When we think of shoes with heels, the first thing that comes to our mind is women’s fashion. For that reason, you may be surprised to know that originally shoes with heels were invented for men. That has been changed over the years, and nowadays the only sign of it we can find it in the more elegant shoes, such as Oxfords or Bluchers that have a small heel of approx. 2cm (0.8 inches). Keep reading to discover its origin and why current shoes continue to have it.
What were high heels originally made for?
The origin of high heels dates back to ancient history, although they were quite different from how we know them now. The historians claim that they first appeared in ancient Egypt, where the butchers used them to avoid staining their feet while sacrificing the animals. We can also find its trail in ancient Greece, as it was usual to use them by the actors on stage to be better seen by the public. However, in the two cases, they were shoes more similar to what we know today as platform shoes, and it was not usual footwear outside of these trades.
The heels that are much more similar to our current models appeared for the first time in the 10th century Persia, today Iran. They were invented so that the feet stay well placed in the stirrups, and in this way, have greater freedom to handle weapons. Since then, the heels became a symbol of high social status and wealth since not anyone could afford to possess a horse.
At the end of the 17th century, Persia sent a delegation of soldiers to Russia, Spain, and Germany to create external relations. That is how the heels arrived in Europe and became popular among the aristocracy. They were the symbol of nobility, virility, and military dexterity. Whatsmore, Louis XIV came to prohibit wearing them to those who did not belong to the noble circles.
Soon after, in the 18th century, the craftsmen began to create shoes with heels with more feminine touches. They were higher, narrower, and more decorative. Therefore, the men throughout this century stopped wearing them, and they became women’s shoes exclusively.
Why do we still put heels on men’s shoes?
Although the times in which it was usual to see men with heels passed a long time ago, we can still appreciate a low heel in men’s shoes, especially when we talk about the most formal leather shoes. Its principal function is aesthetics since they give the shoe a more elegant touch and, in addition, make a man look a little taller. But it’s not just this. The heel makes the shoe more durable since when we walk, we put our heels first, so it requires additional protection to make the sole last longer.
As you can see, the form and purpose of heels have been changing over the centuries. From high platforms in Ancient History, through high heels in the Louis XIV court, to the current low-heel shoes. At Lottusse, you can find the most elegant versions of modern heel shoes, made of the best and most durable materials.