High heeled shoes are shoes whose heels are significantly higher off the ground than their toes. While it is tempting to normally would assume that from its inception, the high heel presented class and sophistication, Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bats shoe museum in Toronto says high heels were worn as a riding footwear.
High heels date back to the 10th century ,being originally worn by men. That’s right men!!!Horse riders wore heels on their boots ,because this helped the foot stay in the stirrup ,which is basically why cowboy boots have heels.
One might also argue that heels might as well date back to 3500 BC,this is because ancient Egyptians and Greeks wore them solely for the purpose of religious rituals . Murals aging back to that time ,show them wearing the heels for those ceremonies, the shoes by the way were significantly high .In Medieval Persia ,many noble man in the empire wore high heels when riding their horses.
These usually were in expensive colorful material (no wonder why they became popular so quickly). This can be argued that this trend spread as a result of Persians , so as to say ,when a Persian monarch Shah Abas toured Europe so as to form allies ,his visit left a mark (the high heels trend) . Soon enough all of Europe adopted this trend ,which undoubtedly represented pure fashion style and class. So high heels basically represented high standards, nobility and royalty.
Louis XVI ,who was known for his love of good taste and lavish lifestyle, standing at 1.6m was a huge fan of heels ,or rather a pioneer of heels . He always wore high heels and he would even wear as high as 4inches (10cm) , developing the ‘red bottoms ‘ ,(Which still to this day are regarded as glamorous and are Christian Loubourtin ‘s inspiration for his crimson soles) and making sure all the men in his court wore them. This was in the 1700s,and ultimately these type of shoes distinguished between the clergy and peasants. The higher the heel ,the higher your rank .
Ancient Japanese made their heels high so as to prevent an expensive Kimono from hitting the ground. And so did the French, who named them Chopines ,and their purpose was to avoid walking on mud and dirty streets. But after the French revolution ,wearing high heels was basically abandoned ,it faded away as it was associated with women,impracticality and extravagance .
The very first time heels for women took note ,was at 14 year old Catherine de Medici’s wedding on 1533. She wore them so as to look mature and add a few inches to her height .Soon after women started wearing them. Prostitutes found this trend particularly a boost in their business ,as high heels became regarded as sexy and a good object to lure men. Around the 1700s in France ,there was no structural difference on which one was the left shoe and which one was the right.
For 50 years between 1810 and 1860, high heels went totally out of style. When they came back ,they came back at a standard height of 2 and a half inches. With the birth of sewing machines ,the production of high heels grew larger and larger ,introducing the Pinet and Cromwell heel .
From the 1900s during wars ,soldiers would hang pin-up girl posters right on their bunks ,these women wore high heels ,explaining the notion of sexuality and high heels going hand in hand. Then the tall skinny Stiletto got invented in 1950 ,thereby strengthening this notion . Over the years heels have been seen on advertisements ,posters and magazines on women , symbolising elevation and a sex appeal.
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