One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Characterized by or involving the clicking of heels together or against the floor, typically as part of a dance or as a gesture of exuberance; (hence) exuberant, energized.
2That brings the heels of one's boots or shoes quickly togethery while in a formal standing posture, so as to produce a sharp clicking noise, as a gesture of military discipline, obedience, or respect; characterized by such a clicking of heels; (in extended use) characterized by military discipline, obedience, or efficiency generally.
Late 19th century. From heel + clicking, after to click one's heels.
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