Oleg Mikheyev, a member of Russia’s parliament, is suggesting a ban that is angering a lot of people in his country. Mr. Mikheyev, in a proposal sent to the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Union, Vikto Khristenko, asked for a ban on high heels, or at the very least, strict regulation on how high heels can be. As reported by the Agence France-Presse (via The Times of India), Mr. Mikheyev wrote, "Footwear should have heels that are two to four centimeters high, five centimeters high at the most.” Converted to our system of measurement, that would mean heels couldn’t be higher than approximately 2 inches.
Why does Mr. Mikheyev think this is an issue worthy of consideration? According to the AFP, it’s because he “cares” about Russian women and wants to, “protect them against any deformities, flat feet and other afflictions.” The ban would not only go after high heels, but flat heels as well. According to The Moscow Times, which was relaying a report from Russian-language newspaper Izvestia, Mr. Mikheyev suggested heelless footwear (canvas sneakers being an example) is dangerous to men’s health. He also claimed that flat feet have “hobbled” 40 percent of Russia’s adult population.
It’s unclear how likely the chances are that this ban will actually go into effect. The AFP notes that the proposal is more of an effort by Mr. Mikheyev to raise awareness on the subject because Russian women, “are young, they simply don't think about these things.” The lawmaker noted that some of his female colleagues are not speaking to him because of his suggestion. The AFP noted that many Russian women may start wearing high heels if they’re banned, to make a statement.