Science seems to show that it may be a thing!
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Marketing Research found that people shopping with heels on had a heightened sense of balance, which helped them make better choices when it came to spending. With balance on the brain, shoppers were more likely to avoid big purchases, opting instead for average-priced products. This is called the equilibrium effect—and it holds true for those who shop immediately following a yoga class as well. Another Reason to do yoga (which there are many, BTW)).
The authors propose that the physical sensation of balance can affect consumer judgments and decisions.
A series of six experiments demonstrates that certain consumer behaviors, such as leaning back in a chair while shopping online,
can activate the concept of balance and thereby affect the consumer decision-making process.
Specifically, consumers experiencing a heightened sense of balance are more likely to choose compromise options. The authors propose and show evidence for the mechanism underlying these effects: that the concept of balance is metaphorically linked in the mind to the concept of parity and that activating balance increases the accessibility of the "parity concept".
Parity is a term used to describe when two things are equivalent to one another. Thus, it can be used to refer to two items having almost equal value but differ only slightly and have different price points.
The increased accessibility of parity changes consumer perceptions of the product offerings in a choice set, increasing the selection of compromise options because they provide parity on the described product attributes.
So, put on those pumps and hit the mall! I love science but, I'm thinking that if my feet hurt after shopping all day in heels, I'm gonna just pick the cheap one and get the heck outta the store!
Happy Holidays and "hurt free" shopping, for your feet and your bank account!