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Can High Heels Damage My Wood Floor?


high heels on wooden floor

High heeled shoes are considered impractical, uncomfortable and even painful to use. However, despite all those disadvantages women continue to use them because fashion forced it on them.

Funny enough, high heels were first worn by men but for far more practical reasons. Heels allowed a horseman more balance when using the stirrups. Eventually, high-heeled shoes also became a symbol of higher social standing and women began wearing them too. Even Louis XIV posed on his portraits wearing such shoes because they were not considered feminine.

Why High Heels Are Bad for Your Floor

High heels concentrate a person's weight on a small point (estimate: 125 lb person = approximately 2,000 lbs per inch when taking a normal step). This kind of force can damage many types of flooring, fracture ceramic tiles, perforated vinyl, dent wood floors etc.

While high heels in good repair may not damage wood floors, we recommend a 'no high heel' policy, to prevent the possibility of your floor sanding to be required at a sooner time than necessary.

Some wood species are harder than others. However, to reduce the risk of causing the indentations on the floors in areas, where such type of use is anticipated, it is recommended to use laminate flooring, LVTs or other types of floor coverings.

Wood Floor Damage

Timber is a natural product. It was once part of a living, breathing tree. No matter how you choose to protect it, it will inevitably suffer some damage and one of the most types of damage are exactly dents, marks and scratches. Those issues can be caused by many things including pet nails, furniture, dirt and debris and of course – high heeled shoes.

Pet nails can be trimmed, furniture can be equipped with pads, dirt and dust can be cleaned or limited thanks to the heavy use of rugs and doormats. However, there is no reliable way to protect your floor from the high heeled shoes, except by simply not using them.

The situation is not improved by the fact that the most popular types of floor finish – lacquers and varnishes are somewhat vulnerable to scratching. The problem is that surface finishes such as those form a protective coating on top of the floor which is durable but far from impervious. Don’t test it needlessly!

Imagine you have a party and a lady decides to drop by, wearing high heeled shoes. If she makes two steps each second, how many dents are you going to have on your floor if one hour has 3,600 seconds? Just think about it…

Many high heels have a protective rubber on the bottom which is supposed to provide some cushioning. The bottoms often fall off and leave the bare nail exposed. Only the husband of a woman wearing such shoes knows how often they must be repaired. Don’t think that your floor is safe because of some small piece of rubber which may or may not even be there.

The truth is plain and simple - high heeled shoes have the potential to ruin your hardwood flooring.  The best way to avoid such fate is to offer your guests comfortable slippers and ask them to leave the heels in the entryway. Some people find it improper to ask such things from their guests. The real question is what do you value more – the condition of your floor or the disposition of your guests. In the end, you can always ask them to simply use other shoes when visiting?




FlooringFirst! Services
158 Coles Green Road
London, NW2 7HW
T: 0800 0434359