Why heels are banned at Greek historical sites

Nov 01, 2017

Few of us would make the odd choice to wear high heels while exploring ancient historical sites while travelling in Greece (you’d be lucky to see a pair of heels in our suitcase at all!). 

Our go-to footwear for travel are comfortable walking shoes, so it’s hard to believe Greece had to enforce a ban on women wearing high heels to historical sites.

According to NPR, high heels, food and drinks are banned from archaeological sites because of the potential damage they may cause. One such site is the Odeon in Athens, where cleaning crews removed nearly 30 kilograms of chewing gum from under the theatre’s ancient marble seats.

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The director of Greek prehistoric and classical antiquities Eleni Korka told the Daily Mail back in 2009 that female visitors must wear shoes that do not wound the monuments.

“These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that,” Korka said.

With so many visitors per day, the thousands-of-years-old structures experience enough wear and tear from foot traffic without the additional pressure that the point on high heels creates.

The heel can forcus a surprising amount of pressure into one place, potentially chiselling into the ancient stone and marble surfaces.

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Even though it seems like the obvious choice to wear flat shoes, it isn’t always the case for everyone, some even finding heels a more comfortable footwear choice than flats. This is particularly so in people who wear them very frequently.

It’s lucky the ban was put in place before more damage is done.
 Do you take heels with you on your travels? Let us know in the comments.

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