After undertaking research into the history of high heels I have discovered that before it was a fixture of female fashion, high heels were worn in the 16th century by Persian soldiers on horseback. Heels were said to give the soldiers steadiness in their stirrups so that they could stand up whilst riding safely, enabling them to shoot with accuracy. Progressing hastily to 17th century; high heels became a symbol of supremacy and masculinity. They were a conventional fashion statement for wealthy men. The shoes then caught on as a fashion statement of graciousness throughout Europe.
In the 1630’s, women started adopting masculine fashion styles, this was when women everywhere began wearing high-heeled shoes.
In the early 1700’s, French King Louis XIV wore extravagantly decorated heels. His heels were 5 inches tall. He said, only aristocracies could wear red heels and his heels would always shine over everyone else. No one daren’t have heels higher than his own. Over this century heels became lengthier and more slender, impacting society with ideas of eroticism and foot fetishism.
Heels evolved, becoming higher and slender over the years. With eroticism in mind they were designed to make feet look arched and delicate. As a result; women squeezed their feet into shoes to small attempting to shrink the appearance of size.
Feminism and sexuality factors within heels; the Venetians discovered. A style called Chopines were a prestigious representation of fortune and dignity. Predominantly embellished with gold laces, embroidery and decorative leatherwork; it was obvious this style was designed for females.
During the French Revolution heels disappeared. During this period heels were associated with the rich and wealthy, resulting in people avoiding any kind of luxury and opulence. This eliminated the heel as a fashion trend for both men and women. After the French Revolution heels became lower than ever before in the 18th century. Heels were replaced with just a wedge or spring heel with one layer of leather interleaved just above the sole at the rear or the shoe.
Heeled shoes did not make a come back until the middle of the 19th century. The Victorian era was known for dancing so flatter; ballet pumps were the preferred footwear of this time. Mules with open heels and enclosed fronts were also a trend. Heels
Re surfaced in the late 1800’s where they were almost exclusively worn by women and no longer seen suitable for both genders.
21st century high heels are known as objects of fashion and sex appeals that are worn by females. They are also infrequently looked upon as a practical shoe but considered an uncomfortable addition to female attire. Women of today wear heels as a fashion statement and not for practicality or comfort.
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