos, but apparently Bioware modified it just for her.
    • Bioware listened to complaints about the high heels. In the second appearance pack, Miranda's alternate outfit replaces them with proper boots, as well as plate armor. And then proceeded to forget about the complaints in time for Mass Effect 3, when they rolled out EDI's new body as the replacement Ms. Fanservice for Miranda.
  • Bonne Jenet of Mark of the Wolves wears these. In her most powerful attack, she grabs the enemy... then yanks off a shoe and repeatedly hits them with it.
  • Sakuya Izayoi, the Perfect and Elegant Maid of the Touhou franchise. Especially noticeable in the fighting games, where she uses those high heels to kick and stomp on her opponents.
  • Ange Serena of Tales of Innocence wears high heels to go along with her large white dress. Which is really quite odd, given that she's a speedy melee character who jumps and moves around a lot with her combos.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • All the regal fighters have used them at least once: Princess Peach, Princess Zelda (who lost the pumps for some uggs after Brawl) and Rosalina (which are not such a bother for her as she mainly floats around the battlefield).
    • Zero Suit Samus gets a pair of them in Wii U/3DS, but instead of just cosmetic, they also double as Rocket Boots.
  • Judith of Tales of Vesperia equips these in her secondary weapon slot.
  • Millenia from Grandia II takes this to utter extremes. Not only does she always fight in her high-heel boots (to be fair, with her stats, she is less of a melee fighter, and more of a Squishy Wizard and the archer), but she also has a Limit Break attack called "Heel Crush", wherein she walks up to an enemy, uses a platform of Hard Light to lift herself just above their head, then stomps it viciously For Massive Damage. Did we mention she is a full-time Fetish Fuel Station Attendant?
  • Samus, in Metroid: Other M has what are best described as combat wedges, on her Zero Suit.
  • Persona 3 has Mitsuru Kirijo, being the local Badass Ojou, wearing some very sexy heeled boots into battle, and kicks her opponent during her Critical Attack. She once again fights in heels in Persona 4 Arena.
    • In Persona 4, Kick Chick Chie Satonaka usually wears sensible boots and greaves as her weapons. However, her strongest weapons look like frilly pink high-heeled boots. Margaret, the Velvet Room assistant, will also fight you, toting a pair of beautiful blue high heels, but she floats during battle, so it doesn't really apply.
    • Many of the Personae themselves can also come toting heels, or, as seen in the first and second games, digitigrade feet. A large slew of Kaneko Kazuma's Persona designs feature both.
  • A couple of Castlevania examples: In Castlevania Judgment, Carmilla has literal combat stilettos, as her guard break attack actually involves her leaping into the air and stomping on her opponent. Also, while they aren't pointy stilettos, Alucard wears high-heeled boots. While unequipped, you can press down and attack while falling and he'll do a kick.
  • Sarah Kerrigan's infestation somehow resulted in her growing a pair of bone stiletto heels out of her feet.
  • Prototype exudes this trope when you put on the disguise of one particular civilian female wearing high heels, especially while executing attacks with your feet/legs.
  • Parasite Eve starts with Aya dressed for a night at the opera (and, in New Game+, likely a rifle hidden in that gown), including some cute platform sandals. Then things hit the fan(s).
  • Every female race except the Amani in Tera Online, with Castanics being the most notable.
  • In Brave Soul there are High-Heels that improve the atack power of the wearer, despite none of the characters ever using kicks.
  • in Armored Core For Answer, the Lahire model legs by Omer have high heels, as do the Alicia reverse joint legs made by Rayleonard. not that it matters much, as both of those leg designs specialize in NEX Ts that fly a lot.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Kickassia: The Nostalgia Chick's weapon of choice is a high heel held in her hand.
  • Lampshaded in the Whateley Universe when Poise reveals one of her martial arts teachers had her take her test while wearing a skirt and high heels. She was also required to hold a cup of tea and not spill it.
    • Also, it is one of the many problems with the new costume of THE CRIMSON COMET!!!. Granted, she just got the superpowers and the curves a couple weeks ago and she hasn't gotten over it yet.
  • Discussed in Joe's New Look: Sexy Joe and Viewtiful Sylvia when thanks to a costume mixup, Joe has to fight in Sylvia's costume, including high heeled boots.
  • Quickly justified for Mindstar's four inch heels in Brennus. As a telekinetic, she can use her power to fly, float, or reduce her weight.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has a lot of fun with this in his Cat Woman review. First the Catwomen stumble all over the place while the critic mocks them, then they take their shoes off and reveal that the heels are perfectly functional as handguns.
  • RWBY has a few offenders:
    • Cinder doesn't make a move without heels on, except when she's posing as a student from Haven. Apparently even roof-hopping, infiltrating a building, and fighting armed guards in Spy Catsuit garb only requires that the heels be slightly thicker. And platform.
    • Blake's combat attire includes puppy heels, and Weiss's includes fairly high wedge heel boots. Ruby, who's used to practical combat boots, lampshades this while wearing heels at a dance:
      "Can we have a serious talk about how Weiss fights in these?!"
      • Ruby ends up having to fight in those heels, too. She does surprisingly well, despite almost tripping in them beforehand.

    Western Animation 
  • Molotov Cocktease in The Venture Bros. wears stilettos with poison tips.
  • Sam, Clover and Alex in Totally Spies! have high heel boots as part of their standard uniforms. However it doesn't prevent Alex from complaining that an armour she is wearing as a disguise is harder to walk in than her high heel shoes.
  • Wonder Woman in Justice League Unlimited. Lampshaded in an episode which sees her thrown back in time and having to don cowboy boots, to which she complains. Batman teases that "you fight crime in high heels." to which she responds, "High heels that fit".
  • Due to the Silver Age aesthetic, Batman: The Brave and the Bold has Black Canary, Huntress, Vixen and every other female hero and villain effectively fighting in high heels.
  • Katana looks to have them in Beware the Batman, at least going off the promo poster.
  • In Megas XLR, Kiva's boots have heels, but the heels are much thicker than most examples on this page, so it may be slightly more combat-appropriate than other examples.
  • American Maid from The Tick. With her they really are Combat Stilettos because she uses them as throwing weapons.
  • Subverted in Samurai Jack. In one episode, Jack's geta are destroyed, and he tries on a pair of stilettos that remind him of his old shoes. He manages to still be a great fighter wearing them, but changes shoes when he's mocked for wearing women's footwear.
  • The girls from Winx Club wear these in their fairy forms, and sometimes run while wearing them. Not very often tough, because they fly more. They loose them in the third season and go barefoot. They come back in the fourth season.
  • Hyena in Gargoyles gains a pair after she becomes a cyborg.
  • ReBoot: Whether tormenting Megabyte, flirting with Bob, or just relaxing in her lair, Hexadecimal is never seen without her trademark stiletto-heeled boots, knee-high in some forms, and thigh-high in others.
  • Princess Mandie on The Fairly Oddparents wears high heels all the time, even though she's hunting Mark.
  • Kim Possible and Shego's fight in the Bermuda Triangle club in So The Drama, where their heels don't impede their usual jumping-about She-Fu. However, it's the only example from the series; usually they wear more sensible boots.
  • Female Transformers are often depicted with built-in Combat Stilettos. The Transformers Wiki refers to them as "heel struts" and tries very hard to justify their use.
    • In Transformers Prime, Starscream of all bots has them. They've become particularly (in)famous in the fandom.
    Smokescreen: I've heard stories about that stiletto heeled freak.
  • If one of the ladies of G.I. Joe were working undercover, and their disguise included heeled shoes, they'd become Combat Stilettos should the need arise (as in the epsiode "Glamour Girls"). Otherwise, they'd would be seen in more tactically appropriate footwear.
  • Dr. Karbunkle from Biker Mice from Mars. A rare male example.
  • Tossed a Lampshade Hanging in Young Justice. Squishy Wizard Zatanna's normal costume includes square-heeled boots, which aren't as bad as they could be, but when Harm begins chasing her, she casts a spell to turn them into flats. Read each word backwards:
    Zatanna: "Lacitcarp raewtoof won!"
    • Miss Martian's default costume includes blue stiletto heels, but she a) flies and b) often uses her shapeshifting ability to switch her costume to a stealth mode palette, which swaps her white top, blue skirt, and heels for a black bodysuit and flats. Her powerset means she doesn't have to worry about running or balancing in heels, but she often foregoes them anyway.
  • Julie Kane wears white boots like these in Motorcity.
  • Cybersix animators didn't even try to make the stilettos she wears seem practical. In close-up shots they are about 5-6 inches long! More bewildering is the fact that Cybersix travels by jumping with great agility from one uneven rooftop to the other making those shoes a complete impossibility, they are however really, really cool looking and her running and fighting scenes are awesome so you forget about any of this almost immediately.
  • In She Zow, Guy, as SheZow has these as part of her costume - which presents a problem for him as running around in high heels without falling over is not part of her powerset.

    Real Life 
  • Stilettos are lethal if used correctly, and especially if the heel is strong enough. Stilettos are basically wedges that concentrate a large amount of force into a very small area, and the great pressure under such a heel is actually greater than that under the feet of an elephant. Sure you can't run fast in stilettos, but that doesn't usually matter when your opponent needs reconstructive foot surgery and rehab to be able to walk again.
    • In his book Coroner, Medical Examiner Thomas Noguchi detailed an unsolved case involving an apparent gunshot wound to the head. As there was no bullet, there was a mystery as to how the wound could have occured. He realized that stilettos, employed with enough force, could have made the wound.
    • There are Real Life accounts of women being accosted while wearing high heels, kicking their attacker, and having the heel break off in the attacker's body.
    • It's important to remember that the word "stiletto" actually refers to a short knife, often used for surprise attacks or assassination. That stiletto SHOES could be used as a weapon of surprise should be obvious.
    • A true stiletto heel is made of metal and only covered in fabric or leather.
  • Even outside of combat, high heels are potentially extremely dangerous. There was a time after 9/11 that Manolo Blahniks were not allowed on certain airlines, because the heels came down to such a fine point that they could easily go through a man's foot with the right amount of pressure.
  • Character heels are about three inches, but chunky, and being designed for dance, are pretty easy to run in if you're practiced at walking in heels. Similarly, literal stripper heels from dance supply stores are also designed for dancing and easy to be active in despite frequently reaching heights of five inches and more, since they too are substantially thicker than pencil-thin stilettos.
  • There's an account of a woman who was pursued into an alley by an assailant, except she had gotten her shoe off by the time he reached her, and stabbed him with it.
  • If you plan to participate in some form of mounted combat in the near future, heeled shoes are your best bet. When riding on horseback, your natural inclination is to keep your feet near-level. In a pair of flat footwear, like sneakers, this gives you equal odds of your feet slipping out of the stirrups or getting caught in them. Falling off a panicking horse can result in broken bones; falling off a panicked horse and getting your feet stuck is pretty close to a death sentence. The backward slope a heel creates on a level foot serves the same purpose as the pointed toe; your foot slides right out of the loop when you're not consciously keeping it there.
    Incidentally, this is the reason cowboy boots for both men and women have high-ish heels. However, these heels are not stilettos and are rarely more than 2 inches tall. Lower than an inch and you're looking at a style called "ropers" or "rancher boots".
  • It's also easier to keep your feet in place on motorcycle footpegs if there's some heel to your footwear. Hence, motorcycle boots (like cowboy boots) for both men and women generally have heels somewhere between 1 and 2 inches tall. Again, like cowboy boots, they are rarely stilettos although some womens' designs are both higher and skinnier.
  • This is one reason it's generally accepted that picking a fight with a Drag Queen is a huge mistake, especially since drag queens tend to be tall and can put even more force behind a stiletto.
  • Apparently, female North Korean soldiers wear 4-inch high platform heels while they conduct patrols on the Chinese border along the Yalu River.


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alternative title(s): Fighting In Heels; Combat Stiletto
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