The history of high heels is a long and fascinating one that spans centuries and continents. From their humble beginnings as practical footwear for men, to their current status as a symbol of femininity and glamour, high heels have undergone many changes over time. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of high heels, from their origins in the 16th century to the modern day.
Origins of High Heels
High heels can trace their origins back to the 16th century, when men began wearing them as practical footwear for horse riding. The heels were designed to help keep the rider’s feet secure in the stirrups, and also served to elevate the rider’s height, giving them a commanding view of the battlefield.
By the 17th century, high heels had become fashionable among the French aristocracy, and they began to be worn by both men and women. During this time, the height of the heel also began to increase, with some heels reaching as high as 6 inches.
In the 18th century, high heels became even more elaborate, with ornate decorations and intricate designs becoming popular. They were often made from expensive materials such as silk, velvet, and leather, and were worn to show off the wearer’s wealth and status.
The 19th and 20th Centuries
In the 19th century, high heels continued to be a popular fashion accessory for women, but they also became associated with eroticism and fetishism. This was due in part to the popularity of burlesque shows, where performers wore exaggerated high heels as part of their costumes.
In the early 20th century, high heels fell out of fashion as women began to embrace more practical footwear such as flat shoes and boots. However, high heels made a comeback in the 1930s, with the introduction of the platform heel. These shoes had a thick sole that elevated the entire foot, rather than just the heel, making them more comfortable to wear.
During the 1950s and 1960s, high heels became even more popular, thanks in part to the influence of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Stiletto heels, which were thin and pointed, became particularly popular during this time.
The Modern Day
Today, high heels continue to be a popular fashion accessory for women, with a wide range of styles and designs available. They are often worn for formal occasions such as weddings and parties, and are also a popular choice for professional women in the workplace.
However, high heels have also been the subject of controversy in recent years, with some arguing that they are uncomfortable and even harmful to wear. High heels have been linked to a range of health issues, including back pain, foot problems, and even osteoarthritis.
Despite these concerns, high heels remain a popular fashion accessory, with designers continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this iconic footwear. From classic stiletto heels to platform shoes, high heels continue to be a symbol of femininity and glamour, with a rich history that spans centuries and cultures.
The history of high heels is a fascinating one that reflects the changing attitudes towards fashion, gender, and sexuality over time. From their humble beginnings as practical footwear for men, to their current status as a symbol of femininity and glamour, high heels have undergone many changes over the centuries. Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying the impact that high heels have had on fashion and popular culture