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Combat Stilettos

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

"You going to wear that while you fight crime? Those heels could be deadly weapons."
Arsenal, New Titans

Thanks to Sex Sells and Rule of Sexy, Action Girls will often wear high heels to complement the rest of their Stripperiffic outfits. The reason is simple: high heels tilt the upper body forward and thrusts the hips backwards to remain balanced, which is a form of sexual signaling, similar to arching your back to puff out your chest.

In comics this is often Depending on the Artist: artist A will use it in moderation, artist B will draw practical shoes, but artist C will insist on drawing high heels on all female characters regardless of reason, situation, or even if it's the character's usual style. While this can be part of the Most Writers Are Male trend, this tends to appear often with Female Writers as well, for various reasons. note  Irony is in effect here if you realize that high heels were originally designed to be used for men on horseback to secure their foot in the stirrup, and butchers used similarly heeled shoes to avoid stepping in blood.

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, to say nothing of trying to actually fight in them), if it's a misogynistic tool in a male-dominated medium just to make the heroines more appealing, or if this is only another trope in fantasy and comics, no more unrealistic than any other.

Not to be confused with a literal combat stiletto, nor shoes being directly used as weapons. 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. Tends to overlap with High-Heel Power, and Cruelty by Feet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Irina Jelavic from Assassination Classroom wears high-heeled sandals almost all the time, which don't hinder her work or her skill as a professional assassin.
  • This is largely averted in Bleach since the vast majority of female characters fight on flat heels like men. Nnoitra stands out for wearing high-heels, as part of his bizarre fashion choices. And he's 215cm tall, making him one of the tallest characters in the cast, so it's overkill for him to wear high heels. The Sternritter subvert this since they actually fly most of the time and do not stand in the air like other characters do, so high-heels would never affect their performances.
  • Birdy in Birdy the Mighty, though it appears to be justified in that they function as rocket boosters.
  • For a male example, Sebastian from Black Butler wears stilettos when in demon form.
  • In Brave10, Ana usually fights in heels, as do many of the villains, male and female. One opponent takes this to its logical extreme and just wears giant blades underneath his feet.
  • Bubblegum Crisis: Supplemental material reveals that the Knight Sabres are actually on tiptoe while wearing their hardsuits because their armored boots are like a ballet slipper with a heel. The tech manual also states the heel is filled with a shock-absorbing gel, which cushions the impact of harder landings.
  • The Kisugi sisters from Cat's Eye wear conspicuous high heels as part of their Spy Catsuits, which would be quite impractical for roofhopping, but they look impossibly cool too.
  • Devil Hunter Yohko: Yohko's devil hunter attire includes a red pair of high-heeled pumps. Not only does she fight in them, but she's also even shown capable of sprinting through forests and across rugged terrain, without any signs of difficulty, as though she were in track shoes!
  • 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.
  • High heels are all the rage in Dragon Knights. Even the guys wear them. Even to the final climactic battle.
  • Dr. STONE: They aren't exactly high heels per se, but the sandals all the villagers wear seem like they'd have the same effect. The bottoms are narrower than the soles, similar to Okobo, and the only reason the villagers don't trip over themselves all the time is probably that they've been wearing them their whole lives. Homura's outfit has knee-high boots with a similar tread.
  • Some mechs in Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure have feet designed along these lines. The Earth Defense Force units all have them, but the Rara Army tends to use non-humanoid designs.
  • 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.
  • Agent Ginrei from Giant Robo wears a pair of white ones.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • Hisoka has no problem arena fighting with high heels on.
    • Likewise, the butler Canary, who is also a Badass in a Nice Suit, has absolutely no trouble kicking ass in high heels.
  • Hato Higashikata’s Stand, Walking Heart, in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion gives her the power to stretch the heels of her shoes into deadly spikes. In her first battle, she uses it to mortally stab her ex-boyfriend Damo Tamaki (who had just tried to murder her entire family) through the roof of the family estate.
  • In Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, Creepy Crossdresser Rabbit and Dark Action Girl Boar wear high-heels in combat. Justified with the latter, as she fights with a pair of machine guns with infinite ammo, so she doesn't need to move around much.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • As part of the over-the-top nature of the series, both Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin don high-heels, 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 (with a distinctive CL-ACK! sound) whenever she makes a Dynamic Entry.
    • Likewise (both for fighting and entrances) with Satsuki's mother, Ragyo.
  • Despite its lack of apparent gender, Milia/Miriya from Macross/Robotech has heels on her VF-1 (To be fair, all VF-1s do, in fact).
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the Nobel Gundam has these as well - to be expected, as it's basically a Giant Robot Sailor Senshi.
  • A Humongous Mecha version of this trope appears in the YAMS-132 Rozen Zulu from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. The eponymous Unicorn Gundam's "Destroy Mode"(as well as that of the Banshee) might also count owing to the changed configuration of its feet resulting in somewhat less dramatic but still clear high heels.
    • The predecessor of Unicorn's Re-ZEL, the Z-II, has a set of humongous high heels. However, as it was meant to be a space-only Mobile Suit, it's pretty much cosmetic.
  • Another example occurs in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: The ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos, which originally had fairly standard feet, gains a pair of truly gigantic high heels when it is converted for ground combat on Earth.
  • In My Hero Academia, Ochaco Uraraka has stilettos built into her boots. Momo Yaoyorozu has wider heels. The rest of the girls in class 1-A wear more sensible footwear.
  • Naruto:
    • Tsunade wears high-heeled sandals that can somehow survive a heel drop which can shatter rocks.
    • Mei Terumi, the leader of the Hidden Mist Village, also wears high-heeled sandals.
    • Hinata wears high-heeled boots in The Last: Naruto the Movie.
  • One Piece:
    • Boa Hancock sees nothing wrong with kicking people in the face with her high heels in the middle of a warzone.
    • Although she doesn't fight physically, Nami still counts, as she wears high-heeled sandals most of the time.
    • Dellinger of the Donquixote Family is the most obvious example in the series. His main attack is called Pistol High Heel.
  • Flashy Flash from One-Punch Man is a rare case of a man who is meant to be beautiful: he has long hair, literally sparkling ornaments, a slender body in a tightly fitting outfit, and on top of that, high heels.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: The Anarchy sisters wear high-heeled sandals in their angel outfits, which they don in more serious fights.
  • The Officer Jennys in Pokémon: The Series, despite being police officers presumably trained for combat, wear stilettos (as well as miniskirts) in all the seasons from Kanto to Sinnoh. They lose the heels for flats in Unova (though they still wear miniskirts), and gain completely practical attire from Kalos onwards.
  • The later seasons of Pretty Cure (more notably Fresh and Heartcatch) have their heroines wear high heels while transformed.
  • 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 theory. In reality, there are 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.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Most of the Sailor Senshi have heels on their shoes. Rei/Mars, who wears red stilettos, even mentions it in a pre-battle speech in the manga. Though the creator of Sailor Moon is a straight woman. She really likes drawing shoes. Mars' red stilettos are her favorite.
    • Interestingly, Sailor Venus has a tendency to kick her enemies' throats with her heels: she apparently realized what she could do by weaponizing them. The fact she has possibly the shortest heels of the group just means she has less trouble performing a Flash Step before the kick.
  • Shaina in Saint Seiya fights in high heels. Including a scene where she dodges Shun's Nebula Chain, jumps and runs on it, and then hits Shun. However, in the Manga version, she wears more reasonable shoes as a part of her armor
  • Extremely common in Sekirei, though it is worth noting that several Power Types wear either sensible heels or flats.
  • Tauburn, Takuto's mech from Star Driver has these. Yes, the giant robot has high heels.
  • 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.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, female Ghoul Investigators typically dress like an office lady and this means wearing pumps even while working in the field. The Auction Arc of the sequel features Akira Mado fighting in a pair of heels. But taking it to the next level is Nutcracker, a Ghoul dominatrix that is seen running along walls and performing brutal stomps in a pair of boots with stiletto heels.
  • Uma Musume has a non-combat version of the trope. Horse Girls wear running shoes with heels, with their formal outfits often involving higher heels. This does nothing to impede their ability to run on grass turf at speeds of over 40 miles per hour.

    Comic Books 
  • Batgirl:
    • Barbara Gordon, the second Batgirl. Lampshaded in Batgirl #45 when her successor Cassandra Cain puts on Barbara's old costume. Cassandra, who usually uses Waif-Fu, 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.
    • Kitty, a slightly deranged former student of Richard Dragon's who thinks his detached face would make a nice present and ends up a Batgirl villain, wears high-heeled boots to fight in.
  • Batwoman: 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).note  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.
  • Black Canary: The 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. In JLA: Year One, The Flash once asked Black Canary about her high heels and if they are not impractical for fighting crime. Her reaction was to grab the wings of his mask and turn his mask 90° around, blinding him.
    • This specific detail has become a widespread Depending on the Artist situation, it should be noted, particularly as Black Canary has evolved from a Ms. Fanservice Action Girl to a One-Man Army super-badass who happens to also be hot as hell, which came with her costume being revised to be more focused for combat, so her boots have increasingly been drawn as flats or explicitly combat boots. Some even compensate by making them combat boots but include a wedge heel or just a thicker heel to give her lift. Though it's not the thinking behind it, Canary is billed at 5'4, so her heels are somewhat justified in-universe as a means to avoid her being at chin-height towards everyone.
  • Bloodstone: Elsa Bloodstone wears thigh-high stilettos.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!: Alley-Kat-Abra.
  • Catwoman: For Gotham City Sirens, Catwoman has added heels to her formerly sensible costume.
  • Empowered:
    • Maid Man is 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... But the imitation costume she wears as part of a group of licensed superhero impersonators (in which she plays herself) has them. She's still wondering why.
  • 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 
  • Green Lantern: Star Sapphire. Less of an issue for her since she mostly flies.
  • Hawkman: Hawkgirl used to, but now she wears flat-soled boots.
  • Incandescence: 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. It's also mentioned that she has a background in dance (some dancers do have extraordinary balance in high heels), and that her excellent balance could be considered one of her powers.
  • Judge Dredd: Female Judges may have them, Depending on the Artist (especially if that artist is Brian Bolland).
  • Lady Death: Lady Death wears black high-heeled boots as part of her standard Dark Action Girl combat "outfit".
  • Lady Mechanika: Not true stilettos, but Lady Mechanika does do all of her action scenes in Victorian-era high-heeled boots.
  • Ms. Marvel: In Ms. Marvel (2014), when Kamala's powers first kick in, she ends up transforming into Carol Danvers' iconic look and is excited to go out in the look. Unfortunately, the outfit has high heels and, in trying to foil a robbery, she ends up falling on her face.
  • Runaways: The girls usually dress pretty sensibly (none of them have traditional superhero costumes), but not always. One issue showed Nico Minoru 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.
  • Sachs & Violens: J.J. Sachs does the majority of her fighting wearing stiletto-heeled thigh boots. There may be a vague justification in that she is a model and so has a lot of experience in moving in high heels.
  • Scarlet Witch: The Scarlet Witch.
  • Scott Pilgrim: Envy Adams wears platform-heeled boots in her fight with Ramona.
  • Shazam!: Mary Marvel, when she turned evil during Final Crisis.
  • She-Hulk: She-Hulk, when she wears shoes at all, requires heels made out of special metal.
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose: Every character, as the comic exists entirely on fanservice, so it's to be expected.
  • The Transformers (IDW): Victorion is an enormous Combiner. As the only Combiner made entirely of female Transformers, she naturally has high-heeled feet to set her apart from all the male Combiners. She may have fewer balance issues than most, considering that she's also a Gravity Master.
  • Transformers: Animated : The aptly-named human villain Stiletto from the comic series is a former kickboxer whose boot heels actually incorporate laser scalpels.
  • Ultimate Marvel: Ultimate Vision is an alien female robot. It was probably not an issue anyway, as she was designed for talking, not for combat.
  • Vampirella: Vampirella can fly, so equilibrium is hopefully no issue. note 
  • WatchmenSilk Spectre I and II.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman used to have this trope done straight, but her Post-Crisis reboot onward usually has her wearing sensible flat-soled boots.
  • X-Men: Emma Frost, and every other female in the Hellfire Club. Very few of them actually get involved in hand-to-hand combat, meaning it isn't that much of an issue.
  • Zatanna: Zatanna, being a Stage Magician and a Hot Witch superhero, almost always fights in heels.

    Fan Works 
  • In Common Sense, James fashioned Jessie a pair of steel heels that slip on over her boots to augment her kicks. Oddly enough, James had just made them as a joke.
  • 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.
  • In Fine Feathers 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.
  • Eri's Game has the titular character's case. Plus the scene where she beats up Reaper Beat with it.
  • Discussed in Joe's New Look by Sexy Joe and Viewtiful Sylvia when, thanks to a costume mixup, Joe has to fight in Sylvia's costume, including high-heeled boots.
  • Averted in Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path. The Author's Note for Chapter 5 states that every female character minus Manuela has lost the heels that were part of their original outfit as this trope is a bit of a pet peeve for the author.
  • Friendship Is Magical Girls: Pinkie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Sunset all fight in them. Fluttershy lampshades how hard it is to do so, but Rarity trains her in how to do so effectively.
  • Fanfiction author Khaos Omega takes this up to eleven - several times over. With pairs ranging from the common aspects of the trope up to ballet heels and almost anything in-between, his fanfictions even include an ability that makes someone even faster in heels instead of the other way around. And it's not just the girls, either, several male characters (prominently including his self-based OC Jet Brazie) often wear heels as well.
    • Several males in the Khaosverse actually have a gender status that allows them to dress as girls and not be viewed as crossdressers. Jet's case is the most famous in-universe, as he wore non-platform seven-inch stiletto pumps when meeting the requirements to acquire the XF Series model of Power Suit codenamed 'Ice Star' while he was still in high school. Part of the reason his case is the most famous one is how the other known individuals with that gender status got theirs, especially with how Jayden Omega was granted it as a birthday gift from one of Jet's many Rainbow Angels.
    • Several other characters, regardless of gender (though five male cases on a mission to a Super Smash Bros. universe were due to her troublesome Meme Storm merging with fan art - she had met three of them before though one wasn't affected the first encounter and a fourth has since committed full-time a la how Jet acquired Ice Star), often wear especially hot high heels just to maximize their appeal to Anise's well-known sluttiness for hot shoes, especially when they're high heels. Anise herself especially prefers stiletto heels, but will accept the other types should she view them the sexier heel type for a certain shoe choice (such as Weiss' main outfit's boots from RWBY Volumes 1-3).
      • Anise's personal lesbian harem, dubbed 'Amethysts', is the only one of four Rainbow Angel sub-divisions that lack a specific restriction to the members' required high heels.
  • 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.
  • Lazy Beacon Days, a Recursive Fanfic linked to Boldores and Boomsticks, sees Yang comment about Weiss' combat wedges at one point in chapter 13. Weiss retorts that she'll start wearing flats if Yang can find a top that covers both her bust and midriff.
  • This trope is discussed in My Huntsman Academia. Pyrrha, Blake, and Weiss wear high heels into combat, but they're only to make themselves look taller and more imposing when Izuku asks if they serve any practical purpose in combat. While Weiss won't admit this due to her relatively diminutive height, Pyrrha freely tells Izuku that she simply got used to fighting in them after her PR department made her wear them in her tournament fighting days.
  • 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.
  • In Off the Line, Rainstorm's shoes are these. They are literally so sharp that he accidentally killed a woman when he stepped on her. As the Fanservice Joke Race, high heels actually improve the balance and support of the Viera Race. Rainstorm slices a bounty hunter's throat open when he swipe-kicked him in his heels.
  • Discussed in The Ozpin Files when Ozpin steals a pair of Glynda's high heels and takes a while to even be able to stand up properly. He thinks it's Worth It if it allows him to look Ironwood in the eye while telling him off, though.
  • Persona 5 New Game Plus, Joker's Second Chance has Ann (as Panther) call out this when Ryuji (as Skull) comments about sore feet. To be fair to Ryuji, the narration did say they had been at it for a couple of hours at that point...
    Ryuji: My feet are friggin' killing me!
    Ann: You're not the one wearing heels, Skull.
  • Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm:
    • Jason notes that the footwear on the Sailor Scouts' Combat Modes is not ideal for mobility (According to him, the people of the Silver Millennium Moon Kingdom valued aesthetics over performance). However, he trains them to compensate for this. Notably, he trains Sailor Mars so well that she is able to rocket-run at super-high speeds without ill effect.
    • At one point, Lita notes that her own footwear is not as mobility-oriented as she would like, and wonders just how much the people of the Silver Millennium Moon Kingdom really valued aesthetics.
  • One fanfiction in the universe of The Super Mario Bros Movie actually gives Peach an excuse as to why she can easily run her training course in her royal gown and high heels (namely she'd wanted a challenge at some point before Mario arrived and by the events of the film it's become a habit). That story's version of Princess Daisy (who's in more desert-practical sand boots herself) is especially awestruck that Peach aced the course in heels.
  • In the third story of the Time Break Saga, titled Asleep at Dawn, Lambda enters her fights wearing high-heeled sandals. She comments that she actually has an easier time walking and moving around in them, wondering if her Murakumo armor frequently keeping her on her toes meant she just had a lot of practice beforehand.
  • Total Drama Legacy has Serena, an Elegant Gothic Lolita who wears high heels at all times. However, in spite of her footwear, she's very agile and is able to run quickly and move nimbly with no difficulty.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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. Elastigirl is probably justified due to her powers but the rest of the female supers...
  • 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.
  • Cinderella in Shrek the Third, as expected. She sharpens the heels and uses them as throwing weapons.
  • Princess Peach in The Super Mario Bros. Movie easily sprints through her training course in her royal gown and high heels; the heels in particular are the first thing to hit a Bowser-shaped target.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Amazon Women on the Moon: The Amazons all dress in a Minidress of Power and high heels. The movie shows how awkward this is when they try to run across uneven ground.
  • In Angel (1984), Angel chases The Killer along Hollywood Boulevard while wearing stiletto heels and has no trouble keeping up with him.
  • Atomic Blonde: Lorraine gets into several fights while wearing heels, most notably when she takes down 6 police offers while wearing heeled boots. In one scene she actually weaponises her heels, while in a car she takes off her shoes and slams it into a man's throat.
  • Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy and Batgirl wears Thigh High Boots with high heels during her fight.
  • In Barb Wire, Pamela Anderson does a great deal of fighting in stilettos, with a lot of kicking. In the first dance of the movie during a dance, a man cat-calling her annoys her, and she removes one heel and throws it at him. It stabs him in the forehead, and he's dragged out unconscious by the bouncers.
  • There's a scene in the Steven Seagal movie Belly of the Beast where our hero fights a ladyboy, and she doesn't even bother to take off her shoes, using them as weapons.
  • In Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, the Machine Gun Woman conducts all of her bloody rampages while wearing six-inch stiletto boots.
  • Catwoman in the live-action adaptations. In the comics, she usually wears more reasonable shoes.
    • Noticeably jarring when in the Batman Returns mall her heels keep appearing and disappearing when she starts doing backflips 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. Given the plausibility attributed to the Batsuit, one has to wonder how she actually made those shoes.
      • 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?
  • In The Cobbler, Max defends himself and accidentally kills a baddie with the heel of a stiletto.
  • 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.
  • The Baroness herself wears wedge heels in GI Joe The Riseof Cobra. Like many examples, on close viewing, one can tell when she's actually wearing flat-heeled boots for performing certain action scenes instead of her heels.
  • 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.
  • In Guns, Girls and Gambling, The Blonde has no trouble moving and fighting in six-inch stiletto heels, even running up the wall and jumping over The Indian when he has her arms pinned during their climactic fight.
  • 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.
  • In a mostly averted and justified example, Jurassic World has Claire wearing high heels through all that terrible day. Including being chased by a Tyrannosaurus she's attracting to combat. While some noise was made about it in the reviews, it was ultimately the personal decision of actress Bryce Dallas Howard. She stated in interviews that it wasn't easy, but Option B was running barefoot in a jungle. It inspired a few parodies along the way. Once the sequel was announced, one of the first things she said was that she wouldn't be wearing the heels.
  • In Machete, the title character and Sartana are attacked while at the latter's house. The latter fights Mooks in the hall outside her bedroom, where we see she has an extensive collection of high heels. The mooks then find out the hard way why attacking an Action Girl with a big shoe closet is a death wish, as Sartana grabs a pair of stilettos and uses the heels for stabbing!
  • Subverted in Machete Kills. Miss San Antonio is wearing high heels in a combat situation - because she's just come straight from a Beauty Contest. While wearing them for a gun fight, she removes them when she fights hand-to-hand.
  • The majority of non-Wakandan action girls from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Black Widow, Lady Sif, Peggy Carter, Gamora, Nebula, Scarlet Witch, Mantis, Valkyrie and Hela wear high heels. The costume designers are clearly trying to be more subtle with it by giving most of them boots with no gap between the stiletto and the front of the foot, which kinda begs the question why they don't just use flat soles. Exceptions so far include the Ancient One, The Wasp, and Captain Marvel. Some of the actresses, such as Zoe Saldaña, could only run and do fight scenes in sneakers which were digitally replaced with high-heel boots in post.
  • Averted in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. When the female IMF member hears on the radio that the female assassin who killed her colleague has escaped the trap set up for her, she immediately tears off her high-heeled shoesnote  before racing out of the room to inflict a major ass-kicking.
  • Paloma, a Cuban agent and one of Bond's allies from No Time to Die has zero issues kicking ass all while wearing a long party dress with stiletto heels on, even managing to deliver some high kicks to take out some mooks.
  • In Power Rangers (2017), the Pink and Yellow Rangers are given wedge heels in their suits, despite being martial arts fighters. Trini is introduced doing yoga on top of a mountain, and Kimberly is a former cheerleader, so we can just assume they have really good balance.
  • Averted in the film Red (2010) 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.
  • 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.
  • The villain of Single White Female murders the protagonist's boyfriend with a stiletto shoe.
  • Eve, the alien hybrid from Species II, has organic stilettos!
  • The five main girls of Sucker Punch all wear high heels as part of their combat gear during their fantasy sequences. Of course, the emphasis is on fantasy sequence and the girls are superhuman in them anyway so it really doesn't hold them back. While the actresses did their own stunts, there are a couple of shots where Baby Doll can be seen wearing flat boots instead of high heels.
  • Another Batman villainess who gets those in film is Harley Quinn for Suicide Squad (2016). Margot Robbie highlighted how the stilettos are Awesome, but Impractical:
    So, that's when the powers that be stepped in and voted on a pair of heels. Once I knew that it had to be a pair of heels, I wanted the most badass-looking ones. And when I saw the Adidas ones I was like, "They are sick." And it all happened quite quickly. Before I knew it, I was like, "OK. So, that's the costume." And I walked around in them for a day. That was the worst idea. Ever.
  • 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 filming Tromeo and Juliet, actress Tiffany Shepis accidentally punctured co-star Stephen Blackehart's lower lip with her spiked heel.
  • Van Helsing: Kate Beckinsale complained about the difficulty she had running about in high heels while filming action sequences.
  • Watchmen 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.
  • In Wonder Woman, Diana wears wedge heels in her Wonder Woman costume, which are far more understated and stable than stilettos but still not as stable and sensible as flats. This was to ensure she'd be taller than the male supporting characters and because heels just look good.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Psylocke's thigh-high boots come with high heels, and Storm wears wedge heels with her Horseman and X-Men attire. Storm at least can fly, making hers semi-justified by Rule of Cool.

  • The Action Heroine's Handbook has a chapter on "How to Win a High-Speed chase in high heels and a bustier".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Sins of the Father, The Dragon wears high-heeled thigh-high boots in at least one of her brawls with the Scooby Gang.
  • 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, thanks to unwanted ballet lessons from her childhood, 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.
  • 1930s pulp heroine Domino Lady fought crime in an evening gown and high-heeled shoes. It never seemed to impede her ability to kick ass.
  • 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 drops from a helicopter in similar shoes. Running through a parking lot isn't even that impressive.
  • 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 of 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.
  • Subverted in the Kate Daniels series when Kate slips off her stilettos in preparation for a fight.
    Kate: If I kicked him, the heel would slide into him like a knife — but I'd have a hell of a time getting free.
  • 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.
  • Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments, 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.
  • 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.
  • Pirotess, the female dark elf from Record of Lodoss War wears a pair of white thigh-high boots with heels.
  • 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 Huntress from The Book of Lost Things is described as wearing a pair of heavy-heeled boots. Although meant to make it easier for her to chase her prey on uneven ground, the Huntress is seen on numerous occasions using them as weapons. Including when she kicks a girl she is hunting down and drives her heel into the small of her back.
  • Subverted in Trident Deception. Christine is conscious of the practicality of footwear. She removes her heels to run faster and avoid making noise and takes care to pick comfortable sneakers for easier mobility. At one point when she has to wear heels, she snaps off the stems to escape cross-country.
  • 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."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sydney Bristow in Alias wore heels for many of her disguises while on assignment. Sometimes the outfits were Stripperiffic, sometimes they were conservative. But unless she was running laps around the track, she was in heels.
  • As part of the image-obsessed world of superheroes in The Boys (2019), just about every prominent female Supe wears them in some form:
    • Queen Maeve's costume in the series is closely modeled after Wonder Woman's in the DCEU, down to wearing boots with wedge heels. She doesn't seem to have any issues fighting hand-to-hand in them.
    • Starlight's original costume has boots with sensible wedge heels, but she does most of her crimefighting with her light powers. Her second and more sexualized costume that she is forced to wear by Vought has boots with tall stiletto heels and Annie is shown in one scene with her feet in pain after having to make a public appearance with them on.
    • Stormfront's boots have tall chunky heels, but since she's a Flying Brick, she doesn't have any issues when it comes to fighting while wearing them.
    • Subverted by Kimiko/The Female, who typically wears practical clothing when going on missions. However, in one episode, she's forced to go undercover dolled up as an escort in Russia, complete with a sparkly dress and high heels. But when shit hits the fan and she is forced to fight, she quickly ditches the heels.
  • Jaime Sommers in the Bionic Woman reboot can be seen jumping from rooftop to rooftop, scaling walls, and fighting all in heeled boots. One of the promos shows her dramatically landing on top of a police car while her heels are prominently shown.
  • 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 slightly more practical footwear (Wedge heels show up a lot, for the usual reason).
    "I'm wearing my door-kicking Jimmy Choos..." ("Besieged", Series 5 Episode 7)
  • Castle:
    • Detective Kate Beckett 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.
  • Charmed occasionally lampshaded this. One episode has Prue buying both her sisters an emergency pair of sneakers to slip on in case demons attack, and another has a replacement whitelighter criticise their clothing choices for fighting demons. Billie adopts an outfit for fighting demons with these shoes — and is told to give it up by the sisters.
  • Chuck:
    • Sarah always wears heels, and she seems to get in fights fairly frequently.
    • 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.
    • Numerous other female operatives wear high heels as well.
  • Lampshaded/Inverted in Cybill; Maryann briefly tries wearing flats, but can't keep her balance.
  • Danger 5: A literal version when Ilsa assembles a gun from her heels and shoots Josef Mengele.
  • 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.
    • Leela wore calf-length moccasins 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".
    • Subverted with Rose, Donna, and Amy. Most of the time all three are seen wearing sneakers. Donna explains it as follows: "Seriously, there is a ridiculous amount of running involved."
    • River Song often wore heels when committing crimes, however when she did archaeology she didn't.
    • Martha and Clara's frequent heel-wearing, on the other hand, can probably be connected to the fact that their actresses are both on the short side.
  • "Taffy" on Dollhouse. It's probably a joke when she says it's important to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Lucy Liu is 5'2 while Jonny Lee Miller is 5'10. When they play Joan and Sherlock in Elementary, Joan's Unlimited Wardrobe contains a lot of these to combat the height difference. She's not a hands-on Action Girl but is a Badass Bookworm, an ex-surgeon, and a skilled detective.
  • Played literally on Empire when Cookie and Lucious team up to search for a kidnapped Hakeem. They shake down a guy for information; Lucious knocks him to the ground and Cookie puts her heel to his throat.
  • Referenced in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
    Girl: So girls go on adventures too?
    Lorelai: And they go in heels.
  • Brittany from Glee is often cited both in-universe and by fans as being the best female dancer in the group. In the second season's Sectionals, she does an amazing dance with Mike (the best male dancer), and a large number of viewers were even more impressed that she did it all in heels. This is Truth in Television; Heather Morris was a dancer for Beyoncé before she was an actress, and female dancers often train themselves to perform in heels, not unlike dancing en pointe in ballet.
  • The Good Guys: The Professional Killer in "The Whistleblower" wears a pair of prominent stiletto heels while trying to gun down the heroes.
  • Nikki (as Jessica) of Heroes fame pulls this off: 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.
  • The Widow in the second episode of Into the Badlands ("Fist Like A Bullet") kills several men while wearing heels even higher than Kate Beckett's, with backflips and martial arts moves equal to any of the men, finally finishing off one guy with one of her heels.
  • Leverage:
    • Subverted with Sophie. 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 she 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 stilettos and cocktail dresses when she doesn't have time to change.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • On one of the few occasions Ziva wears heels on NCIS she ends up in a big fight. Cote de Pablo goes on (and on) about this in the DVD Commentary.
  • Sometimes in The Originals Rebekah wore heels when she fought; she often threatened to stab people in the neck with them.
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: Vypra is never seen out of her high-heeled boots, and can fight fairly well in them.
  • Miss Parker of The Pretender likes her high heels. Her actress Andrea Parker credits her extensive ballet training note  for her ability to run wearing them.
  • 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.
  • In an early episode of Quantum Leap, Sam Beckett "leaps" into a small-town coroner/mortician in the early 1960s, 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.
  • 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."
  • Shadowhunters — Isabelle frequently does battle wearing heels and go-go boots. And Emeraude Toubia trained to be able to do all those stunts herself.
    "You can imagine how my feet were by the end of the night."
  • 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.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Kira Nerys 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.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", when Narissa tosses away her disruptor, we can see clearly that the heels of her boots are high enough to be impractical for hand-to-hand combat, and they juxtapose Seven of Nine's flat-heeled boots. This may be a contributing factor to Narissa losing their Designated Girl Fight.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman's main outfit had boots with heels. Averted in that during most action scenes she wore an otherwise identical pair of boots without heels. This extends to the antagonist Formicida, whose heels also disappear during action sequences only to be back when the dust settles.
  • WWE Tough Enough: Episode one of Season 5 has the contestants having to do janitor work behind the scenes at a WWE event. Ariane makes a point of giggling "I'm doing this in heels!"
  • 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 proceeds to kick his ass.
  • The X-Files: Scully. 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). She then demonstrates and can be seen running back and forth in the background while Mulder has a conversation with the actor playing him. Once, she turned her heels into a self-defense weapon by kicking someone in the face while wearing them.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Sherri Martel used her knee-highs as bludgeons. Later, Heel Elizabeth (no pun intended) worked interference for Ric Flair by lobbing shoes like guided missiles, landing 9,999 damage with each shot.
  • Yinling, the Erotic Terrorist of Fighting Opera 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.
  • Terri Runnels and The Kat had a match where they both wrestled in go-go boots. But as Fanservice was the aim, there wasn't too much running around or athleticism in it.
  • Usually averted in pro wrestling in general; females usually only appear around the ring area in high heels when they're not actively competing, and some matches that make them compete in formal outfits see them remove their heels beforehand. Sometimes the aversion doesn't fully work because the fight breaks out before an involved party can doff the heels, especially if said heels are boots.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • 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 as the other kind of stiletto.
  • Virtually all the female models in Infinity have heels of some kind on their feet.
  • The tongue-in-cheek Macho Women with Guns game is all over this. "Run in high heels" is a skill.
  • Some of the artwork in Warhammer 40,000 depict Sisters of Battle with the effect of these modelled onto their power armour.

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

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann's combat suit sports heels. She can deliver a variety of martial arts towards her opponents without any problems.
  • 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 NEXTs that fly a lot.
  • A significant portion of the cast in Azur Lane wears high heels. If a kansen isn't wearing high heels in her default outfit, there's a good chance that she's wearing them in an optional skin. Given that they slide along the water's surface ice-skating-style during missions, high heels wouldn't be that much of a hindrance.
  • In the Batman: Arkham Series, Catwoman and Batgirl wear high heels. There are practical combat uses for them however, for example, when Catwoman stomps on thugs' bellies or when Batgirl heels them in the face. This is to convey feminine inferiority in strength as the female characters don't have strong arm muscles like the male characters and therefore have to rely more on their legs (additionally, they also have to use their whole body movements to lift up enemies and they cannot use enemies' weapons; also, Catwoman cannot ride Titans in Batman: Arkham City because her arms aren't meant to be that strong). Harley Quinn also wears high heels in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City (in both of which she's not playable) and the classic jester skin in Batman: Arkham Knight; her default Goth skin in Knight only has her wear low-heeled boots because she relies more on her baseball bat than on her legs.
  • The eponymous heroine of Bayonetta, as well as Jeanne. In both cases, the heels have been replaced with guns, with which she performs Gun Fu. In the sequel this also applies to Rosa and, in a Rare Male Example, the Masked Lumen. The last may seem odd, but it's fitting given that he's a Mirror Boss who uses light-themed versions of Bayonetta's attacks.
  • Bloodrayne. Similar to Bayonetta, the heels are actual stilettos.
  • In Brave Soul, there are High-Heels that improve the attack power of the wearer, despite none of the characters ever using kicks.
  • Castlevania series:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Isaac in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is another male example, wearing heels while charging you with laser swords.
  • 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. This was actually cut down in its close relation Champions Online. There are now far more flat and moderate heel options and even the high heels are mostly thicker character heels (a dancing heel).
  • 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. This is also the footwear of choice for Christie and Helena Douglas. Ayane has also been shown to invoke this trope.
  • Most of the females in the Devil May Cry series, including Trish/Gloria and Lucia.
  • The female Demon Hunter from Diablo III wears boots with stiletto heels in just about every armor set she can wear.
  • Dragon Quest series:
    • Dragon Quest VI introduced the Glass Slippers accessory for female characters, which increases the wearer's style attribute but have no other purpose. They reappear in Dragon Quest Heroes and can even be equipped by male characters, just like every other accessory.
    • In Dragon Quest IX, 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.
    • Mystical Juliante, a Dark Action Girl from Dragon Quest X has the overall look of a dominatrix, complete with black leather, a whip, and high-heeled boots.
    • Jade from Dragon Quest XI wears high heels in all of her outfits, even when she's wearing a swimsuit, likely to keep from changing her character model too much. As a martial artist, she uses her legs in quite a few of her attacks. Krystalinda the Ice Witch also wears boots with high heels, as well, but she levitates in battle with the use of her magic so doesn't have to worry about mobility.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce has the vampire Yukiko and Giant Fist has the devil Coma, both Stripperiffic Ms. Fanservice who include tall high heeled boots as part of their ensemble, and as part of their offensive weaponry.
  • Fallen London makes these pretty literal with the Elevating Silk Slippers, obtainable only in summer events (once elections). Their soles are blades and the actual heels are actual knives sharp enough to crack cobblestones while you walk. They're tied for the most Dangerous-raising footwear in the game, on top of being quite Respectable and (somehow) getting you more in touch with Monstrous Anatomy.
  • Fallout: New Vegas (and Fallout 3 too) had a few outfits with a perfectly suitable heel for a housewife at home, or a lady at an office, or to match a slinky black evening gown. Shame that you're wearing them in various barren wastelands, swamps, deserts, rubble-strewn ruins, and vaults ... with grated floors. They're back, albeit slightly lower, in Fallout 4.
  • Bonne Jenet of Fatal Fury: 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. This attack in particular led to a multiple-weeks long conversation about ProtonJon obtaining a couple pairs of stilettos, partly as Jon's Friday streams were about SNK History for the inclusion of Terry Bogard in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • A significant number of female heroines in Fate/Grand Order wear heels into combat. A short list includes knights wearing otherwise heavy armor (several variants of Artoria Pendragon even wear plated heels), Assassins that are supposed to be sneaky (Hassan of the Hundred Personas), and even the more delicate, Caster-style characters who thematically stay in the back but nonetheless get caught in combat (Medea Lily).
  • Final Fantasy series:
    • Every Viera ever. They have digitigrade feet, so their heels are off the ground with or without the shoes. Exception: 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.
    • In Dirge of Cerberus, Rosso clicks around in stiletto, thigh-high boots. To say nothing about her butt-cape.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • The incarnation of Shiva from Final Fantasy XIV wears very high stiletto heels in her outfit. She even utilizes them when performing her signature attack Diamond Dust, stomping on a character's head after surrounding the arena with ice crystals. Since she can levitate around on the battlefield, mobility is a non-issue for her.
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake has only one scene, in the 10-second stretch where Tifa and Aerith fight off some of Don Corneo's mooks while in their Wall Market dresses. After Aerith started the fight with a Groin Attack, Tifa takes out the same mook with a roundhouse kick that lands heel-first.
  • 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 (mounted units for whom the heels serve a somewhat more practical purpose, 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, a couple of them even being thieves or myrmidons, the most agile classes in any given game. This doesn't apply to every game in the series, though, and to what extent it applies to any particular game varies greatly.
  • Galaxy Angel has only three of its main cast wearing heels, and rather low ones at that; the only one of the three to accurately apply to this trope is Ranpha Franboise, a martial artist (the other two that wear heels are Forte Stollen, a gunslinger, and Kahlua/Tequila Marjoram, a mage). All three cases in regards to embracing this trope in on-foot combat are justified due to their roles, as Ranpha has to get in close while Forte and Kahlua/Tequila can take a more long-ranged approach.
  • In Genshin Impact most female characters have stiletto shoes or high-heeled boots. In fact, only Xiangling and Koujou Sara are the only two of at least teenage female characters that don't have heels, using tabi and tengu geta sandals instead of heels.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has Online mode where a female character can wear these. No word yet if it means you're giving enemies three extra inches to target you, or if Hitbox Dissonance makes up for the height differential.
  • 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.
  • Kat wears heels in Gravity Rush. She also falls over a lot. This may not be a coincidence.
  • Female elementalist and mesmer boots in Guild Wars are typically high-heeled. Other professions have more sensible footwear.
  • Most of the female characters in Honkai: Star Rail sport heeled ankle boots, like the female Trailblazer, Bronya Rand, or Serval, while Himeko and Asta wear plain black heels. Two exceptions are the child characters Hook and Clara, who respectively wears fuzzy boots or go barefoot.
  • 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.
  • In Kingdom Hearts it's kind of easy to miss, but Larxene and Xion, the only female members of Organization XIII, wear heeled boots, which the former practically uses during her Kick the Dog moment. When Xion turns into Sora at the end she wears sneakers like Roxas.
  • In Knights in the Nightmare, both Maria and Meria's suits of full-body armor just so happen to have stiletto heels.
  • Last Cloudia:
    • Phal, who uses a crossbow, wears a set of knee-length boots with these as part of her attire.
    • The angel-like Winged Humanoid Lukiel, who wields eight flying swords, had a set of high heels as part of her attire. She loses the boots that have them and goes barefoot after her master's powers get taken away from her.
  • 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 original splash art for her Freljord skin has them, but she has normal flat 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.
  • Maglam Lord has the female version of Killizerk the Bladelord fighting in sharp, stylish high-heels. Considering they're an immortal demon with supernatural powers and can transform into weapons, it isn't as egregious as more realistic examples.
  • Mass Effect:
    • 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) didn't have these, 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 (though, as a robot, it's not as if EDI needs to worry about hurting her muscles or back).
  • 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.
  • Samus Aran in Metroid: Other M has what can best be described as combat wedges on her Zero Suit. Concept art from Metroid: Zero Mission had previously said to make sure the heel was not too high. The games developed by MercurySteam, Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread, also kept the heels, as evidenced by the concept art in Returns which stuck with the Other M high wedges, although the Zero Suit model in Dread appears to lower the heels' height by an inch or two. One interesting thing that both these games did was to also add heels to Samus's Power Suit itself.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • In the early 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 in most games, was wearing heels.
    • Skarlett invokes this trope by stabbing her opponent in the eye with her heel.
    • A welcome change in Mortal Kombat X is making the ladies more sensibly dressed: less Stripperiffic outfits and no stilettos. In Sonya's case, the change is justified as she is now a general, a mother, and simply a woman in her fifties and has likely outgrown dressing that way. While D'Vorah does wear heels, they're not outlandishly high and more like character heels. Tanya also noticeably wears a pair of high-heeled boots, and they are shown off in both her fatalities.
  • With the exception of 9S, all androids in NieR: Automata, including or especially the combat models, are female androids with high heels.
  • 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. Shinobu in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle also sports a pair. As does Bad Girl in No More Heroes III.
  • Onmyōji (2016): Momo-no-sei's ridiculously high sandals aren't meant to look sexy but look no less dangerous and impractical than actual stilettos, if not more. She apparently can walk normally wearing those.
  • Symmetra from Overwatch. Combined with her long legs, the heels give her a slightly awkward running animation. Mercy and Widowmaker also wear high-heeled boots, but their heels are less than three inches high.
  • Parasite Eve starts with Aya dressed for a night at the opera (and, in New Game Plus, likely a rifle hidden in that gown), including some cute platform sandals. Then things hit the fan(s).
  • Mai Hem in Perfect Dark Zero wears heels, along with a stripperiffic dress.
  • Persona: Many of the eponymous Personae come toting heels, or, as seen in the first and second games, digitigrade feet. A large slew of Kaneko Kazuma's Persona designs features both.
    • 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.
    • Persona 5: Arsene, the Protagonist's main Fighting Spirit, has knives for stilts, which reach way past its shoes' soles. They're not just for show either: he uses them in his physical attack animations. Ann Takamaki wears thigh-high boots with these as part of her default Phantom Thieves attire.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon has Lusamine, who is one of the hardest bosses in the franchise and wears heels. When you first battle her the intro animation is her doing a Heel Clank in a similar vein to Satsuki and Ragyo Kiryuin.
    • Before her there are Gym Leaders Elesa and Valerie, from Unova and Kalos respectively. Both of them have fashion model experience, though Valerie has shifted to a fashion designer role by the Kalos games and Elesa drops her heels for off-colored flats in Pokémon Black and White 2.
  • Played with in Portal. Chell has prosthetic knees which allow her to fall indefinitely without dying. However, they make her feet contort in the same way that heels do. Portal 2 replaces the prosthetics with "Long Fall Boots" that provide a similar function while once again contorting her feet into a heeled position.
  • [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. However, Alex's disguises and clothing are all created from biomass, so he can fight in them as well as he can in anything else.
  • Resident Evil:
    • 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.
    • Helena from Resident Evil 6 always wears high heels, even when she changes her outfit before going to China to deal with Simmons.. The first offense can be partially justified since she didn't fully expect to be involved in a zombie outbreak, but she's still a Secret Service agent.
    • Claire also wears heels in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, and so does Alex Wesker a.k.a the Overseer to go along with her elegant sense of fashion. Alex notably loses them after her mutation. Moira has a sensible choice of footwear, though.
    • Cindy from the Outbreak games also wears heels. Made all the more peculiar in the fact that she's a waitress, who normally wears comfortable shoes due to all the walking involved in that job.
  • The Elite Guard from Return to Castle Wolfenstein all wear black, high-heeled boots to go with their tight leather outfits. Despite their use of silenced Stens and sneaky tactics, the clacking of their heels give away their position to the player.
  • 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 Saints Row: The Third (and IV, by extension), you can wear 5 inch platforms without having difficulty moving. But then again, this is the game that allows you to juggle pedestrians 50 feet in the air using explosive ammo. Realism isn't particularly high on its list of priorities. The same applies to Shaundi as part of her sexified revamp.
    • Also available in Saints Row 2, for the fashion-conscious boss. Including some graphics issues when it tries to force the Boss to stand flatfooted despite her office pumps.
  • Shania from Shadow Hearts: From The New World wears high-heeled sandals and not much else...
  • Erika of Shadowverse is notable for wearing thigh-high, high-heeled boots in combat... while also in a Meido outfit.
  • Many custom outfits for The Sims have gratuitous heels, even with swimwear.
  • 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.
  • Soccer Spirits: Several characters wear heels. Playing soccer.
    Sharr: "I'll punish you with my heels!"
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Rouge the Bat, first introduced in Sonic Adventure 2, wears high-heeled boots that she has no problem running in, which can also be used to dig into the ground and kick her opponents. Since she normally flies or glides around, this is partially excused, but she sometimes is seen running to keep up with her teammates on the ground, like Shadow.
    • Sonic Rush and its sequel have Blaze the Cat, who is almost always shown wearing high heels, yet she can run nearly as fast as Sonic himself.
  • Soul Series:
    • Ivy Valentine always wears heels, going with the dominatrix theme. Though she does actually make use of them by stamping on opponents while they're lying down and twisting her foot around. Ouch.
    • Tira wears heels as of Soulcalibur V, and it carries over in Soulcalibur VI.
    • 2B, from the aforementioned NieR: Automata, appears as a Guest Fighter in VI with this trope maintained.
    • Amy Sorel gets a pair of heels to go with her dress in VI.
  • StarCraft II: Sarah Kerrigan's infestation somehow resulted in her growing a pair of bone stiletto heels out of her feet.
  • 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.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Maker features a new variation of the Goomba's Shoe called the Goomba's Stiletto. It defeats spiked enemies instead of just harmlessly bouncing off of them, applying a Super Mushroom to it gives it a Ground Pound function, and if you put wings on it, the fluttering sound that plays when double-jumping will be replaced with a Noblewoman's Laugh.
    • One of the "Thing" stickers in Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a giant stiletto that crushes enemies repeatedly with its heel.
    • Amusingly, the two dresses Mario can wear in Super Mario Odyssey, Peach's wedding gown and Hariet's dress, give him some pretty impressive heels to platform in.
    • Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina all partake in the combat-oriented mini-games of the Mario Party series in their high heels (justified as they don't have any alternate outfits in those games). Pauline (whose heels are noticeably higher than the others, not to mention have ankle straps the others' don't) would also apply here should she join a later Mario Party roster.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • All the regal fighters have used them at least once: Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Princess Zelda, and Rosalina (which are not such a bother for her as she mainly floats around the battlefield). Zelda temporarily dropped the heels after Melee in favor of boots, but goes back to sandal-like heeled boots in Ultimate.
    • Zero Suit Samus gets a pair of them in Wii U/3DS, but instead of just cosmetic, they also double as Rocket Boots. They're called "Jet Boots" in-universe, and make her kicks pack more oomph. Their appearance also makes it more literal than the wedges from her Other M appearance.
  • Tales Series:
    • 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.
    • Judith of Tales of Vesperia equips these in her secondary weapon slot.
    • Sorey from Tales of Zestiria. He wears thigh-high boots with heels when armatized.
  • 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.
  • Every female race except the Amani in TERA Online, with Castanics being the most notable.
  • 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.
  • Sakuya Izayoi, the Perfect and Elegant Maid of the Touhou Project franchise. Especially noticeable in the fighting games, where she uses those high heels to kick and stomp on her opponents.
  • The remake of Trials of Mana depicts all of Angela's classes to be wearing high-heeled boots.
  • Subverted with the mercenary Nadine Ross from Uncharted 4. While she wears heels because she's attending a party, when she actually gets into a fight not long after said party, she removes her shoes first.
  • A Rare Male Example occurs with Mettaton EX in Undertale.
  • Gaap from Umineko: When They Cry. 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.
  • Most female characters from the 2D Fighting Game Under Night In-Birth. The most noticeable example is Orie Harada with her 15-centimeter heels.
  • Hel, the main antagonist of Viking: Battle for Asgard.
  • A number of the titular suits in Warframe sport these, from Saryn and Octavia's traditional versions, to Nova's platform shoes, to... Nidus?
  • 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, the irony.
  • Annie in Wild Guns wears high heels throughout the entire game, but takes them off while resting during the credits.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon has the franchise's first playable Action Girl with Saeko Mukoda, who fights in a pair of stylish 4-inch pumps, who is also followed shortly after with Optional Party Member Eri Kamitaki who also wears a similarly tall pair, though with a bit of a wider heel. The next game in the timeline, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, upgrades Seonhee to this as she goes from being an NPC to a playable party member, and one of her special moves in her default job is even called "Sadistic Heel" as she stomps on a fallen opponent and kicks him with said heel.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Action Girl Portica white high-heels as part of her Clothing Switch in 'Store Story'.
  • RWBY: A lot of the female characters are high-heeled fighters.
    • Glynda wears heeled knee-high boots that are part of her overall appearance which gives mild hints of the Hot Librarian dominatrix style. They don't stop her leaping and somersaulting around the place while fighting.
    • Cinder not only fights in heels, but she'll even engage in roof-hopping and building infiltration while wearing them as a companion to her Spy Catsuit.
    • Blake's combat attire includes puppy heels. Her fighting style is based on making high-speed moves that leave after-images of herself to distract the opponent while she attacks from a different direction. Her heels don't seem to slow her down at all.
    • Weiss is a fencer who engages in lots of acrobatic and ballet moves to make it seem as though she's skating on ice. She wears knee-high boots with very high wedge heels. She meets this trope more accurately with some of her other outfits having actual stilettos.
    • Pyrrha is a Greek-styled warrior who fights in thigh-high, high-heeled boots. It doesn't stop her from being the four-times Mistral tournament champion and a world-class, world-renowned fighter who can take on an entire four-man combat team by herself and win with ease.
    • Ruby, who's used to practical low-heeled combat boots, lampshades the problem with fighting in heels while trying to walk in them at the dance. When she is forced to fight in them, she wobbles on every landing and has to use her scythe to regain her balance. Cinder spots the weakness, but the fight is interrupted before she can take advantage of it.
      Ruby: Can we have a serious talk about how Weiss fights in these?!
    • Neopolitan wears probably the highest heels in the series, while also having one of the most acrobatic fighting styles. The heel height aspect may be justified in her being easily the shortest female on the show's roster (even with heels she's less than five feet tall, whereas the shortest without heels is Weiss and she's still past that mark).
    • Minor villain Melanie Malachite has literal combat stilettos, boasting a pair of bladed heels (in the form of white thigh-high boots) that serve as her main weapons. Her twin sister Miltia also wears heels (a red version of Melanie's boots minus the blades), but her main weapon is a pair of Wolverine-esque claws that attach to her gloves.
    • Other examples are Emerald Sustrai, Winter Schnee, Raven Branwen, and Amber. Interesting, Emerald only picked up the stilettos after she met Cinder, before that she wore ballet flats and in Atlas, she switched to ankle boots with a much wider heel right before she had a Heel Face Turn and left Cinder for good.

    Web Comics 
  • An episode of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures, appropriately titled "High Heels", is all about this trope. Stephanie/Spoiler has a mission coming up that will involve dressing up, including wearing heels. She won't be able to sneak in too much gear, meaning that, if she has to fight, she'll be doing so in high heels. Catwoman coaches her (and Damian) in this trope. It's pointed out how fighting in heels is difficult, uncomfortable, and dangerous, as both kids (who are experienced fighters) lose their balance and fall flat on their backs.
  • At a certain strip of 8-Bit Theater, Princess Sara kicks the Dark Warriors' asses and shoves a heel into the mouth of one. He complains it tastes horrible.
  • A realistic use in But I'm a Cat Person: Camellia rams her narrow heel on a would-be mugger's toes to get him to release her.
  • In Endstone, Cole wears such shoes. Kyri comments on her error in wearing such bizarre clothing, and that the shoes were not made for combat.
  • The Jane Gang from Everyday Heroes; lampshaded by Jane Mighty (formerly Iron Jane) here. Somewhat subverted by Dolly Bird, whose spike heels are actual steel spikes — since she mostly flies, these are more of a weapon and less of a hindrance.
  • This is the basis of an actual fighting style in Footloose, because of the pointy bits. It's called... Kung-Shoe.
  • Several of the active-duty superheroes and sidekicks in Heroine Chic employ this trope in their costume:
    • Avalon's costume, designed by Dyna Cuff, features over-the-knee boots with chunky, 3-inch heels.
    • Laren's original "Liberteen" sidekick costume included boots with a pointy heel. Zoe's redesign got rid of the pointy heels and replaced them with what looks like a slim army boot.
    • Zoe's first "Gilded Lily" costume is a self-described hot mess, featuring some sort of stylized, outsized glass heel that projects a good inch off the back of her foot (like a kid playing dress-up with an adult's shoes). It takes a while before she can control her Power Crystal's costume-generating abilities and replace the heel with sensible flat shoes.
    • Paragon II's costume by Heroine Chic features knee-high boots with a tall (3-4 inch), chunky heel.
    • Badass Normal Umbra annihilates the villainous Garmento's elite "Vowel" ninja squadron with her superior fighting ability, performing kicks and flips that would make an Olympic gymnast jealous — and she does it all in heels.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Bernadette's high heels make her even taller and don't seem to cause any problems during a fight.
    • During the Season 2 finale, Satan gives Scarlet these alongside a Pimped-Out Dress. These heels don't hinder her fighting ability either.
  • I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!!: The pirates all wear sexy high heels. Janet's crew wears thigh-high red boots.
  • Oglaf depicts a male army that uses platform stilettos in battle. Most of the enemy flees in terror, believing themselves to be fighting an army of giants.
  • Alexa from Shape Quest... well, they're high-heels, at least.
  • In Shortpacked!, Amber lampshades this when she describes what she would wear if she became a superhero. Robin, on the other hand, demonstrates Contractual Genre Blindness. Doubly ironic considering Robin is a former government agent with actual superpowers.
  • Tip from Skin Horse is a rare male example of this.
  • Suryu in Sorcery 101 wears these heels when fighting Seth.
  • Evil Spinnerette has an actual stiletto in her heel. Seen here.
  • Superbitch wears them, but she doesn't ''walk'' in them
  • Endorsi Jahad 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. More advanced and hence even more superhuman characters, like Yuri Jahad, wear them no problem, but it's no wonder given their abilities.

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Lampshaded 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 of weeks ago and she hasn't gotten over it yet.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Dr. Karbunkle from Biker Mice from Mars. A rare male example.
  • 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.
  • Parodied with Zee Zatana in DC Super Hero Girls (2019), who is otherwise one of the shorter characters on the show but wears stilettos at almost all times. At one point she's seen having trouble crossing a river due to them and she once even goes to bed in heels! Barbara Gordon immediate falls when she tries on some of Zee's shows and Supergirl struggles to walk when she wears a different pair of heeled boots. Another gag involves Diana Prince, who otherwise controls her Super-Strength much better than Supergirl, demanding a refund after flat out destroying a pair of heeled shoes.
  • Princess Mandie in The Fairly OddParents! wears high heels all the time, even though she's hunting Mark.
  • Hyena in Gargoyles gains a pair after she becomes a cyborg.
  • If one of the ladies of G.I. Joe were working undercover, and their disguise included heeled shoes, they'd become this should the need arise (as in the episode "Glamour Girls"). Otherwise, they'd be seen in more tactically appropriate footwear.
  • Wonder Woman in Justice League. Lampshaded in an episode of Unlimited which sees her thrown back in time and having to don cowboy boots taken from an attacking goon. When she complains that they hurt her feet, Batman teases that "you fight crime in high heels." to which she responds, "High heels that fit".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Julie Kane wears white boots like these in Motorcity.
  • In The Owl House, Eda and Lilith wear heels 24/7, including while running or during fights where they leap and Flash Step around. Lampshaded when Luz bodyswaps into Eda’s body and struggles to even walk in them.
  • 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.
  • 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 and catcalled because of how sexy his legs look in heels.
  • In SheZow, 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.
  • Yellow Diamond from Steven Universe notably wears a pair of high-heeled boots and is one of the most powerful Gems in existence in the series. In one scene, she makes a dramatic entrance where she is shown heels first, much like Satsuki from Kill La Kill as described above. She is an outright giant compared to other Gems and in one fight, delivers a powerful stomp attack with one of her heels. As the "bodies" of Gems are actually Hard Light projections from their gemstones, they likely don't have to worry about balance issues.
  • American Maid from The Tick. With her, they really are Combat Stilettos because she uses them as throwing weapons.
  • Laureline from Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline wears high-heeled boots with her suit despite all the combat she takes part in.
  • Sam, Clover, and Alex in Totally Spies! have high-heeled boots as part of their spy uniform.
  • 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.
  • Kitty Katswell from T.U.F.F. Puppy wears white high-heeled boots.
  • Molotov Cocktease in The Venture Bros. wears stilettos with poison tips.
  • The girls from Winx Club wear these in their fairy forms, and sometimes run while wearing them. Not very often though, because they fly more. They lose them in the third season and go barefoot. They come back in the fourth season.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Tossed a Lampshade Hanging; 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 and she has to start Roof Hopping to get away, 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.

    Real Life 
  • A stiletto is a combat knife, often used for surprise attacks or assassination. Stiletto heels are named after a killing tool; there's a reason for that. Stilettos are lethal if used correctly, and especially if the heel is strong enough. (And a true stiletto heel is usually made of metal and only covered in fabric or leather.) 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. That stiletto SHOES could be used as a weapon of surprise should be obvious. 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.
    • Such shoes can do quite enough damage to inanimate objects, unintentionally; some public buildings with wooden floors explicitly ban them, and you can often tell a floor where such a rule hasn't been enforced by all the small, clean, round dents.
    • 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 occurred. He realized that stilettos, employed with enough force, could have made the wound.
    • This story of a woman who killed her lover with her blue 5.5-inch stiletto heels should tell you just how deadly these shoes can be in a fit of rage. Not surprisingly, stilettos and spike-heels are commonly-used weapons in domestic disputes.
    • 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. There's also 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.
    • There was a time after 9/11 when 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.
    • 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.
  • "Character" heels are about three inches, chunky, and being designed for dance, are pretty easy to run in if you're practiced at walking in heels.
  • Stripper heels from dance supply stores are also designed as being easy to be active in despite frequently reaching heights of five inches and more since they are stronger, thicker, and more carefully balanced than stiletto heels. They often include a wedge to assist with balance. While not combat-related, a good pair of stripper shoes actually qualify as sports equipment for Samba dancers, particularly those who participate in Carnival-type parades, where they will be dancing non-stop for hours. Antonia Eklund, who moved from Britain to Brazil to train as a Samba dancer, discusses this (among other things) in an article here.
  • Platform heels often appear to be about six inches and more in the heel, but actually have a platform built into the sole of the shoe which the heels are only balancing out, not adding to. They are prone to overbalancing issues in the inexperienced, so they're not designed for dancing; what they are especially good at is creating the illusion of a high heel, and maintain the distinctive *click* of a high heel when moving around.
  • 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. A pair of flat footwear, like sneakers, 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". In fact, this is the historical origin of high heels. They became a fashion item for men as an imitation of military equestrian gear, then got adopted into women's fashion, then were phased out of men's wear as the fashions changed, but remained as a mostly feminine item (see Rule of Sexy), except in the functional uses described here.
  • 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 women's designs are both higher and skinnier.
  • Apparently, female North Korean soldiers wear 4-inch high platform heels while they conduct patrols on the Chinese border along the Yalu River.
  • Not stiletto heels per se, but the Ukrainian Defence Ministry recently incurred mockery and opprobrium by making female cadets prepare for a parade by practising marching in heels. Members of the Ukrainian parliament berated the ministry for the decision and social media, as it often does, went to town with the memes. Some even labelled it "idiotic"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fighting In Heels, Combat Stiletto


Killer Heels

MatPat talks about this trope, bringing up an example from the movie Black Panther as well as how it applies in real life. He even draws attention to the trope name's origin.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / CombatStilettos

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