The heel is the back area of the foot behind the arch.

human foot

In the picture above, the heel is located in the lower left corner.

The heel absorbs most of the impact that a foot is exposed to while walking or running. When walking normally, the heel lands first.

As people get older, the heel of a foot gets hard and the skin around the heel becomes tough.

We also use the word "heel" when talking about shoes and boots.

high heels

Some women wear high heels. She’s wearing high-heeled shoes.


These are high-heeled boots. Heels give a woman extra height.


Mens’ shoes have heels as well, but men don’t normally wear high heels. (Some do.)

The word "heel" is also used as a command when training a dog to stop walking.

  • I’ve been training my dog to heel.
  • If you want your dog to heel, it must be trained.
  • Heel!

There are a few other uses for the word "heel" that you should be aware of. An Achilles heel is a weakness. This term comes from Greek mythology. If you say that a person is a heel, he or she behaves in a manner that is mean or uncaring. It’s not good to be called a heel.

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September 10, 2019