One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A metal device which reinforces the heel of a shoe, keeping it straight and preventing it from separating from the upper, typically in the form of a bracket attached to the shoe's sole.
2Any of various devices which provide a support for the heel of the foot.
Early 19th century (in an earlier sense). From heel + brace.
heel brace/ˈhiːl breɪs/
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